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 JUNE 24
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 Kathrine, Addison, Dominic, Carter, and Bodhi who are joining the team today on another flight. The group arrived at Home Base and had their first look at Costa Rican nature as the jungle surrounds our beautiful Ecolodge. After getting to know one another and a delicious dinner, everyone settled in their cabins, 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, Ricardo, Alexandra, Rodrigo & Sar
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25 & 26
Written by: Sammy, Jake, and Morgan
Hey parents! What a great time we’ve been having these last couple days. We have eaten great food, met lots of new people, and played lots of games. The second day was Orientation Day and even though it was a lot of going over protocols, Costa Rican culture, and health checks we got to have fun around home base by going in the pool and playing games that let us get to know each other.
The third day (yesterday) we had our first surf lesson. We caught lots of waves and had an amazing time. Later in the afternoon, we went back to the beach and played soccer and volleyball. As soon as it started to rain, we headed back to home base and went in the pool. We all had an amazing bonding experience turning it into a whirl pool. To end the day we had a group discussion/ debate on a real life situation about sea turtle conservation efforts in Costa Rica.
Note to families: We’ve added lots of photos from Day 3 below, along with a new blog post for Day 4. Happy reading! -GLA HQ
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Written by Leaders of the Day – Laura, Griffin and Ally
Today we woke up to a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit and warm pastries. We headed down to the beach to meet a conservation organization called Grupo Ecológico Avellanas, who took us on a tour of the mangroves. While informing us of the history of their program, we quickly learned to keep our eyes peeled for the monkeys above who have little care for who their pee and poop landed on! After a traditional lunch of rice, beans, potatoes, sausage and guacamole we spent the afternoon helping clean the mangroves we had toured earlier in the day. After 60 pounds of trash was picked up from the beach and mangroves we split up into groups, did some body surfing in the waves, engaged in an INTENSE soccer match, and played some beach volleyball.
Once back at home base we took showers and ate a large dinner of delicious tacos. We finished the night off in our mentor groups focusing on our leadership and responsibilities with photography and posting on social media. As we write this blog for you all, we also engage in playing intense sessions of billiards and various card games before bedtime. We look forward to tomorrow where we will have our second surf session, and work in the Junquillal Mangrove to plant the mangrove seeds.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Written by Athina, Isla, Tyson
Breakfast this morning was perfect for our big day out in the water. We had a big plate of eggs with blueberry bagels and sausage. Then we headed down to the beach to meet the surf instructors for our second lesson. This time we all got to catch bigger waves and practice some more of the skills we were being taught. After the two hour surf lesson, we headed back for another delicious meal of stir fry; with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and chicken. In the afternoon, we arrived at the organic garden at Junquillal, where we got a little dirty… from weed picking to mangrove planting, the rain did not let up. We headed home for a wet bus ride and finished the night off with warm white bean soup. We spent our last hour with mentor groups and then headed to bed after a long day.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by Matt, Harry, and Adam
Today was a very exiting and eventful day. As the leaders of the day we woke up everyone as obnoxiously as possible. In the morning we went to contribute to a research project named the big micro plastic survey. This worldwide project takes research from around the world to analyze the types of micro plastics and where they are found. After our service project we body surfed and played boys vs girls soccer on the beach with the boys taking the win. After lunch, we went surfing and everyone caught tons of waves (and had some epic wipeouts, too.) To end our day, we celebrated the birthdays of Katie and Athena.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Written by Addie, Gaby, and Katie
Hi GLA Family!!
