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 JULY 3
Hola, Welcome to Costa Rica!
Costa Rica-Spanish Service Adventure, session #2 has officially begun! 8 of our GLA students have flown and arrived in the country of Costa Rica safely this afternoon at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José. Luckily no rain today! No Friday traffic either. We saw the beautiful mountains, volcanos, and locals on our way to homebase in Paraíso, Cartago.
Ellie Jane, Joshua, Jay, Myra, Macy, and Isabella came a little late to Home Base today. The whole Costa Rica team will be reunited later tonight.
Parents, families, and friends, we kindly invite you to accompany us on this blog, where we will showcase the daily adventures of this remarkable cohort of leaders! Pura Vida!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Hello families and friends!
Finally, the whole group is together! On our second day, we had time to get to know each other better, talk about what brought us to this program, and share a bit more about ourselves, the group had the opportunity to try their first Costa Rican meal which was “Arroz con pollo” and they loved it.
In the afternoon the group went out to explore Cartago on a city tour where they were able to learn a little more about the history of the city and how the local people live their day-to-day lives.
Then back at Homebase, we finished our orientation day playing Ninja! We ended our day talking about the service project we will be working on tomorrow and how excited we are to interact with the children and local people and help the community.
Stay tuned for more blogs every day from our LOD (Leader of the day).
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Leader of the Day: Sophie Counts
Today, my fellow GLA students and I had our first day of service. We visited the worksite in Florencio del Castillo where we saw the creative murals painted by previous students as well as painted tires. Group 1 was assigned to cleaning and re-painting tires, and Group 2 was working on weeding and creating a space for a garden near the front of the playground. On arrival, we were greeted by children of the community, who warmed up to us as the day carried on. By the end of the service, the front space of the garden was significantly more garden-ready, and the tires had their first layer of paint after the previous layer had worn off.
Arriving at home base, after lunch, we went through our daily GLA activity. After some team bonding, we geared up for our Spanish placement test. Professors placed us into groups based on prior knowledge and we got hands-on Spanish learning. We then celebrated Señora Anna’s birthday (our local director’s mom) with karaoke, dancing, and cake! The fiesta was super exhilarating after a long day of hard work. We are all looking forward to the adventures to come!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Leader of the Day: Myra M
Today, we had a successful second day of service. We visited the same worksite as before; we were all assigned a job and continued to work throughout the time we had. Some of us were assigned to create designs to be put on the tires and the rest of the GLA students were working on the garden space in the front of the worksite. At the end of the time at the worksite, we ended it with a fun game of soccer with children in the community.
After we arrived home, we had an amazing lunch, and we did our GLA activities. Once we were done with that, we had our daily LOD activity which is chosen by the leader of the day. Then it was time for our Clase de Español, today in our clase we had a fun time out in the town which included visiting the supermarket, the local library, and more. At the end of the class, we had a fun run in the rain, after we came back we ended the day with a guest speaker who introduced us to the history of Costa Rica.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Leader of the Day Daniela C
Today we had a great and active day. We first went on a hike to where we would start ziplining. Then, throughout our ziplining experience, we all shared laughs and took photos of the amazing view Costa Rica has to offer.
Once we returned to home base, we all ate lunch and had a fun debate session. This session led us to interact more with our peers and enable teamwork as well. Soon after, we began our Spanish lesson and learned more about the Spanish language. We also engaged in fun activities that taught us more about Spanish culture. Toward the end of the day, we played the leader of the day activity which was called Mafia. This is a very fun game that involves teamwork and investigation in order to find who the true Mafia is.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Leader of the Day: Ellie Jane I.
Today, GLA students and I were able to successfully accomplish a variety of activities. At our service site, Florencio del Castillo, some worked with wood and nails to begin creating an arch or entranceway for the space to feel more welcoming. Some worked with shovels to continue creating a clean and clear surface for a garden of flowers we will soon be placing at the site. Lastly, some students worked with paint and brushes to create a beautiful and bright sidewalk going into the space as well as repainting the mural painted by previous groups of GLA students.
