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 JULY 7
Hola from Costa Rica!
The Ocean Conservation & Surf Adventure crew ventured from San Jose all the way to our home base in Uvita. Along the drive we stopped to view crocodiles in the river and enjoy smoothies from a local shop. The students chatted and mingled the rest of the ride until we made it to our new home. Following their arrival, the group split off into their rooms alongside their newly assigned roommates.
Once everyone was unpacked, the group enjoyed time by the pool and a quick game of soccer. The rest of the afternoon was spent in orientation where trip leaders reviewed code of conduct, trip guidelines, and itineraries with the students. The day finished with a pasta dinner and a short journaling exercise to get students thinking about their core values they feel will feed into their leadership development.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
We kicked off our day with a truly delightful pancake breakfast that set the stage for an incredible adventure. Our next stop was our daily community service, where we honed our skills in measuring, cutting, and constructing with the finest Colombian bamboo. Our mission was to create a turtle shelter, providing a safe haven for precious newborn turtles against the perils of nature and the looming threat of poachers.
Returning to our base, we savored a delectable lunch that boasted a mouthwatering array of pasta salad, aromatic fried rice, and a colorful assortment of fresh fruits. Energized and eager to explore, we divided into our dynamic “mentor groups.” One team chose to delve into an eye-opening video shedding light on the impact of tourism on the local community and its magnificent ecosystems, while the other crew embarked on a relaxing yoga session guided by our talented surf instructors.
The adventure continued as we dived into a lively cooking class, where we wholeheartedly embraced the flavors of Costa Rican cuisine. Splitting once again into our merry groups, we enthusiastically tackled the activities we hadn’t yet experienced. As the day wound down, we hastily devoured a scrumptious dinner of rice, succulent chicken, and a refreshing salad, fueling our need for speed as we rushed to the market for essential supplies. To cap off this extraordinary day with GLA, we joyfully took a rejuvenating dip in the pool, bidding farewell to yet another unforgettable chapter of our journey.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
This morning we woke up for breakfast at 7:30 to the beautiful sight of a scarlet macaw flying overhead. After a nutritious and delicious breakfast of rice, eggs, avocado, tortillas, and some tasty local mangoes, the group set out for our second surf adventure. The group as a whole shredded some gnarly waves and made much progress as surfers since the last rip sesh. The beach, Playa Uvita, was absolutely stunning today with a radical swell of about 4-5 feet. Our awe-inspiring instructors, Luis and Spencer in particular, helped the group find confidence on the waves. They were especially helpful at accommodating the various skill levels of the group.
After we were done shredding, we bought some coconuts and headed back to home base where we had a quick swim in the pool before lunch. Lunch was fish along with some rice and vegetables and it really prepared us well for the community service that followed. Along with continuing to build a sea turtle nursery, the group began cutting, drawing, and painting signs to be placed around the national park. Wayne, who works at the national park and is leading this sea turtle initiative, sliced up some delicious fresh watermelon and pineapple while we had a brief lesson about how they are working to restore Costa Rica’s damaged coral reefs.
After we got back we grouped up and played games to get to know each other. We learned new things about everyone under the majestic pouring rain. Dinner, just like breakfast and lunch, absolutely slapped. We had chicken, rice, beans, and salad. Afterwards, we heard a guest speaker who talked about the environmental price of fast fashion. This really made us think about how the decisions that we make in one place can have a significant and negative effect in another place. That’s all for today! Pura vida! 🤙🤙🤙
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Before setting out for our surf adventures we began our day with a delicious breakfast of the classic beans and rice complimented by eggs, sausage and sliced fruits. To start the surf lesson off, the Bodhi instructors taught us how to get outside using the Plank and the Turtle methods to get past the white water. As a result of their outstanding teaching, majority of students made it to the outside and absolutely destroyed the waves. To complete our beach trip we ran some group volleyball in the sand and a quick dip under the waves.
