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 15
Hello from Costa Rica!
Everyone made it safe and sound to home base. We are just waiting for Sol to arrive and we will be complete! We are excited for everyone to meet her at breakfast tomorrow morning. For dinner tonight we had typical Costa Rican food which included rice, beans, fried yucca, veggies and some pork chops. It’s been a long travel day for everyone so we are going to bed early to take advantage of the sunny mornings around here. We will begin our programming tomorrow which includes the GLA and Service orientation and a lot of fun games!
Here is our first picture as a group. We will take another one tomorrow morning with Sol! J
As they say in Costa Rica,
Brenda, Kennedy & Jonathan
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 16
Written by Sienna and Poppy 🙂
Hello from Costa Rica!!
We had a great first day at Home Base! It feels good to have a day completely unplugged from phones and spend time getting to know everyone! We played a lot of fun get-to-know-you games, and are beginning to remember everyone’s names. Tomorrow is our first day of community service and we are sooooo excited! Dinner was wonderful with burgers, fries, and a nice cold Coca Cola. It did rain a lot in the afternoon but the morning was beautiful and HOT.
Here’s our complete group picture, including Sol!
So excited for the rest of the trip! PURA VIDA
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17
Written by Sienna and Carly 🙂
Hello again from Costa Rica!!
Our day started very early at 6am, in order to get in a quick breakfast before heading to the local school for our FIRST day of community service! Even though it was hot we all had lots of fun painting the school. We also got to watch the passing of the torch ceremony where the current student government officers pass on their positions to the new kids elected. When we got home, we all passed our swim tests (YAY) and then we learned about coffee culture in Costa Rica from Alfredo, our local director.
Tomorrow we are going on a hike to see a waterfall! And finally, we ended the day with a Birthday celebration for Solana (shoutout to cabin 3’s mothers Carrie, Jenny, Kay and Shelly. We love and miss you all) who turned 17, and a delicious dinner of pasta and garlic bread. We are all starting to feel like a big family! It was also nice being able to have our phones today for an hour. We will get to have our phones tomorrow morning as well so we can take them to the waterfall!
Here are some pictures from our activities and one of the birthday girl!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
Written by Chloe and Camila
Hola!! Tuning in once again from the marvelous Costa Rica! 🙂
We started off this weekend with a little extra time to sleep in and started our day eating breakfast at 8AM. We were well rested and excited to go on an amazing hike to La Fortuna’s waterfall. It was a 45-minute bus ride, but it went by fast because everyone was singing and admiring the beautiful scenery. We hiked down lots of stairs, following the sounds of the waterfall, and finally arrived at the bottom to get some great pictures with our cameras and phones! After seeing the waterfall, we made our way back up, little by little (there were a lot of stairs…) to be rewarded with fruit smoothies and a stop at the gift shop.
After buying some souvenirs, we made our way back to HB, making a stop at a local supermarket where we were able to buy snacks. We got back to Home Base, tired, but were able to relax, open up to each other, and get deep in our thoughts by responding to some prompts in our journals. Before dinner we did a few leadership activities where we got to know each other better and gain deeper connections. We ended the day with some delicious local pizza bought by Alfredo!! We can’t wait to go tubing tomorrow! Tomorrow we will have our phones again in the morning for the tubing!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19
Written by Lusha and Harper
Greetings from Costa Rica!
We started the day off with a delicious breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns and gallo pinto. After breakfast we boarded the bus to head to ziplining. We were all buzzing with anticipation. On the drive we passed kilometers of lush rainforest and a volcano that loomed in the distance. On the drive, we were surrounded by swirls of white clouds and blue sky. This was a breathtaking sight. We had our phones to listen to music and take pictures of the beautiful drive. Once we were parked, we were greeted by a green tractor that led us up a rocky path to the ziplining base.
Once we all got harnessed up and took a group picture with the volcano in the background, we began to line up behind the first cable. Our mentor Kennedy- a first time zipliner- went first with the rest of us following. The views were amazing. Below our feet were miles of air and thick clusters of trees. We felt like we were flying. The next 7 cables went by in a blur of exhilaration, suspense and awe. After we finished ziplining we entered a small hut and relaxed with sweet homemade pineapple juice. As the family who lived in the hut explained their heritage, we absorbed their stories like the pineapple juice we drank. It is only day 5/14 but it feels like a ten out of ten.
Lusha and Harper
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20
Written by Jordan and Myra
It was a very fun, spontaneous 6th day in Costa Rica.
Today was a very fun day for all of the girls. First, we had breakfast at 7am, and we walked to a local school. This was a different school, one that was walking distance with only 13 students and one teacher. We spent the day playing duck duck goose, soccer, Frisbee, and baseball. We practiced colors in English using balloons and practiced math on their whiteboard. We danced and arm wrestled, and then we ate popsicles. It was a chance to let them practice their English, but also spend the day outdoors enjoying each other’s company. By the end of our time at the school, everyone was very worn out from running around, and it was a very enjoyable experience to get to know the kids. Thank you Jonathan for buying us and all of the student’s popsicles! After, we walked back to Home Base and ate a big lunch.
