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
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BLOG POST FOR MARCH 26
By Joselin (GLA Staff)
This is the blog for our Costa Rica: Spring Break Service Adventure Session 2!
This will be a way for us to share our daily experiences, learnings and adventures! 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. We got 17 students in the afternoon shuttle and 3 students in the night shuttle.
First group got in Junquillal just in time for sunset circle, our daily gathering to enjoy the beautiful sunset colors and reflect on the day’s experiences. We explained about the responsibilities of the Leaders of the Day, and had the first 3 volunteers to dive right into this amazing opportunity to step into a leadership role for a day.
The earlier arrivals ate a traditional Costa Rican dinner called Casado (rice, beans, salad and chicken). The second group of students arrived a bit later and got settled for the night, getting some much needed sleep before we start our first full day in Costa Rica tomorrow!
There’s so much excitement from students to start working with our local partner and support turtle conservation projects. Everyone is also looking forward to have time to swim and for the many great adventures ahead of us.
This group is so ready to use the opportunities for cultural inmersion we’ll have. They’re so excited to learn from the locals here, and polish up their Spanish. Pura vida!!!
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 27
By Luca, Benjamin & Marco
In our first day in Costa Rica we woke up early at 7 AM from a great sleep after a long day. After getting ready, we all gathered for breakfast where we ate cereal, eggs which is a traditional breakfast from Costa Rica named “Gallo Pinto”. We then went to the orientation where we learned the Code of Conduct, met the people that owned the hotel. We got a tour of the place, where we then went to lunch and had rice with chicken and a side of salad which is the typical “arroz con pollo”. We had some time with on our cell phones to connect with our family and friends.
We all then participated in a swim test and played multiple games in the pool. We went to the beach to play more games and entered the water. After cleaning ourselves up, we continued the orientation by reflecting on the rules, playing name games, and getting to know each other on a more personal level. We went back to the beach to watch the sunset where the leaders of the day led the sunset circle. The next leaders of the day gathered to discuss the next day’s schedule while the current ones wrote this blog.
After having dinner and enjoying some free time we gathered together in the “Ranchito”, where we got to learn more about the Costa Rican culture and some Spanish words with our local director Juan Carlos. After that we all watched a Ted Talk by Brenwe Brown about vulnerability and connection. Before heading to our rooms we had our first mentor groups where we discussed takeaways from the video.
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 28
By Kera, Ella, Richardson, and Angelo
We started off the day with an early wake up to be told that baby turtles were hatching down at the beach and we had 5 minutes to get there. sleepily, we made our way to the beach and had the privilege of seeing newly hatched baby turtles just coming into the world. We watched them start their journey all the way from the beach into the ocean. After a quick breakfast we learned how to identify the tracks of the different turtle species, including the Lora and the Negra turtle. We practiced finding the nests of the turtles to later help us during our pats.
After dividing into groups, we began the service. The first group helped clean and rebuild the nests of the hatched baby turtles, and reconstructing a statue for the local community of a leatherback turtle. While this was happening, the second group cleaned up trash on the beach so that afterwards the trash could be separated from one another and put into more ecologically-friendly storing.
After a short break following service, we welcomed a guest speaker. Her name was Marcia from Guanacaste Water Center from whom we had the privilege of learning new perspectives. She discussed discipline and very valuable lessons which she has attained from her own experiences as a conservation advocate in Costa Rica. After that, we retired to dinner and got to celebrate Kate’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday Kate!! To end the day, we did an activity called Identity Signs, that helped us discuss over our identities and how they can impact us in various ways.
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 29
By Ethan, Coco and Adam
March 29 2022, we woke up at 5:40 to get ready for our adventure day. We started off the day by rolling out of bed and packing our stuff to get on the bus to go to hacienda Guachipelin. We had a packed day ahead of us including hiking, water falls, tubing, ziplining, monkeys, and free mangos.
After a 2-hour drive in the bus we went ahead and hiked to the cold but soothing waterfall. The water was crystal clear and was much needed to get us awake. After a nice time, there we started hiking back for our tubing adventure.
After arriving to the tubing area, we carried our tubes, helmets, and life jackets down to the river. The tubing experience started with stepping in the freezing cold water and sliding down the rapids. This hour and a half amazing ride was calming but exciting, but sadly came to an end. Everyone started walking back to the bus to change and eat lunch. We had an all you can eat buffet and you could tell we were excited because even Maggie was ready to chow down. After we stuffed our faces, we went to zipline around the beautiful land scape of Hacienda Guachipelin. Everyone was going up and down the ziplines either upside down or right side up, but sadly again it had to come to an end.
After our adventure was over, we got some souvenirs from the gift shop and headed home. Right before we came back, we saw some cute monkeys and a local man who offered us free mangos from his own backyard and of course we took them cause come on their free mangos. At night we saw a documentary and discussed its valuable lessons. All in all, this day was one to remember.