A new experience we had today was playing soccer or fútbol at an indoor turf field. All students, despite having played this sport or not, got very into it and everyone had such a blast. Before the game was Spanish class where we sat on the turf field and created fictional stories written in Spanish and got to act them out in front of everyone using paper puppets. We ended the day with a delicious dinner and a fun game of Pictionary! I cannot wait for more adventures (:
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Leader of the day: Jay G.
Today at service we continued work on the garden and the mural. We all got some chances to do woodworking, digging, and painting. During our break, we had an impromptu plank contest where Czarina was dubbed the winner with an astonishing 4-minute plank! We finished our time at the service site with a quick game of keep away with some local kids. Today for Spanish classes were went to Mirador, a gorgeous lookout point overlooking the town of Orosi. After a quick lesson on the parts of the human body, we had a monster drawing competition to utilize our new vocabulary. Our next stop was the town of Orosi where we visited a 300 circa year old catholic church and had the chance to deepen our knowledge of Costa Rican history. Our final stop in the town of Orosi was a suspension bridge with views of the surrounding valley. The whole team is looking forward to completing our service project and seeing the results of our hard work.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Leader of the day: Joshua U.
Today, we started the day with a hearty breakfast to get charged up before service. Upon arrival at the service, we got to work on painting the mural, the fence, and the tires. We also worked on the sidewalk and did some overall finishing touches. For the first time, we had the opportunity to listen to music during work with our local GLA constructor manager Pablo’s speaker. Unfortunately, we had to leave early because it started raining. The project is looking much better than when we first arrived, and it will be completed tomorrow. After service, we returned home and got some time to rest before having lunch. After lunch, we did our GLA activity in which we talked about different ways we can change the world, whether it’s in a large or small way. At 4:00, we began our Spanish lessons. The advanced group finished up their movie project, my intermediate Spanish group toured a church and talked about religion, while the novice Spanish class made some Costa Rican foods while learning kitchen terms.
As previously mentioned, tomorrow is the finishing day for our project which is very bitter-sweet because it’s amazing to see how far the park has come in the past three years. But it is also very sad to leave all the amazing people associated with it. In the next few days, we will be going on a volcano hike and then going to the beach! Overall, it was a fun day full of joy and laughter, with much more to come!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s GLA blog.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Leaders of the day: Macy W. and Isabella C
Today started with a delicious breakfast and an enjoyable bus ride filled with music to the service site. Unfortunately, today was our last day of service. We had many tasks to accomplish to wrap everything up. We finished painting the sidewalk, planted plants, and finished building a fence. We then were able to sign our names on the fence and leave our mark as the project came to a close. After a bittersweet goodbye with all our young helpers, we headed back to home base to have lunch. After lunch, we had a bit of rest and then dove into a GLA Activity. In this activity, we talked about our OMG (One Meaningful Goal) and how we will continue to make a mark on the world even after finishing our time with the GLA Program. Later, we began our last Spanish class. The advanced class made delicious empanadas dulce (sweet), the intermediate group finalized their final project, and the novice group created a short skit for theirs. We then had the opportunity to present our projects to the entire group. We then received a wonderful surprise from our Spanish teachers as a final goodbye. We were each given a gift of a pair of earrings or a keychain handmade by Doña Sonia, a local entrepreneur. There were many options consisting of sloths, butterflies, toucans, and flowers.
Tomorrow, we will head to a hike around a volcano and then a dance class! Many of us are waiting in anticipation for our excursion to the beach. We are very excited for the rest of the trip and look forward to what awaits us!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Leaders of the day: Juliette Z. and Mary H.
