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.
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 after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. 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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20-21
All 22 students arrived safe and sound at Peace Retreat yesterday. Even though we are experiencing hot temperatures, students’ spirits are high and excited for what’s to come during the program. Last night we heard our local director talk about Costa Rican culture and customs while learning new spanish phrases like Pura Vida.
Today has been orientation day, understanding what this experience will be like and coming up with a community agreement between everyone to establish the values we want to live by. We did swim tests and health checks and had some downtime in the pool to cool down from the heat. We met our mentor groups and had delicious pizza for dinner. Everyone is excited to catch some waves early tomorrow morning!
Elizabeth Sohmer – International Director
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22-23
By Oscar M. & Megan C.
We got everyone up nice and early to go surfing. Despite still being sleepy, we had a great time on waves that were easy to catch, but still big enough to challenge us. As leaders, my partner and I felt compelled to make sure we made good impressions with locals. All in all, I found getting the surfing lessons, and having the opportunity to lead a rich experience.
After lunch, we split up into our mentor groups. During this time, we got the opportunity to learn more about each other’s lives and what makes us unique. After that, we went back to the beach to swim in the ocean, play a pickup game of soccer, and play volleyball. We came back to eat another delicious meal and rest after our exhausting day. Finally we finished out the day with playing and learning new games with each other.
By David B. & Campbell M.
We woke up at 7am today and had breakfast burritos that were delicious. After that, we headed to Frank’s sustainability and conservation center of mangroves. He gave us a tour around the property and explained all the aspects of what a sustainable facility looks and operates like. He then explained to us some facts about mangroves, and stressed the importance of the conservation efforts in maintaining the human population. After this, we went for a walk on the beach and had a competition to find mangrove seeds that we can plant tomorrow. Then we had some time in the water and headed back to home base for lunch.
Today for lunch we had rice and chicken and then went to the beach to do service which consisted of us picking up garbage and ended with us going into the ocean. After that we went to the store to get food and drinks and then we came back to have dinner which was pasta with chicken, bread and salad.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24-25
By Corbin D. & Mia F.
In the morning at 6:00 for breakfast we had the choice of three different cereals, we had fresh papaya, pineapple, and watermelon. For beverages we had papaya or watermelon fruit juice. At 6:30 we left for our second surf lesson of the trip. We got our sunscreen on and hit the waves. Although the waves were small like 1 to 3 feet they formed excellently which made them beginner friendly. After surfing for 2 hours we chilled on the beach and drank some smoothies from the restaurant that also taught the surf lessons. At 9:30 we left for the peace retreat or home camp. By 10:00 we started our mentor groups. The task for the next half hour or so was to debate the question, should whaling be allowed in the Caribbean for cultural reasons. We were given real roles with limited information. This debate was kind of a mess, most people just talked over each other and the arguments were not strongly formed from the information we were given. It showed us that this is how the real world works sometimes. People get limited information and form biases that make them hard if not impossible to reason with. That was the first half our fourth day.
Corbin D. – Leader of the day
After a lunch of mac and cheese and hotdogs, we headed back to Avellanas beach where we planted mangroves seeds and sorted the trash from yesterday. We then played a short game followed by some more time in the ocean. For dinner we had fish tacos. We ended the day watching Surfs Up.
Mia F. – Leader of the day
By Jonah M. & Joshua S.
This morning we woke up at 5:30 AM to eat a cereal breakfast at 6. Right after, we headed out on an hour and a half long bus ride to the pier to catch a catamaran ride. After riding for a while and bathing in the sun, we got off and dipped in the water to go snorkeling. Whilst snorkeling, we saw many sea urchins and small fish. Once we were finished snorkeling, we took off all our gear and swam around in the ocean for a bit. Once everyone was tired, we got back on the boat to enjoy a delicious burrito lunch. Once we all finished our meals, we headed back to the beach to get on the buses to head back to Peace Retreat. When we arrived, we were treated with some delicious fruit snacks and smoothies.
Jonah M. -Leader of the day
This afternoon on our trip was filled with unforgettable experiences! We had the incredible opportunity to visit a vibrant local market set up just for us, where we immersed ourselves in the culture, sampled delectable treats, and bought some handmade items. The colorful displays and friendly interactions with the locals left a lasting impression on all of us. Later, we joined a friendly game of soccer with the local kids, bridging the gap between cultures through the universal language of sports. The joy and camaraderie shared on the field made the day even more special. This immersive and heartwarming day will undoubtedly be cherished as one of the highlights of our adventure.
Joshua S. – Leader of the day
BLOG POST FOR JULY 26
By Poet H. – Leader of the day:
Today we had a quick breakfast of cereal. Then we learned about micro plastics with frank. And about the “floating trash island”. We had a lot of down time to bond with our peers. It was overall a great day to recover and gain some energy back.
