Time Capsule Letter
We can’t believe that it’s been so long since our Costa Rica trip ended! I can still remember the sound of the ocean lulling us to sleep each night and the sound of the howling monkeys (and the falling mangoes) waking us up each morning. Often times, it seems just like yesterday that we were hiking up to the lookout in Toledo, stumbling through the forest and making clay masterpieces in Matambu. You’re probably starting school soon but we wanted you to know here in Costa Rica are still thinking of you and the impact we made this summer together.
Our time spent together here truly did make an impact. Restoring Our Watershed (ROW) and all the schools and communities that we served are so grateful for your time and dedication. Henry and his family will continue to support reforestation efforts and continue producing local honey thanks to your commitment and encouragement. I know that each time the students and teachers look at the word walls fluttering/ falling off the walls they will remember your energy and passion for their learning.
And most importantly, I know that our time together has had an amazing impact on each one of you. The knowledge YOU gained on this trip about yourself and the global community we hope will go on to serve you and the communities that you become apart of as you go forward lead and inspire change in the world! We know how integral each person is to a community and the incredible difference each person can make in cultivating meaningful change and we strive to continue to seek out opportunities to make new connections and learn from eachother.
Another thing, I can’t forget is how much fun we had together here! You guys were a huge part of making this trip so fun by being such a passionate and close- knit group. We experienced the Pura Vida culture by learning to dance and make casado with Dalia. We visited Tamarindo and shopped for souvenirs that would bring smiles to our families’ faces. We also got to explore the farmer’s market and the beautiful landscapes of Monte Alto.
We worked really hard and also had a blast together! Whether it was deep conversations over piles of dirt, games of mafia or exploring new activities together- it was so much fun because we got to share it with you- the 2019 GLA Costa Rica group!
Remember to continue to seek out new experiences and make new connections with others. Stay in touch with each other and hopefully keep some of that mindful pura vida lifestyle in your hearts. We would love to hear how you are doing! Have you continued to build friendships and inspire deep conversations?
Remember to share your personal goals with GLA too, they would love to see how you are BEING the CHANGE back home!
Thanks for helping to make these special memories in an amazing place and good luck with all your personal goals and endeavors!
Emily and the Costa Rica Team
Thursday July 11, 2019
The students are here! We picked up the first group of students and headed to the tree nursery for our first lunch together. The howler monkeys came out to greet us and welcome us with their unique barking sounds. After a delicious meal of rice and chicken, we headed to the home base. We arrived at home base just in time to watch a magical sunset and unpack. The group is awaiting the other 9 students who are in route from the airport! We are so excited for all of the adventures and to be a whole group!
-GLA Program Staff
Friday July 12, 2019
We had an amazing breakfast prepared by own local host Rita, she made everything fresh and tasty!
We are just in front of the beach and the nature here is flourishing with many plants, flowers, birds and wild animals. To start we had an overview of the program, of the the community service in the schools, and a good orientation on rules and useful recommendations—Plus some basic Spanish to start refreshing for the schools. We watched the sunset and start to know each other better. A long but fulfilling day! 🙂
Saturday July 13, 2019
Hola! This morning we started off our day with a breakfast of eggs, toast, fruit, cereal, and coffee. The food here is so good and I don’t think any of us were expecting it to be this good. The area we’re staying at is also super pretty and we are right on the beach – its insane! Right after we had breakfast we left home base to go paddle boarding which was really fun and we stayed there for about an hour.
We then came back to home base to get dressed and get ready for lunch and we ate pasta with veggies and garlic bread. There was also this really good fruit juice and we found fresh mangos and made juice out of that. After lunch we prepared the materials that we’re going to need for service (we wrote Spanish words on paper as flashcards for the students).
After that, we came back to home base and finished our orientation then we went to eat a dinner of rice, chicken and vegetables, potatoes, a cucumber and tomato salad and limeade. It’s been a good three days so far and I’m sure the rest of this trip is only going to get more fun!
Sunday July 14, 2019
The quote for today was about the pleasures of giving vs getting. Today was surely the best example of both worlds. We started the day with another amazing breakfast from our hosts to spending the majority of the day at the Vivero planting trees and working on projects for the school. We made our own casado and juice for lunch. The day ended with a watching of the sunset on the beach, another amazing dinner, and a song guessing game with our guests from GLA’s Costa Rica office.
Monday July 15, 2019
¡Día cinco, 15 de julio! Today was our first day of service which took place at Rio Seco. It was amazing to teach them a bunch of ecology words, play bingo, and play soccer. Then came lunch at El Vivero which was amazing as always. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to dance class but hopefully it will come so we got a little time to rest up before Cafecito. Wow, Cafecito was filled with culture and love. From soccer to face paintings to food, it definitely was the highlight of the day for most of us. What a great day to end the day before coming back to homebase for dinner and prepping for service tomorrow.
