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 24
Dear GLA Costa Rica Sea Turtle Initiative Families,
We are so glad the students are all here! We are getting ready to travel 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 2-8 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 this blog. We arrange access to communication for it and of course have plans for any needed urgent communications at any time.
We have five 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, Mary, Sarah, and Conor
GLA Program Staff
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Written by Lucas D.
We started off the day doing a swim test and exploring the hotel after a good hearty breakfast. Then we packed and went off on the journey ahead. We got on the Toyota bus and van and headed down the road to the east passing through beautiful mountains and luscious countryside. There were a plethora of small towns and factories we went through before we got to a restaurant we’re we had amazing assortment of local dishes. And then heading off again in the busses. We then stopped and got to explore a Costa Rican grocery store, and try some local snacks and buy any extra snacks we thought we might want for the next few days.
We then were getting to the marshlands- we saw tons of plants and people as we traveled. We laughed and made jokes and waved at the locals. We got to a bumpy dirt road and banana farms and factories on the way. When we found ourselves arriving at a paved path by a river and canal brown from the mountain rains, which led to a small dock with several boats. Which we took three of to carry our stuff to camp through a fast boat ride and a made human chain to load and unload out many bags. We got to camp and dropped our stuff, changed and went to the ocean where people boogie boarded, swam, played beach soccer, or broke open coconuts. Then we got back, showered, played games, had our first chow circle, ate, and prepared for bed.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Isaac I.
Today at camp Gla team leaders were, Isaac, John, and Ceci. We started our day out with an eggs and toast breakfast, almost as good as a Sunday brunch. Then we proceeded to our rooms to prepare for the long day ahead of us. We had homebase orientation where counselors and Clint talked about their life and all of the amazing experiences they have had. Clint was asked “ever played rugby?”, turns out he has! After, we saw a cayman in the water, so Jason brought a bowl of raw chicken to (safely) observe it eating. We then had a great lunch cooked by the amazing staff (that we are very lucky to have with us).
We then later went to the volleyball court where we had an epic tournament, Red League vs Yellow League. The winning team was team 6 consisting of; Clint, Brycen, Will, Carlos, Brennan, and Emmet. Afterwards, we went to the beach and had fun swimming in the ocean. A lot of us were taken aback when we saw the sand was black, almost looking like powdered tar (and just as hot). Then, we proceeded back to HQ to meet Mako, who presented an intriguing presentation on Marine Turtle Biology.
Afterwards we all went on a 4 hour night patrol from 8-12pm to try and see turtles and help them. Unfortunately tonight we didn’t see any turtles, but us just being on the beach helps preserve this as a safe turtle nesting beach. Tommorow night and the next two nights after that, we will be going back out to do the same thing. Today was a great day at camp Gla Costa Rica!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Hey gang 😍
Today your favorite leaders of the day (Charlotte, Sophie, Maddie) woke up everyone and ate breakfast. After breakfast, we all took a beautiful tour of Jason’s farm. We ate coconuts, sugar cane, heart of palm, termites, and much more. After that, we quickly ate lunch and got ready for an intense game of beach soccer. The sand was super hot today, so we took breaks for all the members to jump in the ocean waves. After lots of work and sweat, the three leaders won the whole tournament!! (are we surprised?).
After cooling off in the ocean, we got our trash bags and cleaned the beach by getting rid of micro plastics and other harmful substances. It took a lot of work but we are happy to help the environment. When we came back, we had dinner and an intense mock debate over turtle laws that mimicked what locals in Parismina are going through currently. Even though it was just an activity, we all gained some more insight on what life is like in Costa Rica and how every aspect is considered within the country.
Miss you all 😘
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Written by Brennan C.
On day 5 of our students’ stay in the jungles of Parismina, Costa Rica, the students were able to experience events that many people don’t ever get the chance to see.
