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 waking up early to watch the (foggy) sunrise, splashing in waterfalls and making clay masterpieces in Matambu. You’re probably starting school soon (and even college!) but we wanted you to know here in Costa Rica we 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 practice their flashcards they will remember your smiles and your 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 to 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 new experiences.
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 close- knit and respectful 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 in Santa Cruz and the beautiful landscapes of Monte Alto. (Your beautiful paintings are displayed in the the vivero!)
We worked really hard and also had a blast together! Whether it was playing mafia together, games of scattergories, card games (that involved slapping and screaming) 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 our Group’s OMG- “One Meaningful Goal”- that we created at the end of the session? We pledged to continue to seek out new experiences and make new connections with others. We promised to stay in touch with others and hopefully keep some of that mindful “pura vida” lifestyle in our hearts. We would love to hear how that is going! Have you continued to build friendships and plan new adventures?
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
Monday June 17, 2019
Hello to all!
What a day!
After the LONG long journey some of us had to arrive here in Costa Rica we then spent a couple more hours awaiting the rest of the group—no worries though—luckily our students came prepared and we whipped out the uno and some other card games to pass the time.
Once finally uniting the group we headed towards the homebase! After a quick stop in El Centro Verde—to eat some all familiar cheeseburgers prepared by Dalia—we headed to Playa Callejones to begin unpacking in our new home for the upcoming next 3 weeks.
We will be living the Costa Rican dream the next 21 days in our ocean front homebase equipped with hammocks and a fire pit for the true “pura vida” experience. We are excited to hang up and hang out this week as our schedule is very packed with activities!
We shall keep ya updated!
Your IFC team
Tuesday June 18, 2019
Started the day with an exploration of the manglare on paddle boarding, and spotting wildlife. Back at our home base, we had a delicious lunch prepared by our local host. We enjoyed our base at the beach, and took a nap in the hottest hours of the day. We visited the permaculture eco-center where we are going to do some of our community service. Back at home base, we admired the beautiful sunset. The day was intense but incredibly fulfilling!! 🙂
Wednesday June 19, 2019
Today was day 3. We are all finally here! We slept in this morning and then ate a traditional breakfast of gallo pinto and fried bananas. After break days, we learned about Restoring Our Watershed (ROW)—the organization we will be working with on our service projects. Then, we learned how to cook our own Casado and worked together to prepare our own lunch.
It was delicious! After lunch, we took a tour of El Centro Verde (the nursery) and prepared materials for our school projects. Then we returned to our beautiful home base and had dinner and ice cream. After dinner, we practiced our Spanish skills. We are so excited to practice our Spanish in the schools tomorrow!
Thursday June 20, 2019
Day 4 is done! Today we started off bright and early at 6:50AM. After a delicious breakfast, we headed down to La Florida school, where we had our first day of service. Mainly, we went over Spanish flash cards to help them with reading (we occasionally made fortune tellers with them). We then headed down to the vivero to eat a delicious spaghetti lunch. After our bellies were full, we decided that it would be fun to share embarrassing stories. This was achieved by writing them down in a piece of paper and guessing who wrote it; it went very well.
Our next activity made us close in a different way: salsa dancing really was a treat. After the ever intense dancing, we moved off to Yolanda’s cafecito. Some of the activities that we did included making tortillas and empanadas, drinking some delicious coffee and playing Pato, pato, gancho(duck, duck, goose). We finished off the day by playing some minute to win it games and eating dinner. Overall, a fun and eventful day!
-by Aaron Sterling
Friday June 21, 2019
Hi everyone! Today was kind of a crazy day, but we had a lot of fun anyway 🙂 To starts off the day, we had a delicious breakfast made by Rita. Then, we headed off to the school to play some games with the kids. We played “pato, pato, gancho” (duck, duck, goose), papa caliente (hot potato), fútbol, and frisbee! The kids are the sweetest, and they were full of energy!
After this, we visited the vivero and we ate some delicious burritos made by Dahlia. We then had a change of plans, and instead of going to the beach, we hung out and played some games (UNO and mafia). When we left the vivero, we stopped at the Pulpería to grab some snacks for the room. Everyone stocked up! We came back to home base and then we had some dinner. Now, we are just hanging out making bracelets, enjoying the rain, and eating snacks. Excited for tomorrow!
Saturday June 22, 2019
Hello everyone! Today, we met a group of local high school volunteers and did some service with them. We started by filling small plastic bags with soil and then, planting plants in them. Afterwards, we ate chicken, rice, beans, plantains, potatoes and salad for lunch. In the afternoon, we went to a farm and planted trees atop the mountainside on the property. Next, we went to an internet cafe and enjoyed fruit smoothies and fries.
It was a great day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow!
-by Ana Ziebarth
Sunday June 23, 2019
Welcome to day 7 everybody! We’re one week through our trip, and super excited for the upcoming two weeks. Today we had an early start at 6:50 with a breakfast of pinto de gallo with a special treat (cereal). We had to get up early in order to make it to our destination of the day: barra honda national park. The drive was a little long — 1.5 hours long — but once we made it, we had a great time! We hiked to the highest lookout point of the mountain and had a nice picnic lunch with a view.
