Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 15
Hi families! Pura Vida & welcome to Costa Rica!
An exciting and compassionate summer for our leaders has begun. We are finally together and William will be arriving this evening to complete our group 😁
Our home base is a paradisiacal and vegan hotel and restaurant named Lands in Love 💕.
All the students arrived safely at their Home Base in San Ramón, Alajuela province. Weather has been hot, humid, and beautiful. After long flights they got the chance to recover and have all the energy for the upcoming activities, on the first day we went around on a tour of the home base and got to know the place. Everyone is with an amazing attitude and putting their hearts to the experience.
We are so excited because we will be hands on with local service activities and in care of noble companion animals.
Parents, families, and friends please follow us on this blog as we feature the daily adventures of this amazing group of leaders.
CR Animal Rescue Project Program Staff
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 16
Hi! We are writing about our first day in Costa Rica! Today we got to sleep in since most of us had a late night of travel. We started off with a delicious breakfast consisting of gallo pinto and some fresh fruit, followed by a little orientation filled with skits and introductions. Then we did a tour of the Lands in Love resort, seeing all of the animals on the property. We then did group bonding while playing card games before a nice lunch.
After lunch we talked more about our mission during our time here before having some down time (most napped). After, we went to the soccer field for more get to know you activities where we got to socialize with everyone. Then it was time for a wonderful dinner and a presentation about Costa Rican culture. During the presentation we tried local mamones and learned more about the history of Costa Rica. Now we’re all about to get some rest after a long and eventful day!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17
Early this morning the animal rescue services started. The dog caretakers for the day started bright and dark early at 6:40 am. During their morning time they walked two dogs at a time and picked up after the dogs. While everyone else started breakfast at 7:30, the dog caretakers started at 8 to rest a little more.
After breakfast we went straight into more service. We had groups cleaning up horse stalls and brushing horses, cleaning trails, picking up after chickens, and cleaning up after dogs and making sure they feel loved. Following service we went to lunch, where we had 6 different lunch options. The rain started shortly after lunch so we were able to have downtime in the tropical climate of Costa Rica. There are only two seasons, rainy season and dry season.
After the rain slowed, some went on walks while others played cards and made bracelets. We later had a gathering where we talked about our days and we did some relaxing body activities. Following our conversation we headed to dinner and celebrated a birthday. For our celebration we ate delicious chocolate cheesecake and did a German tradition.
After dinner was over, we had a salsa lesson. During the salsa lesson we learned bachata, criollo, and one dance native to Costa Rica. Tomorrow we are looking forward to a fun filled day at the zoo where we plan to help animals in need and learn more about Costa Rican wildlife.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
We started the day off with a delicious breakfast of vegan french toast. Then we headed off to the animal rescue center and we saw lots of exotic animals both native and foreign. Many of the animals had sad stories but it is amazing seeing a place that really cares for the animals and has their best interests at heart.
It was really nice to see how the people here take care of both domestic and wild animals and we felt a sense of hope for human kind. After the bus ride back, we got changed and headed to the pool for our swim test. Although we weren’t very excited for the test, we are excited that we can enjoy the hot springs tomorrow as well as the beach day next week. Throughout the day we had chunks of time to play card games with one another and spent time getting to know everyone.
After dinner, we met in our mentor groups and had some great discussions about our experience today. During the conversations, we got to talk about some of the great things we learned about Costa Rican culture regarding how they protect wildlife and how knowledgeable they are about their surroundings and plant life. We are all very excited for an adventure filled day tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19
Pura vida families!
We woke up at a crisp 7:30 am to fuel ourselves for a day of pure adventure. With pancakes in our stomachs we hopped in the bus for an hour drive to “La Fortuna”. With bridges crossed and karaoke songs we arrived at Go-Adventures to zipline! After being briefed on safety and signing a safety waver, we embarked on our adventure; by the third cable we nailed our form, so we could sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. What goes up must come down, so naturally we rappelled down the side of a cliff in to a river shore. To finish our adventure we were invited to a “Malecu” house, a tribe of indigenous people of Costa Rica.
At this point we’d worked up an appetite and were static to go to Baldi hot springs, where we were greeted by an all you can eat buffet! After eating we were free to explore all the hot springs, and it was not your typical hot springs, it was more of a hotsprings/waterpark hybrid. Many of us including directors and mentors went in the waterslides! When we returned to home base, we had a nice vegan dinner and debriefed in our mentor groups.
What a day!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20
Our day in Costa Rica was a joyful and peaceful experience, where we were split into four groups, each with a task to complete.
We all worked together as a team, while socializing and sharing our experiences. We all worked towards a common goal of helping animals and cleaning the environment.
After the eventful morning of tending to dogs, the groups gathered for lunch and then to an eventful bus ride onto our next activity. The staff members and bus drivers took us to an inspiring cooking class with an outdoor Costa Rican cooking class. We made tasty empanadas filled with beans and a selected cheese.
