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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20, 2021
After a long day of travel, the entire student group arrived at Home Base!
The first group of four got in around 3:00pm and we had lunch and played games until the second group of 13 came in around 6:00pm.
We then had dinner consisting of a delicious variety of Costa Rican dishes.
After everyone had settled into their rooms, we grouped up again to introduce ourselves and get ready for the busy day ahead tomorrow.A small group of three got in to Home Base just in time to catch all the information. The final group of nine got in at around 10:00pm, ate burritos, and hit the hay almost immediately.
We’re excited for the program and the many adventures ahead now that arrival day is behind us!
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22, 2021
Yesterday, we started off the program with ziplining in the morning.
We all pushed our comfort zones but had so much fun- the views were amazing!
In the afternoon we had orientation. We learned about the code of conduct and safety rules for the trip, and ended the day by splitting into our four mentor groups for the next two weeks.
Our first day of service was a success!
We started the day with a hearty breakfast of cereal and quesadillas and then headed off to our service site. After some icebreaker games of “zip zap zop” and Simon Says (or Simon Dice), we broke into four groups and went off to work.
Our project for the next two weeks is to restore a soccer field and play area for kids in the community of Florencio del Castillo.
One group was scraping and painting a mural for the kids, another digging a trench around the field, a third cleaning tires to put around the field as decoration, and a fourth weeding and cleaning the field.
We even got to practice our Spanish with some local kids, such as Derek, who showed us his Guinea pig, Mangita.
After returning to home base, we rested up and then ate lunch – rice, beans, and enchiladas. We then all took swim tests in the pool at the hotel to make sure we are all water safe. While some students were swimming, others took a short Spanish placement test with our Spanish teachers or played cards. We then participated in a Spanish activity all together, ending the day with tilapia for dinner and a group activity where we got to know each other a little better.
We’re all looking forward to learning about Costa Rican culture and more Spanish learning tomorrow!
-Charlotte K. and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23, 2021
It was a wonderful day here in Costa Rica!
We had a jam packed day. We started the day with a nutritionally balanced meal from Francisco and it was delicious.
Then, we had a informational presentation regarding the history and status of Costa Rica. It was very interesting because us Americans learned more about the culture of Costa Rica.
We proceeded to all test negative on our COVID-19 exams and this put everyone in a great mood! We went to the store to get snacks and it was very cool for everyone to experience a Costa Rican market. Francisco continued to supply a wonderful meal with grilled chicken paired with rice and beans. His meals have steadily been delicious and we cannot wait for the future meals.
After lunch we had a great Spanish class with our lovely teachers Fani and Jessica and they have made the learning very fun and interactive. We interviewed each other as well as wrote reflections.
Following our Spanish class, Francisco, again supplied a wonderful meal. The soup was incredible and it put everyone in an amazing mood going into the Mentor Meetings.
We played the Cultural Norms Game which gave everyone a perspective on other cultures and how they act. We finished the beautiful day reflecting on a great day!
We are excited for tomorrow (and more meals from Francisco)!
-George, Sean and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24, 2021
After a breakfast of cheesy tortillas and sour cream, we drove down into the valley where we began our community service.
Today, we continued to work in four groups to accomplish our tasks. The Mural Team continued to clean and paint the back wall while the Tire Team cleaned tires that will be painted and placed around the soccer field for decoration.
The two other teams weeded the area and completed the first side of the trench. During our break, some students walked to the tienda to buy drinks and snacks.
Then, we got back to work and some were able to try our Spanish with the incredibly helpful kids of the town.
When we got back to Home Base, sweaty from our work, the group cooled off in the pool and played pool games. After lunch, Spanish class began. Today’s activity was focused on cooking in Spanish and we learned to make sweet empanadas from our wonderful and talented chef, Francisco.
Dinner was spicy tortilla soup. Finally, we wrapped up the day with mentor groups activities and are excited for another fun day ahead tomorrow!
-Spencer, Natalie and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25, 2021
Day 5 started off great with some delicious scrambled eggs, watermelon, and our usual rice and beans.
