All students have arrived safely and are ready for their program!
Hola todos! Our second Protecting the Pacific group of the summer has just arrived in Costa Rica! We are so excited to have Henry, Maria, Elizabeth, Jessica, Wayman, Katie, Rita, Nicole, Max, Ellie, Riley, Grace, Gabriel, Billy, Grace, Noémie, Samantha, Sophia, Sammie, and Anna Kate here with us for the next two weeks jammed packed full of ocean conservation, community-based innovation, and grassroots empowerment. Bridget, Jose Pablo, and myself cannot wait to get to know our students and grow together as a group and also as individual leaders in our own light. Let the adventure begin!
Beyond the Surface International
This morning when I first woke up, I had no idea what to expect. A delicious variety of foods were provided for us in the morning. We embarked on a journey to our home base later on in the afternoon. We came to a stopping point for homemade smoothies. Some of us even went back for seconds. The home base is absolutely gorgeous! It has beautiful wildlife and it smells amazing. A majority of us jumped in the pool and played some marco polo and a variety of other pool games. After another delicious meal to end the day, I realized that a lot of us have become closer and learned a lot more about each other. The leaders are supportive and make this experience so much more enjoyable. The phrase that we learned today was Pura Vida! This is used for pretty much anything in Costa Rica. It means good life! Today has been an amazing start to our 2 weeks here in Costa Rica!
– Anna Kate Gardner and Jessica Velasco
Authors: Billy Chen and Noémie Roy
Hola,Our third day just ended. We learned so many things, but each time in a different way. We learned to love the ocean by having surf lessons. We learned ways to prevent coastal erosion of the beach with cleaning up the roads and moving trash. We learned about the community of Bahia Ballena, Uvita by having a tour around town. We learned about the economic development in Costa Rica with a video and discussion about what we just saw. After that, we had group work to get our perspective on economic development in the air. To end our successful day, we had a presentation about GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and how creates perceptions about Costa Rica and the world. We learned about how GDP and GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) are significantly different by showing a country doesn’t need much to be happy. As such, Costa Rica is known as one of the happiest country in the world!
Notre troisième journée vient de se terminer. Nous avons appris tant de chose, mais chaque fois d’une façon différente. Nous avons appris à aimer l’océan en ayant des leçons de surf, puis nous avons appris à le protéger en ramassant des déchets sur la plage et en rendant la plage plus belle pour rendre les gens plus sensible à son état. Nous avons appris des façons de prévenir l’érosion de la côte en faisant une barrière de feuille de palmiers et en plantant des cocotiers. Nous avons appris a propos de la communauté de Bahia Uvita en ayant un tour guidé à pied dans le village. Nous avons appris a propos du développement économique au Costa Rica, en lien avec le tourisme, grâce a un vidéo, des discussions en groupe et des présentations de nos mentors. Cette journée était très riche, aussi riche que la biodiversité et la culture du Costa Rica, de la côte riche.
Today everybody was awake by 7:30 am for a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, sweet plantains and toasted bread. We headed off to Forjando Alas, a local school in the community of Uvita. Throughout the morning, we were educated regarding the organization´s role in environmental protection and education. On top of that, we repurposed plastic bottles to become placeholders for common crops. After interacting with the students of the school in a traditional game of janga and uno, we were also brought to the local quad where we played nostalgic games (such as duck duck goose and meow) with the local students. Sadly, we had to return back to homebase to eat. However, we were delighted by the great food we had for lunch. Afterwards, we were informed regarding the ways of the GPS and GIS, and how they are used to track the appearances of various types of trash. After learning that we are kayaking in the mangroves tomorrow, everybody went to bed with bright and excited smiles on their faces!
Pura Vida, y buena noche!
-Henry Liu and Sammie Edery
Photo 1-9: We started off the day with our second session of surfing lessons followed by picking up trash on the beach. We also used GPS systems in order to map the trash we picked up in order to see which areas were the most polluted. We later found out, we picked up over 1,300 pieces of trash!
Photo 10-14: Throughout the trip we have helped at an amazing after- school center called Forjando Alas and today we continued our bottle garden project with the help of many hard- working students.
All in all it was a fantastic day filled with exciting service and amazing experiences in this beautiful country.
-Maggie Swomley and Ellie Hull
July 4th Flashback:
Today the GLA group accomplished service work as well as adventure. The day began with a walk down to the Whale Tail of Bahia Ballena, Uvita. The scenery was beautiful; filled with mountains, sand, and palm trees. On the walk, Noilyn, our guide and friend, explained the origins of the whale tail; for example how the current manipulated the sand to create the body of the whale tail which connected the island to Bahia Ballena. Once we reached the whale tail we had free time to enjoy the refreshing ocean.
Later in the afternoon, our group began service. The goal of our service was to create a community tree nursery for the Bahia Ballena citizens. The tree seedlings will later be planted in areas that are deforested. Reforestation is an important way to combat soil erosion and sedimentation in the Pacific Ocean. We started clearing the ground, in a set perimeter, of weeds. After about an hour, it began to rain so the group transitioned into our next activity.
Team GLA versed Team Bahia Ballena in a friendly game of soccer/futbol! A huge majority of the community was involved in the game. The game was even more exciting because we played in the rain. The game resulted in a tie which called for a penalty shoot out. Overall team GLA lost, but it was an adventure everyone enjoyed and will always remember despite the score!
Grace Hennelly and Grace DuBois
Flashback to July 2nd:
Today we walked to the local school, Flor de Bahia, to do our service project for the day. We introduced ourselves to the kids and played games. Next, we painted the walls, floors, and trash cans. Lunch included a typical Costa Rican food: beans, rice, picadillo, tortilla, and egg wrapped in banana leaves—it was delicious. After our work at the school we came back to the home base and analyzed our GPS and GIS data about the trash we collect on the beach yesterday.
I can’t believe we only have a week left. I think everyone is a missing home a bit. I love you mom and dad.
– xoxo, Sophia.
Today was our last full day in Bahia Ballena!
The first thing we did was go to the farm for service, and we finally finished preparing the tree nursery. Though it was hot and there was little cloud cover, we pushed through. We then went back to the hotel for a delicious lunch of rice, salad, quiche, and beans. After free time, we had a leadership discussion with Bridget. Travis was originally going to talk to us about a video we watched called “Nuesta Agua, Nuestras Vidas” , but he was held up, so Pilar came instead. At 6:30, we headed to a really good restaurant called “La Fogata”, where we had six delicious choices of the best pizza in town. After walking back to home base an hour later, we turned the music up and partied well into the night.
-Katy and Elizabeth Craig