As the day came to a close, we all felt accomplished. We had made an impact on animals and the sanctuary, and had learned about the local culture and way of life.
Overall, our day in Costa Rica was an inspiring experience, where we had the opportunity to connect with the local community and make a difference with animals.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21
Pura Vida from Costa Rica!!
Today everyone was woken with a bang at the door from our lovely leaders of the day, ushering them out of bed for breakfast. From there, after picking from our hearty vegan breakfast, we set off for our morning of community service. While some of us went for a couple hours caring for dogs, horses, chickens, and lots of other little animals, the others went to the jungle clearing trails from fallen twigs and leaves and other debris.
Upon the eventual completion of our service, we had a break at our rooms before we headed to lunch. After lunch, we were greeted with a long, strong rainstorm, giving us all a break to relax. We spent time to ourselves and with our friends for a couple hours, then headed to our common room to do our curricular activities. After a couple hours of playing some games and applying our newly learned Costa Rican information, we headed over to dinner. We ate until our tummies were happy and satisfied, and were blessed with some time to digest by hanging out and playing cards. Finally, our day came to an end, we headed to our cabins where we had free time to chill for ourselves and with each-other.
At 9:30, we were told to prepare for bed time. After a long day of fun, difficult, and exhausting service and activities, falling asleep was no issue. Pura Vida!!!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22
As we woke up to the sound of the alarm beeping, we got dressed, packed our suitcases up and turned the key one last time, when they were loading the suitcases onto the bus, we headed over to breakfast. As soon as we got our breakfast, we were astonished to see instead of maple syrup there was chocolate syrup.
Once we gobbled up a delicious breakfast, we visited Betsy the cat and said our goodbyes to it and the hotel. Once we got on the bus and it started to move, we plugged in our headphones, listened to music, and played games. The trip was long yet exciting and we were all ready to embark on this new adventure.
After the long and quiet bus ride, arriving at our next hotel and stretching our legs was a welcome relief. We were greeted with a buffet style lunch from the hotel staff and consisted of chicken pasta, and other various beans and veggies. When we reached our new rooms, we were surprised by the smaller size of them, but we were grateful for the coolness of our air conditioning.
When we were settled in and mostly adjusted to the new living quarters, we attended a meeting with staff from the pet clinic. They explained briefly what’d we be doing in our time as volunteers, which consists of aiding spays and neuters mostly. We were also told that we also might get the opportunity to interact and play with some kittens at the facility.
After saying goodbye to the other animals that lived in the Lands in Love hotel, the appearance of the new furry friends living on the grounds of our new hotel were a nice treat! There are 2 (so far) cats, a dog named Luna and 2 birds by the name of Paco and Lola.
The hotel itself is a very different environment compared to our last living accommodations. It is a bit smaller, with the walk to meals being on a few steps compared with the couple of minute walk. The rooms mentioned before are smaller, but as leaders, we are determined to make the best of it.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Today we got up bright and early, put on our scrubs and had a quick breakfast before heading to the clinic for our first day of spay/neuter surgeries. Upon arrival, we broke into groups to shadow and assist the vets for the day. Each group started by welcoming their assigned cat or dog and helped to perform a physical exam to make sure the animal was suitable for surgery.
After that, we aided the vets in administering sedatives followed by anesthesia, before taking them into surgery. Each group got the opportunity to observe the entire surgery process and we listened as the vets explained the procedure. However, many of us had never seen a surgery done before, so it was a very overwhelming but exciting experience. After a few hours of surgeries, we headed back to the hotel, ate, and rested after a very tiring morning.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Today was a great and relaxing day. We began bright and early with breakfast as we were fueled by pancakes, gallo pinto, and scrambled eggs. With stomachs full, we were ready for a day at the beach.
After an enjoyable bus ride and many laughs, we arrived. We soaked in the sun, swam in the ocean, and drank refreshing coconut water. But after hours of relaxing, we were ready for a change of pace: it was time for the Olympics. Speed, endurance, and strength were tested through long jumps, sprints, and throws. The ultimate challenge, however, was building the best sandcastle. After careful consideration, the judges chose the winning team and Summer Olympics 2023 came to a close. We cooled off in the ocean, and then it was time for lunch.
Ceviche, seafood, pasta, and more were thoroughly enjoyed by all. Then, after a student vote, we left the beach in the early afternoon to return to home base (with a quick fruit stand pit stop on the way). With ample free time, students enjoyed relaxing in the ac, reading, and throwing around a ball.
A few hours later, we gathered to reflect on our goals for the trip and play a fun game of Zip-Zap-Boing! This conversation was followed by a written evaluation of our trip thus far. We then had a lovely outdoor barbecue dinner consisting of burgers, pasta, French fries, and grilled vegetables. The rest of the night was spent doing karaoke and bonding with one another on one of our final nights.