My name is Madison and I participated in the two week animal rescue project in Costa Rica. This was an unforgettable experience of a lifetime! I learned so many new things, met amazing people and had a blast! Before deciding if I was going to go on this trip, I was extremely nervous. I had never been out of the country without my parents before. This was going to be my first time away from my family, and for two whole weeks! This fear quickly went away when I was sitting at the airport waiting for my plane to board and I saw a girl wearing the GLA shirt that I was wearing. I went up to her and we talked about our love for dogs and how excited/nervous we were to go on this trip! When we arrived in Costa Rica we were greeted with our amazing mentors! I will never forget these lovely ladies! They made me feel right at home and I felt prepared to take on the next two weeks. When we arrived at our base, some other kids and I played card games while waiting for everyone to arrive. This was a real bonding experience and we all connected so quickly. Being only 14 at the time, I was the youngest one there but everyone was so kind and included everyone in things. My favorite thing about this trip was the relationships I built with everybody. In fact, everyone on the trip made a group chat and we text each other every day on it! We have maintained a close relationship and I am so glad to have these lifelong friends. The activities we accomplished every day made me feel like I was really making a difference. We helped clean dogs at the shelter, paint fences, pour cement, and much more! After a hard day's work, the mentors took us on amazing "relaxing days". These includes hiking to a beautiful waterfall, going to a hot spring, and learning how to surf. The mentor did a great job of making everyone feel comfortable and they made sure we took advantage of every minute we had together! When we returned to the base at night after working at the animal shelter, we would have team bonding games, movie nights and game nights. These were a blast! I remember one night we were watching Moana and everyone was singing along to the songs! Also, we played charades and more fun singing games. Clearly we had a group that loved to sing very much because when we were on our long bus rides, everyone would sing karaoke together! This was an amazing trip and to anyone who is considering going, I say do it! You will not regret it and you will make lifelong memories!