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.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
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 JULY 10
Hello GLA families!!!
Finally the day has arrived and we are excited to have everyone here to kick-off the Surf, Sports and Sustainability program in Costa Rica. The staff team has been working hard to set up the last details and are ready to provide the best experience ever for students. Everyone has arrived on time and safely, with the exception of Aiden and Caroline who are joining the team tomorrow afternoon. The group arrived at Home Base and had their first look at Costa Rican nature as the jungle surrounds our beautiful Ecolodge. Everyone’s been settled into their cabins, had dinner, and is ready to get some rest in order to be prepared for the amazing activities GLA has scheduled for the next couple of weeks.
We are looking forward to Orientation Day. More news coming soon.
The GLA staff team;
Heather, Richy, Alex, Sar, and Rodrigo
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Today was the group’s first full day in Costa Rica and it has been great so far. Today was Orientation Day and covered various topics from Code of Conduct, to Community Agreement, conducted health checks and ran swim tests. After we got somewhat dry from the pool, we dived into a delicious Costa Rican lunch. We had a dish called “Casado de Pollo” which is white rice, frijoles, chicken, salad and it was delicious (a few of us went up for seconds hehehe). After lunch, it was still very sunny and warm and made a quick trip to Playa Negra where we dipped our toes in the water. We played soccer, volleyball and made some rad sand sculptures. Before heading back to home base for dinner, we stopped at a local market to stock up on snacks for the trip. We ended the night with students meeting in their new mentor groups!
Alex, Sar, Rodrigo and Heather
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Dari, Henry, and Lukas
Hi GLA Families!
Today in Costa Rica we started off our morning by going surfing on a beautiful beach where we were taught by some amazing instructors who gave us great pointers on how to stand up on the board. After that we came back to Home base and had lunch. After lunch, we headed to an amazing chocolate company called Reina’s chocolate and we got to learn about the chocolate making process and got to taste some amazing different kinds of real authentic Costa Rican chocolate. We finished off the night by having a delicious dinner made by amazing cooks that always bring a smile to our face when we taste their food.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Ole, Will, and Kamron
Today we woke up feeling energized and ready to tackle the day. We had a very nutritious breakfast which consisted of scrambled eggs, tacos, beans, rice and other natural healthy foods. I should also mention that Doña Maria Luisa, the owner of the hotel, collects avocados for guacamole from an avocado tree that grows on our property. We then went to the playa avellanas to clean up trash and plant mangrove saplings. Later we went to the pool to cool off after lunch. Next we got on the bus and sang songs on the way to the beach to plant more saplings. At the beach we met a very cool local named Frank who is the founder of Grupo Ecológico de Avellanas (GEA) and is helping clean up the community and organizes our service projects. It started pouring rain at the beach during our clean up so we went to a local restaurant for smoothies. Once back at the hotel we ate dinner, had tech time, and split into mentor groups to talk about our goals for the rest of the program and even outside of GLA. Overall it was a great day and we’re looking forward to what will come tomorrow!
Here are tons of pics from the last couple days!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Caroline, Nay, Lauren, Angelina and Adrienne
Today is Thursday, July 14th. This morning, we had a surf lesson at Playa Avellanas. The surf was fun today and there were some great waves and also some wipeouts. In the afternoon, we helped Yermana in her organic garden, planting avocado trees, creating compost, and cleaning the garden. Highlights include seeing howler monkeys, as well as when Kamron and Mason tried very spicy peppers. We finished off the day with a delicious dinner and a group game of “Yes and”.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by River, Christoph and Brayden
Today, the group had a service project in the morning at the beach in Avellanas. The project was to collect data on how much micro plastics are in the world’s oceans. We scooped sand into sifters and collected the micro plastic which would float in the water. The water was used to separate the sand and micro plastics and the plastic was collected. Afterwards, we hung out on the beach until it was time to return to Home Base.