Their day began with breakfast at 8:00am and shortly afterwards they traveled into the nearby town of Parismina via trucks driven by some of the locals. Once we arrived in Parismina we split into two groups and proceeded to tour the town with local guides. During the tour we were shown locals’ homes, schools, clinic (hospital), and police station.
After the tour the students reunited and then split into three groups for cooking lessons by locals in their homes. They learned how to make and cook empanadas, which were delicious. In at least one house they had homemade salsa for them also, which they enjoyed.
After the cooking lesson they ate lunch in the center of Parismina and then made their way to local fruit smoothie (batido) bars to enjoy the refreshing taste of cold and flavorful smoothies. These smoothie bars offered the flavors of soursop, papaya, and pineapple in one, and mango, chocobanana and other flavors in the other.
Once the students were done with their smoothies they walked back to the center of town because the locals put together an art and handmade souvenir market for their handcrafted goods. These goods consisted of bracelets, necklaces, anklets, key chains, creative art pieces, and more.
After the market the students walked to the town’s soccer field and volleyball sand pits to play with the local kids. They were even able to teach the locals how to play basic American football.
Once the sports games had reached a conclusion the students were driven back to camp at about 5:30pm. They enjoyed their free time back at camp before eating dinner at 6:30.
At 8:00 the students were split up into two groups with each group having a local as a guide to help them patrol the beach. They then left base camp to begin their patrols in search of turtles and to prevent poachers from stealing turtle eggs. Luckily, one of the two groups found a leatherback turtle who was in the process of laying her eggs. Students were able to witness this rare event and some even helped the locals with measuring the turtle and collecting its eggs so that they could be safely relocated to a hatchery where the eggs would be carefully looked after. After about 45 minutes during the laying process, the other group of students were able to join the group who found the turtle, therefore allowing all students to see this phenomenon.
Once the turtle had safely returned to the ocean the groups resumed their patrols until they came back to base camp to get a good nights rest.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Today, the leaders of the day, Manny, Gabby, Nacho, and Carlos woke everyone up to start the wonderful day. Firstly, we had a delicious breakfast. Clint introduced us to a game called Word Assassin, where we received someone else’s name and a word we had to get them say that. Although it’s just started, it’s getting more and more competitive.
When we finished breakfast, we left for the boat tour through the raftia swamps which was once a huge lagoon prior to deforestation effects. We learned a lot about the history of the area’s fishing and environmental change. Luckily we saw spider monkeys, howler monkeys, a sloth, and a super rare bird called the Gummy Haired heron. We came back just in time for lunch and relaxed until Jerry (Jason’s Beother) came to show us his organic vanilla farm.
Next, a woman from the local community came to teach us how to dance. She taught us Soka and merengue- typical in Costa Rica. It was very fun and we learned a lot. Two guys specifically, Brennan and Brycen, danced like professionals and were crowned the Dance Kings.
After, we had free time and played a very aggressive card game. We then ate delicious Mac and cheese for dinner. Another wonderful day in Parismina! Pura Vida!
Lots of photos from Day 5 and 6 below. Nature photos by Chris Vance.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Written by Sofia S.
Today, we woke up to a breakfast consisting of pancakes made by our wonderful cooks. Then we got ready to head into town to help paint benches and tables in the community.
After the hard work we walked to Olga’s smoothie place and had a very wide variety of smoothie choices. Some options include mango, strawberry, raspberry, and chocolate banana which was the most popular.
We were then split into groups of three and hopped in the trucks to be taken back to homebase. We came back and had some free time, and then some of the towns people came to our base camp so that they could give some of us braids and hair wraps.
Then some of the us split into groups of four to have a rematch of the volleyball tournament that took place earlier this week. After, we were treated to some time on the beach. Some people raced each other; Joey fell and did a flip, and Brycen won. We then got ready for chow circle and shared our glums and glows, and shout outs to recognize others who helped each other out in some way or to recognize good behavior. Then, we had a dinner of cheese empanadas, bean empanadas, and a dessert of a slice of cake. We are so excited for rafting tomorrow in the Pacuare river.