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 24, 2021
Bienvenidos a todos! Welcome to Costa Rica: Beachside Service Adventure!
Shortly after arrival to Home Base, students were able to make themselves at home in their new rooms and bond with their roommates. They spent time in the pool, experienced a strong but beautiful tropical rainstorm, walked on the beach, and ate a traditional Costa Rican dinner of platanos, bean, and rice.
Most of our GLA student leaders arrived this morning, followed by 8 more participants who arrived later in the afternoon. We were just waiting for Claire to arrive by the time these photos were taken to complete our amazing team! (More photos to come will all students in the days ahead.)
We are all looking forward to a good night’s sleep in preparation for tomorrow’s orientation and the upcoming service.
-Amanda, GLA Mentor
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25, 2021
This morning a majority of the group went on an early 7 am beach walk to start off the day. Then we came back at around 8 to eat breakfast which was scrambled eggs, rice and beans, and granola.
After breakfast we had orientation to go over the basic rules and code of conduct for our trip. Right after our orientation we had a very good lunch which was picadilo (a ground beef with a variety of vegetables mixed in). After lunch we played a game that RJ led called “bobsleigh” where we had to run around as a conga line trying to catch him. It was very chaotic but extremely fun!
Shortly after the game we had free time where you could go to the pool or play board games with friends. Unfortunately we had quite the storm while people were in the pool so most people migrated to the The Ranchito (the pavilion meeting site where we do most group activities). There people were playing card games or playing basketball.
Once it finally stopped raining the whole group went to the beach to watch the sunset. After the sun finally set we all walked back to Home Base to get into our mentor and service groups.
We got to know the people in our groups, made new friends and then we went to eat dinner. Dinner was pork, mashed potatoes, and salad.
We are all looking forward to a good night sleep after a very eventful day today and looking forward to the first day of community service tomorrow.
-Nathan and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26, 2021
Today’s blog post features short writings from four GLA students, giving you their direct perspective!
Hello! I am Addy, and one of the leaders of the day 🙂 I was in the Guanacaste Water Center service group, and was so happy to be immersed in a natural environment and learning about sustainability and water conservation. Meeting new people and talking at sunset has been the best part of my trip so far! LOVE U MOM N DAD
Hey! I am Maya, and one of the leaders of the day as well!! I was in the Grupo Ecológico Avellanas service group, and I was so overjoyed to be able to develop sustainable, and vital relationships with the locals and help ensure their environment will continue to efficiently flourish. I was so happy to be able to learn more about their beautiful culture. My favorite part of the day was going to the beach and taking photos of the surrounding nature, people, and wildlife.
Hi! I’m Hunter and I was part of the Grupo Ecológico Avellanas service group. We started off in a community 35 mins from home base and we picked up trash in a river with some of the locals. We also played a long game of soccer and enjoyed some fresh watermelon that was grown locally.
Greetings, this is Carlos Villalobos and this is my second Global Leadership Adventures Trip! During my day I had a blast. I was able to help the community out be helping a cause in climate change and pollution. The locals were very appreciative of our service projects. I was so thankful to share an amazing opportunity by sharing beach time with my peers and watch a beautiful sunset.
-Addy, Maya, Hunter, Carlos and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27, 2021
We started our morning bright and early at 5:30am as we made our way to our first adventure day. After a breakfast burrito, cereal and some fruit, we hit the road for two hours to begin our day full of excursions. From 9am-11am, we zip lined through a beautiful forest and gorge, rock climbed, and challenge some fears which was followed by an all you can eat buffet. Next, we headed on a hike to a nearby waterfall, and even thought the water was FREEZING, we had a great time! On our walk back from the waterfall to the bus, it started to downpour, and we got soaked! However, being cold and wet did not stop our day of fun.
We hoped on a bus to go tubing down Rio Colorado. The rain made the water rough, but that honestly made the tubing way more fun! We spun, flipped, and bumped into rocks all the way down the river, and had a blast! Tubing was our last adventure of the day, so we then headed back on to the busses and we sang and played games all the way back to home base. We ended the day with a curry dinner, bed time yoga, and a much needed shower 🙂
P.S. Belated happy birthday Nikolai!
– Joely, Halle, Dianne, Lisa
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
This Monday morning, we woke up bright and early for breakfast at 7 am. After breakfast we went to our service sites. At the Guanacaste Watershed, we bagged 121 tree saplings to help the community. Unfortunately, we heard los monos (monkeys) but did not see them. As the day went on, it started to rain so we put on our rain jackets and kept working. We helped clean up the nursery by weeding the bed and re-bagging the damaged tree saplings.
After a hard at work, we came back to Home Base for a delicious lunch of French fries and chicken quesadillas. Delicioso! Then we packed in to the bus and went to our next activity at Reinas Chocolates, where we had a chocolate excursion. The excursion started with a tour at the Reinas Garden where Ron, the owner himself, took us on a tour of all his fruits and vegetables. Then we went to the workshop room where we tried an assortment of chocolates ranging from dark chocolate to white chocolate and everything in between. After the tasting we got to purchase chocolate if we chose.
