Everyone made it safely to Costa Rica! The group awoke this morning with smiling faces to clear blue skies and the blazing sun.
Our home base mascot (Gordito, the enormous iguana), a very large brown snake and various insects welcomed everyone to their new home.
– Suzannah Crandall
The first day flew by! A morning of introductions and fun activities took us through the heat of the day.
In the afternoon, we were introduced to the nursery and helped transplant over 350 native tree seedlings.
We spent the evening with Freddy, our local nature guide on a hike through the forest. Freddy shared information about the unique relationships between several plants and forest animals and gave us a very valuable tip: “if you see me running, try to catch up!”. This advice came after we heard a very curious grunting noise coming from the bush; “it was definitely a large animal…it could be anything” Freddy told us. A great hike and a great way to finish a very long day.
Today began with a delicious meal. Then, we took a tractor down a windy path deep into the dry forest to continue our service work. Our job was to clear around the trees in a certain area with machetes and shovels. It was almost unbearably hot but we got it done.
After planting hundreds of endangered tree seed, we ate lunch and headed to the beach. The water was refreshing and mostly calm.
From the beach, we visited a small community and had a large soccer match with the children there. It was a great day overall.
– Ridgely Kelly
With nothing but the beautiful morning sun as an alarm clock, we started the day off eager to see what it had in store for us. First was service work which consisted of making and placing wire protectors around newly planted trees in hopes that they will grow into big beautiful trees. While we did encounter some problems regarding the stability of the protectors, with a rigorous trial and error process, we were able to successfully come up with a solution as a team.
After lunch we embarked on a nature journey to la catarata (waterfall) which sadly had no water because of the dry season. Nonetheless it was still one of the most beautiful sights one could witness. After hitching a ride on the tractor, we made it back to home base just in time for mentor group time. We discussed various topics allowing for not only mind stimulating conversations but also provides an opportunity for us to open up and become closer to one another.
Overall it was an amazing day and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds in store for us.
– Toni Nunnally and Stella Moon
This morning we woke up in our tents to the sound of waves crashing on the beach and Howler monkeys howling. We spent a few hours hanging out at the beach and hiking with our nature guide Freddy. Here’s what we were up to today:
- We headed back to base after a quick snack on our safari truck and had some free time to rinse off all the sand from the beach.
- We had mentor groups for awhile followed by a presentation about forest fire dangers in the region and were joined by Toño Pizote, the mascot that brings awareness about fires.
- We had a final barbecue dinner with all the Horizontes staff and were surprised by a live band and dance party.
- We are all excited to explore what waits for us in Bromelias, our rainforest location.
– Emily Rubel and Stacia Hendee
Natalie Capella and Grace Kirk
To close up the first half of our trip, we played Jewel an activity in which the group connected in order to achieve a goal (reaching their water bottles).
After lunch, we said goodbye to our dry forest location and headed for the Rincon de la Vieja volcano where our rainforest community sits. On our way, we stopped to buy our loved ones gifts from Costa Rica and snacks to fill our tummies.
Upon our arrival, the community of Buenos Aires (one of our service sites) welcomed us with a dance party. We’re looking forward to the rest of our time at Las Bromelias.
Hola amigos! Today we split into two groups and volunteered at the Gavilan and Buenos Aires schools. At Gavilan, we helped move, clean and lay tiles for new flooring in the classrooms.
At Buenos Aires, the kids were still in school so we gathered dirt for a new garden.
We also got to play with the children at the school. They were so happy to see us and we played games and took lots of pictures with them.
After service, we came back for lunch and quickly got ready to go on a hike to go see a beautiful waterfall that did not disappoint. Most of us hiked to the top and saw a few of the falls and forest that was unforgettable. After a few hours, the group hiked back to home and Suzannah, our Director, gave a presentation that gave us an idea of what we can do to spread the morals and goals of Global Leadership Adventures. Her example was her personal 2 mission in the Peace Corps.
After the presentation we cleared the kitchen or should I say dance floor. ? Minor, a local dance teacher, taught us different kinds of Latin American danced including Cumbia, Merengue, Salsa and the Batchata. We danced the night away (until 9:00) and then were surprised with a freshly made desert.
We finished the day by talking about the highlights of our day and what we look forward to tomorrow.
Until then, hasta luego.
– Jacquelyn Crane and Itzel Alvarez-Garcia
Jose Diaz and Kaory Verdugo
As the week progresses, the GLA team has been trying to get the most out of this trip. Today we had a great day at the schools where we helped fill in cement for the one school’s floor and continued laying tile in the other school. It was cool just connecting with the kids and taking tons of pictures.
The second part of the day consisted of cooking and painting classes. During cooking class, we learned how to make tortillas from scratch and more. Those that participated in the painting class, came home with a self made souvenir to bring home.
It was a great day!
Nicole Kim and Cassandra Bartelin
On day 5 we completed our last day of service at Horizontes. The group finished securing the wire fences around the saplings. During service, we were lucky enough to see the white faced monkeys. We also had the opportunity to drink fresh coconut water from coconuts dropped from the trees. It was a treat!
We finished our service in Horizontes in the tree nursery transplanting more trees and then played a fun water game to cool down before lunch.
After lunch, we took a ride on the “beast”(a big green army truck) to Playa Iguanita.
At the beach, we swam, paddle boarded, kayaked and snorkeled. Later, we played a friendly game of soccer and other beach games. Dinner was served on the beach and we ate watching the sunset.
The evening ended in tent camping on the beach listening to the sounds of Howler monkeys.
Events of the day included service in Gavilan and Buenos Aires, milking cows, eating sugar cane and watching a movie.
During service we took a very long break and joined the students from Buenos Aires on the dance floor for a goodbye celebration.
Later that night we watched a Ted Talk video about Anonymous Extraordinaires and it taught us that any effort towards a cause, no matter how small, is necessary and beneficial for the cause.
Toni Nunnally and Ridgely Kelly
Today we woke up once again in the beautiful rainforest and prepared for our last day of service. After shoveling cement, tiling floors and various other activities.
We got to enjoy one last soccer match with the adorable Costa Rican kids. After the game we played with the kids for a few hours and shared hotdogs with the community.
After we got back to home base we had one last dinner and fiesta to celebrate our last night.
by Suzannah Crandall
Final day of adventure: zip lining, tubing and horse back riding.
Off the the final, goodbye dinner and one last night together.
A great finish to an amazing two weeks.