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GLA Costa Rica - Volunteer Programs for Teens
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GLA Costa Rica - Volunteer Programs for Teens

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Empowering rainforest communities - GLA 2017

My name is Anita Moreno and this past summer I was fortunate enough to embark on a life changing journey to Costa Rica where I spent 2 weeks living in the rainforest doing service work. This trip taught me so much about myself and about what I want to do with my life. Global Leadership Adventures plays a big role in the impact my service trip had on me. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Costa Rica, GLA’s staff was there to greet me and they continued being incredible throughout the two weeks! After returning home from my Costa Rica trip, I have become more outgoing and stepped outside of my comfort zone so much! One tip I have for future GLA change-makers is to just let go and live in the moment. I could not have asked for a better experience with Global Leadership Adventures and that is why I will be going on another GLA trip this summer! I would definitely recommend GLA to anyone who is passionate about giving back and being the change!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Memories for a lifetime

I had an amazing time on the Empowering Rainforest Communities trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. Everything from the wildlife to the food to the culture made a memory for a lifetime. My group did struggle with internal relationships, but we worked through hard times together, as our task was mentally and physically challenging. The climate was a rainforest, so it rained a lot... and then some. I wasn’t quite prepared for the humidity and rain, as I am from a dryer climate. But I learned to live with wet clothes. Make sure to keep money or important documents from molding.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Costa Rica global initiative

This past summer, I traveled to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. I had an amazing time! I met so many new people, experienced a new culture, and went on many amazing adventures. I would recommend this program to all high school students! I truly immersed myself in the community and grew in my Spanish skills too! I met so many amazing friends who I still keep in touch with and visit! I got to go hiking, swimming, zip lining, snorkeling, horseback riding, rafting, and more.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A Once in a Lifetime Experience!!

Last summer, I took part in the Protecting the Pacific program and it made my summer the most memorable one I've ever had. The volunteer work was inspiring and anything but boring and GLA did a wonderful job getting us to connect with the culture and become a temporary part of the community. There was no one in my group that wasn't friends with everyone, and I've made friendships all over the country that will last for a while. Home Base was truly a home away from home, and I will always fondly look back at my time abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

14 day animal rescue

My 16 year old daughter went on the 14 day animal rescue program last summer. I was hesitant at first since she had never traveled alone. We then found out one of her teammates had done a trip the summer before and she and her mother spoke highly of the experience. I gave in. Jules had the most amazing experience. Everything from the service work, the cultural learning, and of course the friendships. The staff were attentive to the students and Jules expressed that she always felt safe. Jules is a vegetarian and had no problem eating on the trip. The blog posts that were supposed to be 2-3 times a week, were almost daily which was very helpful for a nervous parent. To be able to read and see pictures of what they were doing, how much fun they were having, and how happy everyone seemed eased my concerns. She would have stayed longer if she could have and is already signed up for the upcoming summer for trips to the Galapagos and Thailand.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My daughter's summer trip

Hello, my daughter went on the Costa Rica beach side service adventure trip. Initially, my wife and I were really worried sending her to a foreign country alone. I can honestly say I was very pleased with the way GLA handled everything. I needed to get in contact with her on the trip and they quickly got her to a phone. I felt very confident in the GLA staff and program. I am so excited for her to be going on her next trip this Spring to the Dominican Republic. Thank you GLA!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My daughter loved this program!

My daughter traveled to Costa Rica with GLA on the 2 week initiative for children trip and to say I was worried would be an understatement as any parent would be worried to have their child travel without them. All of my worries went away the more I heard about her time there. She called me right when she had been met by mentors at the airport as all kids are required to do and I kept updated by the daily blog posts written by the kids themselves. Keeping up on the blog posts made me feel reassured that she was not only safe but that she was also having an amazing learning experience. The other important element of her trip was the valuable friendships she forged. These teens continue to communicate and connect on a weekly, if not daily basis! What a gift.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My kids loved it!

This past summer, I sent my twins to Costa Rica on Global Leadership Adventure’s “Beachside Service Adventure”. Obviously, I was hesitant to send my babies to a foreign country alone but the GLA staff reassured all of my concerns and answered all my question and they ended up having the times of their lives. They came back and told me the trip was incredible, telling me all their stories and talking about their new friends. I am so happy I was able to send them abroad with Global Leadership Adventures!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Pura vida!

