Julio & Janeth Ruano Marge & Tom Gallagher
Tom and Marge Gallagher first visited Belize in January 2005, loved it immediately, and moved to Belize in January 2007. They purchased 50 acres just outside the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and, with the help of local Belizeans, set out to create a small jungle lodge now known as Moonracer Farm.
Prior to moving to Belize, the Gallaghers lived “normal” lives in the small town of Canadice, New York, about 35 miles south of Rochester in the Finger Lakes Region. Tom, an accountant, owned his own computerized accounting system consulting business, and Marge worked as a requirements analyst for a small IT company in Rochester and taught at the local community college.
When not working, they could be found on their farm – even then called Moonracer Farm – tending a multitude of dogs and horses. The dogs were always just for fun, but both Tom and Marge competed with the horses. Tom was a member of the American Driving Society (ADS) and competed in Pleasure shows as well as Combined Driving competitions. Marge was a member of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) and trained to compete in under-saddle combined training competitions, as well as the occasional dressage show or jumping derby. Both were active volunteers with local horse related organizations.
Over the years, Tom, an Eagle Scout, was active with local Boy Scout Troops, and both Tom and Marge worked with the local Literacy Volunteers. Marge also served a term on the Honeoye Public Library board.
After making the decision to move to Belize in the summer of 2005, they focused on selling everything that wouldn’t fit in a pickup truck and 17’ travel trailer. With the sale of the farm in November of 2006, they packed up and hit the road. You can read about their journey in their blog at http://moonracerfarmbelize.blogspot.com.
In July 2013, Julio and Janeth Ruano took over the on-site management of Moonracer Farm. Tom and Marge moved 8 miles deeper into the Mountain Pine Ridge to work on a conservation project which they couldn’t do while living at Moonracer Farm, so Julio, who had already been the local manager for three years, started managing the lodge with his wife Janeth. Marge and Tom are still your main point of contact via email prior to your arrival, but you will be greeted and hosted by Julio and Janeth. You will enjoy Janeth’s delicious cooking as well as Julio's hospitality and knowledge of the jungles of Belize.
Julio and Janeth have both lived in the village of 7 Miles/El Progresso since they were young children, and are now raising their own five children there. They are both very active in the community, which is how Tom and Marge met and got to know them. If you are lucky, you will meet at least some of their children during your stay at Moonracer Farm, and you will get a true taste of the Belizean family culture.