Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our teamf updates the blog.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30-31
All students, including a two delayed arrivals, arrived safely at home base in Las Galeras, Samaná! They sang and slept through a long bus ride, got moved into their new rooms, and learned more about the community they will be serving. We are looking forward to starting service with our marine conservation partner, eating more amazing food, and getting to know one another.
Yesterday, the team went through and created expectations for the trip before heading to the local beach for the swim test! After everyone passed their test, we spent some relaxing time chatting and swimming in the refreshing Caribbean water.
We returned home for a delicious dinner and a fun get-to-know your GLA staff game! After a tie-breaking rock/paper/scissors game, students went back to their rooms to get some much needed sleep.
We are looking forward to learning more about whales, corals, and mangroves tomorrow!
GLA DR Caribbean Sea Conservation Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 1
Written by Henry & Yhali
Buenos días! Today starts with breakfast at 7:30. For breakfast we ate mixed fruits, scrambled eggs, and bread alongside some spreads such as jelly and peanut butter. After that we hopped onto the bus in order to reach CEBSE, A marine conservation organization. At CEBSE we learned about marine animals ,specifically the humpback whale. We learned about their behavior and how to identify individual whales. In addition we learned about coral reefs and mangroves. We were taught about why they are important, why they are in danger, and what we can do to save them. And finally we learned more about the exciting service we will do in the near future.
After CEBSE we took a short bus ride to a restaurant to have a delicious lunch. We then returned to home base just to be surprised by a couple of hours at the beach. At the beach we found different kinds of seaweed, hermit crabs and snails. And even a fish or two. We returned to home base for some well deserved rest and time to shower. After the break was up, we came back to the common area for some socializing and games. After that we had a very well prepared dinner. After dinner we had a chow(sunset) circle, where we discussed our favorite parts of the day and shouted out some people who improved our experience that day.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 2
Written by Luciano and Anton
Qué lo qué!
In the morning we ate a great breakfast with pancakes, bacon, fruits, and “mystery” juice that tasted really good. During the ride, the bus we were on played a few pop hits and we were all singing to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus and a lot of us had fun. When we got there, we got split into 3 groups. One group was cleaning out an area full of plastic bags, and removing dirt from the bags which many of us enjoyed. Another group went onto the kayaks and went to the other side of the river to the lookout to see the view and walk on the bridge through the mangrove forest. The 3rd group went to go pick some mangrove seeds. We also learned how the different seeds and roots of the different mangrove plans looked like. After service we entered the busses but made different groups in the busses to mix up the people and headed to lunch. For lunch we had rice and beans, arepas, avocado, and chicken with our water in our Tupperware. After lunch we went back to cebse to do a activity. When we got there we sat in the presentation room and we learned about identifying whales. After the presentation we had to sort 6 pictures of whales from 2013 to pictures taken in 2019, and the winners get a prize. After that we went back into the busses in the same groups that we came in. We stopped at a gas station to gather snacks and take a break from all the driving. As soon as we got back home, 11 students came over during the hour of pool time. After we did mentor groups where we talked about leadership and “Lollipop” Moments from a ted talk video, we now realize the impact that one person can have in others lifes. Right before dinner, we appreciated each other and our moments during the sunset circle. Dinner consisted of hamburgers, spaghetti, fries, and a really nice cold drink. Last, we talked about the Massive amount of plastic in the water. After that, everyone went to bed early at 9:00 and the day was over
Luciano Carrasco and Anton Lavrenov
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 3
Written by Stella S. & Bianca W.
Buenos Dias! In the morning we woke up and had fruit, bread, grilled cheese, and oatmeal for breakfast. We got straight on the bus and headed towards El Valle Ziplining. Then we got strapped in and helmets on and headed up for a massive hike. Once we got to the top we got to choose if we wanted to zipline alone or with partners. As soon as we went down the first zipline, we knew it would be a good day. The views were beautiful, so much green and forest.
After we finished all twelve platforms, we got the opportunity to have virgin pina coladas made right in front of us, straight from the pineapple itself. We then walked through path of stones in the water and a lot of different views. We then all loaded back on the buses and went to Playa Rincon, the most beautiful beach. As soon as we saw the water from the bus, we were in awe of how clear and blue the ocean was. We had a quick lunch that consisted of chicken, rice and beans, and a salad, then we headed to the sand, and we all jumped right in. We swam for a couple hours, then at 4 we headed back to homebase.