Wednesday July 17, 2019
Today was our 7th day in Costa Rica. We had a later desayuno and we did our laundry and cleaned our rooms. Later, we left to swim at the beach and eat at Playa Negra! We then ate almuerzo at Vivero and then headed back to home base for a siesta! After our siesta, we headed to Henry’s farm for a cafecito and a beautiful hike! The coffee was amazing as well as the honey that Henry makes! The hike we went on was so beautiful and everyone was so nice. We came back to homebase for dinner and worked on materials for another day at the school! Another awesome day!
Thursday July 18, 2019
Today was day eight, in the morning we went to service at a new school. Next we went to the vivero for lunch, and to learn about the snakes in costa rica. After the vivero we went back to the home base for an hour siesta (nap)! After we went to playa avallones for smoothies. Finally we did our mentor groups, and went to bed.
Friday July 19, 2019
Hi, this morning we woke up around 6:30 to get dressed and ready for breakfast. We had eggs gallo pinto and fresh fruit. After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to the Rio Seco school where we met with the kids and walked down to the river to pick up trash and plant some trees! After a few hours of hard work we got back on the bus and headed to the vivero for a lunch of quesadillas which were amazing!
Then we headed to the skate park for some smoothies and the best French fries I have ever had! We also had a few brave souls who decided to try and skateboard. By the time we finished it was time for dinner. We had rice chicken and broccoli. Like usual after dinner we met up with our mentor groups, had a good talk and went stargazing. We over all had an amazing day and I can’t wait for the next!
Saturday July 20, 2019
Today we had breakfast at 8 o’clock next we took the bus to Tamarindo which is a bigger town. We went to a farmers market, ate lunch, and shopped around. We took a bus to the nature reserve, where we will be staying for the weekend. To conclude we went for a hike to see the sunset and we had dinner.
Monday July 22, 2019
Today was an eventful day (and night). It is our last day in the toledo nature reserve. After making it through a night of lots of thunder and lightning we were pleasantly awoken to pancakes for breakfast.
The day was changed a bit—but we went with it!
We drove up most of the way to the mirador (the lookout) then hiked—mostly slipped—our way down the mountain and back to the reserve. After lunch we packed up and left monte alto.
Then, we finished our afternoon with a delicious coffee tour and visit to the grocery store. It was a fun weekend but we are happy to be back by the beach eating Rita’s yummy food and listening to the waves!
Tuesday July 23, 2019
Today was day 13, we woke up and had eggs, rice and beans, and pineapple for breakfast then left home base at 7:30. We went to service at the school Paraiso, which we had not gone to yet. This school had a lot of students and our program broke into 3 stations of different learning activities for the kids. We left the school to go to the Vivero for lunch, which was rice, beans, plantains, meat, salad, and pineapple juice. After eating we stayed at the Vivero to prepare different materials.
Part of our group painted and worked on making trash bins while others tie-dyed shirts that are going to be made into reusable bags with the kids at one of the schools we’ve gone to. After that we left the Vivero around 3:00 and went Las Delicias, a school, to play soccer with the kids. We stayed for w few hours and then stopped by a beach on our way back to home base and got to see a baby turtle liberation!! The baby turtles are placed in front of us on the sand and we got to watch them crawl to the shore and go into the ocean, it was amazing. We then returned to home base and had rice, pork, potato, avocado, and salad for dinner. After dinner we had mentor groups and then some free time before bed.
Wednesday July 24, 2019
Today we got to sleep in and have breakfast at 8:30! After breakfast a couple of us went on a short hike to an overlook. At around 10:30 we went to the Tempisque River for lunch and 2 hour boat ride where we saw so many crocodiles. On our way back to home base we stopped at Nicoya for ice cream and a street fair. It was a lot of driving around but a super fun day!
Today was a very relaxed day. In the morning we helped plant trees at the Vivero. Then we had lunch and left for home base. At home base we had a siesta and swam at the beach. Around 3 pm we left the home base to go to a turtle reserve. There we learned about various turtle species and then we did an activity on the beach. After that we went back to home base, had dinner, told the story of our life in mentor groups, and went to sleep.
Saturday July 27, 2019
Hola! Today was day 17! We had breakfast at 7:00 and we ate bread, eggs, mango, and watermelon. Then we went to the Vivero and worked on planting trees and germinating seeds. We had lunch at 12:00 which was spaghetti with vegetables and garlic bread. After lunch, we went to pick some ojoche seeds and we came back to plant them.
Then we headed back to home base to get ready for the beach. We got smoothies at Lola’s, which is a restaurant on the beach. When we got back to home base, we had dinner which consisted of rice, eggplant with tomato and onion, and pork. Today was a good service day and we all had a lot of fun! We’re looking forward our last few days here.