Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Please Note: This blog is for the Costa Rica split session starting July 1, 2022, which includes both the 14-day and the 21-day student group.
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 JULY 1
Hello From Costa Rica!
Everyone has arrived safely to Hotel Alajuela. Due to the tropical storm we stayed at Hotel Alajuela for the evening. We will be heading to home base by 9AM tomorrow (July 2nd). We enjoyed spending time at Walmart, the local mall and Hotel Alajuela today. For dinner we had Chicken fried rice with beans and salad. For dessert we went to Mcdonalds to enjoy some ice cream! It’s been a long travel day for everyone so we are going to bed early to be ready for our departure to home base tomorrow.
Kennedy, Caprecia, Jonathan and Delaite (GLA Program Staff)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
This morning we left at 9 and started our journey to homebase. During the car ride we stopped at a beautiful waterfall, and we all took pictures. We then went to the local grocery store before getting to homebase to purchase snacks! When we arrived at homebase we met our roommates and settled in. For lunch we enjoyed pork, rice, beans, vegetables and mashed potatoes. After lunch we had time to unpack and settle in. When unpacking was finished we started orientation to learn more about the program. After orientation was finished we were able to play cards and get to know each other more. For dinner we had pasta with meat sauce and vegetables. Finally we ended the night getting to know each other through more conversation.
Kennedy, Caprecia, Jonathan and Delaite
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Olivia and Malia
Hola Parents! We are so excited to share with you all of our amazing adventures ahead. Today we woke up to a nice drizzle and jetlag. We had a beautiful first breakfast filled with eggs, pastries, bread, rice, and sweet local pineapple. Then we headed off to orientation starting with a long but hilarious name-dance game. We don’t know how many of the names we will actually remember due to the large group and tons of laughter. 😉 We later created our group community agreement to solidify all the qualities we want in our cabinmates and mentors. It was great to see that we were all on the same page and were ready to live this adventure together. Finally, we ended our day with an amazing cultural and historical coffee talk from the one and only Alfredo (local GLA director and host). The coffee talk was so informative that we now know how to distinguish good coffee from bad coffee and how to properly drink it with NO MILK OR SUGAR!! Thanks Alfredo for the amazing talk and free coffee. We are all so grateful for your kindness.
With much love,
Olivia M. and Malia M.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Written by Ethan and Claire
Today was our first day of service! We started off the day with breakfast and quickly got ready and headed to a school about 20 minutes away. For the first half of the day, we spent time working at the school and admiring the work that past GLA volunteers have completed. We switched off time working between painting different portions of the school as well as working at the greenhouse. The weather, although downpouring all day, had no effect on the enthusiastic volunteers and their spirit. After a few hours of service, we made our way back to homebase and enjoyed an amazing lunch. After lunch we got to travel to rio frio lago (river) on a boat tour where we got to experience our first sights of some of the animals local to Costa Rica including sloths and monkeys. We headed back to homebase and enjoyed a bonfire with s’mores to end the night.
From the greatest duo ever, Ethan and Claire. Happy Fourth!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Charlotte and Lavi
We started the day off bright and early with a very warm wake-up call with pots and pans. We arrived at the school and began working on where we left off yesterday. We finished up painting the remaining walls of the school and mixing soil/working with compost in the greenhouse. Nothing is better than working together to insight change and complete difficult tasks such as not being tall enough to reach every nook and cranny. A long-awaited visit to the hot springs finally happened. We enjoyed various pools as we climbed up Costa Rica’s local volcano. Although the fun did not stop there, each pool was a different temperature, from slides to flips to souvenirs. A very special guest appeared today whom we haven’t seen in a while, the sun finally came out! For dinner, a taste from home filled our mouths with joy, pizza and hot dogs with a Costa Rican twist. A day that goes down in the books for sure!
Signing off. Your favorite soccer stars, Charlotte and Lavi.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Malia and Jack
We woke up today to yoga, Eminem and a beautiful view. Then headed off to a delicious breakfast and a half day of service. We finally got to interact with kids at a local school where we played soccer, taught English, and painted the walls. It was so much fun to see all their smiles when we arrived and to bond with them. After service we went on a tour of a pineapple farm. During the tour we got to try their homemade pineapple juice, piña coladas, dried pineapple, and pineapple jam. We also learned the process of how it grows and the best way to eat and purchase it. NEVER PULL OUT THE CENTER LEAF, INSTEAD HOLD ON TO THE BOTTOM LEAF TO TEST IF IT IS SOLID. Also, DON’T BUY A SOFT PINEAPPLE, THE FIRM ONES ARE THE BEST. P.S. ALL pineapples are RIPE in the supermarket. Afterwards we ended off the night with a personality test to learn more about what kind of leaders we are: Architect & Analyst, Driver, Relationship Master, and Spontaneous Motivators. Goodnight all!
