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 23
Today was such an exciting day of arrivals! For the early arrivals, those students were able to get a good breakfast of gallo pinto, fruit, and eggs soon after their arrival. They hung out at a nearby hotel until more students arrived and we were able to take the first bus of students to homebase.
Soon enough we left with the first 18 arrivals and we were en route to home base for a 6pm arrival. We arrived, had dinner, got settled in rooms, and rested in preparation for the next 13 days! The remainder of students all arrived by 6pm and they were also able to leave to homebase and were at homebase by 10! These students skipped out on dinner and went straight to bed!
From here out, the students will be writing the blog!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
Written by Payton Hart & Josh Stewart-Jones
One specific moment from today that we enjoyed was our 1 hour break time where we formed closer connections with the other students. Everyone gathered on the dock by the lake and played pool. Another fun moment from today was when we gathered in a big circle around the fire pit and played ice breaker games including where the wind blows and drop the blanket. There was a beautiful sunset, the sky was baby blue, pink, and orange. Our favorite meal was lunch. We had chicken, rice, beans, vegetables, pasta, and pineapple. Pura vida.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
Written by Lea, Emily and Ellie
Today was our first day of service! We went to a local primary school, Terron Colorado, and helped out the community. When we first got there, all the kids came up to us and gave us hugs! It was adorable. We helped children read in English, gardened, and painted the school walls. Then we saw a celebration of the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua, where some of us participated in a tortilla making contest. Afterwards, we came back to home base, had lunch and participated in a coffee where we learned about the intricacies of growing coffee, and got to taste high-quality, locally grown coffee. Then we had our swim test, which was also our first time in the lake, and spent the rest of the day hanging out around home base. We finished the day off with a round of Hot Seat and s’more making! Overall, it was a really fun day!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
Written by Sunny, Cate, and Addie
This morning, we got to sleep in and woke up to the sound of rain outside our windows. Everyone’s faces lit up when they found out the breakfast consisted of pancakes and Nutella! After digesting our food, we headed to a leadership activity where we talked about the controversial idea of “voluntourism”. After wrapping up our discussion, we had our first lake day! We all jumped in the water and participated in many fun activities such as kayaking, tanning and boating. Then, we headed to lunch and got ready for our dance lesson. We headed to another part of the property and participated in an intense and exciting lesson on bachata dancing. Following that we had a scavenger hunt around home base where the winners were treated to ice cream. After dinner we had another group discussion on our unique “Rivers of Life”. Overall, it was an an exciting and eventful day filled with many new things and pura vida!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Written by Julia, Sophia, and Tina
This morning we woke up to beautiful weather and a delicious breakfast already to foto our last day of service at Terron colorado. We connected with the kids for the last day while we painted and gardened. We then came home for lunch that consisted of chicken, rice, beans, pasta salad, and sweet tea. After lunch we got our belongings and headed to the animal rescue center. We saw monkeys, pumas, turtles, parrots, and many more. It was really cool to see animals that most of us don’t usually see on a daily basis. When we got back, we sat around in our daily chow circle and shared our favorite travel destinations. We also tried some local fruits; the pejibaye and mamon chino. Then we ate a yummy dinner before celebrating Christina’s birthday! She had her own treat while we all also had ice cream! There were confetti cannons and even a piñata! Today was full of new experiences and lots of pura vida!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Written by Meredie & Violet
First of all, what a great way to start the weekend! After a full week of service; painting schools, getting to know the kids and weeding as much as we can. A nice day of relaxing was all we needed. Our excursion started bright an early as we set off to La Fortuna Waterfall! With the 500 steps there and back the cold, fresh water at the bottom was perfect. Everyone took as many pictures as they could and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. Motivation got everyone to the top and the excitement continued as we travelled to a fantastic resort full of hot springs. Blown away by the thrilling water slides, warm water and delicious food, Baldi springs did us all so well.
Eventually, we made our way back to home base for some dinner and an early night!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
We started our morning off with fishing at a national park. There was a small pond where everybody got a chance to fish. afterwards, we took a brisk walk to get a glimpse of the scenery costa rica has to offer. for lunch, we ate the fish we caught (food always tases better when you work for it)!
after lunch we headed over to la fortuna where we jumped shop to shop buying souvenirs and having lunch. We bought cute tops, beautiful cups and delicious ice cream. before leaving, we stopped by a pizza restaurant and were finally able to get wifi to connect to the people at home. As we returned to homebase, our bus shared lots of fun memories with each other. As an end of the night snack, we ate empanadas filled with yummy meat and veggies. With that, we wish you all pura vida.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 31
Another early start for day nine of our adventure. We ate a well balanced breakfast then headed off to our new service project at San Rafael School. When we arrived, we were pleasantly suprised by how many students were able to speak English. During our time there, we were able to decorate for their science fair, play freeze tag, paint, and help out during English class. After a hard time of saying good bye to the students, we grabbed lunch at a delicious local soda. Then we started the road trip to Arenal Park to enjoy tubing; a lot of laughs and a few tumbles later, we finally got the hang of it and had a splendid time. Thankfully, we got to celebrate our driver Don Luis’ birthday with a song and a local delicacy! We ended the night with dinner and a game of “Funny Olympics”. Now that another eventful day has come to a close, we are more than excited to see what the rest of the trip has in store for us.
