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
Dear GLA Costa Rica Sea Turtle Initiative Families,
We are so glad the students are all here! We are traveling now from San Jose to our homebase at the Green-Gold Eco-Lodge near Parismina for the next 8 days (then back to San Jose for one last night). Over the next 8 days in Parismina we will learn about our organic farm and vanilla plantation, take a beautiful boat ride through the canals looking for wildlife, learn Latin American dances, make empanadas in local kitchens around Parismina and learn about life in Parismina as we spend a day in our tiny coastal town, be playing beach volleyball and soccer, patrolling the beaches at night for turtles, go whitewater rafting in the beautiful Pacuare River, and zipline across valleys in the stunning Braulio Carrillo National Park.
Student leaders of the day will be writing a blog post every one to two days to keep you updated about all the great things they have been up to. Remember that our location is remote so for the days in Parismina (Day 3-7 especially) there won’t be frequent communication. We truly hope the students enjoy a break from their phones and immersing themselves in a week on the rustic Caribbean coast.
We hope to primarily give a window into this week through the blog. We arrange access to communication for it and of course have plans for any needed urgent communications at any time. We have four staff directly with the students, plus the support of the Eco-Lodge staff for cooking and cleaning. We also have the 24/7 professional support of the office staff. Your children are in great hands. This is going to be a wonderful program, and I am excited to be part of it. Keep your eyes open for the first student blog in a day or two and enjoy your summer.
Clint, Jason, Sarah and Mary
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Leaders of the Day: Kale, Shamus, and Isabella V.
Good Morning from Parismina!!
We started the day bright and early at 7:30 followed by a delicious breakfast at 8am. Shortly after breakfast all the students loaded up their luggage to the 2 buses that would transport the group from San José to Parismina, where we are staying the remainder of the trip.
The bus ride was almost 5 hours in length and a great bonding experience. We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant which contained a small dulcería or, in English, a candy shop. Continuing along the journey, we stopped once at a supermarket and purchased any snacks we would want over the remainder of the week.
When at last we arrived at our destination, we loaded the luggage and students aboard 3 boats and continued on to our home base.
Once at home base, rooms were assigned, rules were explained, and shortly there after the whole group was socializing on the hammocks in the common area and playing on playing together on the beach.
After the very competitive soccer game on the beach, we returned home for a delicious meal of spaghetti and garlic bread provided by the very kind chefs at home base.
At around 9:30pm, everyone was winding down and settling into their rooms for the night. At around 10:30pm everyone was fast asleep, with ambitions and excitement for the following day ahead of us. We are having so much fun getting to know each other and anticipate all that is to come this week!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Hello all!! Today we awoke bright and early at 5am to the alarm of howler monkeys outside our windows. After playing some volleyball around 6am to let others sleep, we returned and enjoyed a delightful breakfast!
After breakfast we began our orientation to the program and learned about our mentors and their experiences. Once concluded, we received a very educational talk from ASTOP(association save turtles of parismina) about how to protect and save sea turtles from poachers.
After the talk, we all relaxed until lunch time around 12pm.
After lunch we continued with orientation and then started our epic volleyball tournament. The tournament lasted around 2 hours, after which, everyone was properly sweaty and in need of a shower.
Instead of a shower we were supervised as we took our first dip in the warm waters of the Caribbean. As some of us waded through the water, others enjoyed a game. Finally, we retired back to home base for our dinner and then began preparations for the nights very first turtle patrol! Fingers crossed we see a turtle tonight!
