The last time Chilean woman Millaray Antonia Bravo Ramos spoke to her father back in South America, she told him excitedly that she was coming home to live.
After three years of living in New Zealand and forming friendships within the Latin community Ramos, 28, was ready to return to Lautaro in Chile in May, her friend Sebastian Vera said.
But her friends did not expect they would be having her farewell without her.
They have been raising money to pay for her body to be flown back to her home town after she drowned in Waiake Beach on Auckland's North Shore last week.
Police are not treating her death as suspicious and friends believe she got into difficulty while swimming at Waiake Beach. Ramos was reported missing on Monday and her body was discovered on Wednesday.
Dance instructor Sebastian Vera met Ramos when she first moved to Auckland three years ago. The pair met at the Mexican Cafe and formed a firm friendship, even spending last Christmas together.
Vera said Ramos was always smiling, joking and laughing.
"Her energy and positivity - she transmitted this in all parts of her life.
"I remember her always being happy."
On Saturday night Vera organised dance classes and a party at Viva Studio in Grey Lynn to raise money to send Ramos's body home.
About 200 people attended and performed two salsa dances in honour of Millaray while friends shared some kind words about her. This was followed by a minute's silence to remember her.
The Latino dance event raised $3,300 and a further $2000 has been collected by another of her friends.
A further farewell was held at Waiake Beach on Sunday morning where the family she boarded with laid flowers. It was followed by a service at St Benedict's Church in Eden Terrace.
However while the initial target of $5000 needed to send her home had been collected, friends were still raising money to help towards her father's travel.
Vera had spoken to Ramos' father before and after the dance event and he asked him to thank her friends for their support and for raising the money.
"He was still so sad and shocked about the news."
Her father also sent an audio recording for Vera to share with her friends and is planning to travel to New Zealand next Monday to fill in paperwork and to take his daughter home.
During the conversation, her father told Vera Millaray had been planning to move home in May.
"Millaray was so happy in telling him that she was going back home and [telling him] 'I'm going to see you guys'."