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 JULY 7
Welcome to the Beachside Service Adventure Session 2 blog! Today we welcomed 34 incredible and diverse high school students to Costa Rica and we couldn’t be more excited for this new group of young leaders!
Our first group of students arrived to the home base around 4 pm with the second group following an hour or so after. We ate some nachos, got to know each other a bit better, and then headed to the beach to watch a beautiful sunset and do our first chow circle of the program. We had a delicious casado (a Costa Rican meal usually with rice, beans, and a form of protein) for dinner and played a few “get to know you” activities before the students had some time to unpack, relax, and get to know their roommates before heading to bed.
This group is already so much fun and we are so excited to see what the next 9 days brings us!
*Mask off for photos!
– Becca, Amanda, Ingrid, RJ, Heather, and Daya, GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
¡Hola padres! ¿Como estas? Unfortunately that’s the extent of my Spanish speaking skills, but we’re already learning so many new phrases just by being here! Our first day was a recovery day, filled with lots of informational talks and getting to know each other. It’s insane how fast everyone clicked and blended together as a group. We’ve all found we have things in common and are enjoying having friendships with students from all around the world. Something we all have in common is that none of us are used to the hot, humid weather! As teenagers, this weather can be bad as we all know our age group is typically the smelliest….Don’t worry, we’re showering as often as possible.
After a breakfast of scrambled eggs, rice, beans, fresh fruit, and granola we headed over to the meeting area and were given all of the important information by our mentors. They had icebreakers and games for us to play that helped us get more comfortable with our new environment and peers. After an informative morning, we made our way back to the kitchen for a lunch of rice, veggies, and sausage. While eating our meal we got to enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean since our resort is right across from the beach!
A few more code of conduct and talks and policies later, we all made a break for the pool for our swim tests. This was followed by an announcement of a “surprise”, which turned out to be watching newly hatched baby turtles head into the ocean. The turtles were so cute and small, and the group was filled with lots of high pitched squeals upon first seeing them. It was a one of a kind opportunity to be able to witness nature up close.
After all of the babies had made it safely into the water we enjoyed a beautiful beach sunset and took pictures( typical, we know). There were many other interesting creatures besides the turtles, including a surprising amount of hermit crabs which everyone took a liking to. Our mentors informed us that Costa Rica makes up about 6% of the worlds biodiversity, and we’ve already seen many exotic birds, very big lizards, and lots of large insects!
During dinner there was a rain storm that was very short and warm. It was actually enjoyable while sitting under the roof, and not bad walking in when we left. We have little groups we’ve been assigned to with a particular mentor for us to talk about the day and share thoughts, which we broke into after dinner. Our night was concluded with free time which we filled with basketball, card games, and just chatting.
Lights are off at ten, and we’re all about to say goodnight. We’ll be up at 6:30 tomorrow morning for our first service day which you’ll be hearing all about in tomorrow’s blog. We miss you and love you very much. ¡Adios padres!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
It was an early morning for us all today since it was a service day. Breakfast was at 7AM and we had some really good pancakes, fruit, beans and rice. and then we left for all of our services at 7:45. At the beachside cleanup we picked up trash on the roads, helped the community by making signs, and then we played soccer. The Turtle Hatchery and clean up group started to paint signs and sanitize the baskets that holds the turtles eggs. The Guanacaste Water Center group arrived at the reforestation center around 8 o’clock. We then learned about the local watersheds and about some of the native plants. Then, we began to mix soil and make signs. We also transplanted some of the native plants from the nursery to bigger bags so that the roots don’t grow through the bags.
After our service, we came back to the home-base and had lunch, it was fried rice, chicken, and salad. After lunch, we went to get our covid tests at a clinic and went to the beach where we played in the waves and played soccer! Around 4, we came back and prettied up and had a guest speaker inform us about Costa Rican culture, food, and geography. Fun fact: Costa rica is a blue zone (regions of the world where a higher than usual number of people live much longer than average). Then, our lovely, amazing leaders of the day leaded the chow circle and we went to dinner (pasta, garlic bread, salad). After dinner, we came back to the ranchito and had a debate regarding a sea turtle law and had the rest of the night to hang-out with our friends.
– Nick, Lucca, Ava, Noor
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10-11
While our trip had taken an unexpected turn, we’ve been having a wonderful time despite the challenges. We started off Saturday morning waiting for our covid results and eating a delicious breakfast. With the news that we would not have community service due to the covid results, our mentors planned a fun day for us while some of us went to get another covid test. we played riff off, basketball, cards, and went down to the beach to have Beach Olympics! We then had lunch and took a lovely scenic stroll down the beach. It was overcast but the landscape is beautiful regardless of the weather. We finished the night with a dinner of curry and a movie with popcorn!
Sunday morning we woke up excited for a fun day with lots of activities. After eating a breakfast of pancakes, we headed to our community service sites where the groups painted, planted trees, and cleaned up the beaches. After service, lunch was then followed by amazing Costa Rican dance lessons! An afternoon at the beach was a great way to cool off, and we spent a couple hours splashing in the waves and sitting on the sand. Following our beach excursion we spent a little time in the pool listening to music before dinner. Overall we’ve been having an eventful and fun time in Costa Rica. We can’t wait for tomorrow!!
