Hello everyone! This is Jess and June, today’s Lideres del Día. After a tiring three days of CAP, we were able to finally relax at a beautiful waterfall today alongside a lesson about conservation.

This morning, the wake up call was luckily pushed back an hour from 6:30 on CAP days to 7:30am. At 8:00 am we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of gallo pinto, fried eggs, pan, custard, and assorted fruits, with a choice of coffee or juice for drinks. At 8:30 am we conducted a mental warm-up where we discussed the quote of the day: “Sustainability is a political choice, not a technical one. It’s not a question of whether we can be sustainable, but whether we choose to be” -Gary Lawrence. We also talked about the question of the day: What is sustainability and why is it important to integrate it into development projects? After a fruitful discussion, we planned to leave for the waterfall at 9:00 (which ended up being 9:20…).

The hike to the waterfall took us a little under an hour. We traversed through rocks, hills, forests, rivers, and suffered the occasional fall. However, the waterfall was well worth the journey.

Hiking to the waterfall

Many of us swam in the cool water and got sprayed by the strong current of the waterfall. We ate many snacks, took many photos, and had lots of fun!

Posing by the waterfall!

After putting our sneakers back on, we started on a different route back to the base house. As we learned on community day from a local family, nearly all the roads in Aquiares lead to the same place, making it difficult to get lost. We finally arrived back to the base house around noon, where we enjoyed a lunch of rice, beans, mixed fajitas, salad, plantains, and blackberry juice. Many of took showers while waiting for the guest speaker of the day to arrive.

A scrumptious lunch!

At 2:00 pm we rounded everyone up for an energizer to prepare for the guest speaker; as most of us were extremely tired from the hike. Then, our guest speaker, Karla Gomez from Florita Cheese Farm, arrived and gave a very insightful presentation about conservation. You may remember Karla from day 4 of the trip when we visited her cheese farm. We learned that conservation does not only concern the environment, but also culture, economics, and people.

After thanking Karla for a wonderful presentation, we had downtime until dinner which was at 6:30 pm. Per usual, we passed the time by playing card games, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and other fun activities. For dinner, we had alfredo pasta, garlic bread, salad, and berry juice. As our trip nears an end, we had a reflection activity where we wrote down habits that we will begin, stop, and continue after having experienced this trip. We also drafted our final thank you letters to the collaborators of Global Glimpse, which have allowed us to be in Costa Rica today!

Finally, we had our last nightly meeting at the base house at around 8:30 pm. After enjoying some more “tights” ice cream, we packed our luggage and got ready for bed.

Realizing that it was our second to last day of the trip and our last night in Aquiares, made me feel many emotions. I didn’t realize how sad I would be to go going home, but at the same time, I am happy to go home and see my loved ones. I realized how important everyone on this trip is to me and it was a bit heartbreaking knowing I won’t be able to see everyone every day because we all live in different places. This trip brought me closer to new people and created many close bonds. In a way, I feel that I will be able to go home feeling changed. The most important thing I learned is to not rely on my phone as often and learning to just live in the moment with those around me, as well as make the best out of things because sometimes things don’t go as planned, however, you have to learn to overcome those challenges in life in order to enjoy life. ~ Signing off Jess

As the Lider Del Dia today, I learned that leading a group of 20 students is certainly not easy. Getting everyone to meals, meetings, and excursions on time proved to be very challenging. However, I am proud of the work that Jess and I did today. We are sad to be leaving the place we have called home for the past 12 days. We are also disappointed to be separated from the family our group has formed to be. However, we are excited to be reunited with our families. Signing off, June 🙂

PS: Here’s the public google photos folder so you can see all of the pictures we’ve taken so far!