Greetings to the students of our fourth Costa Rica Beachside Service Adventure session of
Your proud team of directors and mentors – Callie, Daya, Carlitos, Bridget, Sam, Sophie, Chanel,
Bethany, Kasia, 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 six 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 building a table
with Orlando. We even used our creativity to build a playground made of tires and paint a
minion planter. We spent Venticinco de Julio participating in the celebrations at the school and
enjoying precious moments with the students. We’ll forever be bonded by our anthem “Mi
Paraíso es tu paraíso.”
With Playa Marbella, we painted gorgeous signs for the community and hammered tons of nails
while cheering each other on. We planted over 150 trees in 1 day, watered trees, and
interacted with our local leader Lori. Lori also prepared limonada for the whole group, wasn’t it
delicious? We also learned Arroyito, a very upbeat song. ¡Chuls!
Escuela Marbella also sang Arroyito and enjoyed one another’s company while eating tons of
snacks during mentor group and having thought provoking debates on the bus. We painted
parts of the school the beautiful colors of sea-foam green and mint. We also learned what it
means to be the “Guardianes Pura vida.”
With Huerta Vida y Salud, we celebrated Venticinco de Julio at Escuela Delicias with Josh, Aron,
and David. We enjoyed watching a horse race, eating corn, playing soccer, painting tires,
digging holes, and breaking up soil in la Huerta. We’ll never forget “Bucket Boy” and the phrase
“love to see it.”
All of us working with Restoring Our Watershed (ROW) had a host of adventures and surprises,
including, eating moringa seeds, and getting to know our motorcycle-riding community leader,
Alberto. We also spent time with Doggie and Dave while working with different plants, worms,
and seeds. We learned how to plant “mata” in different locations, met “machete-man” and
spent time in the Venado community picking up trash and painting garbage cans.
Finally, VerdiAzul shone – with sweat, but also with pride and glory – as we carried heavy logs,
dug deep holes, and worked on the turtle hatchery (Calypso and Lalo provided the emotional
support). Towards the end, our service paid off because we got to witness the release of baby
turtles with Pan and Valerie. On our last service day, along with all of us at ROW, we played
soccer and put on relay races with the local kids of the Venado community, face painted,
collected garbage and played tiburón y peces.
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, star gazing, Yoga at 6 am…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