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 23
Greetings from the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Program (21 Days) crew!
We are so happy to report that all of our students have arrived and are healthy, happy and here at our current home base, Lands In Love in San Ramon, Costa Rica, with our fabulous mentors (Luis and Donovan), local directors (Juan Carlos and Lisa), and home base staff. We are looking forward to an AMAZING 21 days together, filled with learning, growth, and adventure.
Obviously we are the MOST excited to learn about local animal rights issues while helping out at the dog rescue at Lands In Love as well as our time at VIDA, the mobile veterinary clinic. We’re also going to get to do some cooking lessons, dance lesson (Salsa and bachata is a must here in Central America), and meet with local Costa Rican community members to learn about the history of the country.
Besides the amount of learning we’ll do, we’re ALSO super excited about the adventure portion of our program! Between zip-lining, white water rafting, chillin’ in the sun on a Catamaran named The Lazy Lizard we are also pumped about snorkeling with tropical fish in coral reefs, zipping through canopies, and relaxing too! Most importantly, we have been greeted with fabulous Costa Rican food. Gallo Pinto for breakfast, so many new fruits and veggies (Maracuya and Guanabana, anyone?) and more await us! Looking forward to sending you all updates about our travels!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Today was Orientation day and that was neat for a multitude of reasons. First being the place we eat/lounge at has cats walking around or chilling in chairs. Second, the food is strictly vegan (and delicious) which I’ve never seen a hotel attempt before. Later on, we started to get to know each other via games, and those were either very chill and fun or very competitive and still fun.
In the later half of the day we decided to play some name games to get to know each other. These were fun as well as stimulating. We also took swim tests, which everyone passed with flying colors. We are also experiencing the rainy season here in Costa Rica. The humidity is also very high so everybody is getting the full experience with the weather. The rooms however, are perfectly sized and warm. So far this experience has been enlightening and I can say that we are all excited for where this journey takes us!
More photos coming soon! 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Gus and Nate – Leaders of the Day
Today we went to an animal sanctuary which specialized in the rehabilitation of rescued native wildlife. The drive was long and saw a lot of the Costa Rican scenery, such as the lush mountain jungles. When we arrived, we learned that the sanctuary’s main objective was to rehabilitate the animals enough to set them free into the wild again. When we first walked through the entrance, we were greeted by macaws, which are native to the Costa Rican forests. We were also introduced to a human-bred species of macaw that was much more colorful than the traditional red and blue macaws. We then were taken to see native owls and other such birds along the path, that all suffered from different injuries which caused them to be taken in.
While viewing the birds, there were a few iguanas that were climbing on the bird enclosures in an attempt to steal the birds food. Then we went and saw a huge crocodile, that we were told was about 1.5 tons in weight. We saw many other types of native animals, ranging from monkeys to felines. We also learned a lot about the rehabilitation process that goes into getting the rescued animals ready for possible release or just putting them in their respective habitats. If the animals got too comfortable with the rehabilitation staff they wouldn’t be able to return to the wild due to being attracted to humans and approaching them.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Written by Julie and Makenna
Today was a very memorable day for all of the GLA community. To start off the day, we sat down at breakfast to have a traditional satiating Costa Rican breakfast consisting of oatmeal, chocolate banana bread, and fruit. Then we headed off to our jobs and we got to experience working with the adorable rescue animals. When taking care of the animals we get to do very hands-on work, which is a great life experience for us. After all of the hard work we were very hungry, so we all stat down at lunch and got to eat our very delicious food made by our top notch chef. In the afternoon, we took a scenic bus ride to the famous la fortuna waterfall.
Once arrived, a long and winding series of stairs was awaiting us, with the base of the waterfall at the bottom. After the hike down, we could fully take in the wonders of the waterfall. It was not only breathtaking, but the water was also refreshing in the hot Costa Rica weather. Although the journey back was definitely a workout, everyone can agree that the La Fortuna waterfall was worth a day of sore legs and the experience will be forever remembered.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Written by Gwen and Nate
Today we did our last day of service at Lands of Love before we are going to Viva Volunteer to get hands-on veterinary experience. However, before we end our trip we will come back to Lands in Love for a couple of days. Today I walked the dogs in the morning and got to see how the dogs interact with each other. I learned that some dogs do not get along with other dogs, due to jealousy and wanting to be the alpha dog. After breakfast I started walking dogs before it started raining so we had to stop. We were able to go into the areas with dogs and play with a bunch of them at once. I noticed that a bunch of those dogs did not act like stray dogs and just wanted attention like how they had previously.
After service we had some free time then a delicious lunch. We all did a self care workshop afterwards which I feel was needed for this extensive trip we are on. We learned some methods of self care and how important it is to practice them. We then had time to either paint our nails, workout, do puzzles, and/or have a book club, all of which were practices of self care. After another delicious dinner we had a salsa dance class. We all danced our hearts away and also got to choreograph our own dance. We ended the night with huge smiles and long lasting memories.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Today was our first day at the vet clinic! We started bright and early, had breakfast and headed to the clinic location, which was at the center of the local community. There was a good amount of prep for the first day but it was super cool to see and learn everything so the next couple days will be smooth sailing. We spayed around 7 dogs in total! Each group got to do every stage which included intake, surgery, and recovery! Everyone worked really hard to make the dogs comfortable and to ensure safe procedures. After we finished, we headed back to home base and went into town for some ice cream and souvenirs. Since it’s the fourth we came back and had a pool party and barbecue to end off the night 🎉
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Sylvie and Julie
Today started off bright and early with a 6am breakfast, followed by a scenic 3 hour bus ride to the beach. Our day of relaxation began with removing our shoes and boarding a small boat to take us to our catamaran, aptly named the Lazy Lizard. Aboard, they welcomed us with a plate of delicious empanadas, signifying the start of our journey. The Lazy Lizard featured a net hammock hanging over the water, and ample room to relax.
After a 45 minute trek to a small string of islands, we were offered activities including snorkeling tours in the clearest blue water, kayaking, paddle boarding, and we were served a traditional Costa Rica meal. After a beautiful ride back to the beach, we boarded the bus for our second ride of the day. With a bus full of sleepy kids, we headed back to the home base for naps, dinner, and leadership activities. In all, it was a very rejuvenating day.