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 11-12
Yay, the students are finally here! We had some come in in the morning or early afternoon yesterday (June 11th), and then bigger groups came in at night. We sat together with some late dinners we had saved for the evening arrivals and started to talk about the program and get to know them.
We all awoke to a beautiful sunny day and had breakfast together and are finishing swim tests in the pool here.
We picked up our last student this morning (cancelled flight yesterday), and then we hit the road to Parismina, with stops along the way for lunch and a Costa Rican grocery store for snacks and anything else the students might want or need before the short boat ride to home base.
The group is great and we look forward to a fun trip, and are excited to get to home base and start exploring!
– Clint, Sar, Mary and Jason (the Parismina Team) 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 13
We arrived to home base the second day, and have been super busy! Learning about the schedule, the local turtle organization, what we will be doing this week, and the home base routine with the generator at night, our bug nets, swimming safety and everything else. Yesterday Jason, Clint and some of the students cut giant bamboo poles, dug holes, and leveled a sandy area to make a sand volleyball court next to home base for the summer. It looks great! We can’t wait to get some games going. There are some really good beach volleyball players here and we are going to organize a competition.
We went swimming and boogie boarding yesterday in front of home base, and after dinner we all got our red lights and black clothes on and patrolled the beaches several kilometers in both directions. The stars were shining, we could see the milky way- there is no light pollution here! We saw a huge bright green shooting star, so green and close we all thought it was a flare at first.
We had all the mentors and two nice local turtle experts, Mako and Carlos, split into our mentor groups for the walk. Mako came earlier in the day with a projector and taught us all about the life cycle of sea turtles- hawksbill, green, leatherback especially since they are the main ones on this beach.
We also played some games to get to know each other, and each of us told about ourselves to the group, why we wanted to come here, our hobbies and stuff.
We met all the kitchen staff, and saw a Caiman in a local pond. Some really cute white faced monkeys came to our patio, and we set out some homegrown bananas that were too ripe for us to eat, and spent ages watching them climb around and eat them. Tomorrow we will tour the organic farm and learn all about the tropical plants Jason has planted in the farm- vanilla, breadfruit, all kinds of other local fruits that we have never even heard of.
Been super busy and there isn’t much signal around here, but everything is going well.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 14
On Wednesday we woke and after breakfast went on a tour of the farm. We saw a lot of tropical fruits, learned to open coconuts, and cut and ate heart of palm. We learned about coconut water, coconut milk, and ate coconut foam, a spongy coconut interior once the coconut has started to grow.
We had lunch and then headed to the beach for some swimming and boogie boards, and then played beach soccer. Pink team outscored blue team, but in the end blue scored a game ending point.
Later we talked about microplastics a d cleaned up any plastic on our beach. It mostly flows onto the coast from rivers. We saw what a problem that can be, and cleaning it also helps the turtles.
After dinner we split into groups, each representing different interest about conservation laws. One group was hotels and businesses, another the government, volunteers, locals, and local fishers.
Then to bed, we are getting used to the generator going off and how to sleep under our nets. Tomorrow morning we tour the local waterways by boat, looking for sloths, birds, crocs, toucans, monkeys and see more of where we are living.
-Parismina Students and Staff
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 15
Written by Miles D.
¡Hola from Parismina!
Today was a great day, when we woke up it was a little overcast but the temperature felt great. The chefs made us pancakes and eggs in before we headed out on a beautiful boat tour. Jason showed us around the canals, rivers and river mouths of Parismina. We saw a lot of beautiful birds, cows, monkeys, frogs, spiders and sloths!
After we got back from the boat tour we ate lunch, which consisted of rice, beans, and a beef and potato dish. After lunch we hung out in hammocks and then Jason’s brother, Jerry, came and talked to us about their organic vanilla farm. We learned a lot about how they grow vanilla and the importance of organic foods. After that a big storm blew in with wind and lightning. We hung out in the hammocks and learned more about each other.