Here’s the link to our photos from the tubing: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/gicfxi48jbviqfpvsr92l/h?rlkey=eypj3ug09h96g94prx1iyly2m&dl=0
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 1
Written by Jamillah and Julian
We started our morning off with a filling, traditional breakfast before heading off to an exciting day of service. We were greeted with with a colorful balloon banister (courtesy of some of our fellow GLAers the day before) and headed into the bustling science fair! After splitting into our respective groups, some of us had the chance to learn from the students and asked a variety of questions regarding their science fair projects. The other group of students worked vigorously on painting the classrooms. We returned to our GLA home base and ate traditional Costa Rican chicken for lunch. We then had the chance to make traditional empanadas with the help of Don Alfredo! After an exciting day, we were able to spend a few hours by the lake snacking on our empanadas before dinner and our night leadership activities. Now that another day has finished we are so excited to see what have in store tomorrow!
Jamillah and Julian
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 2
Written by Megan Gifford and Noa Tsur
Happy Dia de Los Angles! Today is a Costa Rican holiday where many people make a pilgrimage to represent the miracles made by the virgin during the year.
To start off the celebration, we had some fluffy pancakes for breakfast. We then headed off to service where we participated in painting, sanding and forming a new driveway. After service we headed back to home base and had some yummy chicken for lunch. We all got together after lunch and did a leadership activity. This activity taught us to work together and how one person can make or break a situation.
After, we all headed over to town where we talked to locals, stoped for ice cream and played soccer with the kids. When we got back from town, we all enjoyed some much-needed rest and got ready for dinner. We had some delicious pasta for dinner that was a perfect end to the day. We split into our mentor groups and engaged in an activity that explored our identities in the form of a poem. It was a good way to learn more about ourselves and our peers. Everyone grabbed their phones and “went to call their parents” before bed. It was another wonderful day in Costa Rica!
Looking forward to making more memories in our last few days,
Megan Gifford and Noa Tsur
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 3
Written by Aarav and Nolan
Today was another fantastic day! With only 2 days left in the program, we had an eventful day that we will never forget. Today was our last day of community service which was very memorable because we had to say goodbye to the kids. Today we split into 3 groups and focused on teaching the kids how to code, painting classrooms, and building a rock path to the school. After our final service, the school’s principal, Don Edward, gave us a heartfelt goodbye and thanked us for everything we’d done. After lunch, we all headed down to eat some coconuts. Thanks to Freddie for chopping up those coconuts for us, they were delicious! Then we went to Don Maikol’s house where we learned about his family’s milk and cheese project which they have been working on for the last 2 years. At his home, we learned how to milk cows and we learned about the cheese making process. We also helped feed a little calf who was only 8 days old. Don Maikol also let us try his many drinks and snacks including orange juice, coffee, and his homemade cheese. After the Milk and Cheese workshop, 4 kids came over to the home base to play soccer with us. For our nightly activity we took a stroll down memory lane and wrote down personal and group goals that we wanted to carry on from GLA to our lives afterwards. We presenting these goals through funny and entertaining skits and raps. Overall, today was a great day.
Aarav y Nolan
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 4
Written by Ryan and Johnny
Johnny and Ryan here to wrap everything up for you today. We started off like normal getting ready for the day and eating the good ole Costa Rican classic breakfast. Then we made our way to zip line, where we found ourselves soaring the skies and really enjoying the beautiful land. Afterwards we returned to home base and after lunch, we decided to cool ourselves down with some ice cream. When we came back we got ready for our farewell dinner and packed for our return. Before the dinner we shared our most memorable experiences throughout the two weeks. Mine was when the power went out and all us boys laughed about aliens and the new sixers head coach that doesn’t exist (Ryan). Mine was playing soccer with the kids back at homebase (Johnny). In the candlelight we had the special Don Alfredo Alfredo pasta. And to wrap our night we had an appreciation circle where we tapped each others shoulders about things we liked about each other when our backs were turned. Then, we read the letters we spent the past few days writing to each other in our “appreciation boxes”. It was quite emotional for all of us to say the least.
Overall, we feel genuinely very fulfilled as a closure to this experience. Thank you very much for reading!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
Today was the departure day for students. Everyone was up with the sun for the departures. Miss Payton left at 2 in the morning to catch her early flight! We grabbed quick snacks and said goodbye to our home away from home. One bus left at 5:30 and the other at 7:00. After a few hours in the bus each group arrived at the airport and students were all able to check in and we said our last goodbyes. Many students were very excited to get past security to grab some Starbucks and find their gate. We miss them already!! We hope they’re all arriving safe and sound at their homes across the world. We wish them a great school year and the best in all their endeavors!
-Staff Team (Alysse, Nicole, Diego, Emily, and Marbella)
Hello families! The program staff has sent over a link to all of the zipline photos. Click here to check them out in the sub-folder titled “New Folder.”