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 12
Students safely got to their homebase at Beachside Service Adventure! We are looking forward to unplugging and spending time on the beautiful beaches of Guanacaste, eating casados at our on site restaurant, and establishing connections with the local community as we immerse ourselves in the environmental developments that are ongoing in Guanacaste!
We got to homebase this afternoon and were unfortunately met with rain, but we were able to have a beautiful family style dinner of casado, a famous dish of Costa Rica with rice, beans, and salad, connect in mentor groups, and most importantly, get some sleep! We are excited to get programming started tomorrow as we begin our in country orientation.
GLA Beachside Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 13
Today was our first full day in Playa Junquillal at our Beachside Service Adventure program! We started the day off with a delicious and traditional Costa Rican breakfast called Gallo Pinto. Although the weather was pretty rainy today, we still got to visit the beach right next door to our home base for a while and discover what it has to offer! It is a beautiful black sand beach with tons of cool shells and lots of space to play beach games! After our lunch and a bit of free time we started our Orientation session. During Orientation we learned all about what the next 8 days have in store!
We also learned more about GLA, Costa Rica, and the service projects that we will be starting tomorrow. We also learned more about each other by doing some active icebreakers and games with the leadership team. We finished the day by having some more free time and a yummy dinner! We did our first leadership activity with our mentor groups and learned more about our personal values and how to identify them.
The night wrapped up with some tech time to touch base with our families and friends and then a bit more free time to wind down. We are excited for our first day of service tomorrow and to go to the beach again in the afternoon! Stay tuned for whats next…
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 14
Written by Layla, Alex, José & Owen
During todays service trip we went to a turtle hatchery called Verdiazul and learned about turtles as well as replaced two turtle nests. It was hard work but in the end I felt accomplished knowing that when the time comes the turtles will be able to safely hatch. On an other note I was a leader of the day, I woke my friends up and I will tell the cabins when lights out is, it was a interesting experience and I felt honored that I was chosen as one of the first leaders of the day. – Owen
Today I met a lot of new people in the local community. We started out by collecting trash around the road and then painted plastic bottles to use as plant holders in the kindergarten school. Then we came back ate lunch and went to the beach. We spent a couple of hours swimming in the ocean and the waves were super fun. Then we listened to a very sweet guest speaker and then ate dinner. To end the night we meet with our mentor groups!! -Layla
For todays service trip we went to a public school from 1st to 6th grade. We went 800m up a road to then go down the same road picking up trash. After we returned to the school and took a break to then divide in two groups of five. One group would either paint a bathroom or clean a garden by taking the weeds out. The other group would paint slogans in Spanish in some pieces of wood. After finishing everything, we cleaned up and played soccer and took some photos. – Jose
Today at service I went to a small community down the road and I helped clean the trash out of their gardens, rivers and roads. I met a lot of locals while cleaning around the river, I also met a lot of locals who started the initiative to clean out their community which I practiced my Spanish with. After cleaning up the trash and sorting it we brought it all up the hill and ate a fresh snack consisting of watermelon, bananas and pineapple. We then painted the trash in all sorts of ways and played soccer with some local kids. This service trip was very impactful to me because it gave me perspective on how lucky I am to be able to support the community project.- Alex Di Florio
Stay tuned for tomorrow adventures!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 15
Hello friends and family from beautiful Junquillal Costa Rica! Today my group, the Guanacaste Water Center, visited a local elementary school and put up the frame of a greenhouse and also planted various natural barrier plants to protect the schools garden from the neighbor’s chickens. We had the opportunity to work alongside a few of the students and staff of the school which was a special moment to connect with the local community. In the afternoon, we had Rally Day where we played various games and even got to do a cooking class (my favorite) to learn how to make fresh corn tortillas with just corn and water. We are all enjoying our service projects and looking forward to continuing our work and also the adventure day Friday and chocolate making workshop tomorrow!
– By Jack Wheeler
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 16
During todays service with Groupo Ecologico Avellamas many of us painted signs to bring awareness to the litter in the community and encouraging others to help. Others helped clean up the garden in the public school and painted a bathroom inside of the school. We all are happy to be supporting the community and making a difference. We hope future generations will be the first to make a change in our world and stop the overwhelming amounts of litter in communities.
The Uniendo Comunidades and Verdiazul groups did beach cleanups along about a kilometer of the beach and counted everything that was collected. We put the information onto a website that created a national total of trash on the beach to raise awareness about pollution.
The Guanacaste Water Center group continued to make our garden and we also started making compost bins to give to locals to spread awareness about composting to the community.