– Novella, Willa, Lauren, Jean, Abbey
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
We started off our morning bright and early with an amazing breakfast that included eggs, rice, and beans, that fueled our day.
The verdi azul group went to the beach to pick up micro plastics. At the end of the walk we used the plastics to create a mural of a turtle in the shape of our foundations symbol. We then picked up the trash and spent some time in the beach.
The avellanas group started off their day at a beautiful beach called Playa Negra. Athough the beach was beautiful, it was tainted with loads of microplastics and all types of trash. Their group made their way down Playa Negra cleaning up all of the garbage. The group was aided by an amazing lady named Ester, that made sure we stayed on track. The group also got to take a break and enjoy a game of ultimate frisbee. After the game they continued cleaning up till reaching the pickup spot.
The group working with the Guanacaste Water Center helped out with building a garden for a local school and its community. We built a garden bed and helped baby trees grow healthy. Although there were some encounters with insects, we all had a good time.
After all of our service we went back to home base and had lunch, which was pasta and a salad. After lunch we went out to a local school and had rally day. We cooked empenadas and played Costa Rican games, before having a big soccer match, which ended 1 – 0. After having fun at the rally day, we came back and had dinner after watching the sunset. For dinner we had chicken fingers and fried plantains, which was amazing! After dinner we enjoyed a video on the Banana Republic and broadened our view on the affairs of the North America and Costa Rica. We ended our day with reflection and nightly debriefs with our mentor groups.
– Robi, Barrett, Sean, Kasey, Eric
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Our adventure day could not have been as fantastic as it was without an extra hour of sleep. Students awoke to the smell of family love in the kitchen in the form of steamy breakfast burritos.
Following a bus ride full of antsy teens, we arrived in Liberia to the welcoming staff of Hacienda Guachipelin. The next hour was well spent zipping over majestic views full of waterfalls, plummeting into canyons and scaling rock walls.
Shortly after, we were delighted to accept an all-you-can-eat buffet in the adventure park cafe. lunch included a fresh salad bar, a scrumptious variety of proteins and grains, and a well stocked dessert bar! Once our stomachs were satisfied, we used our new found energy to hike to a view point of the recently erupted volcano, Rincón de la Vieja.
Proceeding with our thrilling day, a 10 minute bus ride led us to a the launch point of our open water tubing adventure. Once we were set-a-sail, we could not contain our laughter and screams. shooting down narrow paths of strong currents, many of us found ourselves lodged between rocks, requiring the assistance of our peers. Something about the roaring rapid brought all of us closer together. Although some of us flipped into the cold water, this will be a warm memory in our hearts for years to come.
We end our day with a relaxing, rainy, bus ride home. We were welcomed back with a magnificent home-cooked meal containing stir fry and salad. We are forever grateful for the love and support of our GLA staff for making it possible to have days like this in weeks full of unexpected twists and turns.
– Karsyn, Eli, Maya, Irene, Carolina
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Today in beautiful Costa Rica we prepared for our last day of service. Our amazing chefs made and served us French Toast for breakfast to start the day off to a great start. We spilt into our three device groups and departed for our designated locations. The Guanacaste Water Center group planted over 228 trees which was a great finish to their final day of service. The trees help make a new home for monkeys, bring oxygen to the area, and overall aid reforestation to the community. The Avellanas group (Beach Clean Up) walked along the beach and picked up micro plastics to help clean up the beautiful costa rican beaches. Finally, the Verde Azul (Sea Turtle) clean up group prepared the sea turtles’ nests for hatching in the hatchery located right along the beach. After service groups, we came back for a nice lunch of rice and vegetables and then we quickly left for our final COVID test. Afterward, we visited a local beach and had a fun time swimming the ocean while spilling piña colada’s at the beach out of pineapples. Afterward, we returned back to the home base to enjoy our second-to-last dinner and participated in friendly competition between the service groups for our night activity. Today was very fun and we are looking forward to our last day full of adventure in Costa Rica.
Lauren L., Salar, Anna, Olivia, Ben, Tate
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
The last day of our adventure was definitely one to remember. We started with an early breakfast and then quickly hopped in the busses to head to our catamaran trip! After about an hour and a half of lounging on the bow of the ship, we had some swim time in gorgeous blue water. We had a huge game of “king on the hill” with the girls and boys on opposing teams. We had a very tasty lunch aboard and headed back to home base. Tired out from our day, we took about an hour break before leaving again for the local artisan fair, where we purchased all kinds of jewelry and trinkets made by the locals.
This was followed by a quick walk to the beach to watch the sunset, an amazing dinner, and a celebratory music video of our trip. Most were crying by the end and hugs were given all around. We were surprised by a pool party afterwords and are wrapping up now. Tomorrow will be a sad day as we have to say our goodbyes, but we can’t wait to see you. This trip has been absolutely amazing, and we can’t thank you enough for giving us this opportunity!
Please see the link for the video: https://bit.ly/GLA-BSA2
– Georgia, Leah, Bethany, Berta