Bridget Donahue, Paige Laakso
After Jason’s brother talked to us about the local vanilla farm we set out in the rain and saw an actual vanilla plant and Jason’s brother showed us hand pollination and how to pollinate a vanilla plant. After the vanilla tour we hung out in the hammocks for a little bit and prepared for a dance night! We learned a variety of different dance styles these consisted of salsa, soca, meringue, the boogie woogie, and the chaca slide. After the dance lesson we hung out in the hammocks and learned more about each other. Then we ate a dinner that consisted of sausage, mac n cheese, tomato and cucumber. Now we are going on our night service turtle patrol walk.
Update: After we wrote this we saw a huge leatherback turtle on our night patrol! Details tomorrow:)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 16
Written by Drew R., Max J., Scarlett S., and Charlotte M.
Last night, during our second night patrol shift, we came across one of the last leather back sea turtles laying her eggs. We got to watch as she began to cover her eggs and finish the laying egg process. Macko, our A-stop guide, showed us how to measure the turtle and let us count the eggs. We learned how to separate the fertile eggs from the infertile eggs. Sarah (the leatherback turtle) was over 100 years old and 180 cm (just under 6ft). After collecting the eggs, we made our way to the hatchery and watched as they buried the eggs in safety.
The next morning we woke up and ate breakfast at 8am. After eating our breakfast we got ready to go to the town of Parismina. We were given a tour of the town by some of the locals. One of these locals was Maya, who had led our dance class the day before. While in town we split into groups and made empanadas at peoples houses.
After we had burgers for lunch, we split into two groups and got smoothies from two different restaurants in town. One of the restaurant had a large assortment of smoothies and the other had sour sop smoothies. Sour sop is a fruit locally grown in Costa Rica. We then went to a market where locals from the town were selling a bunch of different items. 10% of each item bought went towards the turtle conservation group.
We ended the day in Parismina with a friendly game of volleyball with the local kids. The teams were mixed between us and the locals, and the game got pretty heated. We just had mushroom pasta Alfredo, and are about to head out on our third night walk. Hopefully we can see another turtle!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17
Written by Maya
In the morning we had set off towards the town in our trucks and said hello to two sloths on the way. Our service work started with cleaning benches with metal bristled brushes in a local park so they could be painted and hopefully used by the townspeople later on. When it started to rain, we quickly took shelter while drinking some fresh local fruit smoothies. While walking back the the trucks to head to home base, we stopped by a cute little grocery store where we flipped our wallets and bought ourselves some tasty treats and snacks- some of which can only be found in Costa Rica.
At home base, after lunch, we put on our shoes and yellow and red bandanas and treated ourselves to an intense game of volleyball on the sand. Some then also had a great beach soccer game. Some read and swam at the beach before walking down the shore, trash bags in hand, picking plastic off the ground and laughing at all the peculiar junk we found laying around. Some of us had found what we believe is the skull and pelvis of a dolphin! We brought it back so Jason could give it a wash and hang it up. While relaxing on the hammocks, some lovely ladies from town came with spools of thread and beads and some of us ended up getting hair wraps and braid in our hair.
We did night patrol. We did a full patrol. We did see some illegal egg collectors on the beach. We could tell because they used white lights instead of red and Mako told us what they were doing. We hope that by us patrolling, along with other volunteers from town, it discourages the illegal collectors. ASTOP found a green turtle that went back in the water without laying eggs.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
Written by Kameron A.
Pura Vida! Today we had to wake up earlier than usual despite having one of our patrols the night prior. We had an early breakfast at 7:15 that consisted of arepas, eggs, and fruits. After that we took a boat ride back to the port where we reunited with Giovanni, our bus driver. We drove for two hours to the Pacuare River where we went white water rafting. The sun was absolutely burning us but the cold water made it worth it. About halfway through we stopped and ate sandwiches and soft tacos and then continued on our journey. After we returned home, we were tired so we chilled out for awhile before dinenr. We finished up the day with a leadership activity talking about knowledge and reflecting on things we learned on our trip.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19
Today we packed up everything and headed out early to zip lining and from there to San Jose for the night. Zip lining was in a beautiful national park and had some great long sections. It started raining really heavy but we powered through. After drying off we had lunch at a restaurant there and then headed on to San Jose for our last dinner together, and getting ready for flights early in the morning.
Here are lots of pics from our last couple days!