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.
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 throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. 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.
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 JULY 19
Today was orientation day. it was a long but enlightening day. We spent the day getting to know each other and learning more about the program and the expectations associated it. All of us have done our swim tests and are ready for beach and pool time. food was delicious and we got to know our mentor and service groups. We were greeted by a thunderstorm and looked in awe at the lightning show in the sky along with a breathtaking sunset pared with a rainbow. We are excited to start our service days tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by multiple students
Today we enjoyed wonderful first day of service. We started off the morning strong with yoga and pancakes and then preceded to separate into our separate service groups at eight.
In the Uniendo Communidades group, we stayed local and cleaned the beach area across the street. It was incredibly enriching to talk to members of the Junquillal community to better understand their environmental concerns and the divide in values between the younger and older generations.
At the Guanacaste Water center we started with talking about trees’ importance to water conservation in Costa Rica by water absorption through the roots and water scattering canopies. We then planted tree saplings in bags as part of an effort to keep Costa Rica’s vegetation as healthy and intact as possible during the dry season.
In the GEA today, we learnt about a local primary school, before spending the rest of the morning picking up litter around the local community with one of the helpful teachers from there. We finished off the morning by playing soccer on the field outside the school. We were told that we picked up the most trash of any GEA group on the first day of service during the summer so far!
At the Verdiazul site, we spent the day under the sun saving the sea turtles. First, we cleared a portion of the beach in order to give the baby turtles an easy path to the water. Then, we started to create a sand barrier in front of the hatchery so that the waves can’t reach the eggs. Don’t worry, the turtles will be able to get out! It was a whole process, which consisted of shoveling sand into buckets, hauling it over, and spreading the sand out. We hope to see the turtles hatch at some point this week.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
Written by multiple students
Hello family & friends!
This is your daily update here on Beachside journey.
Jaden– Today me and my crew went to a local school to help with their garden. Me and another GLA member Noah filtered out compost to use for the garden. We then cleaned out the brush in the smaller garden. We then went back and later went to the chocolate factory and learned where chocolate comes from. Overall it was an amazing day and now I am about to go swimming Costa Rica’s awesome beaches.
Claudia- Starting the morning off with our 25 min car ride to pick up candy. She lead our way up to a pretty big beach with many dogs. Right after that we started painting signs with positive meanings. Hopefully that can help people understand the meaning off it and make a change at the beach. Meanwhile that we went for a beach clean up and cleaned up everything we could. Overall I’ve been loving my days surrounded by amazing people who love helping.
McKenna & Davis- Today after breakfast we got ready and started our quick walk to the beach. Once we got to the beach we began by adding sand to the barrier we were creating to protect the turtle eggs. The Barrier is used to block the waves from crashing on the egg hatchery. We use buckets and shovels to create this barrier and today we finished it. Only 1-1000 to 10000 turtles and survive and make it into the ocean. Lastly, we shoveled more sand around a ceramic turtle to make it safer for kids to play on it.
Dakota-This morning my mentor (Greta) and the rest of our group drove about 15 minutes to another town. We began by cutting wire to hang up signs to promote the safety and care for this community, and to promote other community members to make a difference. The children from the school across the road invited us to watch their performance in which they shared a land acknowledgment and information about their community and the importance of corn. This was all in Spanish which gave us the ability to interact with community members. We then ended our service by painting tires which will be used as planters for mini gardens!
That’s all for tonight, the next leaders of the day will update you all with tomorrow’s adventures!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
This morning, for our service project we headed to the beach and collected over 250 pounds of trash while another group sorted through collected trash and got it to its rightful destination. Other groups helped make saplings, artistic signages and cleaned nests at the turtle hatchery. We all had the opportunity to help the community in our respective service projects. Once we got back, we had a delicious lunch and then we went to a cooking class where we learned to make traditional Costa Rican corn pastries. After that we did some team building games where all of us would hold hands and we would try and pass a rope from one end of the chain to the other, as well as lower a stick balanced on all of our fingers, which sounds much easier than it actually was. The groups approached these activities differently and had varying degrees of success. We then had a debate where we discussed about sea turtle conservation with the students acting as government officials and the various groups that this bill would affect. Overall, we were able to bond and have another great day in Costa Rica!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 23
Written by multiple students
Today’s been an awesome day. Started off the morning with splendid egg squares and of course rice and beans. Sooner than later breakfast was over without a hitch and everyone separated to get ready for service. Early to the busses like usual mostly everyone got on and went to their service camps and others went to their respective beach camp.
Today at UC it was a productive Day as usual. We started off by getting off the bus at the park and we ended up picking up trash around the park and at the respective area around it. There were a lot of beer bottles and aluminum cans to be picked up and a lot of micro plastics as well. After a good 2 1/2 hours of picking up trash we ended up playing ultimate frisbee with a group of local kids at the newly cleaned park.
Today at GWC was very eventful. After we got of the bus we went to a field full of trees. We first started by cleaning all the weeds around the trees that were planted by the last group, we then went on to plant other trees. We learned the importance to work as a group that sound like simple tasks. We ended our trip by meditation for 20 minutes and left with a clean mind.
This morning at GEA, we got off the bus and our group hiked down through the creek to the beach. We begun to paint signs, came up with ideas for what to put and translated them into Spanish. After the paint had dried we set out to go hang some signs on trees and met a few locals who were out on the beach. We ended our trip by picking up plastic along the Beach and ended up collecting a total of 25lbs.
-Katelyn and Will
For service today with Verdiazul (turtle hatchery), we each sorted and weighed 5000 Mangrove tree seeds which protect the turtle hatchery with shade during the dry season. In total we collected 45000 seeds, as the germination rate is very low and not many will grow into trees. Weighing the seeds will help the staff know about how many they should be planting, rather than counting thousands every time. Overall, it was a very great and chill day in comparison to the previous service tasks!
-Avery and Emma
After service today, we had a delicious lunch before heading over to the beach for the afternoon. The weather was much nicer than the other beach days! We played volleyball and had fun in the ocean too. When we got back to home base, we had dance lessons from fun and kind instructors. We enjoyed learning the salsa and samba dances, even if we didn’t get them perfect. Then we went to dinner as the rain started, and finished the night in our mentor groups. We are looking forward to a day full of adventure tomorrow consisting of zip lining and tubing with a 5:30am wake-up!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
Written by multiple students
McKenna and Alex
Today was amazing. We started our day by walking to the beach towards the turtle hatchery. When we arrived we got to see baby turtles being hatched. After they all successfully made it to the ocean, we sorted out and counted all the shells to make an accurate tally. Our last service day ended off with a thorough cleaning of the used buckets.
It was our last day at the water center. We had gone to the back of the garden and continued to work on a new idea, the hamburger method. We started with weeding around the new trees and and planting others. We wended the day with ice cream and talking about how we can conserve water.
We started our final day of service by visiting a mangrove tree reserve at an eco-friendly resort. We learned about the various types of trees and how important they were to preserve, and then spent hours cleaning scattered plastic on the beach and other trash while gathering whatever mangrove seeds we saw on the ground, in hope to plant them later and improve the reserve. Then we ended the day by taking a nice swim on the beach and having some snow cones and other snacks.
Today we hung up signs and worked with a local activist who is a part of uniendo communidades and helped her with work that needed to be done. Then, we participated in the community’s parade as a part of their independence celebration. Next, we went to their fair and watched the kids and their families dance and celebrate. Lastly, we joined in the celebration with them and even tried some of the Guanacaste traditional food.