Hello and Welcome Beachside Adventurers!
¡Hola y bienvenidos!
We are so excited to have the students here in Parrita, Costa Rica to finish up this summer of service learning, leadership activities, and adventures!
All students arrived safely and are settling in to their new digs that will be home base for the next nine days. We have a full schedule each day, and all have arrived excited to see what Beachside Service Adventure is all about.
Students are in Orientation today, learning about home base, diving into Mentor Group discussions, and getting to know each other.
We look forward to a wonderful week ahead full of service learning, personal transformation and leadership development, and soaking up the Costa Rica sun!
August 18, 2017
By: Faye Blackburn
This was the first day of service work and the second day in Parrita, and so far I give it a 10/10!! I have never done something like this before, going outside the country alone, and eating exotic foods. We started working on a fence at a small school up in a mountain. The view was gorgeous but the murals on the wall of the school were even better.
After the service work everyone met up to drive to the farmers market. I personally loved all the different foods. After that we went to play an intense soccer game with two of the locals who were way better at soccer than us. Overall this was a great first experience in immersing myself into the culture of Costa Rica!!
By Emma Jeske
Today we had an awesome adventure in the morning and continued to work on our service projects in the afternoon. For our adventure we went whitewater tubing where we saw many birds, waterfalls, and plants. Before we got in the river we stopped to swim in a beautiful waterfall and watch a safety presentation.
Once we got on the river it was full of laughter and had awesome rapids. We stopped halfway for a snack of local foods such as crackers and fresh piñas (pineapples) provided by our amazing guides. After our snack we continued down the river in circle formations taking on the whitewater water.
After all the fun on the river we headed back to home base for a delicious lunch and then went to our service projects. My group is working on a tire playground and finishing up a fence for a local school in the mountains. We finished building the fence and painted most of it while painting many of the tires.
Overall this was a successful day of adventure and service!
August 20, 2017
By: Chelsea Cheung
Today was super fun and activity packed! The first thing on the agenda was horse back riding, and for many, it was their first time riding a horse. We were urbane equestrians for an entire morning, riding on sinuous gravel paths while looking out into the lush, mountain landscape.
We then had Lulu, a Costa Rican native, visit the home base to teach us how to cook picadillo. I can vouch and say that they tasted absolutely delicious.
Later, one of the mentors, Mark, taught us how to be overall better story tellers, which is a skill most for us will find handy throughout our lives, whether for writing our college essays or just fostering a deeper connection with another human being.
Soon after, we were taught how to dance by a group of local women, and we had the best time moving to the music.
Finally, after dinner, we settled down to watch a hard hitting documentary about the poverty industry, and it completely opened up our eyes about the way we help others.
By the end of the day, we were slumped, but we wouldn’t have traded the amazing, eye opening experience for anything else.
Date: August 21, 2017
By: Ruby Shumaker
Today was an exhausting day in the lives of the GLA students here in Parrita. It was our first, and last, full service day. My group started our day in a different location than normal. In the past, we planted trees on the shore of the river to help keep the island together and to reforest the land. We also have potted and transferred plants in the backyard/nursery of Lulu, a local hero and founder of Ave-Fénix, an organization that provides farming jobs to unemployed Costa Rican women.
However, today, my group joined Mark’s group at the Escuela Lourdes where we helped them paint tires, and dig holes for the tires for a sun themed play set for the school children. We also completed painting the fence that Mark’s group had started. Because the school is in the mountains, it was much hotter than the previous locations my group had worked at.
Around lunch time, our group left to go to Lulu’s house where we continued the potting, and repotting of the plants for Ave-Fénix. Lulu’s friend and colleague, Ale made us food (salad, chicken, and rice). We met a lot of locals, who were very kind and welcoming despite our often subpar Spanish. We worked, potting plants that needed larger bags to root, and mixing soil until 4pm when we left and went back to home base for an hour of free time before an excellent sunset and an equally excellent dinner. Overall, today was so full of service and Costa Rican culture, both of which were extremely enriching and fascinating.
By: Ruth Fernandez
Today we all met up at 5:20 am for the sunrise. We walked along side the beach and took pictures of the sunrise. Later we sat down our typical rice, beans, and eggs for breakfast. We got into our service groups. Today we had to wrap up our projects since today was the last day of service. Pepe’s group finish planting all the plants that Marks group had picked the day before. After a long time of hard work we were rewarded with a coconut walk. We drank and ate coconuts and took many pictures.
Mark and Jesses group planted seeds then went to Lulus house to plant trees.
After service time was over we had lunch then we had free time and jumped in the pool. Later we played a game called star power, a strategy game where we had to trade different value of chips and the person that would win would get the giant bag of candy.
Then we went on a trash clean up beach walk. Everyone walked along side the beach picking up trash that the ocean had brought up. After we had a very good typical Costa Rican dinner. When we finished it was time for mentor groups. In mentor groups we talked about leadership and the single story of Africa.
Date: August 23, 2017
By: Tommy Anderson
Yesterday was the last day that we got to hangout with an amazing person. Her name was Lulu. She is a hard worker who loves her town. Lulu inspires people to want to do great things. Some of the projects Lulu had us do was plant plants for her nursery.
Today we are going on a boat to go to a reserve. We will be able to see different kinds of animals that Costa Rica has to offer.
We just finished the boat ride. We saw dolphins, lots of fish, and birds. Once the group got done with snorkeling we got to jump off the top of the boat. It was absolutely amazing to the start of the day.
Date: August 25, 2017
By: Elizabeth Grenzow
Today is officially the last day before we all head home! We ended our fun trip with one last adventure day. Our morning started off with zip lining through the mountains and getting to see some amazing views.
After lunch everyone packed their bags early and enjoyed the couple hours of free time. Most of us choose to have one last dip in the pool and hang out with all the friends we’ve made. After that we had a story slam where people got to get up and share their adventurous or fun stories with the whole group.
For dinner everyone dressed up as we shared one last meal and then had our closing ceremony. At closing we did a couple group activities that showed our appreciation for each and every person and told each other all the good qualities they have and how great it has to become friends in such a short time. We also had one last mentor group and then had a salsa dance party. Now we are all headed to bed and getting ready to go to the airport at 2am for everyones flight and to say adios to Costa Rica.