Wednesday July 18, 2018
¡Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!
Our local and international staff have excitedly been preparing for our newest session!! Arrivals were smooth on the first day and we picked up all 21 students at the airport!!
The group arrived safely at our Home Base near Playa Flamingo to freshen up and settle into their next 14 days of Pura Vida! Even though everyone was tired after a long day of travel, we all enjoyed a delicious dinner together, played some fun name games and icebreakers to get to know their new GLA family, and shared some important information regarding safety.
Tomorrow Thursday, we will review the itinerary of the program with the students to learn about all the soccer activities they will have, visit our first service site, have a pool party with swim tests in the afternoon and then watch the sunset at the beach.
Stay tuned for more news!
-Christina, Ferney, Luismi, Tyler and Jose Pablo (el equipo)
Thursday July 19, 2018
The very first day of the Soccer Beyond Borders program was full of excitement and of course full of Soccer.
Our local chef delighted us with a typical breakfast in Costa Rica (eggs, gallo pinto, jam, cheese, fruit and coffee/fruit juice). We had a first meeting all together to keep bonding and to learn more about the program, the service, the community and about the home base rules.
Once we had the information in place, it was time for us to go in action; we went to visit our service site and had our first official time for SOCCER, we had a blast!
Then, after recharging batteries with lunch, we went to a pool party to have a swimming test and to share by the poolside where the students came up with a funny game in water and enjoyed showing their dribbling skills.
Finally we ended up the day with the most beautiful sunset at Flamingo beach, while again, we shared our passion for SOCCER. Costa Rica was showing us its best nature gifts on this day, like saying “welcome” to us!
It was an awesome day!
More blogs to come!
Friday July 20, 2018
In the morning we had Mrs Verónica (chef) cook eggs, rice, beans, and pancakes. After we ate we headed to our first community service. It was a lot of hard work and teamwork. We painted the middle of the basketball court to make the lines for the volleyball court. After the hard work and effort of painting and cleaning we played a little bit of soccer with the locals. After we had our first soccer practice with Brazilian coach Moreira. We did a couple of drills with him and we scrimmaged at the end 11 v 11.
We came back to the homebase and had a cooking class with Veronica. She taught us how to cook pico de gallo and made empanadas de steak, cheese, and beans. We also made guacamole. It was delicious.
-by Esteban & Marcello
Saturday July 21, 2018
Our third full day in Costa Rica was full of excitement and fun! After a delicious breakfast from Veronica the chef, we loaded into the bus and headed for a local soccer clinic. We set up stations and made great friendships with the little local kids. After an awesome scrimmage with our new pals, we got back on the bus and were off to a soccer practice with the local Costa Rican U15 girls team. Coach Moreia and Coach Danielle led us in challenging yet invigorating drills and a fun scrimmage afterwards. We had a late yet delicious lunch and rested before leaving for the beach. After a well-deserved nap, we went to the beach and enjoyed a soccer tournament and swimming in the ocean. After a long day, we were all sleepy and excited for dinner and bedtime!
By Addie and Cece
Sunday July 22, 2018
Today, in the morning we started off very early, as breakfast was at 6:30. This early start created a lethargic attitude for us. Breakfast was normal: eggs, rice and beach, and tortillas. From there, we had a 2 hour bus ride from home base to the river, which was a struggle because we were really tired from the early start. While on the drive, we stopped by a restaurant to take our last bathroom breaks before our adventure, as well as to take our lunch orders. We drove about 20 minutes longer before switching vans in a remote location, and then taking a bumpy ride to the river. Before getting on the river, we put on our helmets and life jackets and had a safety briefing. Around this time, it started to rain so it was a downpour throughout our rafting. We didn’t think the river would be too exciting, but we were glad to be wrong, as there was a rapid around every corner.
Towards the end, the rapids became more intense, with a few boats flipping and many falling into the river. During one of the biggest rapids, on a drop, one of the leaders of the day accidentally ended up falling onto the other leader of the day and we ended up falling into the river. Then towards the end we hit the biggest, most exciting drop of them all, which was about 12 feet straight down. Most of the people from our group ended up falling out. After, we all got out of our boat safely and no casualties were involved I think. We also stopped at a souvenir shop and the rest of the day was normal: bus ride back, dinner which was lasagna and our favorite part was the pinto, which contains rice and beans. We then had free time, a team meeting and now dorm time. At the end of a thrilling day we are looking forward to the next day.
Unfortunately we don’t have any photos of this day since you can’t bring your phone on the raft 🙁
-by Caleb and Marko
Monday July 23, 2018
Day 6 of our Costa Rica adventure was full of soccer, service, and good vibes.
Our original plan was to do service in the morning then soccer in the afternoon, however there was torrential rain the previous which caused the sports court to be too drenched to be painted on. We had to do soccer in the morning and service in the afternoon instead.
After breakfast, we travelled to a futsal court where we divided into 5 teams. We played king-of-the-court style where the winning team stayed on the field. The games were made 5 minutes long to try and keep up a fast pace. The extreme Costa Rican heat really tested our endurance!
When lunch was over, we took a short drive to the local park where the sports court was. First, we got the brushes and brooms out to clean off the court. For the rest of the service session, we split up into pairs to sanded the wood to make signs for the park.
The awesome day was rounded off by a delicious dinner and group meeting!