We then boarded the bus and headed back to home base to have dinner. We ate an excellent meal of chicken, mashed potato’s and vegetables. After dinner, we had some free time to hang out with each other. Then, we headed to the ranchito to participate in an activity. Our activity was a debate, where we split in to 4 groups and took on a role about passing a hypothetical bill about turtles. The debate was very fun and everyone had great opinions! To finish the night, we met up in mentor groups to talk about our GLA experience. As you can expect, there were only positive answers. We cannot wait for the days to come!
– Morgan, Sam, Scarlet, Kaylee
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Today, we did a lot of hard work at service. At the GWC, we cleared out trees, made a garden bed, and planted 20+ trees. Avellanas and VerdiAzul did beach cleanup and environmental improvement. We came back to lunch and recuperated.
Then, we immersed ourselves in traditional dances from different cultures which culminated in a dance battle. Then, we made our way over to our “front yard,” the beach! We swam in giant waves and had a ton of fun. Then, after dinner, we finished the night with an exciting rainstorm and cabin bonding.
– Pascal, Taliyah, Emma B., Alex, Claire
BLOG POSTS FOR JULY 1
July 1 by Jack:
Hola! I’m Jack Erens and I’m one of the leaders of the day today. Our wonderful Wednesday morning began at 7:00 with a breakfast of fluffy scrambled eggs and a savory combination of rice and beans. After freshening up, the three service groups parted ways to conquer their tasks. My service site is the Guanacaste Water Center and we spent our time relocating over 100 fully grown seedlings, planting new seedlings, as well as weeding the surrounding area. A light lunch of rice and vegetables awaited us after our hard work in preparation for our cooking class later in the day. I took a short nap before we left for the main activities of the day. We were divided into three groups and sent to each of the three stations: a friendly yet competitive game of soccer, a brief introduction to some Costa Rican games, and a short cooking class in which we made our own tortillas topped with sour cream and cheese. By the time we got back to home base, the sky lit up a scrumptious array of oranges, pinks, and blues. After a much needed shower, the group walked to the beach where we took beautiful pictures. I then led the chow circle before our surprise dinner of crispy chicken tenders and french fries for a small taste of home. After letting my food baby digest, we met in the Ranchito where we were divided into four groups to play a game of Jeopardy about the lives and travels of our much-loved mentors. Our mentor groups were interrupted by the exciting news of sea turtles hatching in the hatchery. We made our way to the beach where we got the once in a lifetime opportunity to hold and release baby turtles and watch them flap their way to the ocean. After a long day, my bed was calling my name.
July 1 by Alexandra:
For breakfast at 7am today we had eggs with rice and beans. After breakfast we departed for service. In my service group we planted tree saplings and weeded a garden. Towards the end of service, we went on a hike in the jungle looking for los monos (the monkeys). Then we headed back to Home Base around midday for lunch. A while after lunch, we got on the buses and dove to our rally day activities. We rotated between playing soccer, other games, and cooking. A few local kids came to play soccer with us in the field. We cooked tortillas and topped it with queso fresco (a type of cheese). Then, once we arrived back at the Home Base, we got a bit of a break before going down to the beach for Ciao Circle. Then we had dinner and played a fun round of Jeopardy at El Ranchito. Finally, just as we were about to set up for Mentor Groups, we received an announcement that we could release some baby Leatherback Sea Turtles into the ocean. So we all went down to the beach and released the turtles. (The night sky was also very beautiful with starts dotted all around). By the time we were finished with that, everyone was tired enough to go straight to bed (or at least some of us were) – Alexandra
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Today was such a fun day! First we went to service and my group, GWC, planted 30 trees. Avellanas and VerdiAzul cleaned up various beaches and dug turtles holes. All of the service groups worked really hard today on our last day of service. After that we went to get COVID tested in preparation for our return to the United States. After that, we all went to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful views. When we returned home we watched the amazing sunset and then had a nice dinner. Before going to bed we watched a documentary on the United Fruit Company and learned more about Costa Rican history.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Last night we celebrated the final hours of our time here in Costa Rica. After enjoying the Catamaran adventure and snorkelling in Tamarindo, we attended a local fair in the afternoon where we bought a lot of souvenirs for our families! We returned to home base and played a short activity where everyone was able to anonymously appreciate each other. It left many of us feeling sad because we were leaving the people that we got to make such special connections with. Afterwards we held our last sunset meeting on the beach where an endless amount of “shout-outs” were made. For dinner we ate burgers and fries while reminiscing on the last ten days. A surprise followed dinner in which RJ put together a short video of a few of many highlights of the trip. It then began to rain which cancelled our bonfire, however this did not stop anyone from enjoying a bittersweet pool party!
Early the next morning about a third of the group left at a 4:30am departure to the airport. Many of us woke up to say our final goodbyes. The second wave of us were lucky enough to enjoy a breakfast of french toast, rice, beans, and fruit, but soon after everyone was on their way to the airport and forced to say goodbye. There were lots of hugs and even some tears shed. This experience and the people we met will stay in each and everyone of our hearts. Thank you GLA! #bethechange #dondeestanlosmonos
Going to miss you all!
– Malia W.
Please see the link for the video: https://bit.ly/GLA-BSA1