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 26 & 27
The rumble of chatter filled vans carrying students through the lush scenery between the arrival airport in the city of Liberia and our new GLA home base at Angles Eco Lodge. It was the sound of bonds being formed that will set the foundation for this GLA team, and possibly even for life-long friendships. The group has students from states across the USA, and 4 countries, including Colombia, Canada, and Peru. While rain slowed our journey, time passed quickly with the opportunity to socialize, making it clear that these students are excited to learn, not just from Costa Rica, but also from one another.
Three of our students; Luke, Eva, and Samson, experienced major delays which caused them to come a day late. Trip mentor, Sar, picked them up at the Liberia airport and brought them to home base. This made our group complete and ready to get to work.
In orientation, students drew a poster to represent the values they hope to see embodied by their cohort. It held the words to be the foundation for how they hope to treat one another. While the day began with setting the group values, it ended with a discussion about how those very values will apply to their goals for this two-week trip and beyond. Students are synthesizing the connection between the values they chose; fun communication, and open-mindedness, and the culture in which they are immersing, one that is characterized by an indelible openness to a community that includes people, animals, and the environment – a concept fondly summarized by the Costa Rican mantra Pura Vida.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Written by Samson, Spencer, and Francios
After an early wakeup and a quick breakfast, we all headed to the beach for our first surf day. After a group warm-up we took to the ocean and, under the watchful eyes of our instructors, we rode the first of many waves yet to come. We left the beach tired but accomplished as we headed back to base camp for lunch before our next stop of the day: a chocolate tour. My group first explored the botanical garden, learning about the diverse plant life here in Costa Rica. After the tour we took part in the production of chocolate as we grinded fresh cacao nibs into a creamy chocolate base, similar to that which is put into chocolate bars that we eat every day. From there, it was onto the tasting as we sampled different chocolates. We concluded the day with dinner and a debate surrounding sea turtle protection which marked the end of another beautiful day here in Costa Rica.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Written by Leaders of the Day – Mimi, Maeve, Alexandra, Maria & Meha
Hi from Costa Rica!!!
Today we woke up at 6:30 so that we could head to Playa Avellanas and learn about mangroves from our new friend Frank!! Frank is our community service partner who started the organization GEA (Grupo Ecológico de Avellanas). We learned about the different types of mangroves, and all the different animals that live in them. We picked up trash along the beach, and had a total of 8.96 pounds! We also collected mangrove seeds “propogules” to help with reforestation efforts. Then we headed back to home base for lunch, where we had really good fish and salad. In the afternoon. we headed back to Playa Avellanas to hang up signs that previous GLA groups painted that tell visitors not to use the beach as their trash can, along with other advice to increase environmental awareness. We walked along the beach to the estuary and then we swam in the ocean! We’re getting up really early for surfing at 7am tomorrow, for a real “dawn patrol” as it’s called in surfer lingo.
Here are lots of pics from the last couple days!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
Written by Jackson, Dylan K., Arthur P. & Quinn
Dear friends and families,
Today on July 30th we had an early morning wake up at 5am. We then had breakfast and headed out to the beach for some early morning waves which were great!!! Afterwards, we had some time to hangout at the beach to swim and eat! Following that we returned back to home base for lunch and then went to a local organic garden where we learned about permaculture. Everyone did their part in helping making the ecosystem better and better and had a great time doing it! We planted some avocado trees and worked on lots of other projects. The 31 of us completed in a few hours what would have taken the small team of 3 at the garden many weeks, so they were very grateful for our help. After that we headed back to home base for some free time, dinner, tech time and early bed for the catamaran!!!
🤙🏽 Pura Vida!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 31
Written by Luke, Josh, and Drew
Today we got off to an early morning on a catamaran. We rode to a nearby beach with beautiful scenery. Here we went on a snorkeling tour where they explored the local reefs. Then we returned to the boat where we swam, paddle-boarded, and socialized with students from other tours. We then went back to the boat where we enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by the staff. We rode back to the beach, enjoying the views. When we returned to homebase we rested for a little. We then went to a nearby market full of goods made by community members. After we went to homebase once again where we receiveD a Spanish lesson from Rodrigo before eating dinner. It was a super relaxing and beautiful day and we’re stoked for tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 1
Written by Cabin 6 – Natalie, Estefania, Alyson, Eva & Abigail
Good morning friends and family! This morning we spent our time working on a service project that consisted of taking micro plastic samples from Playa Avellanas. The data from our samples helps us understand our impact on plastics in our environment. Following that we spent the rest of our afternoon and evening hanging out by the pool, playing football, listening to music, and enjoying the beautiful crescent moonrise. In the evening after delicious sopa Azteca, we shared our rose, bud, and thorn. We are really looking forward to seeing a new beach tomorrow and collecting more data on microplastics, as well as getting to hear from a guest speaker in the afternoon.
Pura Vida 🤙
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 2
Written by Cabin Number 1 – Maxwell, Dylan R., Noah S., and Alex D.
