Saturday June 16, 2018
¡Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!
It’s a lovely day in San Jose! Our local and international staff have excitedly been preparing for our newest GLA arrivals! FINALLY the big day is HERE!!! From left to right: Local Director Jason, Mentor Brittany, International Director Adriana, Mentors Emily and Erin at the Green Gold Lodge in Parismina, Limon, Costa Rica.
Each student began their adventure by securely exchanging their dollars into colones with the help of a mentor, and arrived safely at Hotel Pacande to freshen up and settle into their next 10 days of Pura Vida! After enjoying lunch at the hotel, students had the option to rest, or participate in activities to break the ice and get to know their new GLA family.
Tomorrow, we will depart for our beachside rainforest home base, but not before stopping in the cloud forest for a zipline excursion! We are so excited to share updates and photos of our trek to the Caribbean coast where students will call home. We have a large group (24 students total!) which made today’s first group shot a bit difficult! We have two late arrivals, so their photos are coming soon! Tomorrow we will get a nice large group photo for the next blog post, we promise!
Sunday June 17, 2018
Today we left our hotel to go to home base. We made a pitstop at a Canopy Rainforest where we had an amazing experience zip lining. There were many lines ranging from short to long which led up to a 700 meter zipline. As the last few people were waiting in line it started pouring rain which made the experience sensational. We then had a very delicious lunch and headed on the road for another hour. We then made another pit stop at a local supermarket. After we bought snacks we drove another hour to a dock. Then we boated for about 10 minutes and then hiked to our final destination. After we settled in we ate dinner and discussed norms that should be followed in our mentor group.
Pictures coming soon!
Jaden Perez, Alex Vogt, Jack Bushnell
Update: Here are some photos from the weekend!
Monday June 18, 2018
On a hot day like this one, nothing’s better than going to the beach. From playing games like Marco Polo to soccer, the beach was a blast. The sand is also black which is super dope, and Greyson was spotting some wild life. Not to mention the perfect ocean temperature that would make you think you’re in a wave pool.
On day three of our GLA trip, we explored the beauty of a Costa Rica. We had the chance to see different species of animals from tarantulas, lover’s grasshoppers, monkeys, and geckos. We got to see the fresh fruit they grow and experienced how they become the yummy food we eat for our daily meals.
Tonight, we are going on our very first night patrol to collect eggs and (hopefully) witness a mother sea turtle completing her nesting period. Tomorrow, we will be going on a boat tour of the mangroves and participating in a beach cleanup that will be crucial to the marine life and wildlife in the surrounding area, as well as going on our 2nd night patrol.
-by Gehrig, Greyson, Minnea
Update: Here are some photos from Monday
Tuesday June 19, 2018
After the long night patrol we finally spotted a 400 pound turtle laying eggs. The group was amazed to see the “small” turtle in a trance while laying its 80 eggs, sadly less than 1% of its babies will survive. We learned that only a 1 degree difference determines the sex of the hatchling. We went to bed well rested and excited for what else was in store for us.
Today we rose early with the sounds of the jungle. The boat tour fascinated us with diverse and colorful wildlife. We also did some community service work by beach clean up. All of us were dumbfounded by the rubbish we picked up. We returned to home base and relaxed in the hammocks gearing up for the night ahead. Tonight’s night patrol was not nearly as enthralling but returning to home base we knew that we made a difference.
-Jade, Amelie, and Parker
Wednesday June 20, 2018
Today was a hot one! Lots of hardwork was done by everyone all day long. In the morning, we went to see the village of Parismina for the first time. Many were surprised at how small and laid back the village was. The tour was given by Mia, one of the locals. She showed us the school, holding a total of 30 kids, which we will be visiting in the coming days. We were then giving a ride back to home base by locals, in the back of their trucks. Once we got back we had lunch, and then we received news that we would be able to help an ASTOP worker release two (very cute) baby leatherback sea turtles into the sea. This was an amazing and very fun opportunity the we were all very grateful to have witnessed. Next we had day two of beach cleanup. This time, we were even more prepared, and we got even more done. After all that hard work, we were all very ready for a nice, refreshing swim in the ocean to end our long day.
-By Reese, Izzy, Erin
Thursday June 21, 2018
The morning was very refreshing and a few students woke up early to watch the sun rise at the beach. After an early, but delicious breakfast of arrepas, we saw an adorable family of Capuchin monkeys eating bananas that Jason put out for them. Then, we hopped on the bus for a 3 hour ride to Puerto Viejo for a surfing lesson with Naima and some other friendly instructors. Thought it took a few tries, all of us had a lot of fun catching waves on the clear Caribbean waves. It was also exciting for those of us not surfing to watch our friends having a blast. After sharing cookies with the surfers, we headed downtown to Lidia’s Caribbean cafe to enjoy beautiful Afro-centric art and delicious food. Traffic behind a crowd of Chiquita trucks made our ride stretch a bit. When we got back, it was dark, but thankfully, our friend Chico was still willing to take us back to home base in his nose. We were all exhausted from surfing and after the scrumptious meal the señoras left for us, we were all ready to pass out!
Karson, Maddie, and Keira
Day 7 was an adventure filled day where we had the opportunity to be welcomed into Parismina’s community. The students learned how to cook empanadas from locals. Then we refreshed ourselves with smoothies and other cold treats. After that we walked to ASTOP and had lunch and chilled for a bit. We then participatd in the artisan fair where some of the locals had booths set up selling their hand crafted treasures. Later on we played games with the local kids in the area such as soccer and volleyball.
After we re-hydrated, we rode back from town and had a few playful wrestling matches. During that time some of the girls made bracelets. After chilling in the hammocks we had our mentor groups and reflected on our stay in Costa Rica. Finally we had our dinner and went out for our third night patrol where it rained hard, but that did not stop us from saving the sea turtles because the grind does not stop.
Eva, Serenity, and Kenai
Photos coming soon!