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. Sjometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team 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 JUNE 22
Hello from the Dominican Republic!
All 20 of the students have safely arrived at our home base in Las Canas after a long day of travel! Despite the flight delays, everyone came with smiles on their faces and excited to start our 14 day program together.
We are all ready to rest tonight and get ready for a full day tomorrow starting with orientation, connecting with each other, and officially kicking off our amazing program together.
Our team is so excited to welcome these amazing leaders and we cannot wait to share updates here with you all!
Sara, Junior, Greta, and Gustavo
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23
On our first full day in the sunny Dominican Republic we woke up bright and early for a delicious breakfast! In the morning students learned more about the awesome program that we will be participating in during our program orientation. We heard from Junior, our local director and program manager of 7 Elements who shared his knowledge about the DR and the service work we will do. Students also learned about GLA and what to expect from the upcoming days and were so eager to get started! We also got to check out the beautiful beach next to our home base!
After a hearty lunch we headed to our first service afternoon where we worked in a nearby community to build a bathroom for a local woman named Cirila. We worked as a team to use recycled materials to insulate the walls of the bathroom.
We stopped at a local supermarket for some snacks and cold treats and headed back to home base for some free time. It’s very hot and humid here and the students were happy to cool down and enjoy the pool and playing dominoes!
After dinner we learned and discussed global public health in a learning activity while also sharing our own insights about public health, it was a great discussion and presentation.
After an awesome day we are only even more excited to wake up tomorrow for another day here in the DR!
Sara, Junior, Greta, and Gustavo
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Written by Blake and Tessa
We woke up and started with breakfast at 7 in the morning. Most of us slept very well after yesterday. After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to our first full day service project.
At our service project in Caño Dulce we worked with building the ground cement for the house. First we had to scoop the dirt from the dirt pile into 10 buckets and pour them out into a pile, then we had to pour a bag of cement into piles and mix it with the dirt piles. After that we did something called the “volcano method” which was moving the cement mixture to the into a donut shape to pour water in the middle, kind of like making pasta from scratch. After this the the cement was made and we had to put them in separate buckets so that the workers could use it to make the floor.
We got very dirty but the rain cleaned us off. It was super fun, we met a couple puppies and played with a couple of the young girls and boys from the family. Very tiring day but very fun. We finished with some pool, dinner, and mentor group!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Written by Eli and Maddie
Hey, hey, hey! Let me spill the beans about this freaking awesome day we had on our trip. We woke up for breakfast at 7am. Then we scarfed down a delicious breakfast to give us energy for the day. Hold on tight ’cause things got wild at Dudu Lagoon. Picture this: we dove into crystal-clear water and swam under freakin’ caves! It was like being in paradise. We splished, we splashed, and we felt like mermaids. Seriously, memories for life.
Now, brace yourselves: a buffet lunch that was a feast for champions. We hit up an amazing local joint and let me tell you, the food was off the charts! We filled our plates with local specialties, and it was divine. Seconds? No, we went for thirds, my friend.
After lunch we headed to the beach, la playa preciosa. There was lots to do here, many of us spent time swimming, tanning, and shopping from local vendors. The beach was beautiful and we all enjoyed the time in sun and water.
Several hours were spent at the beach and then we went back to home base for dinner. After dinner we had a training for our medical brigade tomorrow, given by a local doctor.
We are all very tired from our adventure day, but looking forward to the medical brigade tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Aubrey and Ronan
We started the day at 7 am with breakfast. Then we got on the bus and headed to our first medical brigade in the community of La Boca. There we split into 5 groups helping the community members with their symptoms. The first group was Registration where we got the people signed in and learned their basic information. The next group was vitals and we took people’s blood pressure, oxygen levels, and temperature. After that the people headed to the Medical History table where they explained what was wrong and past treatments. Then they headed to the doctor who would look at the information and prescribe a medication. Lastly there was the pharmacy table who help give out the prescriptions.
