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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
The Costa Rican adventure has begun! On the very first day, while we waited for everyone to arrive we had the opportunity to explore and see the shopping mall. On the way to the Homebase, we enjoyed beautiful green landscapes and saw the famous Iguana bridge.
A long drive to the Homebase gave us the chance to catch up on some rest and get to know one another before we arrived at the Homebase for a traditional Costa Rican meal and settled into our rooms.
We had all celebrated Emma’s Birthday with some cake and a song before having a look out at the stars to see the meteor shower (it was a little cloudy we’ll try again tomorrow night)!
We’re all excited to grow our budding relationships and the adventures of the coming weeks.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Written by Eva Bifone & Shayna Levy
Today we woke up and had a lovely breakfast made by the amazing staff. After breakfast, our group leaders walked us around the grounds and explained the safety rules. I was so amazed at the greenery and the picturesque view. After orientation, we had some fun icebreaker games in order to get to know one another a bit better. Right after the icebreaker games, we had lunch, my favourite part was the yucca and the salad. After lunch, our group leaders finished explaining the rules and the schedule for the next few days. Overall I feel like this program will test me in many ways which will help me grow as a person. I am so excited about the next few days.
In the afternoon we all went down to the lake to take our swim tests. The swim test consisted of swimming from one point to another, treading water, and floating on our backs. After we passed our swim tests we got to use kayaks if we wanted, some of us even jumped off a platform into the water! After the lake, we finished up our orientation and finished the night with a classic American burger dinner and an epic game of mafia. All in all, it was a great start to this adventure!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
We started our early day off with a delicious breakfast, before leaving to get our covid tests. We explored the center of a nice little town called La Fortuna and tried some local pastries and saw some artisan shops. We made a trip to the store to get some sports and lake things, some snacks and things we might have forgotten to pack. Once we arrived back at home we had a coffee talk with Alfredo, learning about the history of Costa Rican coffee, finishing up with a coffee taste test.
We then we did our very own leadership activity that we designed, being a human knot competition. Through this we learned about leadership and the importance of teamwork. We joined our mentor groups and had deep conversations about our personal goals for the year, and what types of leaders we might be. We finished the day off with spaghetti for dinner, and had time to make more personal connections with our peers.
Xoxo, Caroline Glidewell, Ella Cobb, and Annie Pardun
BLOG POST FOR JULY 31
London: Today we had a great experience with half the group tubing and half horseback riding. I did the tubing while my friend Trevor participated in horseback riding. I was told the horseback riding was a very peaceful experience in great contrast to the experience and thrill of the tubing. I can’t wait to participate in tomorrows activities as do all my new friends.
Trevor: Today, while London and the other group were tubing, I went with the horseback riding group. It was stunning to ride a horse through a rainforest and a river, and I never knew it could be so thrilling. It was great seeing the group improve on riding horses throughout the day, and I’m looking forward to tubing tomorrow.
Later we had other activities and lake time, and some students had some Costa Rican cultural time, trying the unusual combination of a special palm fruit (pejivalle) that they usually eat with mayonnaise and have with coffee.
London Bednarz and Trevor Nelson
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 1
We started the day with our typical breakfast of gallo pinto and eggs followed by a downpour of rain. This led to a change of plans from our horseback riding/tubing excursion to our zip lining one! We ziplined above and through a jungle and by a volcano. A lot of us were excited and for some, it was an adrenaline rush to get over their fear of heights. On our way back we saw a sloth just chilling in a tree.
We then had lunch at one of the local schools near our home base to fundraise for building a new roof over their church. Our final activity for the day was a competitive volleyball tournament involving teams of roommates, followed by an exciting round of “speed dating” to get to know each other better. Today we learned how to organize and lead our group to be on time and participate in group activities.
As our indigenous Maleku amigos would say: Capi Capi!
-Bella and Megan D
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 2
Today was another beautiful day in Costa Rica!
We started the morning early with a breakfast of Costa Rican tamales (they are in big banana leaves with a stew inside the masa). Once we were done eating, we departed from home base and began our boat ride.
On the boat ride, we were able to see many animals native to Costa Rica, such as Howler, Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys. Then, we returned to home base and gathered for a typical lunch. Shortly after, we got our dance shoes on and walked down to Casa Española for a dance class. We learned many traditional dances such as Bachata, Merengue, and Salsa. After a short dance break in the rain, we finished the class off with Zumba.
We returned to home base and prepared the leader of the day activity. Our activity was a scavenger hunt all around home base that was designed to help us work together and communicate as a group.
Following our leader of the day activity, we we were all excited for mentor groups and the shout out circle. We were happy to end the night with a filling dinner and get ready for another amazing day ahead.
P.S- Hi Mom! 🙂
Rosie Martin and Mia McCauley
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 3
What an amazing, eventful day!
Today was a day of service. We split into two groups to work at two schools in the area. One group went to a smaller school that is a short walk from Home Base. They re-painted outer walls, floors, and the flagpole base as part of a larger project to improve the facilities for local children.
The other group worked at a school that was a short drive away, and a bit bigger. That group power washed a covered gym area and painted the floor, as well as a shed in the front, a drain guard, and cleaned and began to paint soccer goal posts. Children in the community will better be able to use these common facilities once they’ve been restored!
After three and a half hours of meaningful work for the community, we all returned to Home Base for some lunch. We returned to our locations and continued where we left off.
