Time Capsule Letter
Hey Session 1 Sea Turtle Initiative Squad!
Seems like just yesterday we were hanging around in the hammocks at Jason’s place, trudging through the sand at night to protect nesting turtles from poachers, swimming in the waves and waking up to the sounds of birds and rain drops. The Sea Turtle Initiative staff (Allie, Jason, Juliana and Michael) all miss you so much!
As our first group this Spring, we were inspired by each of your positivity, hard work, and dedication to learning and service. We hope that your spring break in Costa Rica had a lasting impact on the ways you think about the world, and your role in it. We also hope you have shared some of the things you learned with others, specifically about conservation, and the impact humans have on our beautiful planet.
Let’s take this time to remember some moments from our time together.
- Zipping through the trees on our first full day together (sorry Sammy ad MK!)
- Singing “Calma” on the bus and never knowing the second line … (“Vamos a la playa…!”)
- Sammy allowing Juliana to dab
- Deep life talks on night patrol
- Playing volleyball and soccer with the local students
- Avi’s nightly schedule overviews in Spanglish
- Checking in on the baby birds each morning
- Getting up for sunrise in the fog
- Finally getting the plate back from Allie in “one fish two fish red fish blue fish”
- Making bracelets that all fell off…. Oops
- Morning yoga crew!
- Meaningful breakfast chats
- Lining up in the waves and seeing who could stay put the longest
- Swinging too hard in the hammocks
- Making a pyramid on the beach
- Dance party at the eco lodge
- Road trip sing-alongs
- Our emotional final appreciation circle and celebrating Colin’s Birthday!
Thanks for all the incredible memories! Keep exploring and asking questions – we are excited to see all the things you do in the future!
Allie, Jason, Juliana, and Michael
Saturday March 9, 2018
Hola from Costa Rica!
We had a full day of student arrivals to start off The Sea Turtle Initiative program.
11 of our 13 program participants have arrived, and spent the day getting settled and exploring the town of Alajuela, a quiet town outside of San Jose. As it was Saturday, the town plaza was buzzing with excitement; dancers and families enjoying the weekend, and we had a chance to explore the local market as well!
We are looking forward to getting to know all of the program participants, and for an incredible week exploring Costa Rica! Tomorrow we will head to our home base on the Caribbean coast, and stop along the way to zip through the trees at our zip line tour!
Below are some pictures of the group!
Not pictured is Estelle (who arrived late tonight), Samantha and Mary Catherine who will be arriving tomorrow. We look forward to having the entire group together soon.
International Director – Allie Morris
Sunday March 10, 2019
Hola de Costa Rica!
This morning we had breakfast at the hotel, Pacande. Which included cereal, bread and fruit. Next, we headed towards the zipline. Starting with instructions and bus rides prior to heading on the ziplines. Seven of the lines were smaller, meaning they weren’t as long, while four were larger, the largest being 720 m (1 minute long).
It was wicked! After the ziplines we went to our buffet style lunch, which was ¡muy delicioso!. Then we drove another hour and a half to stop at a local grocery store to get some snacks for the rest of the road trip to Parismina. We then drove past lots of banana plantations to reach our final bus stop in Parismina; followed by a boat trip to reach our home base for the next few days.
~Las tortugas (The Turtles)
Soe, James, Grace, and Austin
Monday March 11, 2018
Today we began our day with the first breakfast at our home base muy delicioso. Jason then gave us a tour of the farm and property. Students also got chances to cut open and try the very good and healthy vegetation that is grown on the property.
It was very educational and yummy. Upon finishing our tour we then took an important lesson on voluntarism and the both good an bad sides to it. As well as the social media aspect-in particular appropriate postings and captions, as well as asking for consent. We then enjoyed a very delicious lunch and spent good social time together.
