My advice for the first day: Dress comfortably and wear shoes that are easy to take off for all of the security checks you have to go through.
During the trip, we stayed at four separate hotels, but the majority of our time was spent at the first one: Volcano Brewing Company, or Tilawa. The view from the hotel was stunning:
We saw rainbows almost every day of the trip, and even saw a couple of double rainbows. The hotel was family run, by some of the nicest people I've ever met.
From left to right, baby Olivia, Andrina, me and Nikki.
The hotel's dogs, Mila (top) and Bobby (bottom)
The first day was mostly spent getting to know each other, resting after traveling and getting accustomed to our new surroundings. The hotel also had a couple of domestic dogs and cats that added to the character of the hotel. All the members of the GREEN program - 23 students and 3 counselors - spent the first day bonding over conversation, billiards and the hotel's hot tub.
Advice: Costa Rica is extremely humid. This trip involved a lot days with swimming or days where we got rained on, and it took close to a week for clothes to hang dry. Be prepared for this extended amount of time when planning out days you want to spend in the water and when you have to repack your bags. Believe me, packing and wearing wet clothes is not pleasant.