After service we got to enjoy the beautiful beach near the school.
Later in the day all of us at GLA went to a chocolate factory and had the opportunity to learn about chocolates history and try various flavors of chocolate while also learning about the process of making chocolate. It was a great learning experience and we all tons of fun :).
Before dinner some of the group ventured to the beach to enjoy the sunset near the water. The sunset was somewhat covered by the clouds, but It was still very pretty. Many people took photos and we even got a big group picture with everyone who went.
Yeahyuhhhhh: to Dad from Emmi (P.S love and miss you)
See you soon 😘💕-ruby
To mom and dad, I love you. Thank you for letting me have the experience. – Clara
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17
Dear GLA family,
Yesterday, we had our first adventure day. We started the day off with a beautiful ziplining course through the beautiful Costa Rican jungle. The course went through a canyon filled with waterfalls and amazing views. We then walked to an overlook of the mountains and we even saw a volcano! After a quick but very delicious lunch, we walked to a special surprise. The mentors took us to a beautiful waterfall where we all got to swim in the refreshing water. Wasting no time we headed straight to tubing.
We each had our own expectations of the tubing. Some thought it would be large rafts going through rapids, others thought it would be floating down a lazy river. None of us expected that it would be the perfect combination. We each had our own tubes and floated through some pretty crazy rapids. Some of us even fell out of our tube and got right back to enjoy the ride. It was overall a very eventful day and to close it off perfectly, on the bus ride home we stopped for snacks, souvenirs, and ice cream! We were all so hungry and it was the best way to sum up a truly incredible day. We are all so grateful that we get to experience this program and all that it has to offer.
From Leaders of the Day,
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
Today was AWESOME! I started my day with service groups where I painted multiple signs for the community. Once I got to the home base I prepared for the beach!!! It was super fun and we got to swim. After this we got ready for dance class. This was the best experience EVER. I realized that I cannot dance as good as I thought… but it was super fun. We ended the night with a government debate/activity and I was chosen to be on the government. Being in charge of everyone was spectacular and taught me real fundamentals about how to be a super, awesome, fun leader! This trip is the BEST thing I’ve ever done… YAY!
-HI mom and dad… NAOMI.
Breakfast was so good this morning, I drank Costa Rican coffee that I really liked and the had energy for the service groups. During service I walked along the beach and picked up trash, my group did so good and we were able to fill up many trash bags. Then we got back to the home base and left for the beach. It was a white sand beach and I was able to swim and tan with people from my room. After the beach we had to prepare for a dance class that taught samba and Costa Rican dances. It was a great day overall and I hope to have more like it.
-Miss you mom and dad, Maria M
Today was packed full of so many activities with everything from service to dancing! In the morning, my service group worked hard planting saplings to help aid reforestation efforts. After a lunch break and quick power nap we were ready to hit the beach! I had so much fun swimming, tanning, and enjoying the sun (and rain) with my friends. After enjoying the surf and sand, we returned to home base where our guest dance instructors were waiting to teach us some moves! We learned everything from warm ups to traditional Costa Rican and Brazilian dances. Today was full of so many adventures and I can’t wait to make the most of the rest of my days on this incredible trip!
-Hi mom and dad… Monica K.
After a great breakfast, I went to the beach to do my community service. I work at a turtle hatchery where my group and I remove all of the bacteria filled sand, replacing it with clean sand. This process takes a long time, but it allows for thousands of baby turtles to hatch healthily and safely make it to the ocean. After service, we went back to homebase for lunch and got changed for the beach. The beach was beautiful and the water was warm with great waves for bodysurfing. Then we went to dance lessons where we learned traditional Costa Rican dances. Today was packed with activities I loved and like most days here, I walked about 20,000 steps.
– Miss you Mom…Phoebe M.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20
This final blog post did not go through on the original date. But we’ve just received it and still wanted to share it with you. -GLA HQ
We have officially closed out the summer here at Beachside! Students ended their final day welcoming local partners from their services sites that were showcasing their local art, performing in drum circles with folks playing the marimbas, and participating in the first Beachside Talent Show of the summer! We had multiple performances for the night and the winners of the talent show were Jose, Joshua, Julien, and Koi as they choreographed an entire dance and performed for everyone in the audience! One of the great aspects of the night was that our judges were members of the local community!
Because of the connections students have made volunteering, students and partners that we worked with over the last ten days, wanted to be in attendance. Overall, students had a great trip and got to complete the night with a dance party with the family at homebase, the local community, and one another before departing Junquillal and heading back home.