Today we got tech time again after lunch, so we could take pictures of home base and contact our families before we got on the bus and took an hour long drive to Los Chiles, close to the Nicaraguan border. We got on a boat and took a ride through the Rio Frio. We saw many interesting birds, spider monkeys, bull sharks, and a sloth! The rain made the ride even prettier and showed us the beauty of Costa Rica. We drove back to Home Base and arrived before 7pm. We had burgers and fries for dinner, which were made by the wonderful chefs.
Shout out to all the dads for father’s day, including the dads of Room 3 (Mike, David, David, and Carlos) and also Myra’s dad (Doyle)! We love you guys!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21
Written by Lia and Natalie
We woke up early today for a delicious breakfast of gallo pinto, eggs, avocado and special donuts. We left for service at the community school after breakfast, around 8am. At the school, we broke into two different groups, one group continued to tackle painting the building, while the other group worked with the English teacher at the school to help teach English to 1st, 3rd and 5th graders. Service today was exciting, engaging and rewarding for everyone. Shoutout to cabin 3s and Harper’s pets (Emmy Lou, Berlin, Felix & Sassy and Carly’s fish x2, Blue the duck, Dudley, Luna, Olly, and Sparky), we really miss you all. Shoutout to Rosie and Poppy for bringing the string so we can decorate our water bottles! We departed the school and had lunch at home base around noon, we ate an amazing meal of rice, beans and Alfredo’s special pineapple pork recipe.
After lunch we had tech time so we could charge our phones for the pineapple farm. In the afternoon, we went on an extremely fun pineapple farm tour. We learned about the complexity of growing pineapple and why Costa Rica is such a perfect climate for pineapple production. On the tour we were surrounded by beautiful acres of pineapple plants and a refreshing rainstorm towards the end. We were surprised with many pineapples to enjoy throughout the tour along with virgin pina coladas at the end. Overall, this was such a fun and enlightening day, and we can’t wait for the following days to come.
Love from Costa Rica,
Lia and Natalie
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22
Written by Poppy & Solana
We hope all is well back in the United States! For those of you who are curious of our adventures throughout Costa Rica and the delicious meals we have had the pleasure of eating you must read on… Today we woke up at what felt like the crack of dawn, the sun still asleep as the rain poured down ever so quietly. We were greeted by the swarms of bees buzzing and bats squawking on our way to breakfast. Our wonderful chefs whipped up a storm in the kitchen filling our bellies with pancakes, pastries, pineapple, eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice and of course gallo pinto! Afterwards, we prepared to board the bus and head on over to service. As we drove through the scenic route of rural Costa Rica, we were full of excitement. Once arriving to the school, we were greeted by the joyous sounds of children’s laughter, soon to split into our service groups and begin the day! We all took turns painting the school blush pink and coffee bean brown, working in the greenhouse and teaching English to the adorable second graders in the classroom (when we say adorable, we mean it, they were truly so cute!).
Around noon we began our journey back to HB (homebase) after receiving so many warm embraces from all the little kids. For lunch we had grilled pork served with a side of rice, beans, salad, bread and our personal favorite yuca root fries. After lunch we were given tech time so that we could charge our phones for the hot springs! Once done with lunch we quickly changed to make our way down to the hot springs. While there we relaxed in the soothing waters of varying temperatures and nearly flew out of the water slides that were there. Before leaving we ate some yummy ice cream and arrived home to a lovely dinner. Dinner was full of all the nutritious and delicious food groups, chicken fajita tacos! Before we bid you goodnight, we would like to say a quick shout out to some of our GLA girls’ siblings… Flynn, Caleb, Henry, Spencer, Olivia, Maddie, and Tessa we miss you all so much!
Love from afar,
Poppy and Solana 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23
Written by Sophia and Rosie
Greetings from Costa Rica!!!!
We had a delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, rice and beans, and delicious pastries! After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to service at the local school. We split into two service groups and each got a chance to work in the classroom with the kids. While the other group worked on painting the school and helping out in the greenhouse. Everyone had so much fun and Rosie and I got to work with the same 1st graders as we did a couple of days ago. After a fun day of service, we headed home for a scrumptious lunch at 12:30. We had beans with delicious arroz con pollo and garlic bread!
After a short break, we hopped on the bus for about an hour with our phones until we arrived at the animal rescue/zoo. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as we planned! It was pouring rain with lightning and thunder. We managed to start the tour and get to see monkeys but then made the difficult decision that it was not safe to continue on. We ended our short tour with going to the gift shop where we dried off, got souvenirs, and bought snacks. After arriving at home base, we were given about an hour to dry off and shower. After, we did our leader of the day activity, which was charades. Jordan and Myra then lead their leader of the day activity, ninja, since it couldn’t fit in the schedule a couple of days ago. Kennedy lead an amazing writing activity where we each wrote our name on a piece of paper and passed it around for everyone to write one nice comment about you. For dinner, we had an amazing steak with traditional rice and beans, a baked potato, and garlic bread.