Will T. and Brandon
Tuesday July 24, 2018
We woke up to an early conditioning session for an hour and covered the gym in sweat. After conditioning we all ate a delicious breakfast and then finished up packing and got on the bus to Arenal Volcano. On the way we stopped at great restaurant for lunch and sovereigns and met two very cute puppies.
Once we arrived we checked into the hotel and got ready to go to the hot springs. The hot springs were filled with fun slides and perfect water. The hours we spent there flew by. After we were finished sat down for a nice long buffet and got to eat all the food we wanted. Stuffed with food and tired from the water we all went to bed in our hotel rooms.
Nick and Will R
Wednesday July 25, 2018
After a good nights sleep in Magic Mountain Hotel we went to a breakfast buffet to start the last day of our excursion. We had an exciting day of zip lining over the rain forest ahead of us. The group got aboard a trailer which took us up into the mountains of the forest. Here is where our first zip line would start. We climbed to the top of a tower and awaited our turns. We were introduced to our first zip line with a 125m drop below us. Everyone’s heart was racing. We glanced at the beautiful volcano and waterfall has we rapidly flew by. This was followed by the longest line reaching just under 1 Kilometer.
The third line out of the seven we did was the fastest line, with a top speed of around 50 kph. The group ended the tour with a educational meeting with one of the guides who happened to be apart of the Maleku tribe. We gained knowledge of their culture and history. Afterwards we were served a traditional Costa Rican meal which consists of gallo pinto and your choice of meat. Sadly this was the end of our excursion to the Arenal Volcano. We than began our long journey back to home base. Once back, we ate and showered preparing for tomorrow’s adventures.
by Gardner and Ben
Thursday July 26, 2018
In the morning we started with a surfing lesson at Playa Grande, where we were instructed by experienced mentors. It was a first for many GLA students but they were quick to adjust to a new challenge with help from the instructors. It was a fun experience although sometimes difficult, we enjoyed surfing the waves of Costa Rica. After spending a few hours in the ocean we returned to home base.
In the afternoon the students were split into two groups to host soccer clinics, one group stayed in Brasilito and the other group headed to a new town, Potrero. We both were in the group that headed to Potrero; we scrimmaged against local athletes and got to know better the locals in Potrero. It was a great experience on both sides to be able to meet new people and make new friendships. Although we didn’t speak the same language, we were able to break the language barrier through soccer. Not only were we able to interact with younger children, but also other locals who were our age and older.
by Adriana and Daniel
We woke up and had the usual breakfast of gillo pinto, eggs and watermelon. After breakfast we put on the first layer of paint on our signs for the park that we had been working at. Afterwords, we came back to home base and had another delicious Veronica cooked meal. Then we went to a local fut-sol court and played futbol five with and against another program partnering with beyond sports. After we beat them 3-2 and 5-0 we came back to home base and had another amazing meal before our dance lesson. At the lesson Greddy, the instructor, put us through a crazy work out while learning how to slasa, merengue, and bachata. After the workout we had dorm time and went to bed.
-by Leo Van Sickle
Saturday July 28, 2018
We started off the day with a delicious breakfast. Then we got ready and went to the service site to help repair and paint the basketball court for the community. During this day we focused on painting the lines of the basketball court. Everybody was working very well together and the end product was so amazing to see.
When we were done with the service site we headed back to home base to get ready for next event which was soccer practice. We got the honor to be trained by a professional Brazilian coach. Even though most of us didn’t speak the same language as him we all spoke the language of soccer. It was such a great experience.While we were all playing together he started become closer friends and teammates for the big game.
Once we are all tired out we head back to homebase for a delicious dinner prepared by a professional cook.
It was one of many great days to be in Costa Rica.
-by Gabe W and Jack B
Sunday July 29, 2018
Today was a big day filled with lots of different activities. We started off the day by finishing up our service at the basketball court and playing a couple games of knockout. Some of the locals were able to join in our game making the experience even more exciting. Being able to see the completion of the court and it being used made everyone extremely happy. Next, we visited a local soccer match. Santa Rosa, the underdog, won 2-1 making it an exhilarating game. We finished off the day with the sunset swim at the beach nearby. We planned to have a goodbye dinner at the beach but unfortunately got rained out last minute. We left the beach early and came home to a wonderfully cooked meal by our chef Veronica. It was a great day filled with a lot of energy and excitement.
-by Garrett and Juliette
Monday July 30, 2018
First thing this morning we woke up at the the crack of dawn. 7:55 for an 8 AM breakfast. After eating breakfast we prepared to go on a long journey through dense forest. A one mile hike to the beach. Tiring. After we began the walk we ended up on a dirt road which quickly turned to gravel which quickly became the paved road of a resort. We arrived at the beach and camped out under Ferney’s special tree. We got in the water and swam with man eating fish and deadly rocks. We swam for about and hour and then left the ocean, dripping wet. We bought slushees from a street vendor. Best dessert ever. Then began the long 1/4 mile walk to the bus which happened to be down the road. We hoped on the bus and arrived back to home base in about 5 mins compared to the 20 min walk.
Lunch was amazing as usual thanks to the wonderful Veronica. After some rice and beans, chicken, and a small slice of cake with sprinkles, we quickly left home base to go to the final soccer game at Liberia Stadium. The first half was played against a u16 team and the second half was played against a u18 team. An undeserved 6-1 loss. A hour long bus ride back finished off with a final dinner provided with music and some of the best food of the trip. The last activity was packing to end off an unforgettable trip.
-by Jackson and Micah