Today, we had the opportunity to learn and understand about environmental justice and the ways in which we can help our planet develop a sustainable lifestyle. This morning, we had the opportunity to speak with each other about environmental laws, the ways we affect the environment, and how even the smallest of actions affect the world community. We shared thoughts, ideas and opinions. It was beautiful! We were joined by Andrés (“Fofo”) and he taught us about the different territories in Costa Rica, including the national parks and the large percentage of biodiversity that inhabits the lands of Costa Rica. Also, we had various engaging debates that allowed us to broaden our perspectives on the factors that contribute to the decline in the health of the globe and how a group of people together can make a change in history.

In the evening, we formed relationships with the locals and played a vigorous and competitive game of volleyball. Lastly, we ended off our night with a delicious dinner, prepared by Chef Diego, of chicken Alfredo, salad, and garlic bread. To cap it all off, we tasted the native Costa Rican bananas, rich in flavor and sweeter than typical U.S. bananas, and had downtime with the group where we danced Bachata and Salsa. Our group did a great job handling the topic of environmental justice.

As leaders of the day, we believe we made sure to exemplify the leadership we want to see in the world. We had open minds. We asked questions. We addressed issues. We debated various topics respectfully. We led through actions and not just words. We embraced group activities and the challenges asked of us. There is a quote that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” by Hanyu Pinyin. Today, we were asked to take a step. We believe we took several steps as a group and individually. Our journey is just beginning and our steps won’t compare to the ones we will make in the future.