This past summer,
I travelled to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventure’s “Beachside Service Adventure”. The experience was truly like no other! We got to work with locals on interesting, relevant service projects and explored Costa Rica’s many adventures and the “pura vida” lifestyle. The Global Leadership Adventure staff was incredibly competent and helpful and provided for an unforgettable ten days!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Parent point of view

My daughter went on a trip last year with GLA to Costa Rica. At first we were nervous about our her going so far as a 15 year old, but GLA was great and it ended up being a trip of a lifetime. The GLA advisors, Jackie, was very patient and informative with all my questions. They were completely on the ball at every step of the way and made us feel very comfortable as parents. The volunteer work with local school system was great for our daughter, but even more, the immersive cultural experience with like-minded teens from various places and backgrounds was irreplaceable. She has become an ambassador going with GLA to Peru this year and we're excited for her and the impact these trips are having on her world view, life experiences, learning and self esteem. We felt very comfortable working with Global Leadership Adventures and can not wait to see what future adventures our daughter has with GLA!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Life-changing!

This past summer, I went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. My program was called Beachside Service Adventure and consisted of 10 days in Parrita. There were about 60 people in my group (mostly girls only like 10 boys) and we were split up into mentor groups of like 8-10 ish.

M y group worked with a startup plant nursery which was amazing. We worked with two locals, Nicholas and Mau who's nursery it was, and spent our service time basically hardcore gardening in the rainforest. One day we were clearing the land for the nursery and we got to be super cool with machetes and hack through the jungle brush which was awesome. Other groups did stuff like paint a mural at a school, build a tire playground, plant trees at a farm, build a garden at a school, etc.

One of my favorite parts was our nightly mentor group talks. Since gla does focus a lot on leadership we did discussion groups about leadership in our lives and how we can be a leader in our community and we talked about globalization and the relationship between developed/developing countries and some economics so it was really cool to get kinda a crash course foreign policy and how it applies to us kinda thing. And we totally had to open our minds to new ideas which was cool

Honestly the best part was just being immersed in the culture like eating rice and beans and drinking pineapple juice we ate SO MUCH fruit it was amazing

I thought the GLA people were really cool like every program has to have a native who works as an advisor so we actually had two: one woman who has just finished up in the peace corps and one woman who was from Parrita. They were really organized like being at the airport was stressful at first but once you find the GLA people they take care of you the whole time which was great and my parents weren't stressed at all

I would recommend on program length so I did a 10 day but I would recommend the 14 day ones just cause I really started to form close bonds right as we left and didn't really get the chance to develop those friendships. If you have any interest in the peace corps or mission work it's so great cause a lot of the staff did the peace corps or at least extensive volunteering so you get tons of cool people to ask lots of questions.

If you're nervous about doing GLA I'd definitely recommend the programs in Latin America/Caribbean. I know my parents were a lot happier knowing I was in the same time zone and it was easy to call me and my flight wasn't too bad. Plus it's less of a culture shock than, say, Thailand. I would definitely say whatever program you do, find someone who did that one before because there were a lot of confusing things just cause they can only fit so much in a brochure.

One of the lasting effects of GLA on my life is I feel a lot more down to earth and focused on nature and being in the present and I worry way less about social media or texting or television now which is nice.

-Miranda Wilson, GLA Ambassador

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Eye opening!

Costa Rica is an amazing country with a Pura Vida lifestyle in which simplicity is key. The Global Leadership Adventures staff facilitated an environment in which everyone felt accepted and excited to be immersed in the local culture. I truly bonded with everyone on the trip and could not have asked for a better experience!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

My incredible 10 days in Costa Rica on the beachside service adventure

This summer I spent 10 days in Parrita Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures on the Beachside Service Adventure and the experience was beyond words. I definitely left a piece of my heart in the community of Parrita in Costa Rica and they have taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined. Being able to challenge myself and gain skills through service, activities like ziplining and horseriding, the leadership curriculum and putting myself out of my comfort zone has been unforgettable and truly life changing as it has helped me grow as a person. For my service project I worked on painting a mural at a school called Sardinal Sur and sometimes it was challenging because we had to paint in the rain and a lot of our hard work got ruined however we all banded together to fix it and make it the best it could be. Originally it was mentioned that we may not be able to finish in 10 days however we outdid ourselves and got so much done, seeing the children's faces looking at our mural on the last day of service was so rewarding and made everything worth it. I would highly recommend this trip if you are considering going on it or any other GLA trip because the company is great and I never felt unsafe so don't be worried.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The initiative for children