Pics from day 2 and 3 below!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Leaders of the Day: Jacob, Shea, and Ella
Buenas Dias!!! Last night we went on our first turtle patrol. After getting dressed into our black clothing and closed toed shoes we headed out with the guides to start the patrol in two separate groups. With the first 30 minutes the first group saw a green turtle that had been turned over on its back. This had been done by local poachers to prevent the turtle from getting away. As our guide flipped the turtle over so it could go back to the ocean the poachers came back and spotted us, realising that they could no longer poach the turtle. The poachers in Parismina are not dangerous, most of them are young people from the village trying to sell the meat and eggs to make money. [To note: our community, Parismina, is a small town of around 500 people. Everyone knows who the turtle patrollers are vs. the turtle poachers and they live in harmony. There is an agreement that if a turtle is found by patrol guards first, they get to protect the eggs. If the poachers find them first, they get to take the eggs. This is how the community works together and we even do a debate about each of the sides of turtle protection/turtle poaching.] We are happy this turtle was able to make it back to the ocean safely. We carried on our walk to find out the second group had spotted a turtle laying eggs and we all came to watch.
Our guide, Carlos, let us help collect the 66 eggs the turtle laid, we put them into a bag then we stayed and watched the turtle disguise its nest. One of the guides created a superficial nest to hide the eggs from any future poachers as we were too far from the hatchery. The turtle safety made it back to the ocean and now was named Jenny! We made it halfway through the walk and we had already saved 2 turtles, which is really really lucky! On the final part of the walk we saw a turtle that had come to shore to lay eggs but had been disturbed so made its way back into the ocean without any poachers. We headed home and straight to bed after a long sweaty 4 hours!
After a good night sleep (without being woken up by howler monkeys!), we had a great breakfast of arepas and went on a tour with Jason around the farm. We tried a variety of fruits from coconuts to water apples. We even got to see the cayman in one of the ponds on the farm after Jason fed it some of last nights leftovers. We came back to another great home cooked meal and then had a couple of hours of down time which consisted mainly of competitive card games.
After our free time we began a beach clean up were we picked up all sorts of rubbish from plastic bottles to parts of shoes. After the clean up we headed back to the beach to go swimming. We cooled off in the ocean and had great fun in the waves, even when we had salt water in our eyes! The competition continued with a game of flag football thanks to Jacobs great suggestion.
After dinner we prepared our arguments ahead of the mock debate to pass a law for sea turtle protection. some heated arguments and role played emotive stories later, the government reached a conclusion to pass the bill.
After a jam packed day we are all tiered but excited for tomorrows adventures!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Leaders of the Day – Addie, Jenny and Samara
Yesterday we had an amazing day in Parismina, learning about the town and its people and playing sports and having smoothies and buying locally made crafts. This morning we woke up bright and early to a breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage and pineapple, along with some delicious juice. then we got dressed, and gathered our things to go on a boat tour. on the tour we saw crocodiles, iguanas, sloths and of course, monkeys. There were many beautiful birds, along with brightly colored plants and flowers. Jason taught us about the different colored waters and what they mean, as well as the beautiful wildlife.
After the amazing boat tour, we went back for a lunch of fried rice, beans and salad. Afterwards, we watched an amazing presentation by Jerry about vanilla, and how it is grown. we learned about pollination, plant anatomy, and the negative affects pesticides can have on our world. Then we went for a tour in his vanilla farm and saw where these plants grow. Afterwards we got to eat some delicious chocolate cake made with the vanilla grown on the farm we just toured. Once we finished that delicious snack we had our mentor meetings on the beach in the cool rain as we talked about our experiences on the trip so far. Once we were finished we came back and prepared for our dance class. We learned a variety of dances from the wonderful Maya, and finished with the Macarena. Then we had some time to relax, and prepare for the chow circle where we all did shout outs, and shared our glums and glows for the day. Then we had dinner, where we ate delicious bean and cheese empanadas. Afterwards, we got on our black clothes, and are now going to go on our turtle patrol! So long for now!
Pics from July 11-12 below – text for July 11 coming soon!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13-15
Apologies for the delayed post, as we know all are home safely now. Here is the final post from our session!
The last few days have been jam packed with fun and adventure. Rafting the wild Pacuare river with lots of adventures along the way (no rafting photos because we were in the water a lot), ziplining, a final farewell to the beach at homebase, packing up everything, and then a final farewell evening in San Jose. Here are some of the photos. We had a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed. ¡Adios Parismina!