“Sometimes pictures are all the words we need.”
Today I was the bloggerpher for the day. It was really fun and I got to take some great pictures. My favorite part was interacting with the kids at the elementary school. I loved talking and playing with them. I loved seeing how happy they were just to talk to me. -Hayley R.
Today we went to a local elementary school to help build a greenhouse. Many of us helped build the foundation of the building, while others worked on a nearby bridge or played with the kids. We also got a chance to learn about the upcoming school elections and each of the political parties involved. Many of the children also shared information about their school and how they will use the greenhouse as a learning opportunity. – Aleisha L.
Today we continued leveling off the back of the church to eventually build a safe place for teen mothers. The locals are extremely grateful for the hard work of the GLA students. We are all very proud of the work we have accomplished in such a short period of time and happy to be apart of this amazing project. -Stella K.
Today was day 4 of our project to create an organized recycling dump for the locals in el Jobo. Our focus was on laying down the first few square feet of cement in order to establish a foundation for sorting bins. Our final obstacle was met with great optimism and determination. There was no electricity in the surrounding building to power the cement mixer. Luckily our project manager had some experience with mixing cement by hand and so did a local construction expert Fran. We dug a hole in the soil and mixed the cement with sand and gravel. It required lots of mixing and watering, but by the end of the day we had completed our goal. Special thanks to the local women who sold us delicious ice cream! -Griffen K
Today Maria’s group went to La Cruz and helped teach a class of women English. First, we were assigned to one of the women and we had an individual conversation with them discussing our lifestyles and hobbies. Next we got into a group and shared what we learned. Our group talked in Spanish and the natives spoke English. It was very cool talking to the locals and we learned a lot! -Kate Ryles
Today Sherrilee’s mentor group went to La Escuela del Jobo, a local elementary school. Our group was lead by Lexi and I was the bloggrapher. At the school we painted, sanded trash bins, fixed roofs and played soccer with the students. Getting the chance to interact with the students made the work feel easier….and the ice cream breaks made it eve better!!!!! -Ryan Pontone
Today Alex’s service group worked hard destroying clay and rock so we could shovel and move it. All of this hard work will make it possible for people in Costa Rica to reduce, reuse, and recycle! We flattened out the dirt area to make it possible to pour cement over it. Now, big trucks will be able to easily pick up the recycled materials. -Julia Regenstreif
Today Emily’s group went to the local church for our service project. It was a long day but we were very excited to see all of our progress. The main job was leveling the land behind the church. Everyone worked very hard during the time we were there. Some of us worked on painting a sign for the church. Some local kids stopped by for a short time to see what was going on. Although the work was tiring, it was great to see the progress we made in such a short amount of time. -Lizbeth Brosnan
Today Mateo’s group went to La Escuela del Jobo. We played soccer and talked with the kids. Their dazzling smiles and laughter left and everlasting imprint on our lives. Mateo’s group also helped paint desks in a beautiful shade of blue. To add in, we hammered in nails on black liners into wood tables to help the start of building a greenhouse. Overall it was a memorable day and it was sad to leave the beautiful school. -Chloe Kudler
Today was a very fun but tough day. Chandler was the leader for the day and I (Katia) was the bloggerpher. Chandler helped out our mentors in a leadership role while I took photos of people (from my group of course…and certain children and a dog). We all leveled out the ground behind the church. We switched roles and some went to take breaks and some made friendship bracelets with the local children while mingling. Some bought ice cream and some translated for others who don’t know how to speak Spanish. All in all it was a good hard working day. -Katia Smarduch
Today our group went to a high school to teach the students English with our mentor Tiffany. First we introduced ourselves to our first class and played some games with them. Then we went to a 10th grade class in which we talked to the students about what they would want to do if they visited the US. We also performed short skits with them. The students were all welcoming and involved in the activities. – AQ
Today was the second day working at the recycling site with Maria and Alex. From yesterdays work we had thought we were finished but we were not. The measure marks made from what we had completed were short and we had to extend the dirt from the walls one meter more towards the field. Having a little over an hour left to work we were able to get the job done with the help of the locals, our mentors and the team of GLA kids. – KongPheng Lee
Today Sherrilee’s group continued work at the elementary school. The kids did not attend school today because they were at a cultural festival in La Cruz. Our group dug up poles and relocated them. These will serve as the base for the new larger recycling center. Our group also worked to level the ground between classrooms to permit the construction of a new sidewalk. In addition, we continued to varnish the wood pieces that will serve as a bench for the students in front of the school. Overall, our group completed a great deal of work today to help improve the elementary school. – Sara Buscher
Today Kevin and Matt’s group went to the elementary school service site and sanded down the desks for the children’s classrooms and painted them a beautiful blue to help improve the learning area. In the school we finished all the desks in the classroom and got a good start on the next. –Kennedy Gulas
Today Sherrilee’s group had the opportunity to spend the day working with the local elementary school kids and helping build a better, more suitable working environment. Throughout the day we dug holes for a flagpole and started building a snack bar and recycling center, polished wood for tables and repainted the front of the building. We also had the opportunity to play soccer with them and they turned out to be amazing for their age! Hopefully by the end of the week their school will be new and improved and the kids will be excited to learn.
