Time Capsule Letter
Dear students of Spanish Immersion in Providencia,
It has been a while since we have seen each other, and by now, I am sure many of you are
in the thick of the school year. Before we begin to remember all the fun, learning, and growth we
shared, perhaps we can allocate a bit of time to some of our students/peers: Congratulations to
those who are graduating, are applying/applied to colleges, and to those got in to college (very
Let’s jump right in to the first day we all, mostly, met (sorry Jerry). It was a fairly cold
day in San Jose at the Best Western, making the swim test particularly interesting as we all got
experience hyperthermia together—good times! Later that day when everyone (mostly. Sorry
again, Jerry) had arrived we played games in the laundry room. It was there that we developed
some fan favorites: the hand game, contact, and, of course, awkward silence. We wrapped up
San Jose with some fruit tasting/market tours, A LOT of walking, and some Costa Rican
The first few days were pretty amazing. We got to meet David, Arturo, Juan, the Spanish
teachers, AND JERRY. We were able to check out their HQ, seeing where they keep all their
sh-tuff for the coffee plantations. And, in those first four days of service, we learned what life might be like if were mountain goats.
Towering over the valleys of Providence, we stood nearly vertical in an assembly line, yelling for people to SPREAD OUT, and throwing the manure/worm/compost concoction on the Coffee Trees. We minorly slipped here and there, lost some buckets, but all in all it was a pretty fun experience—especially being able to chuck our fruits into the vast open range (except for Ruby who somehow only got it about 6 inches in front of her).
***Prepare the water works*** The first week we also had to say goodbye to our dear
Lindsay. A GLA HQ head who came to bestow us with her wisdom but who was ripped from
our grasp just days before we were to embark on our greatest journey: Manuel Antonio. But in
her place, we were given the sweet, even more HQ head, Mary. At Manuel Antonio, we got to
see MONKEYS (all of them, every kind), SLOTHS (all of them, every age), and THE REST OF
THE ANIMALS (like toucans, lizards, insects…other stuff). Kevin doesn’t do water, so she
stoically and without distraction, watched over all your things as you all body surfed in the
pristine, crystal like waters of Costa Rica’s most visited National Park.
(To the parents: Lindsay is safe and alive, but she had to go to the States for an Emergency).
The second week came and went before we knew it. We did some stellar and back
breaking work at the home of Luis and Patricia. In creating the bio-garden—a filtration system
intended to remove hygienic chemicals, organic waste, and other byproducts from water, so that
the runoff doesn’t contribute to soil contamination or algae blooms—we carried hundreds of
rocks varying from the size of our hands to the size of our waists, dug a whole as deep as David
is tall, and slipped countless times in the mud. When it was finally done, we were able to bask in the beauty of our work—as the plants atop the pebbles dramatically heightened the aesthetic. We can’t forget about that FIRE cake made by Patricia and Kevin almost eating a wasp larva.
When the program was reaching its end, we were able to look back fondly on all the
topics discussed: life after high school, responsible photography, poetry, dynamics in leadership:
strength and weaknesses, values and curating space. Also, our Capstone: COMPOSTING!
How are we doing? Do we all have gardens? Maybe we started a club or program at our school?
I hope none of us forgot!
Well, to wrap this up, thank you all so much for being Rock Stars and doing what you
could to be the best participant in this space. Everyone is sending their love and support! We
can’t wait to see all that you accomplish!
You GLA Family in Providencia, Chicago, New York, and North Carolina
Friday July 26, 2019
Our students made it to a safe arrival and they got straight into business by immediately bonding with their peers from several parts of The United States.
Some of them had a very loooong day at different airports and they were absolutely drained but it wasn’t a barrier to get to Costa Rica and get in contact right away with the feelings of a Pura Vida lifestyle.
One of the best ways to know about any culture is trying its food and this crew was delighted with their first official traditional-Tico buffet.
Parents, this team is rocking it already and they will keep you posted of their adventures.
Ps: Jerry, we will update this picture with you tomorrow!
Tuesday July 30, 2019
We’ve been spending the past couple of days enjoying the cool, crisp mornings surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. The internet connection has been in and out as we are far outin the mountains, but we’ve been enjoying our time off our phones and in the moment.
Our group started the day learning about the difference between ecological and conventional coffee farms. We learned how herbicides and pesticides affect not only the coffee plants but the ecosystem around them.
We then started our service by shoveling compost into buckets and creating a line down the coffee plantation to fertilize the coffee plants. We then helped transport liquid fertilizerto another plantation.
After the service we enjoyed a delicious lunch made by the local mothers and learned about the process of making raw sugar. The process consisted of grinding the sugar plant, boiling the juice, and molding the finished product. We had a chance to try the agua y azúcar.
After that we had our Spanish class and practiced vocabulary. We then worked on our skits for our final project that we perform at the end of the program. For break time we had coffee and tea and finished up our Spanish class.
At the end of our day we have a delicious dinner served by the Tamí lodge restaurant and then reflected on our day with our mentor group.
We have learned so much these past couple of days and we are excited for more to come! Adiós!
Our students have been up to several activities these days, like visiting waterfals, surfing, hiking, cooking classes, Spanish classes among others. Here, Seth and Olivia, share with you one exciting activity.
“The day began as we boarded the bus and headed toward Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes in Costa Rica known for the diverse and exotic array of species that live in its rainforest. Along our tour through the forest, we saw sloths, three types of monkeys, black iguanas, and lizards that can walk on water!
It was amazing seeing so many of these animals up close in their natural habitat.
After the tour and grabbing a snack, we arrived at the white sand beaches of the national park. We played in the waves of the warm, blue water and hiked along the rocks out onto the peninsula.
When we were all done at the beach, we packed up, washed the sand of our feet, and headed to a nearby restaurant that overlooked the ocean.
The rest of the day, we relaxed at the hotel, went swimming, napped, and enjoyed the afternoon rain.
Later that night, we drove into town for a delicious dinner. To end the night, we walked onto the beach behind the restaurant and were amazed by the lightning which lit up the ocean. This sight was a majestic end to a long but unforgettable day”.
Our internet connection is very fluctuating plus our students have been very engaged in the activities, so our number of blogs are reduced in number compared to other GLA programs.
We hope you enjoy the pics!