Everyone ate lunch and then we had a guest speaker, Jairo, who is a professional surfer. The group asked questions about his personal life which helped shine a light into his past and how he got into surfing. After our conversation, we watched clips of him surfing and wow is he talented! To end our time with Jairo, many in the group bought his coffee which he had brought from his local coffee farm. Afterwards, we jumped in the pool for an hour or so, had a workshop to learn a few extra Spanish words and had great local food for dinner. Finally, after a leadership activity, we went to bed excited for the day to come.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Jackson, Mason, Drew, and Josh
Today in the morning we met up with Frank and Yermana again to collect micro plastic data on the beach. After finishing, we then picked up macro plastics. After that we had some time to hang out on the beach before heading back for lunch. Later in the day we went to Playa Negra to play volleyball, eat food and swim in the waves. We saw many animals including horses, lizards, monkeys, and many many crabs at both beaches!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Sean, Cole, Collin & Levi
After an early wake up at 5:30, the group enjoyed a light breakfast of fresh fruit and cereal. Shortly thereafter, the group competed in an epic showdown of Rock Paper Scissors before boarding the bus for a hour long bus ride. The group waited eagerly on shore for the boat crew to arrive. We disembarked the small boat (panga in Spanish) for the larger catamaran. The boat promptly set sail for the nearby beach with music and drinks for all. After numerous Shirley temples were enjoyed by the students, the boat set anchor near a small beach where students could enjoy a plethora of leisurely activities. Prepped with snorkeling gear, paddle boards, and flippers, we all enjoyed the warm Pacific water before returning for food. After lunch, the catamaran began the return voyage.
The students boarded the bus and rode back to camp for a second lunch filled with delicacies prepared by Doña Maria, the Home Base owner. Stuffed to the brim, the group ventured to the local community center for a craft fair for souvenirs and sweets. Following the fair, students took a brief rest and listened to an informative lecture by Rodrigo on the importance of permaculture and building sustainably. With the sun setting on the horizon, students then enjoyed time with friends and a taste of home including burgers and fries. To conclude a fun filled day, the group enjoyed leadership activities and time with friends. All in all, the day was a massive success and students were left exhausted but fulfilled. Cole remarked that after this, the group was reminiscent of a bicycle… too/two tired. 😉
Pura Vida from the leaders of the day!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by leaders of the day ~ Makalia, Shelby, Lindsay, Charlotte
Today was an early day for us all, 5:15 wake up. However, the waves at the beach were worth it. We had our third surfing lesson, and ended it with smoothies. Then some of us had such insane appetites after surfing, we had an early lunch at a local organic restaurant called “Jalapeño”, which had great lattes and burritos. Next door was a small gift shop were we could buy jewelry and sunglasses (among other locally made artisan goods). After a good “second lunch” at home base, we headed to a local community to begin community service. We planned on painting benches around the soccer field, but just as we began, it started pouring rain. However, this wasn’t all bad, since those who weren’t cleaning tires to be painted got to play soccer in the rain. We had a great time, and finished our day with a double rainbow at golden hour.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
Written by Levi, Collin, and Angelina
We started off the day waking up at 5:15 to get ready for our real “dawn patrol” surf. We all caught some epic waves as it was our last session at Playa Avellanas. We made our way back to home base to eat our last lunch of chicken wraps and guacamole made with the avocados from the huge tree on the property. Then we started our long 3 hour drive to the beautiful Blue River Resort. Once we got there we settled in and went into the natural hot springs to get a refreshing swim. From here we made our way to the natural sauna to open our pores for the volcanic mud that we covered ourselves in. To conclude the day we joined each other in a full candle lit dinner buffet of tasty Tico food.
Waking up this morning we enjoyed the biggest breakfast buffet we’ve had this trip. Pancakes, gallo pinto, eggs, bacon, and tons of fresh fruit – delicioso! After filling up we made our way to get ready for the adventures to come. We split into groups, half experiencing the best zip lining over the waterfalls and beautiful greens. While the other half made their way through the rainforest seeing different animals and dinosaurs as they headed to the perfect waterfall to swim in. (Then we switched.) As we write this, our unforgettable last day is coming to an end as we make our way back to our home base for the last night together. We’re looking forward to reminiscing all of the best moments together and our farewell party, but we’re not looking forward to saying “adios” to each other.
Pura Vida from Session 2 CR Surf, Sports & Sustainability!
Program photo album coming soon!