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 MARCH 12
By Zak Simon (GLA Staff)
This is the blog for our Costa Rica: Spring Break Service Adventure!
This will be a way for us to share our adventures and learning opportunities in the Guanacaste Province with all of you! We hope that you enjoy using this blog as a way to experience this journey alongside us throughout the next week.
Our group has safely arrived and is getting comfortable in their new home on the beach of Junquillal, Costa Rica. Most of the students were exhausted from a long day of traveling, but they are all enthusiastic and ready for the adventure to come!
We picked up our first group of students in the afternoon, after almost every single flight was delayed. Our groups started to get to know one another on the van ride to the home base. After getting back to our home base the earlier arrivals ate a traditional Costa Rican dinner called Casado.
The second group of students arrived a bit later and got settled for the night, getting some much needed sleep before we start bright and early tomorrow morning! We also have two students who will be arriving tomorrow morning due to delayed flights.
We can’t wait for the week of service learning , lifelong memories, and deep friendships that await. Be sure to follow along with us here, Pura Vida!
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 13
By Molly and Emma
Today was our first full day of the program! Our last two students finally joined us to complete our team! We began with a delicious breakfast of eggs, rice/beans, and fruit. The morning was spent learning the ropes and getting used to home base. After lunch there were many get to know you games and we took our swim test. Everyone passed… Woohoo!
After that we had our first beach time. The waves were huge so we couldn’t go in very far, but it felt good to go in and cool down after a long day in the heat. The sand was so soft and the water was clear.
One of the best parts of the day was watching the sunset on the beach. Many pictures were taken and we also reflected on our day in front of the beautiful scene. Lastly, after dinner and more group activities, we met with our mentor groups for the first time to talk about plans for the week!
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 14
By Aurora, Bree, and Lanie
We started off the day with a lovely pancake breakfast and started our service projects soon after. Beginning at 8 am we got to see baby sea turtles hatch and then the sea turtle track students got to release them into the ocean one by one. After releasing the turtles we played a games where we pretended to be the turtles laying their eggs. To start we had to make turtle tracks leading to a turtle bed, then we dug a hole to our elbow and put our “eggs” inside. Once we finished “laying” our eggs we had to search for the other teams eggs. Afterwards we checked all the opened and unopened turtle eggs, it was fascinating.
For the afternoon the sea turtle track cleaned the empty sea turtle nests. The nests need to be filled with fresh sand, so we carried buckets of dirty sand out, then brought fresh sand from the beach in. It was a lot of hard work, but it is an important part of the process. We then headed back to home base and got an educational presentation about Costa Rica from a guest speaker, and then we danced. We ended the day with a good dinner with a sunset view and a meaningful group activity.
While the sea turtle track was doing their own service projects, the general track went to the Guanacaste waters enter to learn about the water system and vegetation in Costa Rica. We had different stations where we had different tasks. Station 1 we were working on opening seed pods from the Guanacaste tree. Station 2 we were composting, and station 3 we were planting seeds and little plants. We also got to eat star fruit right off the tree.
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 15
By Walker and Kyle
Today we got up at five, had some great burritos and breakfast sandwiches, and traveled for our adventure day. We went tubing in a rapid river with a beautiful view of the tropical dry forest. It was fast and smooth, and the river had a beautiful and calm view of the surrounding nature. There were monkeys, iguanas, and beautiful natural slopes. The tubing was so fun, then we went zip lining. The canyons were so beautiful. Zip lining was our favorite part, the view of the forest from the canopy was unlike anything we have ever seen before. Flying through the canopy was so amazing.
Then we went over a waterfall and through a huge lush canyon which was my favorite thing so far. Afterwards we had a discussion on how ecotourism is so important. We talked about the negative consequences of irresponsible tourism and how complicated the issues in these places really are. We learnt how education is our biggest tool to help these situations.
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 16
By Maren, Sage, and Amelia
Today, the general track’s morning service was watering 250 trees to give them a higher chance of survival. They were all planted because many other trees in the area were cut down. We also cracked Guanacaste seed pods and cut a citronella plant in order to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. On the way back we listened to some Latin music and stopped to find ripe mangos. In the sea turtle track we first went and released more baby olive Ridley turtles, and watched them crawl into the ocean :)!
We then carried buckets of sand and water in order to rebuild the nest we just released. We also put sand around a leatherback turtle statue at the beach so it would look better. After that we picked up around 10 huge bags of trash at least!! Later tonight we we will be doing our first sea turtle night patrol. There we will hopefully see a real grown turtle. We had a great day!
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 17
By Emma, Laya, and Molly
Last night during the night patrol (4 hours of walking on the beach looking for turtles!) we found a nest with 119 eggs. It was a super cool experience filled with song, conversation, and laughter. Turtle track got to sleep in this morning (we got back at 1 am) before our last morning of service! We painted signs to prevent littering on and around the beach! Before saying goodbye to Val and Leon(our amazing Verdiazul staff!)
The general service track got up at 6:30 and ate breakfast to prepare for service. We went to Guanacaste Water Center, where we prepared trees for planting, removed the Guanacaste seeds from their shells, and cut up a type of grass used for oil infusion. Then, a speaker who was a part of the organization spoke to us about his story and work for the environment.
Both tracks came together in the afternoon for an hour at the beach. After drying off the groups headed of to the house of Heidi, a local woman, to learn how to make tortillas and buñuelos de maíz. Her son Leo taught the group some traditional games.
On the ride back Juanca bought everyone ice creamc thanks Juanca! We ended with a giant sunset circle where everyone explained who and what they’re grateful for. Tomorrow is another adventure day and we can’t wait!
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 18
By Josh, Ty, and Adam
Our final day here has been the end of a journey through rain forest and dry forest. Through canyons and rivers. Traversing through the beautiful country rich with culture. Today we took a day off from service and we were able to enjoy what the country has to offer. We snorkeled along a rocky island and saw some ocean wildlife. We had a blast on the catamaran sail boat ride to and from the island. Dancing to different types of music, we were a floating party.
After the adventure we hung out with a local guy and his partner. They taught us different dances and really helped us understand the culture of this country even more. It was exhausting but extremely fun. We then went to our nightly sunset circle and reflected on our time here as a total. We told our heroes and highlights. People who impacted us and things we loved experiencing.
After this we jumped into a group activity where we created skits on how we can apply what we learned here to our every day lives. They came out hilarious and we all had a good time while learning and creating change. To wrap up our day we had an evening pool party to celebrate a successful week.