Along the way to the top we saw a bunch of capuchin monkeys! After the hike, we headed back to home base to do some much needed laundry and cleaning. Although our clean porch didn’t even last past dinner… speaking of dinner, it was great too. After dinner we had some time to hang out as a group and fill out our week 1 pulse checks — basically a checkup for how the trip has been going so far. And if this blog post has shown anything, I hope that it shows that the trip has been great so far. We’re all super excited for the upcoming two weeks!
Blog post by Ben Norin
Monday June 24, 2019
Hi everyone:) Today was day 8 in Costa Rica. We started off the day with another delicious breakfast made by Rita. We then jumped on the bus and headed to our first day at Las Delicias. We worked with elementary school aged kids on word comprehension and of course we got to spend recess with them!
After service at the school we headed to the vivero and ate great quesadillas made by Dalia! We stayed at the Vivero for a snake show presented by Vincenzo Salvatico, a reptile specialist. We learned about many different species of snakes located in Costa Rica.
We ended the day with a trip to Playa Negra and dinner at the homebase. It was a super fun day and we can’t wait for tomorrow!
Love, Ellie <3
Hello families – we already updated Thursday’s blog, but the two below were sent by staff for Tuesday and Wednesday, so we’re moving the jump link back up to here!
Tuesday June 25, 2019
Today we woke up at 6:50 and went to service at the same school at yesterday. We were in 3 different stations where the students moved through. There was one syllable station, one flash card station and a eco education drawing activity.
After service we went to the vivero and are a wonderful lunch. From there we went to playa avalles beach. We enjoyed smoothies, pizza and swimming. There was also a very large pig named Lola.
This evening we ate rice, ham and zucchini. We then had a activity where we completed each other anonymously and then review what others said. We are now making bracelets and soon off to sleep.
Wednesday June 26, 2019
For today a bright sunny Wednesday we drove out to go on a boat tour! We saw so many things including crocodiles, herons, and the biggest iguanas on the planet! After a few hours on the boat we made it safely to solid land for lunch.Which was chicken, rice, beans, and for dessert rice pudding.Finally we went back on the bus to visit the vibrant town of Nicoya.The wildlife of the rivers and the little city were both amazing adventures!
Ta ta for now!
Thursday June 27, 2019
Hola! Today we enjoyed an excellent day. We began with a fulfilling breakfast at our base then drove on the bus. We were welcomed with the beautiful faces from the children at the Guadpote School. There we made stations with fun activities to help improve their education. We also enjoyed playing with them during their recess.
After, we went to the vivero for another nutritious lunch and prepared items for the next day. Finally we went to Henry’s for a cafecito and were treated with a walk around his beautiful green lands and taste of his family’s homemade specialties like their rich honey. Back at the home base we finished up with our own activities including dinner. We miss our family and friends but enjoy the relaxing Costa Rican breeze. Pura Vida.
Friday June 28, 2019
Today is day 12! We started off with a nice breakfast made by Rita at home base, and then went to the Venado school. There we worked with kids, ranging from 1st to 4th grade, using flash cards, playing bingo, and drawing pictures.
We ate our lunch on the go and headed to Playa Avellanas and spent some time in the ocean! We sat down at the restaurant on the beach and ordered some other smoothies and snacks.
After we got back to home base, we packed for our excursion to the nature reserve the next day, went out for a sunset swim, and ended the night by playing cards.
Love, Kate <3
Sunday June 30, 2019
Today was day 13! Can’t believe we’re more than halfway done with the trip. This weekend is our first overnight excursion, so we got to sleep in and take our time this morning. We left home base and drove to the farmers market in Santa Cruz district. There we bought fruits like apples and coconuts, and we bought out an AMAZING empanada stand. Next, we drove to a pizza place to have lunch. You can imagine that everyone was so excited for that. After, we drove to El Toledo Reserve which is our home for the next two nights.
We learned some history about the reserve itself and then took the bus to a beautiful lookout 900 meters up. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. We had a yummy dinner and got ready for bed after this. All was quiet until Ellie and Lea discovered spiders in their room. After a lot of shuffling, the three rooms went from 5 people each in two of the rooms and 3 in one, to 8 people in one room, 3 people in one, and 2 in the last. I hope tomorrow night isn’t as hectic. But all in all, it was a great and relaxing day!
>Monday July 1, 2019
This morning we woke up at the Monte Alto nature reserve and a group of us drove to watch the sun rise at 5:30.
We proceeded to eat breakfast with a beautiful view at 7, and then headed on the bus for our hike at 8. We walked through a forest full of biodiversity and finished our trip with a waterfall where we cooled down and swam.
At around 1 we bussed to Matambú- an indigenous territory where we ate lunch and proceeded to learn about their culture. They taught us to make pottery, shape whistles, and carve fruit. As we ended our day they proceeded to show us their bees and taste their honey.
To finish the evening, we ate dinner at the reserve and ended the night off in our mentor groups explaining our life stories.
Tuesday July 2, 2019
Our last day at El Toledo began with a breakfast that consisted of pancakes, eggs, fruit, and coffee. After breakfast we went to a painting workshop. Prior to the workshop we embarked on a brief nature walk, led by a park ranger, from which our art was to be inspired.
We returned to El Toledo for lunch and to pack up. Then we set out for a coffee tour at hfjshdhej. It began with taste test of three different coffee blends and after we learned about different types of coffee beans and how they are grown, harvested, and exported from Costa Rica.
After the coffee tour, we returned to home base where we watched the sunset and had a familiar dinner made by Rita and Sonny, whom we all missed.
-by Marielle 🙂
Written by Sara