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
**Please note – This blog will be for both the 14-day program and the 21-day program.**
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Hello friends and family of our Costa Rican travelers! We are writing to report that all 32 students have arrived safely with their bags in the capital of San Jose. We are getting to know one another and excited about this great group of people!
Tonight we met one another for the first time, learned names, and ate dinner together. We played card games, colored, and chatted while waiting for everyone to arrive from the airport. We also made friends with the hotel staff family, who are super hospitable.
We leave early in the morning for our first beach-side stay in Montezuma!
Check back for more updates and pictures later!
Kristin, Katherine, Kanya, Patrick, and Angie
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Starting off our morning bright and early, we savored a delicious breakfast of (surprisingly) rice and beans as we enjoyed the beautiful canopy of green forestry among us. Consequently, we ventured far and wide in the blazing heat to save the turtles that roam freely along the Pacific shoreline. After a strenuous yet rewarding couple of hours picking up trash that has accumulated over time by the careless and inconsiderate actions of others.
Our afternoon consisted of a relaxing in hammocks and washing off the grime in a freezing cold shower. Soon after, we enjoyed the taste of a spaghetti and meatball lunch with a side of thirst quenching papaya juice.
We were graced by the warmth of the not so soothing waves of the Pacific. Some of us tumbled across an array of pebble-like sand, while others floated gently across the rocking waves. After this long period of cardio and muscular endurance, we drank a refreshingly cool coconut, hacked with a machete by a Costa Rican local.
We ended this tiresome, but exuberayting, day with a exotic fish dinner, served to us by hospitable hosts.
By Sadie and Antonia
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
We woke up to the beautiful sound of rain at our lovely hotel, La Cascada. After a delicious breakfast of rice, beans, eggs, tortillas, fruit and juice we headed out for a morning of service. At the beach, we continued our work from yesterday of cleaning up natural debris, from coconuts to big logs. After the rain storm the town went through a little water shortage but we stuck through and we were all able to shower and make to our lunch.
Lunch was delicious bacon burger with waffle fries ketchup and lychee juice. After lunch we were able to have a little bit of free time before getting ready to head into town for some shopping. Downtown Montezuma had many unique and beautiful things and lots of us picked up all things from crochet tops to jewelry to things to munch on in our rooms. The rain started back up again and we walked back to the hotel for some downtime before dinner.
For dinner we ate vegetarian lasagna with a refreshing side of salad and garlic bread and another delicious juice. After dinner we prepared for our first night patrol on the beach where we were split into groups. We were able to learn from an expert about how the turtle hatchery works and we even got to see the nests.
Fiona and Emi
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
We started our day off waking up to the sounds of all the wildlife and the waterfall right outside of our rooms. It was a gorgeous morning compared to our rain filled day yesterday. For breakfast we had a home comforting pancake meal and then we hurried to get ready for our hike in Cabo Blanco Nation Forest.
After a scenic bus ride we arrived at the national forest. The hike was guided by 2 fantastic Costa Rican experts who took us through the rainforest and taught us about the local fauna and flora. As we hiked below the canopies of trees, we saw families of monkeys, butterflies, birds, lizards, and hundreds of species of plants and fungi that took our breath away.
We rode the bus home to devour a tantalizing lunch as soon as possible. Our lunch was Ropa Vieja which was a mix of rice, beans, and beef mixed together. After lunch and some relaxation we voted to take a trip to the beach and the local grocery store to stock up on snacks and necessities. After the beach we returned to home base and enjoyed some free time to relax, play games and talk to friends. For our last dinner at this home base, we had some delicious fish with potatoes and then had a special Costa Rican dessert called Arroz Con Leche.
After dinner a small group of 12 of us decided we wanted to go to the beach for night patrol. Night patrol is where we walk up and down the beach looking for sea turtles ready to lay their eggs. This is an important task for the hatchery to ensure that the people working at the hatchery know where the eggs are. During our adventures at the hatchery we were attacked by fire ants and mother nature when a torrential downpour occurred. Some of us danced in the rain while the other continued patrolling. We made our way back to prepare for our travels to Parrita the next day.
Jacoba and Eileen
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Hey y’all! Welcome to today’s blog. This morning we woke up to a scrumptious breakfast of sausage, pancakes, and eggs. We deeply appreciate our staff and all they are doing for our large group. For today’s service we cleaned and restored an old mangrove nursery which was severely damaged by a storm and we helped turn it around.They gave us machetes to cut the dead palm leave from trees and that was very fun. We then had a lunch of chicken fried rice and chips.