We ended early and headed back to home base where we chilled for a little and then began a mock debate centered around the implementation of a soccer stadium in La Grua. We discussed things like racism, gentrification, economy, and tried to come up with the best solution for both the government and the people who lived in the area. After that we had dinner and a malnutrition presentation. After dinner we celebrated Maya’s birthday with music, dancing, and cake. It was very long day but lots of fun.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Written by Davin and Nick
Hello to all parents and students! We had an amazing 6th day in the Dominican Republic by starting off the day with delicious pancakes with fruit and eggs! Then we got ready for an exciting day of service in La Boca where we spent the previous day doing a medical brigade. In La Boca, we split into 2 groups of 7 and 13, where one group worked on building cement walls for a plastic water bottle bathroom, then the other group smoothed out cement walls in the home of Miguel Angel Alejandro. This service day was long and hard, but very rewarding overall to make sanitary spaces to improve our Global Health Initiative.
We then got back to home base and relaxed by the pool before we had dinner. Dinner was very delicioso because we had tacos, then participated in a mentor group friendly competition. We had 3 challenges where we played the human knot, the floor is lava, and find the bottle. Only by one point did the CHURRRRROSSSSS win against the CHIMICHANGAAAAASSS! Then we went to bed and reflected on another great day in the Dominican Republic!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Written by Annabelle and Samay
Hello everyone! Today a group of us started the day with a beautiful morning walk/run along the beach while watching the sunrise! After that, we all met to eat a delicious breakfast before heading to the chojoba chocolate factory. At the chocolate factory, we were able to listen to the story of the women who work there and learn about the struggles they faced in the creation of the company and those that they continue to encounter today. We took a tour of the factory while learning about the process of making various chocolate products, and we even got to try some and purchase products to take home to our families!
Once we arrived back at the lodge, we ate lunch and then left for the community Caño Dulce. Once we were there, we split up into two groups. The Churrrooos (Greta’s group) were lining up and built the bee boxes together, while the Chimichangas (Gustavo’s group), were painting the boxes. At around 3:30, we all took a walk to the bee farm. we observed multiple colonies of bees and learned how honey was made. Once the tour was done, we all had a piece of honeycomb, which was filled with pure, rich honey. After we got back to the village, we packed up and went back to home base.
Once we arrived home and ate dinner, we had a “special activity” on the beach which was a bonfire! We all danced and hung out around the huge fire and then collected sticks to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. We had so much fun at the bonfire and were exhausted afterwards, so we headed to bed to prepare for another amazing day tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by Maeve and Sophie
Today was an incredible day of surprises. We started our productive day with some scrumptious toast, eggs, and fresh fruit before heading to our second medical brigade at the community of Las Canas. Surprise number 1 was trying our hand in a new skill at the medical brigade. We all worked very hard to provide medical checkups to 30 patients and with our teamwork (and collective Spanish skills), we finished up our brigade very smoothly.
After taking a lunch break at the service, we faced surprise number 2 with a beach stop at Cabarete! At this beautiful beach we splashed around with our friends and soaked up the sun for a few hours.
Before heading back for dinner we entered surprise number 3, a stop at the supermarket. Many of you may think that a supermarket doesn’t sound that exciting, but when there are Oreos, Tostitos lime chips and mystery Doritos on the line you’d see why. We arrived back at home base to jump in the pool and our final surprise of clean laundry. For dinner we had fish, potatoes and veggies. Very filling after a long day! To end our day we divided into our “Mentor groups” to discuss the importance of certain experience in our lives much like the ones we encountered today that strengthened our connections with ourselves and our community.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Written by Pablo and Miles
Today we started our day with a breakfast of French toast, eggs and fruit to fuel our ourselves for the day. Today we had the final day of hands on work, working to prep a communal bathroom for cement. We walked twenty minutes through the streets of the Dominican Republic to our service site, the nearby town of Las Canas. Our day consisted of cutting and stacking bottles to fill the the bathroom for the 3 families that will be using it. To keep us company during service, we had Lady Gaga, Playboi Carti and Kanye playing all morning.
We followed with lunch and a lecture from the women’s ministry about domestic violence in the Dominican republic. We split into four groups to discuss why violence occurs and what we can do to prevent it. Following the conference we had an interlude of rain, allowing us to have an afternoon at home base. Our calm afternoon at home strengthened our connection with one another in the community and restored our energy for the week. We finished the night with dinner, and a surprise movie night. It was an acca-awesome night full of singing, choreography, as we watched student suggested “Pitch Perfect”. As our days are coming to a close, we are super excited to continue the rest of our journey together
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Written by Carolina and Maya K.