From your classiest duo – Malia and Jack
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Barbie and Ken. Aka Aline and Evan
Today we realized that we are on our 7th day of the trip– it is amazing to see how everyone has come so far in building relationships and become more enriched by the culture of Costa Rica. We went to the local school previously mentioned yesterday and were able to continue to paint, play soccer, and teach math and English. Soccer was most of the people’s favorite activity in the service since we were able to bond without the problems of the language barrier. Afterwards, we went to an Animal service center, which contained many native species: monkeys, puma, baby leopards, parrots, and more. The animals and plants were beautiful, specifically the baby leopard, which was the main spectacle as it was BIg. We later took a long bus ride home from animal center and were able to take a long break. Many went on to swim in the lake or sing with their roommates. The views throughout the day in the drive and the lake were unforgettable.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by From Trey and Emma
We went to a new school for our service today. We played soccer, helped with painting the outside of the school, and taught the kids some basic English words and phrases. After some down time, we had dance lessons in our local director, Alfredo’s house. Some of the dances we did were salsa, the cha cha, Zumba, and much more. We took the rest of the day off to relax. Some of our peers went swimming in the lake next to home base and others made friendship bracelets. To wrap up the day we finished up with a delicious meal and so well-needed sleep.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
We didn’t have service today since it was the weekend, so instead we went to the National Park Polo Verde, where we drove an hour and half, took a nice hike in the mountains and then ate chicken, salmon, or vegetarian food which was exquisitely prepared by the staff at the park. We drove back again for an hour and half and then we had a heated debate over the Brazilian World Cup and Olympics in 2014 and 2016 respectively. In an unprecedented turn of events, each party unified against the all-powerful judges in a great revolution. We then split up into our mentor groups and did our own thing, including, playing Mafia, Stop, and more. Finally, we had a nice change of dinner choice: Pasta!
Dani and Ricky, as well as the dogs, Randy, Randall, Hoagie, Scooby and Eddy!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Today we went ziplining! The zipline course was fun and extremely beautiful (it was over a canyon). There were eight ziplines which made a total of 3 km of ziplines. They were surrounded by amazing vegetation and views, and we even got to see a monkey in the trees. At the end of the activity, we got to see a representation of an indigenous tribe called “Maleco” and some of us bought a souvenir to support their community. After that we went to a souvenir shop and a grocery store. Later, we had lunch and a bit of free time in which some of us went swimming. That was followed by some interesting GLA activities, and we finished the day with a treat: ice cream and oreos.
Zoe and Mariana
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
On July 11th, 2022, The Day started out with us leaders waking everybody up at around 7:00 am. The male leader had to go through a rainstorm to wake up the kids at the yellow cabin. The front door was locked though, so he had to wait. After this morning adventure, we had breakfast then headed to service. Each of the three service groups got to paint, play soccer with the kids, or teach. It was the 14-day kids last day at this school with these kids, so it was very emotional and meaningful. When we got back to camp, we had lunch and got our phones as well. Then, there was a nice, scenic bus ride to a waterfall. In order to get down there we had to descend 400 steps!
After the journey down, we were greeted with a beautiful waterfall. There was a very nice pool of water at the bottom that we all had a fun time swimming and taking pictures in. Many of the students got on top of some of the rocks and got their pictures taken. Timing couldn’t have been better, because right as we were leaving it started to down pour, causing all of us to rush back up those 400 steps. Even the students with towels were completely drenched from the waterfall. Once we returned to camp, we had a little bit of free time before all gathering again for a GLA activity. We played games and talked about the effects of tourism in Costa Rica. Finally, we had burritos for dinner and went to sleep.
Love, (miss all our peeps back home)
Drake and Kaylani
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Arnau and Jaci
On July 12th, 2022, the last full day for the fourteen-day kids began. We started off service with a huge number of kids and taught English to them and played soccer with them under the rain. After lunch, we had the option to go swimming or kayaking in the lake or just hang around the campus. The kids who went in the lake were pleasantly surprised with a lizard who they saw in the distance. The kids who hung around campus relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. By 5:00, we needed to be changed into our formal attire for a nice dinner and little dance party. Everyone looked incredible and enjoyed getting ready for the farewell dinner. Many people were emotional about the fourteen-day kids leaving as many of them had created strong relationships with each other during this adventure. But we all enjoyed the delicious dinner provided by Alfredo, and the dance party after. It was a fitting farewell party, full of dancing, singing, and crying.
Love to all of the fourteen-day kids!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Sam and Baptiste
Today was a very emotional day, because the fourteen-day kids were leaving. We were given pancakes as a nice going away breakfast, as we all prepared for our day. To start it off we went to the Hanging Bridges. It was a very exciting moment for some and stressful for others. It was also a lot of walking, but we loved it as our last excursion because it gave us a last chance to talk together. Once we got back to home base, we had our last lunch together. It was very hard to think about how some of us were leaving right after. While we were still eating, the fourteen-day kids started bringing out their bags. Then there was a big goodbye between everyone. There were many tears for our friends, and it was very hard to say goodbye. When the bus finally drove away, the kids that were left waved goodbye. After that, as our first trip without the whole group, we went to Santa Rosa to go shopping. It was a new experience for a lot of us and we enjoyed getting to see it all. While we are still missing our fourteen-day friends, the rest of us are still having tons of fun.
