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 JUNE 19
Welcome to Costa Rica! The day is finally here. Everyone arrived safely in San José today and checked into the Robledal Hotel for the night before an early departure to Uvita tomorrow. Most students completed their swim tests, so we are already on our way to embracing the surfing experience. We all had dinner together and got to know one another better. By the end of the night, everyone was chatting and waiting for the other half of the group to arrive later that night.
Finally, even thought it was late, everyone was together as a group and the trip had officially begun. Everyone is looking forward to officially meeting at breakfast. We headed to bed in anticipation of what not only tomorrow, but of what the next two weeks will bring. Some of us are looking forward to improving our surfing skills, while others shared about their passion to make a difference in the world. We are excited to come together to reach a common goal and make the world a better place, and hopefully make a lot of great memories doing it.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20
Adios, San Jose and hola, Uvita!
The group woke up bright and early this morning, had breakfast, and began their journey to our home base. Along the ride we took a pit stop for smoothies and souvenirs. The students also got the chance to stop and see some crocodiles in the river beneath the bridge along our route; the first of many awesome local wildlife sightings!
After a four hour journey, filled with lots of mingling with new friends, the group arrived safely at our home base in Uvita. Students settled into their rooms, ate lunch and began orientation led by our leadership team. Safety protocols, code of conduct, and Costa Rican culture were topics of discussion during orientation as well as a few games mixed in to keep the group energized.
Next, students enjoyed free time spent swimming and relaxing. Program mentors led the group in a “sunset circle” before dinner, giving the kids a chance to show appreciation for fellow students who exemplified GLA’s core values throughout the day. The evening wrapped up with a pasta dinner set to the backdrop of a Costa Rican rain storm.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21
Rise and shine!
Students wake for their first full day of discovery, and are briefed over the schedule by student leaders after breakfast. Safety processes are reviewed before the group departs for Surfing. Instructors split the group in half and teach the basics of riding a wave, and, with enough practice, standing on the board. Alfredo arranged for the students to receive a freshly split coconut to eat and drink when the session concluded; the perfect after-surf hydration.
Back at the home base, many students reapply sunscreen and swim in the pool under Meg’s supervision. Then, students and staff alike eat a beautifully prepared lunch of rice, stewed chicken with potatoes, and salad. Next, the group took a closely-monitored trip to the Supermercado to ensure that every etridentle Darlinal ist mine camnlate Than Supermercado to ensure that every student’s Packing List was complete. Then the daily rain came in! The beautiful showers gave us a chance to sit out on the patios and enjoy the natural rain sounds.
We played multiple fun games of Uno and braided each others hair! After a relaxing patio break, we had an amazing presentation by our guest speaker, Noilyn, and got to learn so much about the Uvita community. Following the presentation, Meg broke us up into our mentor groups and we got to make goals for the GLA community as a whole. See you tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22
We started off the day, bright and early with the amazing breakfast the kitchen staff at the hotel prepared for us: pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and fresh fruits. Then, we continued on to split up into groups, one of which went to yoga and the other one which watched a video on eco tourism in Costa Rica. Afterwards we engaged in meaningful and insightful conversations based on the video and the ways tourism affects our planet.
Following that, a local look us on a lovely walk through the community, taking time to appreciate the flora and fauna in the area. After lunch, a local private chef and her daughter helped us create some delicious traditional costa rican foods: corn tortilla, a refreshing ginger lime drink, picadillo de papa (potato stew), and arroz con leche (rice pudding). We had a really fun time in the pool.
At sunset circle, everyone bonded over our fun moments throughout the day while giving shout outs to the people who were especially outstanding today, including the ones that went out of their way to pick up trash! Dinner was amazing as always, and then we finished off the day with an interesting but respectful debate about sea turtle conservation right before lights out.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23
Written by Ailey
Today, we all slept in and ate at 8a.m. This mornings breakfast consisted of two pizza flatbreads, a sweet roll and an assortment of fruit. Just an hour later we went to join our mentor groups. We all played games and meditated. Later that morning we all went to surf.
