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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
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BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!
Welcome to the Animal Rescue Program blog!
This will be our opportunity to share our adventures and learnings in the Alajuela Province with all of you! And this will be your opportunity to travel and experience with all of us throughout the next two weeks.
Our group has arrived safe, and everyone is settling into their new home in San Ramón (Costa Rica). Most of them were exhausted after traveling for long hours, but everyone showed optimism and enthusiasm!
The group that arrived in the afternoon, explored the home base and had some get-to-know activities with our mentors. We can’t wait for the adventures, service learning, lifelong memories, and deep friendships that await.
Most of the students arrived by dinner to the homebase (that’s why we don’t have many pictures yet).
We can’t wait for the adventures, service learning, lifelong memories, and deep friendships that await.
Please note that under the masks… everyone is smiling!
We are excited to welcome Kendal and Lola, and more photos coming soon!
The GLA Team,
Manu, Anna, Fer, Scott, Juanca, Ila, Rubén & Giovani.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
The first day is in the books! We started the day with some gallo pinto, a traditional Costa Rican breakfast. After breakfast we did a few icebreakers to get to know each other, and went over the GLA rules and policies. Most importantly, SAFETY!
After the morning session we had the students rotate between touring the home base, making signs for their rooms and taking the SWIM TEST! Everyone passed with flying colors! Every student also got a chance to be in the “hot seat”, where they had to answer rapid fire questions from the rest of the group. We were very impressed with the funny and thoughtful questions and answers the students came up with!
Our last student, Lola, arrived! Just on time for joining mentor groups!
Towards the end or the day we split up into our mentor groups for the first time and had some small group interactions. We all opened up a bit in our mentor groups and started to really get to know each other. Around 9pm we wrapped up our very busy first day, and we’re sure all the students will fall asleep the second their heads hit the pillow! We’re very excited for these two weeks, and got off to an amazing start today.
The GLA Costa Rican Animal Rescue Staff
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Hello everyone 🙂
We started the day in the parking lot at 8am for a great Daily health check! At breakfast we enjoyed a very yummy breakfast.
Then we drove to La Fortuna, a town close by, got covid tested and afterwards were able to shop for snacks, icecream, chocolate, and meet some of the locals. Was a great opportunity to practice our Spanish!
We headed back to the hotel, and met the guest speaker, Raúl, who informed us about Costa Rica’s history, animals, plants, and culture. We enjoyed some pool time afterwards where some played soccer around the pool and others were hanging out playing cards. Then we had VIDA Orientation, where we met the vets and talked about the expectations during service. We had a small break afterwards, split up into our mentor groups, and headed to dinner. We finished our day off with a shoutout circle and headed to our rooms.
Written by Students Samantha, Colin, Kendal, Michael and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
Today we had an early morning and breakfast because we wanted to be ready for our first day of service! During community service, we were able to walk the dogs, see their personalities, and learn the basics of dog grooming and care.
We had a scrumptious lunch of pizza and pasta which gave us energy for our afternoon of debate and dancing.
We debated the challenges of a new law around animal cruelty and heard all sides through a lens of empathy. After the debate, we enjoyed a dance where we learned the traditional Latin dance of Bachata as well as reggaeton.
After dance class we analyzed a poem in our mentor groups which helped us connect with our small group by sharing our personal stories. This was a great start to our service and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!
-Turner, Maddie, Jordan, Matthew and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 31
As probably the warmest and most humid day so far, today started out with a morning meditation led by mentor Ila. Waking up at 6:30 am was difficult but the meditation made it worth it. Students started off with a hearty breakfast consisting of gallo de pinto and eggs, as well as pancakes. This ensured that the students were ready for service.
Early on during our second day of community service, we found ourselves in a “ruff” patch. After setting up tables and prepping for the dental procedure, plans quickly changed after the vet’s realized the dogs weren’t able to be under anesthesia at that time because they were fed earlier that morning. The mentors acted fast, and they moved the scavenger hunt to earlier in the day, allowing the students to enjoy some pool time before lunch and making sure service as planned could be fully realized in the afternoon. The hunt required exploring new locations in the property.
Service started again after lunch, where students shadowed and were helping hands throughout the anesthesia and dental work process. At the end of the day, students reflected with their mentors and many noted how involved the students were during the service and how they enjoyed the day overall.
Sophie, Mackenzie, Vincent, Pippi and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 01
Today was another day of service with our local service partner, VIDA, and it was by far the most exciting and educational so far!
We assisted in the spaying and neutering for several dogs and cats that live at the hotel, and it was both slightly nerve-wracking and super interesting! We also got to pet and hang out with some kittens after surgery, and they were quite adorable.