Today our morning quickly started with breakfast and then transitioned to the high school. In Tiffany’s service group we were stationed at the local high school with the 7th and 11th graders. In the 7th grade classroom we they found out our names, age, where we are from and other great things. The 11th graders had great English skills and we all had an awesome time. Finally we ended the day with some free time at home base.
– Alex Furtado
Today Bilando Ingesia’s group went to el Jobo to work on a church we have been helping to improve. On the way to the church we collected trash around the town with trash bags. We then leveled dirt out behind the church in order to help build a school behind it. During this, children joined us and made friendship bracelets as well as helping us with our Spanish. Overall I was an amazing day!
Today Maria and Alex led our group to el Jobo where we began to build a foundation for a recycling system. We had to weed all the plants from the area and shovel away dirt all while bearing the heat. We were able to accomplish a lot for one day! Other than helping with the recycling system we had the opportunity to visit some children at the elementary school. We all had a blast playing soccer and speaking Spanish with them. It’s amazing to see how talented and compassionate all the Costa Rican kids are!
– Michelle Kaminski
Today in Kevin and Mateo’s group our first service day consisted of two main tasks: working on an organic greenhouse by building garden beds and sanding and painting desks for the school. After working hard for a few hours we were able to take a short break and play with the kids! They couldn’t wait to take selfies, play games and teach us how to dance. We made great progress on our tasks and can’t wait to continue tomorrow.
– Kristina Bridgwater
The day commenced with an early 5:30 AM breakfast to maximize the time spent on our adventure day. GLA’s 65 participants were split up into two groups that alternated between two journeys. One of them was a more relaxed vibe including a scenic hike followed by a mud bath and souvenir shopping in Playa de Coco. The other was an action packed day starting with a 5-kilometer inner tube journey down a river with unexpected dips, rapids and occasional straightaways to enjoy the rainforest. After drying off the bus left for zip lining through a tropical canyon as well as repelling into an enchanted ravine. The day finally ended with a horseback ride to a waterfall to swim and relax
Our day started bright and early with breakfast and 5:30 AM and a bus ride to our destination at 6 AM. Though we were sleepy, everyone was so excited for what the day had to offer. Two groups were on their way to a short hike around the base of a volcano where they were able to witness the beautiful nature and wildlife of Costa Rica. After their hike, the students got to jump into a geothermal spa and paint each other with volcanic mud. Once they had finished taking muddy selfies and finishing off in the river, they headed to Playa de Coco for tacos, gelato, and souvenirs. The day was truly a wonderful adventure.
– Kristina Bridgewater
Everyone’s exhausting day began the same way. Breakfast, one-hour bus ride, etc. However, after the bus ride two family groups went in one direction while four family groups went another. My group was small with only 22 people. We went hiking around the Pilas volcano. It was beautiful! We saw iguanas, butterflies, and toucans. We even heard howler monkeys! The forest was amazing but we moved onto the hot springs where everyone breathed a sigh of relaxation…at least until we started paining each other in mud. When we washed the hardened mud off in the cool nearby river everyone had fun in the clear water. After our mud baths everyone went shopping. It was a little different navigating the streets of Costa Rica, but people managed to get everything they wanted. We got delicious gelato and tacos before hopping back on the bus and heading home. It was interesting to hear about the other group’s experience horse back riding, rafting and zip lining and we are all looking forward to our next adventure.
What a beautiful day to kick off our 5th session! We have a fun filled week ahead of us and we’re excited to get started. Today we got to know our home base and the members of our family groups. We also spent time relaxing by the pool, playing soccer and volleyball, and getting our zen on with yoga. This is already a great start to a wonderful session!
|Group A- Tiffany||Group B- Kevin||Group C- Alex||Group D- Emily||Group E- Matt||Group F- Maria|
|Ali Jordan||Aleisha Lee||Carmen Hall||Alexander Daniel Furtado||Bailey Arthur||AQ|
|Julia Regenstreif||Audrey Grammer||Dylan Wolf||Amara Malik||Claire Toyoko Barthelemy||Alexandra Owen|
|Kamia Bothun||Brandon Washington||Emma Brohawn||Ian Richard Spotswood Parish||Dante Amodeo||Cameron Snell|
|Kennedy Gulas||Chloe Kudler||Finn Siegers||Jacob Muskovitz||Elizabeth Rice||Chandler Kryshak|
|Kristina Bridgewater||Christina Miller||Hayley Rieman||Jenna Movsowitz||Emily Bland||Jack Vasconcelos|
|Quinn Willamson||Essex Thompson||Joshua Taylor||Justin Glazer||Griffen Keane||Jenna Drecchio|
|Rachel Jacob||Jared Gassman||Kate Ryles||Kendall Steinberg||Jenna Baraw||Leah Hogenmiller|
|Sara Buscher||KongPheng Lee||Katia Smarduch||Olivia Cara||Laura Victoria Restrepo Gomez||Maya Florin|
|Shane Power||Maricarmen Burgos-Solis||Rebecca Milman||Rebecca Duncan||Lizbeth Brosnan||Michelle Kaminski|
|Steve Smarduch||Mustafa Chamadia||Ryan Pontone||Stella Kleynerman||Matt Glazer||Ryan Dooley|
|Theodore Heroux||Yumna Haque||Soleiman Abdallah||Zoe Ruben||Samantha Kleyner||Wilson Harris|