Shoutout to our dogs Sam, Lucy, Honey, and Harry!! Also to our wonderful parents and siblings as well!
Miss you all, Sophia and Rosie!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Written by Valentina and Sol
Coming in from Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: the daily blog…
We started our Friday off with eggs, cereal, potatoes, pico de gallo (also known as rice and beans), with an assortment of fruit. Then we embarked on our final day of service- although not the last time at the school, as we will be visiting on Monday to say goodbye. The time was spent painting the school, working in the greenhouse, and helping the English teacher. The cafeteria staff even treated us to some homemade ice cream! After many hugs, goodbyes, and even some tears, we headed back to homebase. Half an hour after our return, we had grilled pork, pico de gallo, and salad for lunch. After minimal downtime, the kids from the school we visited on Monday stopped by. Although not planned, the visit was a welcomed surprise. We then had a leadership activity followed by a dance class where we learned the basics of merengue, bachata, and salsa. Once we were back at homebase, we got an hour of phone time. After the hour was up, the phones were returned and placed in a safe. Later we had a group bonding activity called “The Color of Love”. For dinner we had pasta with sauce, salad, and bread. Hoping everything stays well in the far off land we call home!
Valentina and Sol
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Written by Lia and Sienna
We had a very laid-back morning, waking up at 8:00 am (2 hours later than usual) and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. After we ate breakfast, we departed on a long journey to a local National Park. The park is located in the beautiful mountains at an extremely high elevation; therefore, it was surprisingly chilly. Following our hike, we had a freshly served lunch at the lodge on the grounds of the park. On the way home, we had an exciting visit at a supermarket, and stocked up on snacks we needed. After returning to home base, we had fun leader of the day activities (musical chairs and snake eyes). Finally, we ended the day with an enlightening leadership activity, led by our mentor Kennedy. We enjoyed a delicious, traditional Costa Rican dinner of beef stew and the usual rice and beans.
Shoutout to cabin 3’s grandparents (Bubbie & Zada and Dzia & Gram, Grandpa Joe & in memory of Grandma Carol <3, Myrna & David, Ena & Eugene) Pura Vida! Lia and Sienna
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Rosie and Solana
As we are excited to make our way back home in just a couple of days, we are also filled with deep sorrow as we are about to leave Costa Rica, the place we have called home for the past two weeks. Today we were able to sleep in and later enjoy our delicious breakfast of fresh fruits, sweet pastries, and of course gallo pinto! After breakfast we all got ready to go tubing, however due to heavy rainfall the waters were too rapid! Even though our day took an unexpected turn we made the best of it by hiking to a volcano! Our hike was nothing short of exhausting but rewarded us with beautiful views and a breathtaking experience. We headed back to home base for a late lunch, greeted with an array of scrumptious side dishes such as the traditional rice and beans, fries and salad served with chicken as an entrée.
Once finished with lunch we had an overwhelming amount of downtime where we packed, tidied our cabins up and rested/recharged for our farewell bonfire sendoff! At 7pm, we dressed up and gathered around the campfire, sharing laughs, taking pictures, singing, dancing and enjoying each other’s company one last time. For our farewell dinner we had a feast! We ate fried fish, rice and beans, fresh vegetables, shrimp and scallion soup, yuca root stuffed with cheese and beef, garlic bread and for our drink, sweet tea. Though bittersweet, we had a wonderful time tonight, and before we say goodbye here is a quick shoutout to some of the GLA girls’ families (The Browns, Cordons, Stewarts, Konas, Campbells, and Babbins), we love and miss you all so much!
All our love from afar,
Rosie and Solana
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Sophia and Lusha reporting from downtown San Jose, where we are spending our last night in Costa Rica. We are extremely sad to leave, and will miss our peers and service experiences greatly, but are also excited to return home. We started today off with a delectable breakfast of eggs, plantains, gallo pinto, fresh fruits, and juice. After breakfast, we headed to the school for the very last time. We danced, talked, and took many pictures with the kids. It was a fun but emotional experience. After we arrived back at home base, we participated in an appreciation circle as our last GLA activity.
After eating a delicious farewell lunch and packing up, we were met with a special surprise. The kids from Santa Teresa School came by homebase and gave us hugs as we said goodbye. We then piled onto the bus for the ride to the hotel. Driving past familiar landscapes for the very last time was a bittersweet experience. Once we got to the hotel, we swam before eating our last dinner together. Dinner was rice, veggies, meat, and a delicious fruit juice. We plan on all saying our goodbyes to each other later tonight before lights out. Overall, this trip has been absolutely amazing. We’ve all learned, grown, and connected so much. We’re so grateful to have been able to partake in such a unique experience like Global Leadership Adventures, and will carry the lessons we’ve learned throughout the rest of our lives.
Sophia and Lusha
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Adios Amigos! Thank you for an amazing two weeks. We will miss you all terribly! Safe travels and enjoy the hot showers at home! We hope you enjoyed the gift shops and Starbucks at the airport 🙂
Brenda, Jonathan, and Kennedy