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 3 AND 4
All 22 students for our Surf, Sports and Sustainability program have arrived safely in Los Pargos, Costa Rica. Yesterday was arrival day, we brought the group back to home base to get to know where we will be staying for these two weeks. We listened to our local director Tiffany tell us about Costa Rican culture and typical phrases that are used like Pura Vida. We did a few icebreakers to match names to new faces and get to know each other a little more. It was an easy day because it was a long day of travel to get here!
Today we had our orientation day. We started with a great activity led by our mentor Bernardo that showed an object that represents us and placed it in the middle of the circle. We had a more logistical day to get through the information needed to have a safe trip. We also came up with a community agreement of the values we want to hold as leaders in this experience. The group has bonded quickly and loves to take free time for a card game, to hit a volleyball or get to know each other. We are so excited for the next weeks ahead!
Liz Sohmer – International Director
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Aubree S.:
This morning of July 5th we woke up at 7 am to get ready for breakfast and after we left for the goat farm! We got to the goat farm and started with a tour of the forest and we took in the nature with a breathing exercise. After that short walk we got to see the goats!!! We fed a group of teenage goats and they were a bit shy but super cute! After, we got to see some male goats before we headed over to the milking station and tried some goats milk which was warm and delicious! We got to see and feed the baby goats next and they were so fluffy and adorable. The guides of the goat farm taught us about compost and we split into groups to help take care of their composting piles. To wrap up our time at the farm we washed our hands and enjoyed fresh goat cheese, feta, and yogurt and tamarindo juice.
Written by Rider S.:
Today on July 5, we had our first surf lesson. When we had shown up, the instructors had a little mix up with their schedules, so we had time to use some of our energy and swim in the ocean. We swam until the head instructor showed up, told us to follow him and start sprinting down the beach. We found our boards and learned the basics of how to paddle out and pop up. We surfed along the waves for about two hours with a lot of wipeouts but we got the hang of it and caught some waves!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Olivia J. & Imran O.
Today we awake to chirping birds and howling monkeys with tropical sun already posted high in the blue sky. We set down another beautifully prepared breakfast, banana pancakes and fruit that tastes as if it had been grown in the backyard. We hopped on our bus with much appreciated AC, and cruised on the bleeding clay road to a sustainably run hotel . Today was our first full service day, with Frank as our humble but passionate teacher. We learned about mangrove significance and how their system can aid the world in global warming.
In the afternoon, we returned to the sandy beach with sun kissed faces. We collected fallen mangrove seeds, followed up with a long awaited ocean swim, spent body surfing the waves. After a weary but giggly bus ride back to home base, we all ran into the showers, followed by the dining room to replenish. To finish the night, our mentor groups participated in an environmental debate discussing the standpoints of whaling.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Blai S. – Leader of the day
Today was an early wake up and early breakfast for surfing and we got to the beach around 7. As we got there the tide was pretty high but lowered as we got in. The waves were great today and the ocean was pretty calm. After surfing we got to drink some super good smoothies at Lola’s.
Written by Ishani B – Leader of the Day:
As we concluded our morning with surfing, we went to the beach to plant mangrove trees and mangrove saplings. Before we planted the trees we learned about the different types of mangrove trees, that mangroves and humans share a common resource which are fish, we learned that they play a big role in environment by sequestering the carbon and converting it into nutrients that are transported to the ocean. To keep these mangroves from going extinct we collected mangrove seeds and planted many mangroves. By planting these trees, it will create a better life for ecosystem and a better life for future generations.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Josie R. – Leader of the Day:
Today we slept in and woke up at 7:30 AM for a 8 AM breakfast. We ate potatoes, fresh fruit, and eggs. After the meal, instead of service today we learned all about micro plastics and the study we’re going to perform tomorrow to collect data on the plastic in the beach. We watched some videos and listened to one of our service partners explain the significance of getting rid of the mass amounts of micro plastics all over the world. Following this information session, we had some downtime to hang out and play games while we waited for lunch.