Today we started off with a traditional breakfast and embarked on a long but exciting bus ride to Volcano Turrialba. After an hour-long hike filled with laughter and learning about the history of Turrialba, we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the Costa Rican landscape. On the bus back from the hike we listened to music, slept, and relaxed after days of service. After lunch, we adventured off to dance class to learn several new dances! Although some weren’t keen on dancing, we were all able to loosen up and have a great time! Back at home base, we used our free time to pack for Uvita tomorrow, take one last look around Paraíso, and hang out with each other. In Paraíso we revisited the market, the American store, and the park, and got delicious smoothies. We ended the day with another favorite dish for dinner and an eventful game of “Telephone.” We are all excited to travel to the beach tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Leaders of the day: Czarina G. and Cailyn B.
Filled with traditional Prensadas (Tortillas with cheese), we began our long journey to Uvita. Although it was a four-hour trip, we were entertained by the stunning views of the mountains we passed and the hype music that played throughout the ride. Around noon, we arrived at Uvita, settled in, and ate a hearty lunch of tacos. To prep for our surf lessons, we then took our swim test and passed with flying colors. We then played a game of “Categories” in the pool with our remaining time. Thrilled, we embarked on our surfing lesson. The previous storm and the low tide made for the perfect day for beginner surfers. We began by learning how to catch a wave and how to body surf, before transitioning to a standing position. Despite half our group never having previously surfed, everyone was able to surf successfully. We then had a quick break and returned to the hotel for a delicious dinner of chicken tenders and fries. We wrapped up the night by playing a game of “Song Competition”. We are very excited to visit the waterfalls and the Whale Tail tomorrow.
Hasta la vista and peace out,
LOD- Czarina G. and Cailyn B.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Leaders of the Day: Samuel L. and May S.
The day was jumpstarted with a variety of options for breakfast. We then headed off to Catarata Uvita which is a serene waterfall nearby. Once we arrived, we had a short walk to the first pool. This pool also included the main waterfall. After spending some time there jumping and taking pictures, we moved on to the second pool. This one was more relaxed, being more so a natural pool rather than a waterfall. On our way back from the waterfall, we stopped at a souvenir shop run by a local family. We all purchased some items and accessories for ourselves and others. When we arrived back at the hotel, we immediately sat down for lunch which consisted of rice, beans, and chicken.
When lunch was finished, we had a short break where many of us lounged and played in the pool. Following the break, we took a short drive down to “Marino Ballena” also known as “The Whale Tail”. During our beach excursion, we went in the water, played soccer, and traversed the whale tail. On our way out we had a slight glimpse of the sunset but, sadly we had to get back on the bus. In the nick of time, we returned to the hotel before dinner to shower and get ready for our pizza dinner. For the last hours of the day, we played a game of Empire before CHOW circle and eventually lights out. We’re all saddened by the fact that tomorrow is our last day as a full group but, we’ll enjoy our time together to its fullest.
Adios friends and family back home!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Leaders of the Day: Joshy & Sophie
Our last day together as a whole group started off in Uvita where we had breakfast at 8:30. We packed up to leave the hotel by 9:15 and started our 4-hour journey back to home base. Along the way, we took a pit stop at a rest station to fill up on snacks and fix our flat tire. Afterward, we continued back on the road back to Paraiso. Upon our arrival, we had a delectable, hearty lunch consisting of pineapple pork, white rice, and a variety of fruits.
Our GLA activity was an appreciation circle, where a group would stand up and tap fellow GLA students if they thought the statement/question applied to that person. For example, “Who is someone who makes you feel appreciated?” And the people in the middle of the circle would go around tapping who they believed fulfilled said question. The activity was a good way of showing love and affection towards each other in our final hours together.
The afternoon was filled with packing up our suitcases and preparing for our flights home, along with recharging after our beach trip. The final, evening dinner party was a blast with smores, dancing, and burgers. We took many farewell pictures to hold our memories close to our hearts.
After the party, we said our first final goodbye to our beloved Jay of Santa Cruz, California. His goodbye was bittersweet as we reminisced on our fond memories during the trip. He will be missed dearly!