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.
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 3
The day is finally here – after a long flight across the continent we’re settling in for our 1st night in Ecuador.
Welcomed into the country with fresh empanadas and a lot of excitement we drove to homebase through the mountainous city of Quito before we arrived and settled into our rooms.
Everyone is excited to delve deep into the culture tomorrow with new friends.
From Ben, Hakan and the whole team on the ground here in Quito!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Written By: Carter Abraham
Today was day one of our GLA program to the Galapagos and the group and I learned and got to experience so many new things such as language, food, and culture. We started our day, hopped on the bus, and headed to our first stop, the Virgin Mary statue. We learned that this statue is the second tallest standing in South America. Next, we explored beautiful gold-covered churches and we learned about how they were built and the origin behind them.
Lastly, my favorite part, we went to a cacao museum and were taught the process of how to make chocolate and we even got to try and sample many different kinds of cacao. Today, our group did extremely well in including everyone and even trying to sit with new people at meals. Trying new things was a big part of today whether it was trying a new food or sitting with a new friend. I saw everyone try new things, participate in every activity and fully engage in what we were doing at said time. Our group is excited to see the animals and to swim in the ocean. We are only on day one and I cannot wait to see where our adventure takes us.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Helen
Today was our first day in the Galapagos! We woke up at 4am and we got to the airport and took two flights to the island. When we first arrived we took a bus and then we took a ferry boat over to the island, the water was clear and blue it was beautiful, you could see everything in the water and the mountains in the background. After our ferry boat we took a bus over to our hotel, it’s a very beautiful town it’s very colorful and vibrant. Our hotel is small and cozy. The staff is very sweet and they make amazing food.
We went to the Charles Darwin turtle reservation and it was connected to a beach and there were iguanas and lizards in the wild. it was very beautiful a fun fact I learned today was the marine iguana species is older then the oldest island in the Galapagos.
Afterwards, we went to the beach and it’s very pretty beach, some people took a swim test today and it went well the waves are strong so we stayed close to shore. Then we came back to Homebase for the rest of the day we chilled out, unpacked, relaxed and unwound.
Note to families: You may have already read the July 6th post that was added earlier today. We’ve added in a new post for July 7th, but we’re leaving the jump link here for anyone who hasn’t read the July 6th blog yet. 🙂 -HQ Staff
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Charlotte
This morning was the start to our first full day in Santa Cruz one of the Galapagos islands we got on the bus to head to work after eating a hearty breakfast around 8am. When we arrived at the service cite we immediately got to work lifting logs that used to be invasive trees and moving them into big piles, we did this because the non native trees are hurting the natural habitat of the Galápagos Islands as well as blocking off the tortoises from being able to move freely. We took a lunch break and quickly got back to work.
Many of us took the time to get to know each other as well as take in the scenery of the forest, it was truly unlike anything else. all in all we put together seven piles of logs about five feet tall. Although we got some scrapes bruises and a hurt finger we all went back to the hotel feeling accomplished (and maybe a little sore). That night we had a conversation about what we want to achieve throughout our time at GLA and had a delicious home cooked meal prepared by the staff. Everyone was wiped from doing a good days work and went to bed fairly early.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Anisha
Today was our 5th day on the trip. We woke up bright an early for our adventure up to the Las Grietas, a gorgeous swimming site and national park. The swimming hole consisted of both fresh and salt water, it resembled a cracked in the earth. After a short ferry back, a walk by the sea lions and a quick breakfast we headed into town to explore the area around the hotel. It was a beautiful town with lots of little shops and many different restaurants. We were able to go to the açaí bowl place and enjoyed every bit of the fresh fruit.
We then went to our service site and worked out clearing farm land. During our breaks we had a discussion on the right of pets here in the Galapagos, and came up with solutions for the pet problem.
After ending our work day with a home cooked dinner, we went back into the bustling evening life of town. Here on the island they have live music, markets and a closed main road happening on the weekend. We had a little surprise at the end and were able to see many black tip reef sharks swimming around the harbor. This was a lovely finish to our day and I can say we were all felt accomplished.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Krish
We had our latest wake up of the trip so far which everyone appreciated. After a healthy breakfast, we got on a bus and headed up into the highlands. We stopped at los gemelos “the twins” a pair of sinkholes formed by coalapsing lava tunnels. Then we explored one of those lava tunnels up at our service site, before walking around and looking at and learning about the prehistoric looking giant tortoises. We ate a delicious lunch up at our before starting on our service. We worked to maintain a shallow mud pond which is how the tortises cool themselves down and protect their skin. We even had a visitor conduct a quality check of our work. Exhausted and satisfied we returned to home base to eat some dinner and do a leadership activity. Some of us went into town and got some ice cream to finish off an exhausting but great day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Today we took a boat from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal! We unpacked our stuff and then had a yummy lunch. After, we went to a beach with dozens of sea lions! We swam with them and then had the chance to get ice cream on the beach. after we headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. After dinner we got a chance to explore the city and do some shopping!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Novella
Today on the Galapagos islands we started off with breakfast at 7:30 then we hiked up to the info center where we then gathered and learned facts about the history of the islands then, continued our hike to a bay for snorkelling with sea lions. It was beautiful and a very exciting activity. We hiked back home later that day after a long nice time in the water. Around 4 pm we went to a special place where a woman gave a presentation about recycling. We did some cute crafts with recycled materials, stopped got some snacks and arrived back at home. We continued with our normal chow circle and on to dinner.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Today, our 3rd day on San Cristobal we prepped and painted the basketball court at the local school. We got to meet some of the local students and met a staff member. We then headed back to collect our laundry and eat a delicious lunch.
Soon following we took a bus to Loberia a snorkeling site. We saw many animals, such as, sea turtles, sea lions, and various species of fish. We then took a walk along the shore line to a small point for a beautiful view. To close the day we had a lovely dinner.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Anisha, Ben and Krish
Today we said our goodbyes to the Galapagos islands, our local guide Carmen and the hundreds of sea lions. We had our last morning in the sun before returning to the main land. After a short walk to the airport we had our flight back to Escandinavo, our hotel in Quito. We had a lovely dinner and settled in after the long traveling day