Helllooooo families and friends! Today we woke up bright and early at 7am for a delicious breakfast made by our lovely chefs! We departed at 8:00 for a long (but fun) two hour bus ride to damajagua water falls and exploration. Upon arrival, we were styled with cute life jackets and helmets. Then we went on a long and sweaty hike up a mountain ⛰️ until we finally reached the first waterfall. (However, there were no actual waterfalls just pools of water with cliffs to leap off of.) Every member of the group jumped off of a 15 foot cliff—which looks a lot taller than it sounds when you’re standing at the top of it. We then followed a trail that was a combination of swimming and sliding until we reached the next drop, which was 20 feet. Some of the slides were a bit sketchy, but we bravely persisted and many people conquered their fears of heights and jumping.
Next, we went to a delicious restaurant for a buffet-style lunch that was curated specifically for our group! However, our American urges were too overpowering…the group’s wishes of a trip to McDonalds were granted. The bus took us for a second lunch where we all got McFlurries and fries, and then felt way too full to eat anything for the rest of the night.
We finally returned to home camp, and sadly ate only a tiny bit of the delicious dinner that was cooked for us. The night cumulated with a presentation from Junior (Juju) about human security. All in all, it was another successful day in the Dominican Republic!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Written by Grace and Delaney
Today was our earliest wake up day with breakfast at 6 am. We started off our day with pancakes and Nutella before heading to La Grua for our very last medical brigade. We met with 35 locals about their health! Then we ate lunch at the community leaders house on couches.
We then toured a Haitian community in La Grua and met tons of adorable children that wanted hugs and piggy-back rides.
On the way back to home base we stopped at a gas station to get snacks and drinks. We spent the rest of the day at the pool and ended with a nutritious dinner and a talk about healthcare in the Dominican Republic. Buenas noches!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Maya B. and Sophia
Hello everyone, this is Maya B. and Sophia here the leaders of this fantastic day!
Starting off with a morning beach walk we all had the opportunity to decompress and relax before a day full of fun and exciting adventures. Our first stop of the day was the beautiful Larimar and Amber mining museum…. Did you know the older amber is, the darker and less transparent? After, we emptied our wallets at several tourist trap shops- Don’t worry mom I bought you something cute!
We visited several more tourist attractions such as an entirely pink street. Following was a delicious buffet style lunch at an outdoor breezy bungalow. After our stomachs were full and minds were ready for more adventure, we headed to the beach and started our search for sea glass and other various beach collectibles. We also had the chance to explore a medieval fort made of strong brick walls that were filled with salty sea air.
After, we headed to the most SCUMDIDILYUMTIOUS gelato shop and helped ourselves to at least 1000 bolas of gelato. With a new sense of excitement (probably derived from our intense sugar rush) we scurried over to the pigeon plaza and sprinkled corn kernels for all of the pigeons to enjoy. After, we hopped on a long bus ride and all dreamt of sugar plums.
After dinner we had an intense emotional and reflective experience with our last mentor group. We debated over the idea of knowledge=power, and collaboratively decided upon our group goal that we want to pursue after our trip concludes; “As self aware, curious, and motivated leaders, we will recognize our privilege by not taking things for granted, and taking our own challenges one day at a time.” We are so thankful for another incredible day, and all of the people we met and experiences we’ve shared!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4 & 5
Written by Greta, Gustavo, Sara, and Junior
On our last full beautiful day in the Dominican Republic we got to sleep in a little bit and have a delicious breakfast before heading out for our final adventure day! This adventure took us to Playa Sosua where we hopped on a boat and went snorkeling! We saw many fish and sea life in the coral reefs! It was so peaceful and colorful!
After snorkeling we got to eat some yummy pizza on the beach and shop for our final souvenirs. We got on the bus just before a storm cooled down the island!
In the afternoon we packed and played our last pool games before we did a full group appreciation circle. We even had our favorite last meal – tacos! After some ice cream we saw a Pitch Perfect inspired performance and played our own riff-off game!
We went to bed a little bit sad to say goodbye to our wonderful group but excited for the students to head home and share their incredible experiences with friends and family. We’ll always cherish these memories and we will miss you all! Safe travels home! ✈️