There are countless things that make our Costa Rica: Spring Break Sea Turtle Initiative program so special. From volunteering alongside local community members, to ziplining through the jungle, here are some of our favorite things about this awesome Spring Break program!
Live in a Jungle by the Beach
You don’t often picture the jungle and the beach in the same area, but on this program, you truly get both! Home Base is a rustic ecolodge just steps from the beach, nestled in the jungle outside of the nearby town of Parismina.
Make Lifelong Friends
Eight days may seem short, but year after year, our students prove that eight days is more than enough time to get to know one another and form close friendships! In fact, many GLA alumni have remained close friends with their fellow students they met on their Spring Break program years ago!
What made my program in Costa Rica life-changing was specifically the people. It is hard to imagine myself going back to Costa Rica without everyone by my side. Everyone was so supportive and my ideas flourished. I still keep in contact with many of my fellow GLA-ers. Even the mentors can’t leave my mind! —Adam, GLA Alumni
Develop Leadership Skills
One of the key components of every GLA program is our Leadership Curriculum, which helps students develop skills that can be applied to all areas of life. During Mentor Groups, students are split into small groups to discuss topics such as culture, leadership, goals for their time abroad, and more. Each group is led by a program staff member, and students are encouraged to share, participate, and reflect on their experiences.
Volunteer with a Local Sea Turtle Rescue Organization
On this program, students have the opportunity to work directly with ASTOP (Asociacion Salvemos las Tortugas de Parismina). ASTOP is a conservation organization dedicated to protecting sea turtles that nest on the beaches of Parismina. Get to know the local volunteers, chat with them during night patrols, help paint signs for the egg hatchery, and gain a better understanding of their local conservation efforts.
In Costa Rica, wildlife is everywhere! You’ll spot lizards and tree frogs on a boat tour of the local area, and you’ll likely see a few sloths in the trees as you walk on the local trail. But perhaps the best thing is seeing (and hearing!) the wild howler monkeys that scale the trees right outside Home Base. Check out this little guy below who came to grab some fruit while our students sat down for breakfast!
Spring Break in Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without some amazing food, and you will certainly enjoy some delicious meals throughout this program. From fresh local ingredients, to fruit picked right off the trees outside your window, your taste buds are in for a treat!
I will never forget the amazing food I had while on this program. The chefs would spend hours cooking meals from scratch. Every time our group sat down to eat, we felt like a local family had invited us in for a home-cooked meal. —Ashley, GLA Alumna
Zipline Through the Jungle Canopy
Can you imagine flying through the jungle, soaring high above the trees with 360 views in all directions? Well, on this program, that’s exactly what you’ll get to do during the zipline adventure!
Get to Know the Locals
One of the best parts of this program is that you’ll get to know, and form connections with, the members of the local community of Parismina. Whether you’re working directly with local volunteers during your service activities, or playing a game of soccer with local children, the connections you form will have a huge impact on your experience!
The emphasis this program puts on creating bonds with locals was so important to me and I believe it is part of why GLA is so special. Every excursion we had was always new and exciting, there was never a dull moment. —Emma, GLA Alumna
Costa Rica: Spring Break Sea Turtle Initiative is currently enrolling for the following sessions:
March 9 – March 16, 2019
March 23 – March 30, 2019
March 30 – April 6, 2019
April 6 – April 13, 2019
April 13 – April 20, 2019
Welcome to our photo journal!
Every GLA program is built around three areas of focus: Community Service, Hands-On Learning, and Adventure. These are the fundamental building blocks that allow us to provide life-changing journeys to teens just like you! Each focal area provides its own unique opportunities for personal growth, learning, friendship, excitement, leadership, and all-out FUN.
For part one of this photo journal, we’re focusing on what truly makes GLA programs so much fun—the adventure. We dove into our photo archives from this past summer and pulled some of our favorite adventure photos from each country—19 countries to be exact! So sit back, relax, and join us on this epic photo tour around the world!
First stop: Ghana!
Heading South….to South Africa!
Surf and sun awaits. We’re off to Bali!
The islands are calling…follow us to Fiji!
India, here we come!
Off we go to Thailand where majestic elephants and beautiful temples await us.
Time to practice our Spanish…in Spain!
Buckle up, we’re heading to South America. First stop Brazil!
Time to hop over to Peru!
Off to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands!
Next stop, Haiti!
Off to Cuba!
Off to practice our French in Guadeloupe, also known as “the pearl of the Caribbean.”
Three countries left on our journey. Off to Belize!
Two more stops. Dominican Republic, here we come!
We made it to our final destination, which is also the country with the most GLA programs…Hola Costa Rica!
Thank you for joining us on this photo tour around the world! To all our alumni readers, we hope you enjoyed reliving these moments from your GLA adventure. And to all our readers who may be considering joining a GLA program, we can’t wait to meet you in one of these amazing GLA destinations!
Keep an eye out for part two of our photo journal, where we’ll showcase our favorite community service photos from each country — coming soon!
*Note: Activities may vary on programs within the same country. To confirm if an activity pictured above is part of your program, please refer to our 2019 infosheets or call to speak to a GLA Enrollment Specialist.
You probably know that GLA representatives are available via phone, text, and email, but did you know that GLA also offers online seminars? Our webinars are an excellent way to explore our program offerings and speak with someone “face to face” from the comfort of your couch, kitchen table, or car.
To find the right webinar for you, read on!
Q & A – You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Join us for a general overview of who we are, what we do, and how to get involved, then ask one of our expert Enrollment Specialist any lingering questions about our programs or the application process.
Fundraising – This webinar is a great resource for families who are planning to fundraise all or part of their program tuition–it may seem like a daunting task, but every year students make it happen! We will go over resources and share tips and tricks and success stories; you may even hear from an alumni who successfully fundraised for their experience abroad. Whether you are just getting started or are just in need of some inspiration, we highly encourage you to join!
Regional Info Session – Designed for students or parents with interest in a particular region, this webinar offers the opportunity to hear from our Regional Directors of Programs in Asia, Africa & Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, or South America. Topics include staff selection, local partner highlight, safety within the region, and a Q & A portion.
Tuesday, January 22 at 3:00 PM PDT – Fundraising
Wednesday, January 23 at 4:00 PM PDT – Q & A (with bonus Spring Break highlight!)
Bad timing? Not to worry! See what’s coming up over the next few months and RSVP for the webinar of your choice here.