We grabbed our backpacks, completed the headcount, and hopped on the bus at 8 am. After arriving to our service site, we played a couple of games with local children. As per usual, we worked from about 8:30 to 12 with a short break to the local market. By the time we left, there was noticeable progress at our service site (on the mural, trenches, tires, and weeding).
Following our tiring work, some of us cooled off in the pool while others showered and rested before lunch. As always, Francisco cooked up a delicious meal consisting of a potato salad, vegetables, chicken, mango, and an exceptional rice pudding.
At 2 pm, it was time for Spanish class! One of today’s topics was our rutina diaria (daily routine), which we all presented to the class. Then, we learned about the parts of the body through various activities. For instance, we labeled different body parts with post-it notes, and later drew and labeled beings of our own. This was followed by a relaxing mediation and massage exercise, during which we were able to “create a bond with nature.”
After Spanish class, most of us rested in our rooms waiting for dinner (tonight, dinner was pasta!!). After playing “I spy with my little eye” in Spanish, we had an introduction to international development. We discussed local, national, and global issues as well as their solutions, and learned about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
We are well very tired from this fun and busy day!
-Aline, Jaya, Catherine and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26, 2021
Today was an eventful day!
We started with breakfast and went to service. At the break we were able to go to the mini mart just down the street. We then headed back to the hotel and ate lunch.
After lunch we had Spanish classes and prepared our own dinner from scratch with the chef, Francisco.
Following dinner we had a group activity and were given time to pack in preparation for our beach trip tomorrow!
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28, 2021
Today was a day well-spent in the coastal town of Uvita. After a filling Costa Rican breakfast at the hotel, we split into two groups in order to explore the beautiful national park, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. Each group walked to the tip of La Cola de Ballena, or Whale Tail Beach, and swam in the relaxing, calm bay, surrounded by picturesque mountains and clouds.
While the one group hung out, the other hung ten farther down the beach, where they took surfing lessons and many people tried the sport for the first time ever. For a group with such little experience, we had a lot of success, helped by Costa Rica’s famous waves and our awesome surf instructors.
After the beach, several people stopped by a local coconut stand, where the vendor skillfully chopped up fresh coconuts, giving us a taste of paradise.
We then returned to the hotel for a big lunch, and had a little free time while we waited for the afternoon rain to clear up.
After the weather was clear, we visited two souvenir shops, where we purchased a variety of local-made goods.
We ended the day with a delicious dinner and some ice cream. Pura vida!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
While today was a travel day, there was still a lot to do. We started the day off with a heart healthy breakfast and then quickly transitioned into our long, 4 hour bus trip back to Riconcito Verde.
Marco of course was a fantastic driver, and got us back in no time. The rest stop in the middle was a much needed break.
When we got back to the hotel we ate lunch and then headed off into groups for the Latin dance lesson. The dance lessons were fun, culturally informative, and a great work out as well.
At night, Francisco blessed us with yet another amazing meal (pasta with meat sauce), and we ate it up very quickly.
Finally, we gathered in quick mentor groups and then had our Scottish dance lesson from our resident Scottish mentor, Ryan. It excited the entire group, and was a beautiful way to end the day, as well as learn about yet another culture through dance.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Along side the children of the community, we continued painting the walls lining the field, bringing the park to life with colorful artwork.
Once we had completed a hard days work, we retired to the hotel to enjoy a large lunch of pinto gallo before we picked up once again for our final day of Spanish class. During class, we celebrated the birthday of one of our fabulous cooks, Marco, who has provided us with three nutritious and delicious meals every day of our stay in Costa Rica. Near the end of class, a number of groups presented their unique, final projects that encompassed what we have learned throughout our immersive, Spanish experience. This included a performance of our own, version of “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens.
After a scrumptious dinner of meatball soup and tortillas, our motivational mentors led us in a final few discussions. We took time to set personal goals and reflect on how we can be the change in our own communities.
Luisa and Abby