To regenerate our energy after surf, we dined on some rice and pork with a crispy veggie salad on the side. Afterwards, everyone hopped on the bus for a quick store run for snacks and personal necessities.Upon return, we split for our mentor groups for exercises on communication and perspective After, we spent free time with some soccer keep up and a very competitive game out on the field.
Later in the evening, one of the surf instructors from Bodhi came to speak about connecting to the ocean and implementing sustainability practices to conserve the place that brings us such happiness. To close out the day, we had a quick sunset circle to talk about our highlights of the day and shout out fellow peers to cultivate a positive and supportive vibe. For dinner, we ate a filling dinner of rice, beans, a chicken/chickpea mix, and a salad with fresh veggies on top.
In perfect ‘pura vida’ fashion, we finished the day with a student-organized 2v2 soccer tournament in Modulo C complete with hype music the entire time. A winner has yet to be crowned. 🤙
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Hola from Costa Rica! We started this morning with a delicious cheese tortilla and vibrant selection of fresh fruits. Shortly after breakfast, we hopped on the bus to go ziplining with Osa Canopy tours. Once we arrived, we had to take yet another bus up to the top of the hill that we would be ziplining down from. The ride was a scenic and beautiful, and many students marveled at the spectacular views of lush forests and the sight of the ocean just below the horizon. When we reached the top, we were met by the lovely ziplining staff who helped us suit up with proper equipment and gear. Our ziplining excursion was over 2 hours, and included 6 ziplines, 3 repels, and 2 bridges. The 6th zip line featured the most incredible views, with a water fall to the left, and the pacific to the right. After we had all finished the course, we snacked on some fruit and participated in some student-initiated karaoke as we descended the mountain.
When we returned to home base, we enjoyed a delicious lunch before we embarked on our afternoon service. Half the group went to the beach to shovel sand for our turtle habitat, while the other finished signs for the national park. While taking a quick break from service, we were given a quick tour of Costa Rica’s Coral Restoration building. The friendly staff shared their mission with us, letting us us view their vast array of corals that they plan on transplanting into the ocean. This important work is imperative to protecting and ensuring the longevity of Costa Rica’s coral reefs.
After a couple hours of hard work, we got an opportunity to go to a local market for some snacks and personal necessities. When we returned back to home base, we took a quick dip in the pool before a delicious dinner of rice and fried fish. Finally, we ended the day with a continuation of our Modulo C world cup tournament; We’ve reached the semi finals!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
We started off the day with an early 6am breakfast which consisted of pancakes and fruit. We then traveled an hour to Manuel Antonio National Park where we saw some unique, bazare, and vibrant animals.
Our tour guide showed us through the park where we crossed paths with sloth, monkeys, butterflies, iguanas, crickets, and other insects through binoculars and telescopes.
After the eventful tour we enjoyed a refreshing swim in the world recognized Manuel Antonio beach. We enjoyed diving down in the beautiful prismarine colored water, playing chicken fight, and building sand castles.
We then left to eat lunch in the local community right outside of the park. We enjoyed a picnic on the beach with to go food provided by our cooks from the hotel.
Once we returned from our excursion we participated in some group activities which allowed the students to think more about themselves and their environment, and ways they can help to keep it safe.
Overall today was an exciting long filled day and we cannot wait for some more adventures tomorrow🤙
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
We woke up and ate a delicious breakfast before heading to our last day of surfing for the trip. When we got to the beach the tide was low and perfect for our surfing. Some people started by picking up trash on the beach and laying out in the sun. After surfing we bought coconuts and enjoyed the fresh coconut water from our favorite spot for the last time while soaking up the view. After surfing we went back to home base for some pool time and lunch. After, we went out for our last day of service building a turtle hatchery with our favorite local, Wane. Some students finished our painted signs, some shoveled sand on the beach, and others shoveled that sand from the beach into the habitat. We also were able to explore the Costa Rica coral restoration station here in Uvita. After finishing up with our service, we worked in mentor groups on leadership activities. Mentor groups were followed by a pasta dinner and an activity acknowledging what we admire about each student. Our amazing group ended the night with a s’mores bonfire and the final of our soccer tournament called Module C ball!!