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
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17, 2021
Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!
Welcome to the Animal Rescue Project 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 this journey 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 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.
Please note that under the masks… everyone is smiling!
We feel grateful and excited about having our first student group of the season here.
The GLA Team,
Anna, Fer, Scott, Juanca, Ila & Rubén.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18, 2021
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19, 2021
We got an early start this morning with a generous buffet breakfast.
We all practiced our Spanish by speaking with the kitchen staff.
Talk about true immersion with locals!
We then loaded up the bus and got to see the beautiful scenery of Costa Rica inside of our hotel in the daytime.
We took our COVID test, and despite a few teary eyes and itchy nose, it was all worth it, because we were all negative and can now see each other’s faces without a mask!
We stopped by a traditional Costa Rican bakery, Cafe Montecarlo, for a quick treat and got to exchange money there as well.
We bonded with some swimming and games before lunch, and spent the afternoon with a guest speaker learning all about Costa Rica, which really opened our eyes to Costa Rican history and culture.
We also met our veterinarian leaders from VIDA volunteers that provided general information and rules for the service we will be assisting them with.
We finished the day with our mentor groups and shared a personal fact that helped us learn more about each other.
Then to top it all off, we finished the day with an incredible night swim!
-Olivia, Aisliin, Brogan and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20, 2021
We got an early start this Sunday morning with a generous buffet breakfast.
We all practiced our Spanish because our leaders of the day explained what food we were having.
Today was the first day that we had service with VIDA where we had the opportunity to work with animals in a dog facility.
We bathed and cleaned the dogs.
We also gave them a nice haircut.
After service we came to our rooms to change and then headed back to reception to have lunch.
In the afternoon we completed the anchor activity where we debated local issues from Costa Rica regarding animal culture to further develop our leadership skills.
We then took two hours of dance lessons, with a great teacher showing us local Costa Rican dances.
We played musical chairs and Pictionary to get goofy and let off some energy.
We ate dinner and we ended the day with mentor groups.
After a very adventurous day, we are very enthusiastic about our second day of service.
We’re having an amazing time with each other and making long-lasting friendships!
– Beltran, Caden, Jackson and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21, 2021
After lunch, we had a little free time and completed a reflection activity in our mentor groups.
We wrapped our day up with an authentic Costa Rican dinner. Then, we met with our mentor groups and wound down with a little free time before lights out.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22, 2021
We finished breakfast this morning and then immediately headed to our last day of service.
At service, we helped VIDA with oral treatments for the animals!
We got to participate in physical examinations of the dogs, alongside catheter placements, anesthesia doses, and hands-on assistance during the teeth cleaning procedure.
The VIDA staff decked us out in surgical scrub caps and took us through each procedure step by step.
We swung back by Home Base for a quick lunch.
Then we hopped on the bus with some Costa Rican tunes to head to our cooking class!
During the class, we learned how to make corn tortillas, empanadas filled with frijoles.
We washed it all down with some traditional Costa Rican Agua Dulce, or water mixed with sugar cane juice.
Followed by some arm wrestling and a surprise dip in the nearby river, we hopped back on the bus and turned up Shakira for the drive back to home base.
We finished off the day with another round of foosball, time with our mentors, and a late dinner.
Lights are out early tonight to prep for a full day tomorrow of breathtaking Costa Rican adventure, kicking off with horseback riding!
-Kyara, Maya, Bella H. and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23, 2021
We started the day with a delicious breakfast of French toast, eggs and fruit. We then hopped in the van and traveled to La Fortuna, a town at the base of a Volcano!
Our Spanish friend Beltrán blessed us with some reggaeton tunes during the drive and we had some amazing views along the way.
We arrived at the horse farm to find some beautiful baby foals frolicking in a field! They were super young and friendly, and greeted us with some big hellos. We then mounted the trusty steeds and set off on a trek through the mighty jungle.
We made a pit stop in a river where we let the horses cool down, and later immersed ourselves in an indigenous tribal hut where we learned a bit about their cultural traditions.
We galloped back to the barn and then ate lunch right next to the volcano! The views were spectacular, and the food was even better.
After getting back to Home Base we participated in a leadership activity, where we all grew to understand each other on a more personal level. We followed that up with some good old fashioned wheelbarrow racing and a game of fútbol! Lasagna and salad was on the menu for dinner, with some vanilla ice cream for dessert.
We got to know our mentors a bit better after dinner with a fun game, and now we’re writing this blog! Today was both meaningful and superb (real quote from us students) and we can’t wait to immerse ourselves in our beds! Signing off!
-Bella S.; Evan; Emma and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24, 2021
Today we started our second part of community service, with our student volunteers split into three groups: social media, dog walking, and construction.
After our service project work, we had delicious Pad Thai for lunch.
