Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Dearest GLA Students,
This summer was amazing and it was all thanks to you! Each and every one of the 22 of you contributed something special and together we had an unforgettable experience. We did great work in Santa Teresita, had so many adventures, and learned a lot about ourselves.
The mural looks great and you were able to capture Manuel’s vision wonderfully well. The ramp was grueling work, but we felt awesome afterward. The activities with the kids was amazing, so much fun jumping rope, playing soccer, and coloring the intricate designs!
Every time we explored nature, we had a blast. Whether it was in our backyard around Playa Pelada or far away around Rio Celeste, we found many wonderful opportunities to be surrounded by nature. When we stepped out of our comfort zones to try new things such as zip lining or white water rafting, we were glad we did it– and some of us wanted to do it again!
1. Sunrise in Ostional to watch turtle hatching, right next door to Nosara, was absolutely amazing. Waking up at 4am was totally worth it!
2. Never will I ever forget Anthony’s shoe mix up, spurred by Grace’s shoe mix up!
3. What Makes You Beautiful, Timber, Girls Run the World, One Dance, & Asereje = our awesome dance performances at the Santa Teresita Multi Uso!!!
4. The scrumptious zebra (marble) cake we had for Faviola’s birthday. Yum!
5. Morning swim, anyone? How about a morning run!?
6. Hiking barefoot at Mala Noche was pretty impressive! I loved how everyone was so encouraging and supportive of those jumping off the cliff at Mala Noche.
7. Swimming in the really cold Rio Celeste was worth because the water was so blue and pretty!
8. The Mafia was very clever and took out the entire town of GLA Students!
9. Paradise, double speed and other card games. So much fun!
10. Our good-bye party in Santa Teresita was a blast- so much music and the dances that the students at the high school and elementary school performed were quite spectacular!
Summer Blog Posts
July 30 2016
We made it!! After a long day of delayed flights, flat tires, and a bumpy bus ride through the jungle, the students have arrived at the home base in Nosara. With a hot dinner in our stomachs, we are all off to bed to get some shuteye before the exciting day of orientation tomorrow.
The GLA Team
July 31, 2016
Today had a groovy start. With all of the local staff, the students played a game where everyone invented their own dance move which was then associated with their name. In no time the whole group knew everyone’s name and had a new repertoire of dance moves. The rest of the morning included skits, group discussions, and a tour of the hotel grounds. Because of its close proximity and the beautiful weather, visiting the beach was slipped into the daily schedule. The group was able to swim in the warm water and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Two fabulous meals later we found ourselves at the end of day 2. Now that the group has settled and is familiar with the home base, we are off to explore the town of Nosara in the morning!
August 1, 2016
For day three we left home base and got a chance to see our work site and explore some of the community. We met our coworkers at the work site, an elementary school in the community of Santa Teresita. We had a service orientation which gave us all a chance to learn how to use all sorts of tools. Afterwards, we went to a recycling center for a tour which became the inspiration for the first workshop that we plan to hold with the children at the school. Following lunch we got a chance to walk around the community where we were able to get some snack shopping in at some local stores. The afternoon ended with a bang as we did a hike that took us to an estuary, an incredible vista, and the beach. The group got really dirty from the muddy and slippery hike, so we rinsed off in the ocean and then continued on to a Gelateria. With multiple flavors in our stomachs we returned home satisfied and ready for an end of the night leadership workshop.
August 2, 2016
Today was an exciting and incredible day for the group. First, we witnessed the great migration of sea turtles, 300 in all, coming to lay their eggs on the beach which happens after a specific moon cycle. However, in order to do so we had to wake up at 4AM! Without a minute to spare we went straight to breakfast and then straight to the wor ksite. The first day was hot but we were able to prep the community center for our project which will include a large mural among other things. Later in the afternoon we went to a cooking demonstration at the house of a lady named Lisbia. We cooked and danced but, most importantly, we played with a bunch of newborn puppies. We returned to home base for a surprise dessert and then had a game night at the pavilion. The whole group is excited for what’s to come!
Faces of Nosara
Hobbies: Loves being in nature. Enjoys hiking and sports, especially soccer
Fun fact: Worked at a recycling center. Inspires many people to help the world and recycle
In this moment: Works for GLA as a local coordinator and also has a job making ginger beer.
