Thank you for visiting one of our GLA Program Blogs! Here are a few things you can expect:
1. We typically receive 1-2 Blog Posts Per Week from international staff. It is very unlikely programs will send blog updates daily.
2. Blog Updates sent on weekends may be delayed until Monday morning.
3. Due to many factors including internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes staff are only able to send text.
Thank you for your patience and understanding!
March 25, 2018
¡BIENVENIDOS A LA PURA VIDA!
Welcome to the pure life!
Yesterday was a successful and awesome arrival day! Everyone arrived safely and spent the day relaxing and getting to know each other. With 22 students under one roof, the enthusiastic chatter still hasn’t stopped!
Today we have embarked on our long and scenic bus ride toward homebase in the Caribbean jungles of Costa Rica, with pit stops for an incredible zip line experience and some typical Costa Rican food!
We are all so excited for our week together! It is just beginning!
March 26, 2018
We started the beautiful morning with arepas (fried dough balls). Shortly after breakfast, Jason showed us his organic farm that we are staying on. Our group was lucky enough to see all three indigenous species of monkeys- howler, spider, and white faced capuchins. We also saw lizards, sloths, leaf cutter soldier ants, and termites. Jason cracked open fresh coconuts with his long machete for us to taste and observe the different flavors. He took our group deeper into the forest where we saw his upcoming vanilla farm. After the tour, we had lunch and a few hours of down time. Then we had a discussion about volunteering and leadership. A woman from ASTOP came and educated us about Leatherback Turtles. This activity was followed by a refreshing trip to the black sand beach near our home base. When we got back, dinner was served followed by a fun mentor group activity. After the long day we dressed in black and went on our first night patrol. We walked the beach from 8 to 12pm searching for turtles and nests, but had no luck. Even so we had an amazing day.
March 28, 2018
Hey! It’s Tessa. Yesterday was BY FAR the best time I’ve had on this trip. We did so many awesome things, but also got super lucky when we were patrolling for turtles! First thing in the morning, we woke up and had these amazing dough balls, similar to donuts, with the best marmalade anyone would ever eat. Then, we walked a while past the eco lodge and got onto a boat to take a tour of the mangroves. We saw so many cool plants but the animals took the cake for the most exciting things. We saw an emerald basilisk (a sick lizard), lots of cool birds, poison dart frogs, and of course crocodiles. The tour lasted a while but was never boring. There was always something to look at, whether it be spider monkeys in the trees or big boats of old tourists waving to us. Lots of locals also said their hello’s when we drove past their homes on the water. We got back and had lunch, then had some chill time. Next, we went to the beach and cleaned up some litter and then got to go swimming. It was super sunny and hot so of course some kids got sunburnt but most have been lucky enough just getting a nice tan. After that, we channeled our creative sides and painted signs for the beaches with Spanish phrases such as “nosotros protejemos el ambiente” (we protect the environment), etc. that was super fun and we made beautiful signs. Then, another highlight of the day was when a woman came to home base to teach us traditional Caribbean and Latin dances. We all got sufficiently sweaty and tired but had so much fun. After dinner we rested then got ready for night patrol. Wearing black from head to toe, we split into our groups and walked in different directions down the beach, searching for signs of turtles. My group and I were walking when we got a call that they had found a turtle!!! We speed walked as quick as possible with our big group and finally approached the rest of our GLA group who were all sitting silently, observing the turtle. It was SO much bigger than expected and totally looked surreal. I was so close to it and I couldn’t believe that I was actually observing this leather back laying her eggs. It really gave a whole new meaning to what we are doing here. I will never forget how beautiful and amazing that truly was. Once night patrol ended, we went back to the ecolodge and went to “bed” but stayed up talking for a while in our rooms. There was not a dull moment that day!
March 29, 2018
Today (Day 6) has been another awesome day so far! We started off with a delicious breakfast at home base, and then we headed into the nearby town of Parismina for our second visit to ASTOP – Asociación Salvemos las Tortugas de Parismina. (Association to Save the Turtles of Parismina). While we were there we had a cooking class and we learned how to make fresh tortillas from scratch. We split into two groups, and while the second group was cooking, some of the first group played a couple games of Jenga with a local boy named Angel, who was just the sweetest little kid! After our cooking class we all walked over to the grass fields and played soccer and volleyball with the locals, which was super fun! After that we went back to ASTOP where several local artisans had set up tables with all of their handmade crafts. It was so cool, and we felt so lucky that they held this little market just for us! We all got such awesome souvenirs there, like hand-carved turtle necklaces and hand-made bracelets and other jewelry and art. Then some of us got our hair wrapped with colorful thread – even some of the boys! We’re going to head back soon for an afternoon of swimming and free time, and our final dinner/evening at home base. After dinner, we’ll have our last night patrol (fingers crossed we see another turtle!), and then tomorrow we head back to Alajuela for our final full day together before departure day – so sad!