Today was full of sweets, service and sun. As the leaders of the day, we woke everyone up with their own song and few loud knocks!! We fueled up with a variety of cereal, eggs and fruit to head out to our chocolate tour. We tasted REAL chocolate made with 70% cacao unlike the fake candy chocolate such as Hersheys which has under 10% cacao. After lunch, we left to complete our service project of the day. This consisted of picking up trash on the beach and helping Yerma (gardener/biologist) with her garden. On the beach, we came across some ripe coconuts that we cracked open and enjoyed as a group. After our dinner, we reflected on our day and opened our minds to the culture we have been immersed in. We also acknowledge preconceived stereotypes about Costa Rica and the rest of the world. We ended our day early to get ready for our extra early morning tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Written by Leaders of the Day: Meagan, Mela, and Adam
To start the day off yesterday (7/1) we woke everyone up at 5:30 am and ate breakfast at 6:00. We were on a tight schedule so we left at 6:45 and drove and up towards Playa Flamingo where we met our catamaran. There was a low buzz of energy on the bus and most people slept. Once we got there we had a few minutes on the beach where a few people played finger jousting with the objective being to poke the other person first. When our boat was ready and our group took 2 trips on a dingy from the beach to the ‘Lazy Lizard’. Once on the catamaran our captains made Shirley temples and iced teas and went through the safety briefing before we set off. Everyone filled out the bow, lying on the nets while we made our way to the bay that we would swim at. Everyone had lots of fun singing the songs that were blasted through the speakers. Bodhi and Griffin held the duo for lip syncing and dancing back and forth.
After the captain anchored in the bay, a group went snorkeling and another took turns jumping off the boat to swim to shore. The snorkelers saw a pufferfish, rainbow wraps, and other fish. The others swam to shore and explored the beautiful white sand beach and we learned Avery is the fastest runner of the group in some sand racing. Everyone had joined together in the shallows of the beach and began flipping off one another’s shoulders. Harry and Dom had the highest back flip off Avery and Brady’s shoulders. Everyone was called back to the boat for a delicious lunch of wraps, salad, fruit and cookies. The catamaran had a floating water mat that everyone took turns battling and fitting on as many people on as possible. We then made our way back to shore, blasting Kenny Chesney and Rihanna. We said gracias and then took our ride back to Home Base.
We had a late lunch of chicken fingers with rice beans, and salad. Then we got a half hour of tech time for a reward of not clogging the toilets all day! (In Costa Rica, you can’t flush the toilet paper, so it’s been an adjustment.)
Jairo Perez the pro surfer came and gave a speech. If you don’t know, he is a 2x Costa Rican champion in his division and has set out chasing his Olympic dream. He was an alternate for the recent 2020 Tokyo games. His story was very inspirational and the background he came from and how he worked his way through life to the title of pro surfer. He now owns a coffee farm and brought and brought some for the opportunity for us to purchase. A portion of the proceeds support an orphanage in the Central Valley and provides surf excursions to the beach for the kids.
Dinner came around which was good as always and then we had tech time of course, and then our leadership circle consisting of shout outs, highlights and takeaways. It was the best day so far, lots of fun. Happy Canada Day!
Pura Vida from your Leaders of the Day,
Meagan, Mela, and Adam
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Written by Leaders of the Day: Sean T.,Brady M., Brady R., Brady M.
Today we had an easy going morning while we waited out the rain. We kicked things off with a yoga session. This was equally exhausting as it was relaxing. We then had some pool time where we tossed around a ball and played Marco Polo, and made a huge whirlpool in the shallow end again. Afterwards Rodrigo taught us about languages and similarities between them. We all learned some new Spanish phrases throughout the lesson. Overall this was a very chill and relaxing day. A truly great way to wait out the storm. 🙂
Photos from July 1st and 2nd:
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Morgan, Matteo, and Avery
What a successful day! We picked up 21 kg (46 lbs) of trash on the beach Playa Lagartillo and 50 kg (111 lbs) of trash in the Las Delicias community around the soccer field. During beach cleanup, a local came and thanked us all, saying how happy she was that we were cleaning. After cleanup, we all played soccer with a few members of the community. We had dinner after settled down, to listen to a super inspiring presentation about Mentor Rodrigo’s sustainable house that he built in Brazil, all with reclaimed wood and up-cycled materials. We are all excited for tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Today started off great with our LODS Bodhi, Carter, and Dom doing the morning wake up call. We then traveled to our community service cite, Las Delicias where we picked up trash, cleaned up the community center, and painted the benches around the soccer field yellow and green. We then ended the morning with a very fun game of soccer.
After lunch we returned back to our community service site, we were taught three traditional games. We finally ended the day with a cooking class where we cooked tortillas and tried beñuelos with honey.
We concluded the day with another delicious dinner, our nightly chow circle, and a game of jeopardy before heading to bed for a great sleep.
Carter, Bodhi, and Dominic