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 JUNE 30
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. This morning Josie has arrived and we are excited to meet Juliana tomorrow as well. 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.
Because of the weather alert we are staying one or two nights longer in Alajuela. Today during orientation we focused on getting to know each other and building our brand new community. Tonight the plan is to do an activity and watch a movie. 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 1
Written by Chris and Kaitlyn
Day 2 of the program. After breakfast, a remaining few of us completed the swim test and later we all swam in the pool and played “500”. Despite the weather we had fun in the pool. Later in the day, we all met to participate in team building and ice breaker activities. We got to learn more about each other and made connections. After lunch, we all hung out outside playing baseball, Uno, etc. Some had fun watching the giant toads. After dinner we had movie night and watched Moana while singing (off-key) along to all the songs. We went back to our rooms and got our things ready and packed for the next day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Written by Malek and Adrien
Day 3 of the program. Today after breakfast, we packed our bags, left them at the reception and went to an animal sanctuary called Rescate Wildlife Centre. This is the home to 800 animals and considering how close this place is to the capital city of San Jose, we didn’t expect to experience such biodiversity. The most popular animals were crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, jaguar and of course, turtles, this time fresh water. Lunch was amazing and the majority of the group followed it up with a cappuccino oreo “bacita”, which is a milkshake infused with coffee that everyone enjoyed. After this, we bought some souvenirs in the gift shop where all profits are sent back to helping animals in the sanctuary and started to head towards Walmart. There, we bought snacks for the long journey ahead to Parismina and started to head towards our new hotel. Once settled in the hotel, we went on an excursion with our mentor groups and got to know the area of downtown Alajuela better. After meeting for dinner, we headed back to our hotel to wrap up the day with a good night sleep before the long journey ahead to Homebase.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Sadie, Dane, and Andre
Day 4 of the program. Today after breakfast, we brought our bags down to the lobby; we turned in keys and left on the car trip of a lifetime. We first stopped at the supermarket for a bathroom break and snacks, despite a single bathroom available it was a great respite from what is to come, continuing on the road we saw mountains filled to the brim with coffee plantations and covered with a thick fog, what a beautiful site it is! We continued on our amazing journey to a boat dock, where we boarded on a 20-minute high thrill boat ride to our final destination, the Eco-Lodge. We set up in our temporary home and made it for the beach. After a brisk 2-mile walk we turned around and started cleaning up the beach, we set up into a three group in a challenging competition. Who won? Who knows, we were to busy burying our friend Chris! We soon returned to the Eco-lodge and, after a brief stay in the hammocks, we listened to a riveting conversation by Mako who explained our soon to be done sea turtle walk along the beach. We sit hear now, ready to depart. We will be returning at 12 tonight, lets hope we get a good sleep!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
We started our day off with a delicious breakfast of arepas, fresh pineapples, mangoes and bananas to fuel us for our exciting boat tour on the Parismina River. Our guides Macko and Jerry pointed out many different species of wildlife along the way. We saw many types of birds including yellow throated tucans, roseate spoonbills, pale-billed woodpeckers, tiger herrings and northern jacamas. We were also able to see many reptiles like the green basilisk, green igauna, strawberry poison dart frog, Jesus Christ lizard and an American crocodile. We finished our boat tour at the dock in Parismina and took a quick walk to the village to take a cooking class and make our own empanadas for lunch. We filled our empanadas with delicous beans and cheese.
After lunch we made our way to the pulperia for some ice cream and cold drinks. After enjoying our ice cream we went to the parismina art fair and purchased many handmade items including string bracelets with with charms carved from coconut shells, bamboo and cow bones. Some people even had their hair wrapped by some of the locals. Everyone then headed over to the field for a game of fútbol with the local children and played some duck duck goose and volleyball as well. We said goodbye to our new friends and took the trucks on the bumpy ride through the jungle back to home base. We enjoyed our dinners and prepared ourselves for our night walk hopeful to see some turtles.