We got the ball rolling at the service site this morning by making some serious headway on our mural, the inside of the community center, and the preparation of the workshops we will put on for the kids. We had some delicious burritos for lunch and were able to take advantage of some much deserved free time. The afternoon started off with some Spanish classes where we freshened up our language skills so we could talk with the Ticos. Later, students had a blast swimming at the beach, dancing in the pavilion, cooking at the tree house, or simply reading in the sun. After dinner we watched the inspiring movie 180 Degrees South to close out an incredible day.
– Emma N.
August 5, 2016
Hola! Buenos dias a todos! Today the GLA team had an epic time. Like always, we woke up at 6am and again made a lot of progress including the creation of a cement floor in the community center’s kitchen. We came back, ate lunch, and headed to town for our wifi day! Just so you know, it is something we only get once a week so we don’t take it lightly. Least to say, we were all very excited. After our wifi treat, we returned to the home base and went straight to the pavilion for a snake presentation. The snake guy, Ryan, talked to us about all the different snakes in the area and brought a few with him that we got to hold. It was extraordinary and exhilarating! The day ended with our mentor groups where we talked about active listening and our values. It was a wonderful day!
Student of the day
Name: Emma G.
Hometown: Nevada city, California
Fun fact: does aerial
Reason for coming: strengthen her weaknesses
We finished our first week of service today with a bang. The group completely transformed an old dirt driveway, added a ton of detail to the mural, and put on a successful workshop about water conservation with the kids. Back at home base we spent the afternoon in our mentor groups telling stories and became much closer as a group. Some students went for a sunset swim and we all ended the day together playing games in the pavilion.
Student of the day
Name: Jenna Sterling
Hometown: Needham, Massachusetts
Fun fact: she rides horses
Reason for coming: to help the community
Name: Kim Noguera
Job: works at a bakery with her mom. This is his first year with GLA and she has cooked for 3 groups.
Hometown: Nicoya, Guanacasta
Fact about self: loves being nice and loves to cook and bake. Also, she is taking classes to get a certificate to become a professional baker . Has a 3 year old boy named Santiago
August 5 and 6, 2016
These past two days have been our “adventure weekend,” and the name says it all! Our first day started out with a trip to a monkey sanctuary where we got to see a bunch of local wildlife up close and personal. We learned about all of the different types of monkeys in Costa Rica and the measures that are being taken to conserve their habitat. Our second day we hiked to the water fall that we are painting for the mural. It is called “mala noche” and the experience was so much fun. We did the hike with a lot of the local community members and spent hours jumping into water holes and swimming under the waterfall. Both afternoons the group split up to do different activities. We either went ziplining, horseback riding, surfing or stand up paddle boarding. All of them were awesome in their own way and the group had amazing stories to share when we all recombined at home base. Our days off from service have been full of fun but we are all ready to go again tomorrow!
August 8, 2016
Today we woke up around 6 in the morning to yet another orchestra of monkey howls which helped us be on time to our day at service. Of course, there were the few brave souls that woke up even earlier for an optional run and yoga. Pulling up to the work site today was awesome. The mural now looks like the waterfall we all jumped off and it is incredible to see the progress we are making. The group got their summer workout in with wheelbarrow races and karaoke games while building the ramp. After a mix of work and fun, we headed back to home base to eat some lunch and then later made our way over to Isa’s, Kim’s mother, house. She taught us how to make cinnamon rolls and both Tracy and Winnie stepped into the spotlight when they took over for Isa. In order to keep the other students entertained, Olivia and Maddie put on another episode of “banana talk show” which included a cheesy pick up line contest. While we waited for our cinnamon rolls to bake, we danced and played futbol with some young Ticos. We also enjoyed a brief marimba class taught by the local Guitilleros brothers who used a marimba made by their father. Before the night was over we enjoyed an amazing BBQ, which included our own cinnamon rolls and empanadas, and we danced salsa and bachata. Below, please find (and try to recreate) the recipe that gave us so many good memories:
Isa’s cinnamon rolls
2 kilos flour
1 kilo sugar
4 spoons yeast
1 cup milk
4 cups water
1 squirt vanilla extract
1 stick butter
5 squirt yellow food coloring
Quotes of the day:
Javier ( the youngest marimba band member): “my whole family can play marimba. love music and it’s a big part of me, my family, and my country.”
Isa: “I am never the one to go to about much, but ask me about cakes or pastries, and I could go on for hours. It’s what I love. It’s my life.”