We learned new tricks on how to turn and we practiced while standing up the whole time. Then, we had a delicious lunch that included pasta salad, rice and beans that had chicken and pork in it, and a potato type vegetable that was called Yuca. Soon after lunch, we went and had a wonderful experience picking up trash on the same beach we swam on just hours earlier.
A couple of dogs walked with us as we picked up all the trash and kept us company as light rain fell on us while we walked up and down the beach. We all had a fun time by the pool relaxing before our dinner activities. Our team leaders of the day lead all of the kids through our highlights to take about the special parts of the great day that we have had. We had dinner shortly after, which consisted of rice and shrimp, salsa and plantains.
After eating out meal, a guest speaker came to give us her knowledge about the environmental price of fashion. She was a marine biologist and she went into detail about micro plastics and all of their harms to the environment, people, and animals. Once she gave us her presentation we all went to bed to start the day all over again tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Today, after waking up, we had breakfast at 6 am and then headed to the buses. We drove about an hour and then made it to the national park. We hiked and saw some amazing animals like lizards, sloths, monkeys, and some very brightly colored crabs. The sights were amazing but they got even better when we went to eat at the beach for lunch at around 1 pm. After lunch some of us went to a local shop for some clothes and bracelets while others went to go get ice cream it was so fun.
Next, we headed back to our hotel and then all took a very nice nap and relaxed. Then, we went into our mentor groups, we had sunset circle where we reflected on the day and picked out our favorite moments. Then, we all enjoyed chicken, guacamole, mushroom sauce, and salad for dinner. Finally, everyone chilled around until it was time to go to bed.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Today we had breakfast at 8 and then we had group yoga on the beach lead by Neha!! After that we jumped right into surfing and the rest of the group joined us. We had lunch at 1, we ate rice, pork, and a salad with mango juice! we took a quick trip to the supermarket and got some yummy treats. then, we had a break until our group activity, which involved us learning what type of leaders we are. We also saw some beautiful macaws in the trees above.
Next, we had a guest speaker and he talked to us about harnessing the power of the ocean as a force for good. we learned how surfing can be used in a positive and calming way, and about B corps and how they are helping the planet as a whole. then we had sunset circle leading right into a delicious dinner. We had garlic bread, pasta, and rice. after dinner. We had a dance lesson, and learned a bunch of costa rica dances. then after that we hung out and spent our last few minutes of free time all together. After a super fun amazing day, we went to bed ready for the adventure coming tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
The morning started with a delicious breakfast, which was hastily followed by a quick bus ride to the waterfall. At the waterfall, students could jump from a ledge into a stunning, but cold pool of water, or go down a natural waterslide that was created by the waterfall.
After climbing back up the steps leading to the waterfall we were greeted with fresh fruit smoothies. We then hopped back on the bus and headed back to home base for a delightful vegetarian lunch. After lunch, we all had a much needed break after our morning activities then headed off to our community service of the day. We piled onto the bus and soon arrived at our community service site where we spent 2 hours creating signs for reforestation and planting trees. We were able to work with handsaws and machetes in the process.
Afterwards, we returned to basecamp and had some free time where we swam and relaxed in our rooms then participated in a leadership and communication activity before dinner. (We were delighted to see that dinner consisted of French fries and fried chicken) After dinner, we had our daily sunset circle where we discussed our favorite parts of the day, gave shoutouts to others for their good deeds, and named our leaders of the day for tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
This morning students got up at 6:30 to eat breakfast extra early before setting off to do their community service. Once they got into town, they all worked together to cut, paint, and nail signs that would spread messages of integrity and inspiration to the local community! Students returned to the hotel to eat lunch and then get some much needed rest before their soccer match against one of the local schools. Though a loss, students worked together on the field through the rain and had an incredible experience with the locals in one of their favorite pastimes. Afterwards, the students got back for dinner and were surprised with some heavily requested hamburgers. Well fed and extremely tired, students had a quick check in with their mentor groups, and then headed to bed to get some well-deserved rest for tomorrows surf lesson.