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.
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 after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. 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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Today, we welcomed our amazing young leaders to the beautiful country of Costa Rica! The first batch of students arrived around 10 in the morning at the Liberia Airport, followed by couple more groups by noon.
They went straight to the homebase where they found their rooms, had some initial health checks and swim test, and got to know one another. By afternoon, just as a new batch of students arrived at homebase, we were invited to view baby sea turtles released in the ocean. It was a thrilling and magical experience for the students to witness this event. What a treat!
Some heavy rain caused the power to go out for a little bit, but we gathered together anyway to enjoy the afternoon. Despite the power interruption, we were still able to continue with our activities in the arvo and witness an amazing sunset. We finished the day with a delicious traditional meal of arroz, frijoles, pollo, y enselada and some icebreaker activities to get to know one another.
While we had a great time making friends and learning about our fellow GLA-ers, we eagerly await our final 5 leaders who will arrive late in the evening. We look forward to orientation day tomorrow and to learning more about the service projects we will be participating in.
Dear parents, family and friends! Please continue sending support by following our daily blogs and commenting below!
We will see you soon with more fun updates!
– Sarah and RJ (GLA Mentors)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Written by By Sara C.
Today we woke up to warm weather and new friends for our first full day at Home Base! After having breakfast of eggs, rice & beans, yogurt, and fruit, we headed to orientation. We learned all about our mentors and the family who runs the hotel. We then broke into groups for activities including a scavenger hunt and various safety activities.
Lunch was rice and chicken with salad. After lunch we finally got to learn about how lucky we are to be here and the leadership opportunities we can take advantage of. The mentors introduced the four service projects we can take part in: Verdiazul – helping out a sea turtle conservation organization, Uniendo Comunidades – service for local communities, Guanacaste Water Center – tree planting, and Grupo de Ecológio de Avellanas – beach cleanup and meeting people from a local school. We came up with skits about each project and then chose our favorites. We can’t wait to hopefully find them out tomorrow! We had some free time to swim before dinner – pork chops, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and salad.
Our final activity before bed was a debate about the economic and social problems surrounding sea turtle conservation. Our first day was eventful, and tomorrow will bring more adventures! We’re starting to adjust to the warm weather as well!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Leaders of the Day: Sara C, Luca, Jo, Ariel, Darcy, Sylvie, Natalia
Today we woke up bright an early to refreshing rain before hopping on the bus for our adventure day! Breakfast was empanadas – many said they were the best they had ever eaten! We napped on the bus on the way to some amazing adventures. First was ziplining! We zoomed through the gorgeous Costa Rican jungle, seeing waterfalls – sometimes hanging upside down! Next we made our way to an all you can eat buffet filled with delicious Costa Rican cuisine. When we were full we made our way to our second adventure🥲…tubing through the jungle!
Half of this adventure was filled with peaceful floating and sightseeing, and half was holding on for dear life as we flew down the river! Everyone had so much fun and exited the river smiling and sad that it was over(and alive!). We made it back to home base and had some free time in the pool playing taps before having the opportunity to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets we had ever seen! We played beach volleyball – new highscore! – and got swim go in the ocean with our amazing mentors RJ and Victor. We stayed at the beach to share our favorite parts of the day and said goodbye to the beautiful scenery (for now!)
We ate another delicious home-cooked meal: chili and salad. After a little free time came the moment we had all been waiting for: Service Group Reveal! We’re so excited for the real adventure to begin tomorrow when we meet our service organizations! Then we started one of our favorite nighttime activities yet…… KARAOKE!!! Each table chose a song to perform to, and we ended our night all singing along to Starships! Today was AMAZING! We are getting closer to our new friends and can’t for the next adventures to come!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Written by Chloe, Lynden, Michael, Pierce, Giselle, AK
Woke up bright and early at 7am to do service work to help the local community. We went into our 4 different service sites. Some work at the local school, picked up trash at local beach, prepare to plant trees, and dug fresh sand for the local sea turtle hatchery. After a couple hours of work we headed back for lunch and hung out at the pool to bonded with our peers.
We hosted a guest speaker that taught us about Costa Rican culture and its geography. After that we took a dance class and learned how to dance the salsa and do a native Guanacaste dance. Then we had a delicious pasta dinner and met with groups to reflect on our amazing day!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
We woke up bright and early at 7:00am excited for the service projects that lay ahead. The students in the Guanacaste Water Service project planted 64 trees, those in Uniendos Comunidades cleaned up the beach and learned about mangroves, the Avellanas students made signs and picked up trash, and the Verdiazul group dug sand and played frisbee on the beach.
In the warm afternoon, we took buses to the town of Paraíso to learn to cook tortillas, play soccer, and learn traditional Costa Rican games with local kids. When we came back, it was raining but we still enjoyed a beautiful sunset in the rain and ended the night with a pool party to celebrate two birthdays. Happy birthday Kate and Stella!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by Paloma, Sol, Jinaya, Kirill, Lucas, and Nellie
Hi readers! We started out the day with a delicious breakfast of cheesy eggs, rice and beans, and cereal, (a fan favorite). Dietary restrictions were met, as always.
After breakfast, we broke off into our four service groups for the rest of the morning and worked on a variety of service activities, ranging from painting signs and benches in a public park, cleaning up trash and building compost piles, replanting and planting new fruit trees, and walking down the beach collecting trash. We then ate a hard earned lunch of minced pork, rice, and steamed vegetables. During lunch we also filled out a GLA program survey on how we feel about the experience so far and any changes we would like to see be implemented for future GLA programs.
For the next hour we had some free time before all heading to a beach, Playas Blancas, for an afternoon of swimming, tanning, beach volleyball, and soccer. Everyone was exhausted when we got back to home base around 4, so we all were thankful when we got free time before a sunset swim.
We ended our day with a chow circle on the beach, talking about our highlights, takeaways, and shoutouts of the day. Dinner was a delicious stir fry and our night activity was watching an informative Ted Talk called The Danger of a Single Story. We then broke off into our mentor groups to digest the video a little more and analyze our own stereotypes and experiences of preconceptions.
Looking back on the day, we feel accomplished, tired, excited, and very sunburnt!! More to come for our last few days of this one of a kind adventure. Pura Vida!!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
We started out morning with an early rising and after a deliscious breakfast we began our second to last day of community service. Verdiazul was filling the whole to clean out the bacteria of the sand to help the turtles and as a reward they got to cool off in the ocean. The GEA (Avellanas) drew signs for a second beach and clean up a fishing beach that attracts many tourists. In total they picked up 270 pounds worth of trash. They found tires along with a tent and parts of a boat. Uniendo Communidades painted benches with positive messages about the environment to inspire the local people to treat their parks and communities with care. The Guanacaste water center planted trees at a local school and worked in the garden of the school. This work was done with the help provided by the children that attend the school. All groups so far have worked tremendous hours and put in a lot of sweat and to improve the local communities and this hard work is slowly coming to an end but the outcomes are very rewarding.
And after a delicious lunch the students went to a local chocolate factory where Ron (the owner) was able to explain and demonstrate how organic chocolate is made. After the students got to taste some very particular flavors.
After we returned to home base we all watched the sunset which was followed by dinner and ended the night with a fun trivia game. Finally there is a lot of excitement for the last day of service tomorrow!