Later we took a scenic walk to the beach where we swam in the lagoon taking our swimming tests and played fun games in the water. Next Micheal put together a very fun survivor themed game for us where we split into two teams beans and rice, rice won. After returning to home base we enjoyed a delicious dinner and then played some fun group games. We concluded our day with our first night patrol on the beach.
-written by James Kurth
Tuesday March 12, 2019
¡Hola de Costa Rica!
Our day revolved around home base today. Breakfast was served with sweet fried dough, watermelon, and cantaloupe. After breakfast Jason took us on a boat tour of the mangroves. In the mangroves we saw spider monkeys, howler monkeys, white faced monkeys, lots of iguanas, and various birds.
We truly saw it all! We even docked ashore to see a red blue jean poisonous dart frog! After the tour we returned home to the beach; full of sunbathing, and of course, SERVICE! Yay! The beach desperately needed our help, as we helped clean up trash in the surrounding area. The day finished off was some salsa and other native Costa Rican dances. Everyone was swaying their hips and grooving to the music!
Los Tortuguas (grace)
Wednesday March 13, 2018
Today in Costa Rica the group of students and staff all had breakfast at GLA headquarters. For breakfast we had eggs, rice and beans, and a variety of fruits that include fresh watermelon and cantaloupe. Then we ventured off into the jungle towards our ride to go into wonderful town of Parismina. Once we got into Parismina we waited for our sea turtle mentor to teach us all about the different species of sea turtles they get here in Parismina. We have the green sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, and hawkbill turtles.
We learned so much about these three sea turtles, and it was very fascinating. After the lesson we took a tour of Parismina. We saw different schools, ate fresh frozen chocolate bananas, and had fresh fruit smoothies which were THE BOMB!! After the tour of the village we took a nice ride all the way back to headquarters. When we got back to headquarters we had rice and beans, beef and vegetables, vegetable dish just like the beef and vegetables but just veggies, and mango and cantaloupe.
After lunch we had a siesta for an hour then we did a trash activity with the trash we found from yesterday’s beach cleanup. The trash activity was where you had to build something that can be reusable and you have to do a 2-5 min jingle for your product. The judges would rate you on humor, creativity, trashed reused. After the activity we went to the beach and swam around for an hour and a half and then cleaned up the beach again. After the cleanup we came back and waited for dinner to be made by our wonderful chefs.
At the chow circle we talked about what we would be doing for the next day. After dinner we waited to go on our night patrol. While we waited we talked about activities we were going to do for tomorrow. At 8 o’clock pm we went on our night walk until 10:30pm. We got back to the lodge and got ready for bed so we could have a great next day.
Adios from Costa Rica!!!!
-written by Austin
What a crazy past couple days to finish up our Sea Turtle Initiative adventure!
The last day of the program, we woke up early to do some yoga, and then walked into town to learn how to make tortillas and arepas (yum!). After our cooking class and snack we headed to the local elementary school where we taught the students there some games based on turtle conservation, danced, and many kids lined up to have their faces painted with hearts (a trend started by Austin).
After time at the school we attended a local craft market that locals put on especially for GLA students, and picked up some local souvenirs that support the organization of ASTOP and community members. Finally we ended the day with smoothies, soccer and volleyball with locals, and our last hour at the beach as the sun set.
In the evening, we were all exhausted for our last night patrol, and though we didn’t see a turtle we had great conversations along the way. 🙂
The next morning, some of us woke up early for a foggy, drizzly sunrise. After napping in the hammocks, we packed our bags and jumped back on the boat and then bus to make our way to San Jose, where the journey began. After taking lots of photos and eating our last Costa Rican meal, we shared highlights and lessons learned from the trip, which almost brought some to tears. We surprised Collin with an ice cream party for his birthday, and spent time together signing journals before heading to bed.
Today all the students flew back to their homes. What an incredible group of young people! GLA staff Allie, Juliana, Michael, and Jason were all sad to say goodbye. We will miss you all. Thank you for a fun, meaningful and life changing session!
PURA VIDA 💓