By now, we all thought we all thought we were used to the monkey alarm, but today we learned otherwise. After a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and tortillas, we raced to be on time for our first full day of cementing. Just watching the (very fun) back breaking labor made the rest of us sweat. The day, like always, sped by and before we knew it, we were back at home base for lunch. We spent the first part of the afternoon at the beach and then gathered for a Zumba dance class. The hour and half class seemed much shorter even though we sweat an amount equivalent to three hours of exercise. As tired as we were by the end, the class was immediately followed by a dance party where everyone learned even more moves from the infamous Tracy. The night ended with a mysterious activity. Dash and Jessa took a rope and gave us these instructions: two, twenty six, scratch. With those three words, we worked to solve the puzzle and proved ourselves to be a sound team.
-Olivia, Maddie, and Jenny
August 10, 2016
Today was yet another successful day of service. The team finished the sign for the front of the salon (Salon Multifuncional), finished cementing the ramp, and continued on the inside wall’s border design and the mural outside. Following service, we went to a pizzeria close to our hotel. We had delicious pepperoni, margarita, and vegan pizza with side salads and fresca de sandia. Some of the group went to the beach, while another left to the resort. After playing in the low tide, the “beach girls” headed back to the hotel to get ready for Cafesito. We were all required to dress nicely, as fellow ticos and ticas were inviting us into their homes. Essentially, cafesito is a time where ticos and ticas come together in the afternoon to spend time together. They’d chat over a snack of tortillas or empanadas and drink delicious coffee.
Tico culture especially values family and family time as well. Cafesito is an exemplary example of just how much they value time with one another. We split into two groups: one group went to Josue’s house, a kid who we play with while working at the salon and another went to Jen’s boyfriend’s house. There, we chatted with Alonzo’s parents, daughter in law, and grandson. They served us delicious tortillas with cheese and sour cream and hot coffee with brown sugar and milk. We chatted with each parent individually, as we implored on topics such as the history of Nosara, life back in the 70’s, the impact of tourism in the community, and the general growth of Nosara and Santa Teresita as towns. It was extremely eye opening. Following cafesito, we went back to the resort to a dinner of quesadillas. The final activity was a student led activity and we all chose to watch 180 Degrees South, a documentary on a journey to Patagonia, southern most tip of South America.
August 11, 2016
¡Hola! ¡Buenos Dias a todos! Today we started our day off with service as always – with the help of everyone we were able to finish up cementing for the ramp and are pretty much finished with the mural! Throughout our time working, we had quite a bit of fun singing songs and making videos, one of which ended in a bloody mouth for Anthony. After service we rushed home for some lunch and got on our way for a fun wifi outing. At wifi we enjoyed some ice cream, bagels and some fun souvenir shopping. Around 3:30 pm we left straight from Guiones to visit Cuinco, the only person living in Nosara who still uses oxen daily. At his place we learned some interesting facts about both his oxen and his family, including that he has 30 grandchildren. After our fun outings for the day, we headed on home with an extra hour before dinner, where we all relaxed and packed for our exciting trip to Rio Celeste for the next three days! Before heading off to bed we spent a little bit in the pavilion in our mentor groups playing some fun games together.
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Fun fact: has a twin
Reason for coming: make a change in another community.
City : Boston, MA
Fun Fact : She met Elizabeth Warren
Reason for coming : She wanted to do something for a community outside of her own.
City : Asbury Park, NJ
Fun Fact : She loves to bake
Reason for coming : She wanted an adventure
From: Oslo Norway
Fun fact: played the clarinet for seven years.
Reason for coming: wanted to take part in making a difference and experience a new culture.
From: Tokyo, Japan
Fun fact: dance and sing
Reason for coming: wanted to travel and work with children.
Hometown: South Boston, Massachusetts
Reason for coming on this trip: I wanted to experience a different culture and to be involved in the local community all the while learning a different lifestyle from my own.
Fun Fact: 1 of 11 kids
Hometown: Medfield, Massachusetts
Reason for coming on this trip: I wanted to help make a difference in the local kids’ and the communities’ life and experience a new country.
Hobbies: Playing cello, bass, volleyball, and tennis
Fun Fact: Made peanut butter and jelly in the back of a movie theater with friends
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Reason for coming on this trip: I wanted to experience and different country and learn more about another culture. I was also very intrigued by helping out the community and giving more to the local children.
Fun Fact: I adore animals and love music.
Hometown: Long Island, New York
Reason for coming on this trip: I like kids and wanted to better my Spanish-speaking skill.
Hobbies: Horseback riding and cheerleading