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.
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 throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. 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.
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
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
This is our first blog. This will be a way for us to share our daily experiences, learnings and adventures! We hope that you enjoy this blog as a way to experience this journey alongside us throughout the next week.
Wow! What a day! The arrival day was both tiring and exciting all at once. All of the anticipations that were built up exploded today.
Our group has all safely arrived at our hotel for the night. We had some late arrivals and we are waiting still for Neveah to join us. We played so many games for everyone to get to know their new friends! We also did the swim test and had some pool time which was great for bonding.
There’s so much excitement from students to start working with our local partners. They are all so excited to support turtle conservation and other environmental projects. Everyone is also looking forward to many great adventures ahead of us. Our group is so ready to learn about the local culture, language, and environment from the locals.
Tomorrow on the way we will stop for zipline adventure on the way to Parismina! Stay tuned!
The next blog post will be written by our leaders of the day! Stay tuned!
Until next time!
Sea turtle Initiative Team (Mag, Alysse, and Marco)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by AC, Liberty, and Maverick
Greetings beloved parents,
We are all here writing this to tell you about today’s experiences. We started off our day with breakfast, and enjoyed rice and beans, hashbrowns, pancakes, and fresh local fruit. Then we traveled to a zipline adventure. We had such an adventure during ziplining! After ziplining above the rainforest canopy and bravely belaying down trees, we indulged in a scrumptious lunch and hopped back on our buses to continue the travel to Parismina. We excitedly endeavored a five-hour journey to our base camp. When we arrived at home base by boat through inland waterways, we settled in our rooms. We then adventured upon the beach and frolicked amongst the ocean waves and the black sandy shores. We had chow circle, dinner, and a turtle talk before heading to bed for our first night in the jungle.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by your Leaders of the Day: Meridith, Saanvi and Boris
This amazing day started off with an organic farm tour where we collected the freshest and most delicious lemons in Parismina, cracked open a variety of different coconuts and ate termites. We met and fed the friendliest Cayman and the cutest turtle. After that, we did some fun activities to get us orientated with the program including games to get to know everybody, which were very interesting and very useful to get to know our new friends. Then we met some friendly cows and after that went to the beach. At the beach we swam and played some fun games of volleyball. The waves were bigger than we expected but it was so hot that the cool water of the Caribbean was refreshing. Overall, this second day of our GLA program was a success and we learned a lot about the Costa Rican social environment and economical situation.
Pura vida and stay tuned!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Samuel, Ellie, and Paul
Leaders of the day here! We woke up in a good mood, though slightly tired, after a succesful night patrol where we witnessed a green turtle laying eggs. We had a delicious breakfast of Arepas (fried sweet bread), eggs, and fruit. Right after breakast, we left for a boat tour of the Parismina river and canals. On the tour we saw monkeys, a crocodile, iguanas, basilisks and many different types of birds. We ended up in Parismina village where we went to have our cooking class. On the way, we walked around town and learned about it. During the cooking class we learned to make excellent empanadas, from only a few simple ingredients, with Parismina locals. Having enjoyed our homeade lunch, we finished discovering the village and popped into some local shops.
Next, we participated in an eventful salsa dance class and made our way to the beach for an educational turtle workshop. There, we simulated finding a turtle and followed the real protocol locals have created to get familiar with it and potentially help if we find another turtle. Then most of the group faced off against Parisminians of all ages in intense sports matches. This was cut short by our ride home, two open top trucks, which felt like a real life Jumanji ride through the jungle. This excitement continued through tech time during which everyone shared information about themselves. After that, we ate dinner before a turtle debate to immerse ourselves in the socio-economic situation of the area. Students were divided in five groups, representing a specific party, ranging from the government to local associations. Sleep then rapidly caught us, closing this eventful and, wonderfully, enriching day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Lila, Julinka, and Nevaeh
We woke up refreshed after a good night’s sleep (our last night until three consectuive night patrols) and had a delicious breakfast of AMAZING mango, pineapple, watermelon, rice and beans, and a plethora of other goodies. After enjoying breakfast we set out for our first beach clean-up, where we collected a whopping 24 bags of garbage. This alone may seem like an insane amount, but this was even after the efforts of the two previous groups—can you imagine how much trash there is on other beaches? After being out in the hot sun, we cleansed our disgusting, sweaty bodies in the glorious Caribbean.
Afterwards we had some much needed time for relaxation (a good thing since tonight we will set off on our second night patrol), followed by lunch consisting of fried chicken and yuca fries we harvested fresh from the garden only a few days ago. Following lunch, we prepared for presentations in small groups about the ocean/turtles, trash, and farming. It was enlightening to learn more about the impact trash and pesticides have on the ocean, as well as actions we can take as individuals to lesson our environmental impact. Some of the things we learned were truly shocking: did you know that all of the bananas in grocery stores are clones of the exact same plant? Luckily for us (and the planet) the cooks utilize local produce, which we then enjoyed in yet another delicious meal for dinner.
