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 team updates the blog.
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 throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. 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.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
Click here to jump down to the most recent posts!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
We woke up bright and early on day 2 and ate a delicious breakfast in the restaurant in the hotel lobby. After some name memorization games, the group started to feel more like a team and less like a group of random teenagers! A quick walk into the city was all we needed in order to feel hungry again right in time for yet another delicious meal! After lunchtime, the gang headed to the busses and prepared for an exciting drive through the Dominican countryside on our way to Samaná.
Once we reached our destination, we examined our living conditions. The lack of AC was definitely something we had o get used to, but the gorgeous scenery made up for it. Being immersed in a culture that isn’t similar to our own can be super tough! However, we learned as a team to engage in our surroundings and one another.
Once dinner was over, we gained more knowledge about the culture and geography of our home for the next ten days. After an exciting day of travel, it was time for bed.
Thanks for reading!
-Owen V and Saeed H.
Leaders of the day!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
After waking up to the sounds of the animals, the team enjoyed a hearty breakfast and prepared for el Museo de las Ballenas (the whale museum).
Once we reached our destination, Daniel (our museum guide) walked us through the trials and tribulations of what it’s like to be a whale in Samaná Bay. After some videos and a quick whale identification game, the squad broke for lunch. After some rice, beans, chicken, and vegetables, José (a CEBSE member) told us about the nonprofit (CEBSE) that we’d be assisting on our escapade.
He also taught us all about the issues around coral contó conservation and how it relates to the mangrove forests. After making our leave, each member of the team had a quick medical/mental evaluation from one of the GLA staff members.
Everyone enjoyed yet another hearty dinner back at base camp. Following dinner, the squad sat in a circle and played some group games, and got to know each other a little bit more. After nominating our next leaders, everyone turned in for the night.
Thanks for reading!
-Owen V and Saeed H
Leaders of the day!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Edward N and Madison
Hey Friends and Family!
Today was an awesome day in the Dominican Republic. After waking to the sounds of the rooster, we head out to an amazing breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs, and bread.
We then loaded into the buses and traveled to the mangrove park where we split into two groups for different activities. Both groups were able to kayak in the river and help out the community with works of service.
After our lunch break, we learned about the INaturalista app which allows us to record our findings in the ecosystem. We also helped out CEBSE by doing different tasks around the whale museum. We then returned to home base where we had an amazing dinner of classic rice and beans.
Thanks for tuning in!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Saharla and Quinn
Today for breakfast we had the privilege of eating pancakes, fresh fruit, bacon, and delicious coffee.. After breakfast, we took the bus down to el Valle (Samana) for a ziplining adventure. As we soared down the zip lines (12 to be exact), we go to view the beautiful landscape Samana has to offer.
On the bus ride to the beach, we snacked on Oreos and chips, serving as an appetizer of an amazing meal to come. When we arrived at Playa de Rincon, we dined on an extravagant meal of rice, beans, and fried fish.
Once we had finished the meal we were able to enjoy the beauty of Playa de Rincon. Many of us played volleyball, purchased jewelry and clothing from local vendors, spent time in the water with friends, and tanned in the bright Dominican sun. After a long hot day at the beach, we headed back to the Homebase where we enjoyed a meal of chicken, fish, pico de gallo, rice, and beans.
We spent our group activity participating in a bonding activity, and finished the day off with a values discussion. Today, we were able to learn more about one another, ultimately growing closer as one familia.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Egypt and Massimo
Today for breakfast we got to try the native dish of Mangú, a delicious variety of fruits, and sausages. We then took off to Cabo Samana National Park where we embarked on our two hour hike viewing the wildlife and nature at its purest accompanied by the workers at CEBSE. During the hike we used the app iNaturalist to identify the plants and animals of the Dominican Republic.
At the end of the trail, we arrived at a beautiful beach called Froton where we swam while we waited for the snorkel gear to arrive and for our well needed lunch after that long hike.