Miss you all!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Mia and Irene
Recovering from the loss of our fallen comrades (the 14-day group who departed) was quite the challenge today. To add we had to say goodbye to our good friends at Maelin School. For lunch we had our favorite, you guessed it…rice and beans! After lunch we changed into some long pants and tennis shoes and headed out to see some sloths. Surprisingly we saw quite a few more little critters than we bargained for. We saw a variety of spiders, birds, frogs and a brave bunch tried some live termites. Mother nature was not on our side today for we got pelted by rain bullets and flooded out of the trail. After wringing out all the water we could possibly have from our clothes, we took the hour-long bus ride back to home base. At home base we were met with our dry clothes and a refreshing shower. After resting from the escapade, we refueled for the night with some hot pizza and fries. Overall we are all still mourning our long lost friends but we have taken on the challenge and have started forming new connections with people we may not have originally gotten along with. This has really brought us all together as one.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Kate and Madelyn
This morning we woke up to a sunny sky and had a wonderful breakfast of fruit, eggs, rice, beans, and cereal. We were then very excited to go to service because we were going to one of our favorite schools the Copper school. At the Copper school we played soccer, painted, and educated the kids. After service we had a lunch of chicken nuggets, which were a taste of home. We had free time after lunch where we read, played outside, and talked to each other.
After free time we had a GLA activity called “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil”. In the activity someone was the body and had a blindfold on, someone was the mouth which was telling the body what to do, and someone was the eyes which showed the mouth what to say. The game was a very cool team building exercise. After the GLA Activity we got our phones (during more free time) and spoke to our family and friends. Following the free time, we had a cooking class where we learned how to make empanadas. It was really cool to learn about and the empanadas were delicious. Next, we had mentor groups before dinner where we had an emotional debrief and we talked about our feeling, etc. For dinner we had Seafood Pasta which was very good. In all our day was incredible.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Olivia and Madison
Hi everybody! We hope that you all had a day as amazing as ours was today.
We started off the day with an extra hour of sleep. Thinking that it was going to be our only surprise today, another one came through: an excursion to the Los Lagos Hot Springs in La Fortuna. This activity felt unreal. The hot water, a view of the Volcano Arenal, a light breeze, bright smiles and pina colada (virgin, of course).
Later on, we had the pleasure to walk and enjoy the area around the Hot Springs, La Fortuna. That included having ice cream together and window shopping in one of the most touristy places in Costa Rica. The cherry on top of this was our evening GLA activity.
This activity consisted in translating certain words, emotions, or even ourselves into colors.
Overall, this day was filled with joy and warm water.
We wish you the best 🙂
Your very own Olivia and Madison
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Errol, Bianca and Cristina
We started off the day with a lazy Sunday morning, taking our last extra hour of sleep before we are thrust into the final week of the program. After our matinal routine, we were headed out for our most anticipated excursion: tubing! The group was not sure that it was ever going to happen in the first place because of past downpours. Thanks to a turn in the weather, our amazing mentors were able to organize our rafting adventure. We once again worked together with the Go company (from the previous ziplining trip) to get our tubes and send us on our way to the river.
The rapids created a fun and entertaining challenge, as many of us flipped over in the rushing water — however, this was not a problem due to our talented guides, who were there to ensure a safe experience to all of us. We then arrived back at home base in one piece, though sopping wet. After lunch we had free time, allowing us to get some well needed rest and relaxation. The weather was perfect for tanning as a select few will attest to. Later we finished the day with an emotional and eye opening GLA activity, which required many to get in touch with their feelings. Thank you for reading this blog, we know you care for your children or loved ones, and they can’t wait to see you!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Written by Malia and Mia ♥️
We woke up early, 6:00 AM sharp to be exact, to head on a 5 hour drive to the beach. Some of us looked at the beautiful view while others napped, but we all made it to the hotel successfully. We ended up having a couple hours before check in to head to the pool and have fun. Lots of piña coladas (Virgin of course) filled our mouths with happiness and delight. While others enjoyed the comfort of playing with a nice, strong volleyball. Overall, we all came out with big smiles on our faces. Afterwards, we headed out to the beach to swim in the waves and watch the sun set, which was such a pretty sight. Then we ended off our evening with a big group dinner at the restaurant we went to for lunch. Everyone looked so gorgeous in their dresses and suits and the buffet food was so good. The highlight though was the cheesecake and chocolate cake we got at the end. We all devoured it so fast that there was no way it was terrible. Love you all. See you soon.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Claire and Cristina
Today is the first day we woke to the beach on our trip here. Some of us woke up early to do yoga on the beach and a quick swim in the ocean before breakfast. We all met for breakfast, packed up our stuff and loaded into the bus where we headed to a catamaran boat ride. We spent a few hours sun tanning on the boat, swimming in the ocean, and snorkeling. While snorkeling we got to see starfish, fish, eels, and even some stingrays! We then had a delicious lunch on the boat and then headed back to the bus to start our descent back to home base. After a very long car ride, we made it back and spent the rest of the night packing and celebrating our first GLA birthday for Madison who turned 17! Going into our final days here in Costa Rica! Very excited to see all of our family and friends soon!
All the best!