We then had guest speakers (Roberto and Yuma) who gave a fantastic, informational presentation on turtle conservation. In the presentation we learned about the different types of turtles and their life cycle. We learned a lot about characteristics of turtles and where they travel to throughout the ocean to complete the cycle. Turtles do in fact play a very important part in the ecosystem by balancing out the level of sea grass so other marine life can thrive. After the guest speakers we had 4 hours of free time including some yoga, and pool time! It also included a thirty minute HIT workout and OMG we were sweating, as if we weren’t already. Everyone relaxed and took some time to regroup before some GLA students partook in a beautiful beach walk.
As we headed to dinner rain started pouring down on us and we arrived soaked!! We enjoyed dinner, which was creamy lasagna, with the rainy ambience. After dinner was a fun debate leadership activity and then off to bed! Good night and pura vida!
– Written by Julia and Delaney
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
The 14th of July was truly a great day. First we woke up around 7 and had an amazing breakfast filled with tons of nutrients. Then we got ready to put soil into plastic bags so we could plant almond trees. After 3 long hours of hard work we went to lunch and ate yet again. After lunch, there was a guest! He was a professional dancer and was there to teach us some culturally significant dances to Costa Rica. We learned the Salsa, the Bachata, and a couple more. it wasn’t a super long class but it was still really fun to learn new dances. I was glad I got to immerse myself into a new culture and really feel what it meant to be one with everyone. Overall, it was a pretty good day.
– by Aedan Youtzy 😀
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
The morning of Friday the 17th was a truly memorable time for all of us. We were told of a surprise, but not one of us could’ve presumed the magnitude of that surprise. We loaded up the busses, grabbing bagged breakfast as we came at seven AM. The busses were set to leave just ten minutes later. Once loaded and fed, we made our way through a small village of sorts until we came upon a large villa. This villa held what our surprise was to be. We came through the courtyard and between the buildings and once we had reached the backyard we beheld a sea turtle hatchery filled with freshly hatched baby sea turtles.
Not only were we able to observe the baby sea turtles, but we were given an in depth explanation and demonstration of how sea turtles nest, lay eggs, and hatch. What happens next will stay with all of us for many years. We were given the truly spectacular opportunity to pick up these baby sea turtles and one by one release them into the ocean. We had no idea where we were going or why we were roused so early from the comforts of our beds, but that momentous occasion will never be forgotten.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
We awoke to the sounds of roosters, the loud noise of the cicadas, and the sun arising from behind the Costa Rican mountain range. We drove the short distance to Bahia ballena National park to begin our surfing excursion. We learned the basics, safety, and rules of riding the waves before we ventured into the water. While some of us chose to learn to stand up on the board, others swam in the waves
We later had lunch before a quick turn around of heading to service. Service consisted of both reforesting trees and painting signs to notify park-goers of the new tree’s whereabouts. Our service, however, was interrupted by a swarm of wasps, an earthquake, and biting gnats. Even with these interferes we managed to leave with high spirits that only increased as we made a pit stop at the supermarket.
Our day ended with mentor groups that left of us with stronger listening skills, public speaking, and a deeper (nearly unbreakable) group bond.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
After an early 5:45am wake up we headed to breakfast and enjoyed some warm, fluffy pancakes. We were then offered some banana bread and orange juice at dolphin tours, which was a brief bus ride from our home base. 30 minutes into our boat ride, we spotted a 13 meter long Bryde’s whale as well as a pod of dolphins swimming beside our boat.
We then arrived at our snorkeling destination where the water was crystal clear and the perfect temperature. After we were given our flippers and snorkeling gear, we hopped in the water and observed the coral reef that homed many forms of marine life. This included sea cucumbers, sea urchins, puffer fish, rainbow fish, damsel fish and many more. After our service in Montezuma where we worked on sea turtle conservation it was amazing to see four sea turtles one of which was a green sea turtle and the others which were olive ridleys, the species we had previously released into the ocean in Parita. The generous tour guides gave us fresh pineapple and watermelon slices. The tour guides then took us to a second location to once again snorkel. We were able to dive down to closely observe the seabed and schools of fish.
As midday approached, people’s stomachs began to growl and we knew it was time for lunch. The trip to shore was hasty however the captain was able to spot a baby humpback whale and its mother. He went into depth about how it was the season of humpback whales as the mothers need to give birth to their young in warm water to ensure their survival. He also informed us that the baby humpback whales consume 500 liters of milk a day. Lunch was set up on the beach and we were given time to swim in the water. We devoured some flavorful chicken and rice, tuna pasta salad, chips and beans and more fresh pineapple. As the rain began to trickle down we hurried to the boat and began the journey back to Uvita. The ride was bumpy and the rain rapidly hit our faces but by the time we got back we were excited to jump into the warm hotel pool.
A delicious meal of rice, beans and fish was followed by some group activities and a long needed sleep.
By Lena and Pippa