Written by Jenna C. – Leader of the Day
Hey! Jenna here. So, today was kind of a chill, relaxation day. We had our usual lunch at 12 pm, letting our stomachs settle for a bit afterwards. Then at 1 pm, we went and did our first official yoga session! We did that for about two hours, followed by a guest speaker. We learned about Costa Rica: the culture, the people, the food, the education system, and much more! afterwards, we had some free time, then it was 6 pm, which meant it was dinner time! We had some delicious hotdogs and mac n’ cheese, then we moved on to our mentor groups! We also celebrated Jocob’s 15th birthday. And well, that’s pretty much it! Thanks for reading! 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Chloe R. – Leader of the Day:
This morning we woke up to a bright and hot day! At 7 we had a delicious breakfast which was fruit and rice and beans! We then left to the beach for the micro plastic study at 7:30. We separated into groups and learned how to pick up micro plastics. We created a box with string and sticks and had a small cut out box where we used a spoon to dig out sand. We then placed the sand into a bucket of water and after a few scoops we stirred it up and then sifted it to get the micro plastics out and record the data. Before leaving the beach we dipped our feet in the water and played volleyball and soccer tennis! Also, we played a game where we would all line up and get asked a question about Costa Rica and if we knew the answer we had to run up and hit a bell that was on a small table! If the question was answered right we would receive a packet of cookies! We then headed back to the peace retreat after having a great morning of service and fun!
Written by Brandon L. – Leader of the Day:
After this morning’s microplastic activity, we arrived back at peace retreat at around 11. Today’s lunch was rice, beans, chicken tenders, mashed sweet potatoes, and a mix of onions, carrots, and chicken. This was followed by a rest period until 2 o’clock. Afterward we headed off to a cooking class where we made corn tortillas with potatoes and black bean dip alongside the best lemonade I’ve ever had. We also played volleyball and saw various animals such as horses and chickens. Next we went back to the peace retreat to eat dinner. This consisted of various different types of pizzas including chicken, pepperoni, and hotdog. Finally, we ended the day with a full group activity where we gave shoutouts to people and named our highs and lows of the trip. My personal high for the trip was our first day surfing, my low was the long bus ride here because I didn’t know anyone yet. I’m excited and prepared for the rest of the trip and whatever activities it holds.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Alexa B. – Leader of the Day:
Today we had an early start with a 6 am breakfast. After breakfast, we left for the catamaran snorkeling trip that was an hour and 30 minute drive from our home base. Once we arrived to the beach, we waited for the speed boat to pick us up and drop us off at the catamaran that was anchored in the middle of the ocean. We were greeted by the very friendly crew members who helped us board the boat and run through the safety procedures. The ride to the snorkel spot was calming and beautiful. We also listened to really fun summer music. Once at the snorkel spot we put on our gear and immediately spotted fish underneath our catamaran. After awhile of snorkeling, the group played in the water a little bit before it was time for lunch. After lunch, we headed back to where we first boarded the boat and headed back to home base for a snack of chips and guacamole.
Written by Nandini R. – Leader of the Day:
After the catamaran, we came home, ate a snack, and went to a local market. We learned a lot at the local market and we all supported,sustainable vendors. We also learned about the marimba and danced along. Each vendor was different. There were jewelry stores, popsicle stands, and natural skincare stands. It was also our last time seeing Frank, our mangrove and micro plastic service partner. We left him nice notes and students such as Olivia had a meaningful goodbye. Finally we ended the day with mentor groups and sunset watching on the beach Playa Negra.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Sahana G – Leader of the Day:
This morning we woke up and had a great start to our leisurely morning with breakfast and yoga. We focused on our heart with our instructor kevin and talked about how we can value ourselves and others in relationships. We expressed and understood these feelings through exercises and meaningful conversations. Then, we had an amazing lunch and practiced valuing our food with Bernardo.
Written by Mia C. – Leader of the Day:
After lunch, we headed to our service activity. We spent the afternoon planting trees with the guanacaste water center as part of their reforestation efforts. We added a special gel and fertilizer to the plants to help ensure their growth, especially during the six month dry season Costa Rica has. On our way home we took a stop at a store to stock up on snacks! Our pasta dinner was followed by mentor groups and a game of camouflage before bed!