Alumni Spotlight: Chrystin Canales

Group of children in Costa Rica

Highlights: For service, the highlight was one particular moment. The first day I worked with kids I worked with a girl named Wendy. We had been playing all morning and I was having a blast all of a sudden she asked me a question in Spanish, unfortunately I couldn’t respond so I tried in English and her reply was (in Spanish) "I'm sorry I don’t understand English". I was so upset with myself so that day in Spanish class I asked the teacher to help me with a basic conversation. The next day I went back to the school and talked to her in Spanish. I felt so accomplished and so proud it made my entire week.

My expedition highlight was the zip lining. It makes you stop and appreciate the simple beauty all around you.

With GLA being all about leadership everyday there was a set of leaders for the day, so in the morning the female leader would do a wake up call for the girls at about 7 and the same with the boy leader for the boys. We would go into “la casa” that was our central location for our home base and eat a breakfast consisting of lots of fruits and then usually eggs or beans and a meat. Leaders would be responsible for making sure everyone had at least one full bottle of water and sun block.

We would then sit in our meeting place and go over the plans for the day, which the leaders would lead. After that we would board our busses to go to the schools we were volunteering at. When we would get to our volunteer sight it would be about 8 a.m. and we would break into two groups one group would work with the kids teaching English and the other would renovate the school then after about 2 hours we would switch.

We would then go back to home base and eat lunch and have about an hour for free time so sitting talking to friends, tanning by the pool, resting in your room different things. Then at about 2 or 3 we would go to our Spanish classes which were about 30 minutes away. At Spanish we would do class work for a while and then we would go into town to practice the Spanish immersion.

Evening: When we would get back from Spanish we would get more free time so walk to the beach, go swimming, exercise. We would then eat dinner at about 6. After everyone was done eating we would meet in our meeting place and we would have a guest speaker or presentation. Some examples are culture, fruit, etc. then we had more free time and then it was lights out at 10.