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 30
By Tom, Thomas, Jorge and Gabe
Today, we were woken up early to the surprise of baby turtles hatching. Richardson released the new born turtles by dumping the bucket they were frantically trying to leave. After watching the turtles begin their lives, we went to go eat French toast, rice, and beans for breakfast. We then split into our service groups, with service group 2 going to rebuild the nests of the turtles that had just left while service group 1 went into the local community and river to pick up trash and plastic. Once the nests were made and the trash picked up, we returned to home base for quesadillas.
After tech time and swimming, both groups went to the Mangrove forest for a clean up. We chose to clean the mangroves due to their high oxygen production, their importance to the nursing of fish, protect our community from natural disasters, and are a key part to the Costa Rican eco-system. Maneuvering between the branches like the howler monkeys we’d seen the days before, we all felt very connected to the nature that we were protecting. Once we had gathered all of our trash, we returned to the warehouse to divide all of the recyclable materials, metals, plastic bottles, glass, and other materials we had found.
We even used some of the plastic as fillers for our eco-bricks , which will be the building blocks for an environmentally friendly bench. After our nightly sunset circle and we ate dinner, we had an educational debate on sea turtles right before our night patrol, when some of us were able to see the tracks of a Lora Turtle.
BLOG POST FOR MARCH 31
By Claire, Ashleen and Dylan
Today, service group 2 painted signs for the turtle hatchery to spread awareness and educate tourists and members of the community about turtles and how they can help protect the environment. Service group 1 worked on making eco-bricks (which are “bricks” made out of plastic bottles that are filled with smaller pieces of plastic, or larger pieces cut up, to support them) which will be used to build benches at the park near the hatchery. We thanked the volunteers at Verdiazul hatchery for giving us the opportunity to help them and letting us work hands-on with turtles.
After our failed attempt at a beach excursion (the tide was to high and the current was too strong to go swimming), both groups went to a local named Haydee’s house to learn how to cook some traditional Guanacaste food made from corn. We got to grind down corn using a traditional grinding stone called Metate that was used by natives during pre-colonial times. After grinding the corn, we hand-made tortillas and buñuelos (which are ground corn, dried cheese, and natilla formed into balls and fried). Everyone got to make their own and eat them with Haydee’s family after.
Right after we left Haydee’s house we went to a nearby field to play some traditional games led by Sabrina. We had a relay race in potato sacks, balanced balls on spoons that were in our mouths, held a wheelbarrow race, and played a game where everyone had a balloon tied to their ankle. People would try to pop the balloons on everyone else’s ankles while protecting their own. Right after the games, three boys from the town named Chris, Dariel, and Eddy walked onto the field and started playing soccer. We asked them if we could play a game with them and luckily they said yes. Everyone played a big game of soccer for almost half an hour until the sun had set.
After the game, everyone got back on the bus soaking wet and when we got back to home base we had dinner. We then divided into our mentor groups and did an activity called “Rivers of Life” to share our personal stories. Another successful day in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!
BLOG POST FOR APRIL 1
By Kate, Emma, and Teva
Hello and Pura Vida friends! This morning we woke up bright and early and hopped on the bus to have a fun morning of adventure. We enjoyed some empanadas and halfway through the trip we were confronted by some sad news. The people running the boat called us and cancelled the trip! We were very sad but confused when we kept going the same direction. Angelo reminded us it was April Fools and most of us started to believe it was a joke. However, the counselors were persistent with their convincing methods and Richy fully fell for the joke. We were all very happy when Juanca announced that it was a joke, and proceeded to the boat. We all climbed onto the Catamaran and got our morning trip started! First, we snorkeled and then played on the rocks and some of us saw a big crab. We played in the waves on the beach and then swam back onto the Catamaran. We enjoyed a yummy lunch which included fresh fruit, burritos, chips and salsa, and cookies. We started to head back to shore and enjoyed each other’s company and had a dance party!
We arrived back at home base and began packing. We then did an appreciation activity which was special when we got to learn more about ourselves and make others feel appreciated. We then had dance class and learned the Samba, Che, Brazilian dances, and other traditional Costa Rican dance styles. We had a lot of fun showing off our moves to each other and we laughed a lot. We headed to sunset circle and reflected on the amazing week we had together. We cried, shared emotions, played coconut football, and saw yet another crab. We headed to a delicious dinner of burgers and then did the One Meaningful Goal activity as a group. We were then surprised by a spontaneous late-night POOL PARTY!!! We also celebrated Luca’s birthday with cheesecake. Feliz Cumpleaños Luca!!!
At the pool Ben played some great music for us (ie THE HUMBLE SONG!) and we tossed the boys around. We are very sad to leave this great group of friends, and hope to continue the strong friendships and connections we started. Thank you so much for reading this, we really appreciate it, now, enjoy some cute pictures of us! PURA VIDA!