Sullivan, Kalina, and Sara
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Sid, Preyan, and Amelia
We had an abrupt start to our day when Mag and our guide Jerry found a poached sea turtle in the jungle close to the beach, so we all ran over to save it. We saw it being released back into the ocean. After breakfast, Jerry took us on a farm tour around our home base. We saw so many different plants and fruits, and we ate termites. We also saw a caiman and tasted various fruits such as sugar cane, monkey fruit, water apple, and lime. Afterwards, we had a turtle debate about a governmental bill, where we were able to see different perspectives about the topic of oceanic conservation.
After lunch, we got in some cars and visited the local town. After a bumpy ride, we took a tour of the town and saw many local buildings such as the pulperías, police station, and schools. After the tour, we all stoped at a local shop and got icecream. Afterwards, we had a workshop on what we would do if we encountered a turtle on our night patrols. We also practiced digging fake nests in case we needed to do it for the hatchery. We then had a dance class led by a local called Maya. Then we visited the hatchery were we got to see two baby turtles. We let them wake up for a little while and then released them into the ocean. We then got back in the cars for another bumpy ride back to home base. After dinner. we prepared for our night patrol. None of the night patrol groups saw any turtles, but we did see fresh tracks of emerged but sadly didn’t lay any eggs. A few of the groups also saw fresh jaguar prints on the sand during the patrol.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Day 7 of the program: We started our night walk at 8 o’clock and very quickly we saw a mother green turtle that nested 77 eggs. This morning after breakfast we took a tour around an organic vanilla farm, we were able to learn about the tiring process of producing organic vanilla beans. After the tour as a group we all decided the best decision was to take a trip to the beach. While swimming at the beach we saw two green turtles mating in the water. We enjoyed a very good lunch, and followed was a trip to Parismina village. Then we did community service including cleaning and painting benches in front of the soccer field and volleyball court. Once we finished service we played games with the local kids. On our way back to the home base it began to pour rain. Shortly after we got back it was tech time, sadly our phones didn’t have any connection. And to end the night off we had a very tasty dinner and celebrated Elena’s 18th birthday. Tonight is our very last night patrol.
The leaders of the day Ridley, Peter and Kian
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Juliana, Josie, and Zoe
Today we started our day bright and early by driving to the water rafting location. We hit a minor detour when roads closed and arrived about 2 hours later. Due to our late arrival we had to hike up the mountain to drive to a new rafting location. After overcoming these challenges, we arrived at water rafting and had a nutritious lunch of sandwiches and fruits right by the river. We then got into our rafting groups and were taught the basics of white-water rafting. During the rafting we had a couple bumps in the road such as many people falling out the raft. It was scary at times, but we persevered and had a lot of fun. After rafting, we split into two buses and started heading home. The bigger bus couldn’t make it past the muddy road, so we tried multiple ways to help make it through the mud. The mud was too thick, so we waited for a bit while our mentor, Alysse, ran ahead to find service. She called the other bus driver for a rescue truck. We played many games to pass the time and made the best of the situation. Meanwhile, the smaller bus was waiting, and spent the time exploring the area, petting animals, and talking. Once the bus was back up the hill, we made our way back to home base and had a bus ride full of singing. We arrived at around 9pm after a night boat ride and had empanadas for dinner. After a quick group meeting, we then headed to bed to prepare for the next day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Sadie and Chris
Today was our last day at home base, we started off the day with an early wake up for breakfast and where we can pack our things. After breakfast everyone brought their stuff outside and headed out to the boats for the trip to the buses. We loaded up one of the buses with all our luggage and headed off to the zip lining location. While on the bus ride we started playing music and singing then everyone passed out. We made it to the zip line place and got all our gear on and headed for the first out of ten ziplines. We hit up the gift shop after and a lot of people purchased socks with little animals on them. Then it was a 5-hour car trip that felt like an eternity. There were beautiful views of the mountains as we climbed into the clouds. We made it to the hotel and ate dinner, after dinner we have our last activity together, we all get all our stuff ready for the trip we have the next day to go back home.