As we enjoyed the beautiful views, for lunch we ate fried plantain, rice, chicken, fish, and cabbage salad. Soon after, we put on the gear and headed out to find the coral in the amazing waters of the beach to complete our coral tree.
Once we carefully placed the coral onto the structure , we hopped into the boats to take a ride to watch the CEBSE workers place down the coral trees which will last and grow coral for four years. As our journey for the day concluded, we headed to the shore where the buses were waiting to take us back to Homebase.
Upon arrival, we had an hour of free time. The students hung out, called home, or chilled in their own space. After some time we then headed to dinner to enjoy rice mixed with corn, pork chops, lentils, macaroni salad, and washed it down with iced tea.
For activity time, we played group games which had everyone laughing and in a good mood. Then to finish off the night, we split up into four mentor groups to come up with a special name and performance that will be presented at a later date. Today definitely brought us closer as a group and one inch closer to becoming one big happy familia <3 !
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Sophie & Lawson
Today we drove to a mangrove beach in order to collect their seeds for future reforestation. We collected red mangrove and white mangrove seeds with our CEBSE partners and were told that we had collected 4 times what they were expecting! After collecting the seeds, and a delicious lunch, we drove back to the city of Samana for some more service. We helped to transport clean water to the coral specimens we collected yesterday while snorkeling.
The corals released a chemical due to the stress of transport that made it difficult for them to get enough oxygen. To counteract this effect, we filtered saltwater and brought it in buckets to the CEBSE coral laboratory where we filled up their tanks with this clean water, and some of us even cleaned the coral of the chemicals with spray bottles. We drove back to where we are staying in Las Galeras where we had burgers and spaghetti for dinner, before doing some leadership activities and skit performances before bed.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Miri and Arianna
After a lovely lie-in, we woke up to coconut bread, fresh fruit and guava jam, before making the brilliant decision to head down to the beach for a swim. The water was super warm, and most importantly, mosquito free! Having dried off, we got on the bus towards a restaurant, where we ate a delicious meal and drank sprite from wine glasses.
Soon after, we found ourselves on a hike towards the El Limon waterfall. It was a long and arduous journey on a flat, muddy trail occasionally interrupted by a procession of horses. Feeling slightly jealous of the riders, we persevered past a smaller waterfall, slipped down a precarious flight of stairs, and were rewarded with the most incredible sight. We swam beneath an enormous waterfall, in much-needed cold water. The pounding spray of water felt like a high-pressure shower, yet somehow we still found ourselves muddy on the bus back.
We enjoyed a relaxing journey back, playing various Disney songs, before arriving back at the house. Having cleaned ourselves up, we ate fried chicken, a mix of veggies, mashed potatoes, and of course our daily dose of rice & beans.
We finished the day by prepping for the debate we plan to have tomorrow. After our fun but high-energy day, we’re very excited to sleep.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Levi and Devin
This morning we awoke to fresh fruit, tasty bread, and omelets with vegetables. About an hour later, we set out to a protected area to help conserve and plant a diminishing species of tree: the drago tree. Saplings were growing by saltwater, so we gathered them up by plucking seeds from the ground. Saltwater is poisonous to these trees! After we planted and gathered the seeds and trees, we said our goodbyes to the wonderful workers at CEBSE, who were incredibly gracious for our help.
Once we finished our work and left the people at CEBSE, we had lunch at a local restaurant featuring fried fish, rice, potato salad, and stew chicken. They also had dominos once we finished eating, very fun. We went out a bit further until we reached a souvenir shop that had everything from bowls to art to sunglasses. Next, we cooled off with some nice ice cream from a local shop nearby, Bon.
After that lowkey highkey nonchalant day we headed back to the crib and talked with Nacho about the political and economic state of the world. We learned that he is a Spanish teacher and works in the RD. We had the most delicious sancocho stew prepared by Margerita and Rakael and at the end of dinner we dove into a cake to celebrate the last day at Las Galeras. After dinner there was a group debate which was pretty fun, and we all headed to bed.
Thanks for reading!