Greetings to the students of our fifth Costa Rica Beachside Service Adventure session of
Your proud team of directors and mentors – Callie, Daya, Carlitos, Bridget, Sam, Sophie,
Chanel, Bethany, Kasia, Michael and Ila- had the most amazing and memorable time with
each and every one of you. We hope that the following moments during the ten days we
spent together felt as meaningful for you as they did for us.
We had five service projects during the session, each one enlightening, challenging, and
enjoyable in their own way. Those of us at Escuela Paraíso spent our first day of service
adding finishing touches to the ocean themed mural in the front of the school. We also used
our creativity to build a playground made of tires and paint a minion planter. We learned how
to use cement in order to ensure that the tires were placed steadily in the ground. We even
had the chance to spend August 8th at the English Festival listening to impromptu english
speaking competitions followed by a spelling bee and precious moments with the students.
We’ll forever be bonded by our love for the caramel fudge that we ate in the school.
At Pargos, we were a small but mighty team of five. We played a lot with the students
including playing red rover. During mentor sessions, everyone had a nickname, including
Olga. We also painted murals with the students in Pargos and had fun helping them place
their handprints in the mural.
The people who were working in Avellanas had a blast working with with local leaders such
as Frank and Cindy. Each day, we picked up garbage along the beach in a local community
called Los Pargos. We also learned how important it is to pick up garbage along the beach,
especially microplastics, which are what the fish and other sea creatures ingest. Our service
combined painting and hanging signs to encourage people to take care of the beach.
On the final day Pargos and Avellanas groups got to plant trees, hang out with Lola (the
giant beautiful pig that lives at the local restaurant), and had a surprise surf lesson.
All of us working with Restoring Our Watershed (ROW) had a host of adventures and
surprises, including, eating moringa seeds, planting trees in La finca, beautifying the recycle
centre in Las delicias and playing games with the students there to teach about the
importance of recycling and of taking care of our planet. We enjoyed getting to know our
motorcycle-riding community leader, Alberto, with whom we made an energetic circle.
We used mentor groups to reflect about the day, listen to each other and visualizing our future.
Finally, VerdiAzul shone: We had a blast playing soccer with our local leader, Pan and
stargazing at night. We used mentor group time to finish our turtle relay races and it felt like
we were staying up late cramming for an exam with our second local leader, Bryan. We gave
our all as we dug holes and transplanted trees in extreme heat, nonetheless, we did it!
From the meaningful: sharing stories of self, reflecting on what it means to be a responsible
tourist and effective leader, participating in our final appreciation circle; to the thrilling:
Snorkeling! Canopy ziplining! Trying gallo pinto and trying new things in general; to the
downright fun: nightly games of UNO, bus ride dance parties, T25, playing soccer with
members of the local community at 5pm…No question about it, we will remember our ten
days with you for years to come. We hope that wherever you are (perhaps someplace just a
little bit colder?), you are able to look back on your experience with GLA and use what you
learned to be the change you want to see in the world.
¡Pura Vida, Mae!
-The GLA CR Beachside team