This morning we got all of the cabins up at 6:30 am with some melodic tunes for the early morning. After a healthy breakfast of eggs, gallo pinto, and toast we headed out to the beach to meet with Frank and locate microplastics along the beach. We participated in the Big Microplastic Survey where we send in very small plastics found along the beach so we can identify them and use them in future studies and to help the ocean. Using buckets, spoons, water, and a sifter we spent a couple hours finding microplastics in groups along the beach.
After finishing looking for microplastics we played soccer and some football on the beach. Then we headed to a local grocery store and restocked on snacks for the next couple of days. Finally, we headed back to the hotel and ate lunch at 1230. After lunch we had a long break where people hung out at the pool until a guest speaker named Andrea Diaz who is a former professional surfer for the Costa Rican national team and now runs an organization called Surf4Youth came to talk. Andrea talked about her life and her organization, then we asked her questions. After Andrea left we all hung out playing pool, hanging around the pool, and listening to music until we had dinner. Dinner was delicious today, we had cheeseburgers and French fries. It was a great day today in Costa Rica.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 3
Today at GLA Surf, Sports, and Sustainability we started the day off with a nice breakfast at our home base. We then traveled to the hot beach to do some beach yoga at Playa Negra. In the afternoon we did some community service at Junquillal. We painted signs, made wind chimes, and setup a chicken coop. Lastly, we ate dinner, had an amazing hour of tech time, then went to bed ready for our 7 am surfing lesson!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 4
Written by Cabina 4; Simone, Jesse, and Catalina
Today we woke up early at 5:30 A.M, had a simple breakfast then headed out to the beautiful beach, Avellanas. This was our third surf lesson. It was so amazing. The water was so glassy and smooth. We caught some really big and long waves even though it was hard to get back past the break. After a two hour session of surfing and many tropical smoothies later, we relaxed for a bit in the beach. Today they had the most delicious muffins that had chocolate and bananas. Later, we headed to a local café, Jalapeño, for breakfast burritos and fruit smoothies. There were crazy named menu items like a protein shake named “funky monkey.” After we all ate we hopped back on the bus to listen to some sing along tunes. Let me tell you, we sang our hearts out. After we came back to home base we had lunch and chilled. Our new favourite activity at home base is to play pool. Some of us are getting pretty good. We also got lucky today and got to watch kung foo panda one and Madagascar 2. The classics!
Let’s not forget today was our first official day with our new mentor Sam!! Along with our Sam, we had our first day of sports service. Here we painted signs, cleaned benches and goal posts, and so much more cleaning. After all of our hard work we divided into two groups and played the most intense game of soccer. Oh and did i mention we played in the middle of down pouring rain. Yes! Very muddy. After what felt like so many goals later we headed back to home base, showered off, and headed to dinner. We shared our highlights of our days and shouted out our friends. We eat yet another delicious meal and finished the day with a night activities where we learned the importance of fully researching places before souly relying on stereotypes.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
Written by Cabin 3: Arthur, Dylan K., and Jackson
This morning we woke up to an amazing breakfast prepared by our hosts. We then proceeded to finish our service for the trip with Frank that included, painting soccer goals, painting benches, collecting trash, and painting signs out of recycled wood from a nearby construction site. After we finished the work, everyone had a fun little soccer skirmish; then we went back to home base to clean up for lunch. Our afternoon activities included a cultural cooking lesson and cultural games. We were taught about traditional kitchen supplies; for example, there is a common Costa Rican fruit that was used as a bowl. We made handmade delicious tortillas and waffles. Frank, along with a group of local children joined us in a variety of common games played in Costa Rica. Some of the most memorable were quittitch and the team marble ramp. Overall, today was a great last day of service where we were immersed in their traditions. Everyone can’t wait for a great surf day tomorrow and the big excursion.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 6
Written by Drew, Francois, and Luke
We were supposed to have an early wake up for our final surf lesson at 5:30am, but we couldn’t wake everyone up because our alarm didn’t go off. However, everyone adjusted quickly and ate a quick breakfast.
We arrived at the beach in pumped spirits knowing that it was our last opportunity to surf some nice waves at Avellanas. We saw a lot of improvement with our group and it was impressive how good one can get at a certain task if they truly commit and put their mind to it.
At 10am, we arrived back at home base to eat delicious burritos for brunch. We made sure to shower and pack up quickly in order to get to Blue River resort as soon as possible. We were looking forward to this excursion for the past few days, and our arrival showed the whole population of the hotel how excited we were. We immediately jumped into the hot springs and went down the slide. We also went to the sauna that had so many bats inside. It was a little scary, but Sarah told us that if we were quiet, the bats wouldn’t move because they use echo location in order to survive (we unfortunately disregarded what she said and yelled so much that the bats flew everywhere). We finished our activity with a mud bath and rinsed off with the showers. The night ended well with a nutritious dinner and more excitement for the following day – zip lining and a waterfall hike.