I went on the 14 day Initiative for Children trip in Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures last summer. I was scared because I was traveling alone at 16 years old and also I'm a vegetarian and was concerned about accommodations food wise. When I got there I soon realized that most people go on trips with GLA alone and we all got very close because of it. Also, everyone was beyond accommodating with vegetarian food! I miss the kids so much, they were so incredible to work with and I cannot recommend this trip or this company enough. I felt so safe with Global
Leadership Adventures and loved the experience so much that I will be traveling with them again this summer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Costa Rica: The initiative for children

My volunteer trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures was nothing short of eye opening. The positive attitude of the people involved in my program was so inspiring. The community where I was volunteering was so happy that we could offer them help in rebuilding a better place for their children to learn and the children enjoyed having new people to kick around a soccer ball with. I found myself falling more and more in a euphoric state as Global Leadership Adventure helped me immerse myself in a new culture. Whether it be at the volunteer sight, at the beach or at a locals house, the opportunities that were given to me on this trip were surreal. The program helped me learn to appreciate what I do have instead of thriving for such materialistic things. I was able to learn about the true meaning of a pure life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Best trip ever!!!

This was one of the best experiences of my entire life. It helped with both my growth as a person, a leader, and as a friend. Growing up I always wanted to travel and see the world and even help in out in my own way. Global Leadership Adventures made all of these things possible. From the second I touched down in San José to the second I left I felt welcomed, included, and important for the first time in a long time. We did so much community service that could change a lot of the townspeople's lives for a long time. While I was there, my group helped out at a local tree nursery, we built a scale model of a baby humpback whale completely out of plastic water bottle and we even did a couple of beach cleanups in the local marine park. That's not all we did while in Costa Rica. We also went on a bunch of adventures. We went zip lining, surfing, hiking, and we even took a day trip to Corcovado national park on the Osa Peninsula. I would definitely recommend either this or any trip that GLA has to offer. The mentors were so helpful at every activity, they were definitely a big part of why my trip was so enjoyable. The food was amazing and our home base was so beautiful. Every aspect of my trip was incredible and I fully recommend trying a service trip abroad. I know for a fact I will be going on another one very soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Highly recommend!

My trip to Costa Rica was truly an amazing experience. The staff were exceptional and I always felt safe. I did the 14 day animal rescue program so I was able to work with a lot of the strays from Costa Rica at a local no kill shelter. As much as we helped the dogs and their living conditions, we also had lots of fun! The staff and students made all of the service hours fly by. We were also able to experience a variety of other fun activities like zip lining, hot springs, seeing the waterfalls, coffee tours, and touring San Jose. Those are just some of the awesome things we were able to do. We also learned a lot of interesting facts about the Costa Rican community. The bonds you create with the students and staff are incredible and I can't wait to go back next summer! This trip has made me look at everything in a different way and it truly made me a better person. I recommend Global Leadership Adventures for any teenager who wants to be the change in the world, and wants to have lots of fun!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Amazing experience!

My incoming freshman son went on the 10 day trip to Costa Rica not knowing a single soul. From second one, he felt comfortable and had an amazing, unforgettable experience. He made new friends, learned about a completely different culture, came back appreciating things so much more, and couldn't wait to find a new adventure for next summer! A+ for GLA from beginning to end. Thank you so much!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

GLA

Global Leadership Adventures, or GLA, is incomparable to any other program. Every staff member is always there for you, especially your mentors. All of the mentors are very supportive and kind hearted people. When I got back home, the first thing I said to my mom and dad was, "Can I do another next year?" Everyday we woke so excited to scarf down our delicious breakfast and head out into the jungle to join the smiling faces of the locals. I will never forget these 10 days, the best 10 days of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Global Leadership Adventures - initiative for children Costa Rica

So last summer I went on the Initiative for Children in Costa Rica. It was an absolutely incredible experience that I'm so glad I had. I met so many incredible friends (one that I flew down to visit only three weeks after the program ended and then she came to see me for Thanksgiving, and I'm going back to see her over my spring break!) and it was really incredible how everyone bonded in such a short time. The staff also did so many things to make the trip special for each student, like throw surprise parties and birthday parties for us. I also think a unique part of it was the fact that our project was so deeply intertwined with the community - it was really up to the community to gather the materials and maintain the playground that we helped create. It was less of a "foreigner's helping the less fortunate" program and more of a "community helping community" program, which was awesome and something very unique about the experience. Overall 10/10 I loved it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Protecting the Pacific

I never thought such a short trip could change my life so drastically and positively. The two weeks I spent in Costa Rica where the best of my life.