Following our free time after lunch we had the opportunity to recharge ourselves in our rooms or attend three different activities. Those were: Going on a tour of the cat park a small walk away, dance lessons after the tour, and pool time before having a dinner of hummus and pita bread.
Lastly we celebrated with chocolate cake for Brogan’s 15th birthday. Happy Birthday Brogan!!!
We ended the day with reflections of the day in our mentor groups before bed.
-Jackson, Edith, Olivia and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25, 2021
The morning started off with our group dividing up for service. Some of us woke up early to walk lots of cute dogs – thank you Beltrán for carrying the chunky dog!
Others went for physical service and some did Indiana Jones action with the cantando Julio.
After a quick clean up, everyone gathered together for lunch and headed to the bus for a two hour drive to the zoo! Jaguars, monkeys, and crocodiles oh my!
We crashed the Souvenir shop for some milkshakes and candy bars and listened as the staff explained their incredible rescue and release program.
After a quick dinner everyone got to experience authentic Israeli dessert and headed to bed to prepare for a day of service and chocolate tasting.
-Aisliin, Beltrán, Bella H, and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26, 2021
We started off our morning with breakfast and service projects, which again included dog walking and painting new dog kennels among other activities.
We had an amazing buffet lunch and we loaded on the bus to head to a rainforest chocolate tour, where we learned the complicated process of turning a cacao bean into our favorite candy bar.
We all tried the rich chocolate although some people liked it better than others. We had the opportunity to tried 70 percent dark chocolate with a variety of toppings such as almonds, chili and sprinkles.
After the chocolate tour we headed back to home base where we finished the day with dinner and mentor groups before heading to bed.
-Ava, Maya, Kyra and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27, 2021
Today was extraordinarily early for some of us, who woke up at 5am for a morning workout led by the “Spanish Prodigy” Beltrán.
After that was another morning of service, where one group created a safer hiking trail by cleaning unwanted debris off of the trails.
The other group walked over 100 dogs! (104!) Can’t forget about Kyra and Edith working the numbers in the social media department.
Lunch was a lip smackin’ array of veggie sliders, noodles, potatoes and rice. We scarfed it down like a pack of hyenas! After lunch, we embarked on a rainy and stormy bus ride to go get our COVID tests! It was a nose-scrunchingly good time, even though tears were shed.
We were met with a tropical downpour on the bus ride back, but made it safe and sound.
After we got back, we reflected on our time with GLA and the lasting impact of our presence here. We were lucky enough to get a chocolate ball with caramel sauce as dessert alongside dinner.
We met with our mentor groups and ended the night with a stellar game of chess.
We’re all ready for our final day of service tomorrow!
-Caden, Zak, Charlie and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28, 2021
In today’s grand adventure, a few brave souls got up extra early for a work out before starting the day.
During our service time, we had a mid morning break to enjoy the beautiful Costa Rican sun. A few of us even jumped in! We said our farewells to the dogs, chickens, social media, and construction teams.
With tears in our eyes but courage in our hearts, We took advantage of the extra sunny day to enjoy a nice swim in the pool, soccer, and an immersive meditation and reflection session.
A ball might have been lost during the soccer game, but we accepted the loss and focused our energy towards a scrumptious last casual dinner. We can’t wait to have our formal dinner tomorrow after lots of ziplining!
Evan, Edith, Bella and the GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Today was our final full day on program! A select few of us got a pre-breakfast workout in thanks to coaches Kyra & Beltrán. We had a tasty breakfast of the normal Gallo pinto, eggs, plantains and pancakes. After fueling up we headed to La Fortuna to go….ZIPLINING!
We zoomed through trees and over valleys on 10 different lines of varying length. We all stepped up and bravely conquered the zipline, cheering each other on the whole way. After completing the course we had the option of rappelling down a rock wall down to the river, which was awesome! I think we would all say it was a pretty sweet morning 🙂
After lunch we made a quick stop at a souvenir shop and our favorite ice cream shop. (POPS!) We ate our sweet treats and hung out in the park in La Fortuna before hopping back on the bus to go back to home base.
We got back to home base and immediately started packing, and followed it up with a final appreciation circle activity. It was here where the emotions started to kick in and we all let each other know how much everyone meant to one another. Some tears were shed and many laughs were had, this group was truly special and we let each other know it!
Our final dinner was delish, and everyone dressed up for our final meal together. Everyone looked amazing, and continued the evening with a dance party complete with limbo, a Congo line and even some monkey in the middle!
We all gave each other one final squeeze before heading off to bed, and tried to get as much sleep as possible before a long travel day. We don’t want this day or trip to end!
The GLA team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Today we said goodbye to our amazing 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!
Lots of love from the team,
Anna, Fer, Ila, Juanca, Scott & Rubén