We all had the time to shower and relax. Then we did our sunset circle highlighting our favorite parts of our fantastic day and shout outs to our peers. We then had tacos for dinner with plantains and then once again went back to the beach to watch the sunset fall over the ocean and mountains. Then we all walked back to homebase and had time to relax, swim in the pool, and play games until 9. Next, we all gathered together to view the agenda for the next day, and then we all headed to our rooms for bed.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 4
Written by Macey Turpin and Marley Cooper
Hi! Today we started the day with a great breakfast which included, eggs, cereal, bread, and juice. Shortly after we headed on the bus to our community service for the day with Cebse. At the nursery we all split into five groups and all had different tasks. We planted mangroves seeds, helped prepare the plant beds, filled bags of dirt, and removed plastic from the soil so we can use it to plant more mangroves.
After this we headed to a yummy lunch along side of the beach. After this beautiful break we headed out to do more service. This included learning about sea turtles and their nests, learning about alien species that impact the turtles nests in negative ways, and lastly pulling invasive species such as coconut and almond trees. After this we all jumped in to the beautiful ocean and cooled off. We then headed back to home base for dinner and started our debate. During the debate we discussed a law about coral reefs and each played a different role.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
Hey! Today we started with breakfast and were surprised with a little free time before service, so we enjoy the pool for a while. Our friends Antu and Orqui taught us about how we can sustain energy and how they are currently building a mud house for their familia! At service we started with a walk around the farm which was really pretty and we learned about passionfruit, dragonfruit and most of us tried the delicious starfruit. Then we learned about permaculture and that we all have a role to play in the world, for example, there are four ethics, the first ethic was about different consumptions around worldwide, some countries use 3x or 4x more than other countries and it’s not fair. Just being aware of our part in the world can really make a difference to how we can change it. We helped our partner Antu, who showed us the process of making mud out of compost and into block for molding fireplaces. In the end, we were all covered in mud but it was the most fun we have had in the mud!! We ended the day with sunset circle and dinner. After a long hard day at work we deserved a long rest, so we headed to bed early.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 6
Que lo que! Today started with breakfast and then free time before service, some of us went to the beach and swam, others napped. After our free time we were ready to go on the bus to el limon. Once we arrived we had a delicious Dominican lunch with chicken, salad, rice and beans, and more. After we were all full we started on the journey to the waterfall. Our uphill hike was difficult and muddy but exhilarating. At the end of the excursion we swam at the waterfall while we admired the beautiful scenery. Once we were all cooled off we began the trek back. We were surrounded by incredible staff and their enthusiasm, Nacho, a staff member, reminded us “we can do it!”. During the car ride back to HB we stopped for some yummy snacks and ice cream. We concluded the day with sunset circle and dinner. We had a active and eventful day, and we are ready to take a shower and rest for the next day. Sylvie Reiner and Kate Underwood.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 7
Written by Amara Rahman and Sophie Ward
Buenas noches! We started our day with some delicious local fruits such as pineapple and mango. Then, we went to go meet our good friends over at CEBSE to begin our fun-filled day of adventure! We saw so many unique and interesting things in nature, such as a “geyser” and a cave made of marble.
After admiring these wonderful sights we began our 4 mile long nature hike. During this hike we had the opportunity to use an app called iNaturalist to help us identify different species in the wild. This was super cool because we got to be scientists for a day, and not only did we learn a lot, we also recorded data for actual scientists! The hike ended at a beautiful local beach, where we got to admire the crystal clear waters as we ate lunch. Next, we went on an adventure as we crossed the Las Galeras Bay by boat. Safe to say, this was quite the experience through the choppy waves. The journey was worth it, as we then arrived at the beautiful coral reef. Here, we got to snorkel alongside the CEBSE divers who were working hard to restore the coral reef. We were able to observe so many varieties of marine life, such as clownfish, anemone, sea urchins, sea sponges, squid, and most importantly, all different types of coral. This was a bittersweet moment, as it was our last service with CEBSE, but for us, it was definitely the most memorable!
After another wet boat ride, we headed back to our home base for the last time. We then hung out with our roommates, packed, and showered, before heading down to our dinner and sunset circle. Thank you so much to everyone for making my (Sophie) birthday so special and memorable! We spent the rest of the night hanging out with our new friends, and making the most of our last night here at home base.