We hiked through biologically diverse parks, we surfed, we went zip lining, and kayaking as well as doing community service. Seeing the impact all our hard work had on the community and the ocean was truly gratifying. This trip allowed me to grow as a person, it made me aware of worldwide issues,it gave me a chance to meet new interesting people and forced me to get out of my comfort zone and I loved every second of it. The mentors were eager to teach us, they were friendly and always knew what to do.

Overall it was an amazing experience, safe, interesting and life changing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My GLA at Costa Rica Spanish service program 2016

The GLA program I chose was Costa Rica Spanish Service Adventure, one of the flagship program featuring both language learning, local volunteering and exploration of the Costa Rican culture. The good-nature of the local people and welcoming atmosphere, along with the breathtaking nature views, struck me and remain unforgettable despite the distance of time and geography. The inspirations surrounding environmental concerns, nature and human, individuals and the community, tourists vs travelers... all in all, were just fascinating and eye-opening that refreshes my mind and opens up a new perspective for me to behold the beauty of life. Besides, working at a eco farm surely was a brand new start in my life, to pull away from the urban area, build and sow under the sunlight, breathe the nature and live by the heart of the earth on a pristine country. It tells me much more than what I could have learnt from plain words and figures. It was just beyond imagination that such stories narrated by the people from their acts, personalities and voices truly touched me and bestowed me the sense of appreciation towards life itself. Although we had to commit ourselves in some physical activities and reside in a country far from home, the experience eclipses the transient nervousness and get myself fully involved in the 21-day program, which I guess, should be attributed to GLA as the magic of volunteering abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Costa Rica: beachside service adventure

Never in my life did I think i would be able to experience an opportunity like this. Not only did I get to experience another culture and interact with the locals, but I also got to make an impact. Through the program, I got to help build a bridge for the community. Being able to impact a community like that was amazing; I was able to provide them with something that could change their whole lives. Service was not the only thing that made this trip memorable. We were constantly doing cultural activities that got us interacting with the locals. We traveled to an animal sanctuary, went snorkeling, hiked around a volcano, went zip lining, and lot of other fun and interactive activities. I most certainly made some friendships with people from all over the United States and the world that I will always remember and hold in my heart. The mentors I had for my trip were so friendly, and I really got to know everyone on the trip. This is definitely a summer I will never forget!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Protecting the Pacific

when i first started looking for opportunities to volunteer abroad i never thought i would find anything like Global Leadership Adventures, and when i did i couldn't wait to sing up. i decided to go to Costa Rica and volunteer a long side the beaching the Protecting the Pacific program and it was amazing. i met people from all around the world as well as the U.S. and in the corse of 2 week we became a team, we worked together to achieve what was expected of us while doing our community service and we made up games and lost at soccer as a team. we were exposed to world wide as well as local issues and were given the opportunity to think of solutions and to realize that theres time to make a change and that if we put our minds to it we can make a change. I got to meet and talk with the locals and bonded over rice reships and soccer games. we worked closely with the children as well as the adults in the community and were able to see who what we were doing was affecting them and how thankful they were. but it wasn't all heavy volunteer work we got to go kayaking though mangroves, zip lining, hiking and surfing as well as swimming by and climbing a waterfall. the 2 weeks went by so fast i wish i could have staid longer but I still keep in touch with the other volunteers and the people that supervised us while there. this past summer was one of the best summers of my life and i can't wait to volunteer abroad with Global Leadership adventures agin.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Global Leadership Adventures Volunteer Experience: Protecting The Pacific

Going to Costa Rica through Global Leadership Adventures was both fun and educational and provided me with new world knowledge, travel confidence, reaffirmed passion for service, new friends, and insight into what I'd like to do in the future.