After our morning of service we ate lunch and headed to a cooking class! After a fun bus ride of exchanging riddles we arrived at the class. We were taught how to make tortillas and empanadas by hand and were also treated to some Agua Dulce, a traditional Costa Rican drink.
After the class we headed back to home base and met with our mentor groups and ate dinner. We’re all excited for a fun day of zip lining/horseback riding tomorrow!
Zach, Max and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 02
Our first adventure day arrived!
Today we had the group divided into two different activities. The activities in question included a ziplining trek through the Costa Rican jungle and brisk horseback riding through the lush forestry. We all enjoyed our activities to the fullest with prompting from our guides, making it a memorable experience for us all. We stopped at the base of the Arenal volcano for lunch at a local “soda” or family owned restaurant.
After that, the groups went to do some souvenir and snack shopping where the teams bought gifts for themselves, family and friends back at home. At La Fortuna town, we bought yummy ice cream and milkshakes.
We ended our day by reflecting on our adventures through conversations of highs, lows, and growth with our mentors.
We celebrated with a delicious cake our fantastic mentor Scott’s birthday!
Tomorrow we start the second part of our service in The Lands in Love!
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 03
Today we split into 4 groups.
It started off for the dog walking group bright and early at 6:45 am, when they headed off to the doghouse shelters and started their service day. Everyone else slept in, and got an earlier breakfast- their service included helping with chicken coops, and general hotel maintenance. Another group went to the office to help Lands in Love.
The dog walking group walked 85 dogs in total throughout the day! They also helped to clean dishes, collars, and leashes. The maintenance group cleaned the gutters, pool area, and helped with gardening. (Colin even had a praying mantis on his head!) The “chicken group” assisted with cleaning coops and cages, and learned about using leftover food and sawdust for composting.
After a long morning of service, everyone joined together for black bean burgers, soy chicken, and fries. Then, we had a much needed break before swimming, soccer, or meditation. Finally, we had mentor groups and a relaxing dinner!
-Lili, Deliliah, Alysse, Annika and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 4
We have completed another day of service for this week!
After a breakfast of champions, gallo pinto, we started our daily service project. One group walked dogs, another cleaned horse stalls and chicken cages and the final group helped clean the waterfall trail.
After service we had lunch. Then we rode the buses and headed to Zoo Ave, where the tour guide explained to us the process of rehabilitation: evaluation and diagnosis, medical treatment, adaptation and reintroduction to their habitat. And this is for all of the animals that are in the rescue center .
After Zoo Ave, we came back to Home Base and ended the night having dinner and going to bed early to be ready for the next day of service.
What a fulfilling and exciting day. We can’t wait for tomorrow!
-The GLA Team
P.S. Here are some photos from today’s activities.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
We started the day with an amazing breakfast, as always!
Full of energy we started our sixth day of service, the third one with Lands in Love.
Some people were walking dogs, other people built gutters around the lake and other people worked with chickens and horses.
We had a break to rest and start the rest of the afternoon fresh. Meeting back in the afternoon, we played some games and had good conversations. All together we played “get to know your friends”, a fun game to get to know the people in the team better.
We wrapped up the day with the classic shout-out circle and headed to our rooms to rest for the almost final day of service.
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 6
This morning we started the day by sleeping in, and eating breakfast at 9:00!
We had a short service day cleaning horses, walking dogs, and helping out around the hotel.
After lunch, we packed the busses and headed to La Fortuna for a Chocolate Tour. We got to learn about the process, walk around the cocoa farm, and try some amazing chocolate. We bought some chocolate for the road, and headed back to finish the day off chatting with our mentors, and eating dinner before bed.
-Valerie, Jessie, Colin, Rowan and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 7
¡Hola a todos! We were ecstatic after a few extra minutes of rest and some started the day with a lovely exercise routine from Scott.
After a nice breakfast we had a guest speaker, Assaf, who told us about the hotel’s history and how fundraising efforts help support the animals. Service was enjoyable but knowing it was the final day was melancholy. We had a quick lunch and made our way to La Fortuna for our COVID tests. We spent time in town hanging out, buying ice cream and other goods.
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel, reflected and set goals in our mentor groups, ate a delicious dinner, and ended another incredible day.
-Samantha, Vincent, Kendal, Lili and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 9
Today we said goodbye to our 27 inspirational students!
It has been a wonderful experience for all of us!
We hope all students have a safe trip home and continue on with a fulfilled life of learning, values and commitment to make a better world! Keep sharing and shining!
-Anna, Fer, Giovani, Ila, Juanca, Manu, Scott & Rubén