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 JUNE 16
Our crew of twenty-two has arrived safe and sound in Peace Retreat in Los Pargos, Costa Rica. Everything went smoothly and we are so excited to have the students here with us.
Three rounds of buses took us back to home base and we were fed delicious breakfast, to-go burritos and sweet potato chickpea curry for dinner. The students took time to settle in to their spaces, play some games and get to know each other. We brought them into the big yoga studio for a short grounding meditation and an icebreaker.
It was an easy day so that the students can rest up for a big two weeks. We have lots of great service opportunities and adventures coming up. We are so looking forward to what is to come!
Liz Sohmer (GLA International Director)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
We have been having a great couple first days in our time in Costa Rica. Yesterday we had a long day of orientation and creating our community agreement. In the afternoon, we received lots of rain (it’s rainy season!) and so we all gathered in the big yoga studio space for a salsa dancing tutorial and movie night.
For today we had our Leaders of the Day write about what we did!
This morning we walked to Playa Negra and saw many horses and chicken along the way. We played soccer and volleyball to pass time. We enjoyed our first time at the beach seeing monkeys and many dogs. We are very excited to continue our GLA experience!
~Eva N. – Leader of the Day
After we ate a delicious lunch consisting of nachos, we drove to Playa Avellanas where we all surfed. We were all assigned an instructor and learned the proper technique of surfing. They taught us to push up with our hands and keep our body low and relaxed. It was quite a challenge! After our tiring day on the beach, we headed back and had our own free time.
~Austin C. – Leader of the Day
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19
Written by Boris H.
Today was an amazing and important day. With the help of an amazing and caring local member of the community, Frank, we were educated about the importance of living in a sustainable world. For that, we went to the Avellanas beach and took a critical view at the ecosystem of the mangrove trees. We learned about the importance of keeping these trees alive and the damages climate change causes.
After about three hours of walking, cleaning and analysing, we went back to camp for lunch. The afternoon was as busy as the morning. Filled with sun, plants and mosquitoes, we got to help the bomberos (firefighters) recultivate the forest after the fires from the dry season. With that said, we go to sleep with a mind full of questions and potential solutions for a future sustainability system.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20
Written by Demetri C. & Kalyna W. – Leaders of the day
Today we woke up to the cries of the howler monkeys and had a breakfast of rice, beans, eggs, fruit, and juice. Shortly afterwards, we returned to Playa Avellanas where we continued to pick up trash on the beach and collect mangrove seeds. Later, we assembled a structure, four mangrove seeds wrapped around a piece of wood, that we later staked into the mud. We returned to home base for a lunch of pita wraps and hummus to fuel us for the afternoon.
After eating chicken and veggie pitas for lunch, we headed to Avellanas beach to surf. Although it was a bit choppy and inconsistent, we still had a lot of fun. We focused on learning how to turn in the wave. When we returned to the home base we had pizza for dinner. Afterwards, we completed a survey about how we were doing and talked about sustainability in our mentor groups.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21
Written by Pratt B. – Leader of the Day:
Hello families, today was a very eventful day full of fun activities. We began the morning by visiting Callejones beach where we searched for micro plastics on the shore. The groups finished successfully, finding multiple pieces of plastics and enjoyed some fresh coconuts from the trees above as a reward. Later into the afternoon, we boarded the buses heading for Playa Avellanas for our third surfing adventure. The waves were the best they have been the whole trip and campers were catching waves left and right! We concluded the surfing adventure with some smoothies from the beachside bar and watching the surfing instructors shred some waves. The GLA campers enjoyed a nice pasta dinner and a fun movie featuring, “Grown Ups”, with Adam Sandler. Overall, day 6 has been a success for all campers and counselors.
Written by Sims W. – Leader of the Day:
This morning we headed to Callejones beach for another morning of service. We encountered many friendly dogs while we were there, and after lots of sifting we ate some fresh coconut and headed back to home base.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22
Written by Jack S. – Leader of the Day:
This morning we started off as a group. We all ate a fantastic breakfast from our wonderful staff at Peace Retreat. After that we went to a mangrove reforestation beach and sorted through early 50 lbs of plastic that we had picked up. Once done we sifted for micro plastics on the beach and enjoyed the waves. Pura Vida!
Written by Alice P. – Leader of the Day:
This afternoon we visited a goat farm where we got to feed baby goats, milked, walk around the area for a tour, and the best part… trying the cheese. We also helped out and did some compost work. Overall we finished the tour with a quick trip to the market where we got some snacks and sunscreen.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23
Written by Charlie B. – Leader of the Day:
Day 9 in Costa Rica was another service packed day with a relaxed reflective yoga morning. We learned the importance of listening and how to listen effectively in Kevin (our instructor’s) workshop. We followed up the workshop with an intense yoga practice focused on our upper chest. Despite the heat and humidity, we were able to finish our practice with our bodies relaxed and calm.
Written by Nick C. – Leader of the Day:
In the afternoon, we started off by driving to a site and planting 39 trees. We replaced 9 trees that were cut down by an oblivious man. We then planted 30 trees celebrating a couples 30 years of marriage. We were building a natural barrier of trees protecting against fires. Then, we went to the beach and played beach volleyball and took some nice pictures.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Written by Kelsey T. – Leader of the Day:
In the morning we went on the catamaran and the ride was so peaceful. We saw two turtles and when we got to the spot for snorkeling we all jumped in and started asap. We swam over to the beach and hung out until it was time for lunch. We went back to the boat and enjoyed each others company before going back and before we left the boat we had a chance to jump off a few times which was fun.
Written by Finn S. Leader of the Day:
In the afternoon we went to a fair at a local school. There was live music, food and other cool things to buy. We then played soccer with some local kids and went back to peace retreat to chill after the long day.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Written by Abby S. Leader of the Day:
This morning for breakfast we had gallo pinto (rice and beans) and eggs. We also had a colorful selection of fresh fruit and juices. After breakfast we had an eye opening yoga session where we learned about the impact and potential impact of shame on our lives and the importance to counteract it with vulnerability. Finally, we had a workshop with ex-pro surfer Andrea Diaz where we learned about her outreach program Surf For Youth (S4Y). This program changes the lives of a selection of students by teaching them hard work and accountability through the surfing lifestyle. In her words, “Put in the work to be part of the change.”
Written by Noah M. Leader of the Day:
In the afternoon we joined the Guanacaste Water Center to help repair bikes for the local community. while we helped with the bikes the kids could play soccer and or games to learn about bikes and the different parts.