Now we’re off to another night patrol; hopefully we can see another turtle!! Lastly we’d like to challenge you, wonderful families, to aid our mission in doing our parts to live in a cleaner world—next time you take a walk or go to the beach, pick up any trash that you see! Even one person can make a big difference. 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Olivia, Bella, and Sophia
We woke up today to heavy rain. Soon enough after it slowed down we had breakfast and started our day. We started off by collecting tree saplings at our home base with Jason, our local director and owner of the lodge. Over 30 trees will be planted in the near future! After that we took a bumpy ride into town in the back trucks. We got an educational tour around the Parismina community by local residents, including our dance teacher Maya. Then we had lunch the volunteer center, and began a scavenger hunt shortly after. We ran through the small village, trying to grasp the layout. It was relatively easy considering Parismina only had 3 main streets. We chatted with the local kids, admired the murals, and appreciated the culture. We were able to purchase the handmade crafts and jewelry by local vendors.
After we grabbed smoothies at Olga’s Soda shop, a few of us raced and played with a local boy. Soon enough we made our way to the hatchery where we were able to see a baby leatherback turtle release! We watched as they made their first steps into the water and swam away to their home. As the sun set, we ended the day with a soccer game against the local kids. We won! Then we headed home to a delicious dinner and to celebrate Bella’s birthday! We had a quick dance party before leaving on our nightly turtle watch. Hopefully we will see and help a sea turtle safely lay their eggs. Thats all! Wish us best of luck with learning how to live in harmony with all the bugs!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Written by Leaders of the Day: Milo, Tessa and Sam C.
¡Hola a todos!
Here is what Day 7 at the Sea Turtle Initiative looked like.
Firstly, some of us woke up early to go fishing at 7am with the very knowledgeable Jason. Right at the end, we managed to catch a pretty big Tiger fish, starting the day in superb fashion! Breakfast then followed at 8am with the entire group – we had some delicious pancakes.
Afterwards, we were lucky to visit the organic vanilla farm by expert farmer Jerry.
Jerry also explained to us the difficulties of having an organic farm, how to make vanilla, the different stages of this production and the techniques used in an organic farm (using natural fungi instead of pesticides for example).
After successive, long and tiring night patrols the previous days, the group was granted some free rest time in order to rest and recharge for what remained to come – the hammocks were perfect for power naps, quiet discussions and soothing journaling. In addition, we had some exquisite fried rice which boosted us for a successful afternoon. We divided into mentor groups for the “river of life”: we all had to draw a river representing our life, adding the main events, people and places that shaped our life so far.
After this bonding moment, the group headed to the beach for an intense hour of coconut tree planting: we planted around 90 trees! Our hard work was rewarded with some awesome beach time, where we played some quality volleyball and “boogie boarded” in the sea. The waves were amazing and the volleyball was extremely fun (and competitve!).
After a refreshing shower, a typical Costa Rican dinner, and some dance moves in the Home Base, we were ready for our fourth and final night patrol! Though we did not see any turtles this time, we did see turtle tracks and all spent a great time in our respective patrol groups to cap off this great day.
When the patrol ended, we all felt we had accomplished a lot for the turtles in these 4 night patrols and quickly headed to bed for some well deserved rest.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19 & 20
We once again woke up to heavy rain, however, a bit earlier than the day before. We had breakfast at around 7:00 so we would be able catch the bus to the white water rafting. The ride there was rather long, about 3 hours, yet we were able to pass the time easily. We did so by talking to each other, playing games, and singing. When we arrived we spit into rafting teams and started the journey down the Paquare river. Along the way a few people fell in but everyone got completely socked from the opportunities to jump in the river and swim. About three-quarters of the way through rafting we stopped for lunch. For lunch we hopped off the rafts and waited while the guides set up the food.
Eventually we got back onto our rafts and made the way to finish rafting. We arrived at the buses, put a clean change of clothes, and started the 2 hour journey back. We stopped at a supermarket on the way back so we could purchase our favorite Costa Rican snack foods. Once we arrived at home base we had some free time for relaxing, showering, and packing before our last dinner at homebase. Dinner was empanadas!! We then did a group activity, called OMG (One Meaningful Goal). With teams, we each created a skit of our goal that we would act upon when we went back home. We were able to reflect upon how we can act upon and use our new knowledge back at home.
After that 12 students volunteered to go on an additional night patrol. They saw a green turtle from the moment she came out to lay eggs until she returned to the ocean. What an amazing end of our turtle program! Now it’s Wednesday, and it’s time to travel back to the hotel in Alajuela where we will have our last night before saying goodbyes or hopefully see you laters. It was an amazing learning experience and we will all have great memories from it.
See you soon families! PURA VIDA!