We went to Casa Espanola for the leader of the day activity and a birthday surprise for Sara, one of our leaders. We played charades, had a cake eating contest, and played games in the pool. We returned to the Home Base for mentor groups, had dinner, and relaxed until it was time for bed.
-Ava, Megan R and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 4
Today was a very eventful day filled with many exciting activities.
First, we continued our service by working at two community schools, teaching children and painting the educational facilities. Some of the students even got to dress up in traditional Costa Rican dresses!
After a hard day of service, we came back to Home base for a home-cooked lunch consisting of traditional Costa Rican foods. We then took the bus to an Animal Rescue Center in which we saw numerous Costa Rican animals.
For example, we encountered, sloths, spider monkeys, parrots, etc, which were all very exciting to see!
At the end of the day, the leaders of the day (Adriana, Carla and Sarah) planned a leadership activity that consisted of communication and listening to teach students the importance of teamwork. Soon after we ate a delicious pasta dinner and headed to mentor groups.
Finally, we went to bed, exhausted, satisfied and relieved from our many adventures.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
We started off the day with a lovely breakfast, and then we split up to visit two different schools for service.
At the small school we contributed to various aspects of community service, from painting the outdoor walls of the building, to playing soccer and hide and seek with the local kids.
Then after lunch some finished some last painting before heading back to Home Base. At the big school, we painted walkways and taught English to kids from the community. Overall at both schools we made great progress!
After service, some went on the lake, took a walk around the community or got to know their peers a little bit more. Then, Alfredo (owner of the house) gave us cooking lessons on how to make the custom Costa Rican dish, empanadas.
After cooking, we all got a nice break of free time which gave us time to rest up before heading to chow circle. For dinner we had delicious meal accompanied with the surprise of live music. This quickly turned into a fun dance party to end the night, where Sebby got to show us his musical talent!
-Semaya Mehta and Hannah Teagan
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 06
We’ve had a jam-packed day full of pineapple and service.
This morning we headed off to each respective school for our service for the day. In the big school we painted the floors and walkways red. We also continued painting the gymnasium floor green and started adding lines around it. Some of us also got the opportunity to go into classrooms and work with kids from kindergarten to third grade. We taught them English through playing with toys and singing songs.
In the small school they finished the walkways and letters in the comedor. They also added finishing touches to the emblem out front. They also got to play an exciting and intense game of soccer with some of the school children.
We refueled after service with some tasty pasta and rice and beans before we headed off to our afternoon activity at the pineapple farm! There we were lead on a tour of how organic pineapple is grown, including the intricate steps of fertilization and development. Along the way we ate way, way, way, too much pineapple. It was epic. We ended with a cool (virgin) piña colada, dried pineapple, and pineapple jam.
Once we returned from our pineapple excursion, we lead our leader of the day activity of jeopardy. We customized our categories to include fun facts about Costa Rica, the group, and the mentors. We had a lot of fun and ended the night with chicken fingers and mentor groups.
Love you mom(s)!
-Julia Gallo and Celia Malone
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 07
Hello! Buenas Dias!
We rose with the sun to head off to our morning activity. We split into two groups to enjoy horseback riding and tubing through the rain forest. We were guided through the tropical rain forest aback adventurous horses and toured steep rocky trails and through a river. Our second group drifted through a scenic white water river and soaked in the views surrounding them. We observed wild sloths and monkeys along our tranquil journey.
After our morning excursion, we packed up and headed to La Fortuna for our final Covid test to allow us to reenter the U.S. We spend our extra time exploring around the central square/park, a pasteleria, souvenir shops, scouting out intricate, unique gifts and knickknacks. After completing our Covid test we headed back to Home Base.
There we enjoyed some chicken, life changing rice and beans, and salad. Post mid day meal, we had a longer break where some enjoyed naps and time in the lake kayaking and swimming. As evening time approached the leaders of the day gathered everyone for a game of hide and seek on the beautiful property to which exemplifies leadership. Later, that night the students refueled with Costa Rica’s finest Brangus burgers, and then drifted off into a much needed rest.
Molly Kirkland and Iman Isaacs
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 08
Today was a special monthly event on the lunar calendar, the new moon! In honor of this symbol of new beginnings and fresh starts, we woke up at the break of dawn to do an hour of flow yoga and meditation by the scenic lake near our cabins. It was so peaceful and cathartic, where we could hear the birdsong and howls of the monkeys across the water. It was the start to a fantastic, nature-filled day!
Afterwards we came to the dining area, and to our surprise we found fresh pancakes along with pineapple and scones. Soon after, we got on the bus and made our way through the cloud forests up to a local national park. While there, we walked along a path where we saw and learned about local plants and fruits. We were than treated to a lunch at the Trout Farm, where we enjoyed variations of native foods.
Once back at home base, the mentors lead an appreciation circle. The campers were faced outside of the circle, while a few were selected to be inside. The selected campers would anonymously tap the shoulders of others whom they thought the appreciation statements applied. It was an activity meant to express gratitude towards our peers without vocalizing it.
We than ate a dinner of smoked ham, veggies and potatoes, with a vegetarian option of yucca. Shortly after dinner, many campers participated in the talent show, which took place around the bonfire. We saw different types of acts including singing, dancing and skits. Once the winners were awarded with prizes, we enjoyed s’mores and singing along to Ben’s guitar by the fire.
-Emma Arias, Claire Theobald, and Brielle Renzulli