By Ryan V. – Leader of the day:
Today we stayed at the peace treat and went swimming in the pool did yoga which really help with all of us everyone was feeling loose it really changed everyone’s mind about yoga and now we all can’t wait for our next yoga session, we also had a guest speaker come in and talk about micro plastics and educated us about all the plastic and how there will be more plastic then fish in the ocean in 2050 and we finished up with men tour groups. Those where the activities we did today.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
By Benjamin V. – Leader of the day:
Today started off with an early rise of 6:30. For our 7 o’clock breakfast we had pancakes with different topping options. We also had the option of a fruit platter and juices. At 7:30, after breakfast we left for the beach to test the pollution and micro plastics in the sand. We were split into groups of 5 and given the task of testing 5 different square meters and finding amounts of plastic for each. After this we were given some time to go swimming in the ocean and chill for another hour. Then around 11:00 we headed back to the resort to hangout until lunch at noon. For lunch we had quesadillas packed with a number of vegetables. Overall a good start to the 7th day of our GLA adventure.
By Amelia O. – Leader of the day:
For lunch we had quesadillas with guac, pico de gallo, and black bean paste. We then took the bus to the sustainable local goat farm. We learned about the nature and ecosystems, fed baby goats, shovel the compost, and tried some of their homemade goat cheeses, yogurts and lemonade. The goat farm was a great experience to u first and the sustainability it uses to maintain the environment and the process of creating food and resources strait from the goats. After leaving the goat farm we headed back to home base where many of us had time to relax and enjoy each-others company. Some went swimming, hung out by hammocks and others took a test after the long day. The following hour we had dinner which was pizza and salad. Everybody then hung out for the rest of the day awaiting the hour until we get our phones. Once we got our phones back at the very end of the day everyone started to get tired and we headed to bed. We had time to reflect on our adventurous day where we worked to maintain and support the local goat farm, with hopes of making an impact on the sustainability of the land.
BLOG POSTS FOR JULY 28-AUGUST 1
Written by Oliver R. & Gabe P.
We woke up today on day 8 at 8am and then we had a great breakfast with eggs and the local food of rice. We then had a great talk with Kevin the yoga instructor about how we should listen to the people who talk to us. He then helped us clear our heads and relax in a new yoga position. Then we had a great Mac and cheese for lunch.
After our morning at peace with the yoga, we had lunch of mac ‘n cheese and falafel sandwiches. We hung out a bit and then went to the local school/soccer field to meet with the Guanacaste Water Center who are service partners for the next few days. We worked to battle the erosion on a hill above the soccer field and below the school by planting a special type of grassy plant that works to keep the soil in place. This allowed the school and field to stay in good shape as the rain picks up over the next few months. And, of course, our local friends who we had met a few days back were there and ready to play soccer as usual. Getting to know the kids of the community has been a great way to better connect with Costa Rica and our part in helping the town we are staying in.
We then went back to the home base, had a refreshing swim in the pool, and then had fish tacos for dinner. We finished out the day by celebrating Corbin’s 18th birthday.
Written by Ava G.
When we got back from surfing we felt accomplished but tired and the lunch of rice, chicken, and vegetables tasted even better than usual. Soon after, the group set out for the Guanacaste Water Center. There we got down in the dirt and planted trees. All the greenery of the place really amazed us and it felt good to help out. We got back covered in dirt and ate an Indian themed dinner. After, we split into mentor groups and worked on our goals for the future. We deliberated over what we want to add to our communities and lives at home. It was a really nice time to be present and reflect on all that we have learned. Following that we hung out and are now excitedly anticipating our last 4 days.
Written by Mack F. & Davis B.
The morning of July 30th, we set out with a mission to help the community. For the first couple hours we worked fixing up bikes brought in by the locals, with a little soccer on the side. This was a ton of fun and my favourite volunteer work yet. After, we headed back to the base for some lunch and our next activity.
To start our afternoon we enjoyed a nice lunch of quesadillas with chicken and veggies. Shortly after we head out on the bus with Roy and Estaban our bus drivers to a locals house where we had our cooking class. We split up into two groups and learned how this family makes fresh corn tortillas everyday. They showed us how to crush up the corn and cook it on their handmade stove.
After enjoying some tortillas with potatoes and black beans we walked over to the field across the street and played some soccer and football. We also joined in on a local independence day and played tug of war, GLA vs local Costa Ricans, we lost… Fast forward back to homebase for dinner and right back out to a beach called Playa Negra for a sunset swim which was amazing! This beach also had some huge waves which made it super fun. To finish off our night back at homebase we showered and did a really cool activity to start our farewell called the appreciation circle. Lets just say a lot of people teared up at some point during this.
Written by Alex S.
Today we had optional yoga at 7:00 am. The main goal of yoga today was focusing on the heart and what the difference was between a good and bad relationship. After yoga we had breakfast at 8:30am. Once breakfast finished went surfing from 10am-12pm. The waves were about 1-3 feet. After surfing we came back to peace retreat to shower and eat lunch before we left for Hacienda Guachipelin hotel.
Written by Nick G.
The group woke up in the mountains of Guanacaste and took our bus to natural hot springs. There we did a skin routine including lathering our bodies with mud and swam in scorching hot pools and a chilly stream. After that we went zip lining. The group started off nervous and ended fearless. We then finished off our activities with white water tubing. The river was flowing swiftly due to the previous rain shower. To finish off the trip we took a GLA survey and got dressed up for our final dinner.