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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
After a long travel day all of the students arrived in Guatemala!! Our first students, arrived early this morning. They had a traditional Guatemalan breakfast of beans, eggs, and plantains with staff members. Next, we had another student join us and we hung out until lunch. For lunch, the group had fajita’s with potatoes and guacamole. After lunch we played get to know you games and eagerly awaited our next arrivals.
In the afternoon, our second group arrived. When they got back to the hotel, we had a snack of fresh watermelon, papaya, melon, and pineapple. The students got to know each other and then it was time for dinner. After dinner, the first and second group headed to Antigua while the last group was arriving. Finally, when all of the students in the last group landed, the remaining students and staff made their way to Antigua where we are spending the night!
We are super excited to finally all be together! Tomorrow, we have an action packed day where we will learn about Mayan traditions tomorrow and to visit a coffee farm!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
We started our day today with eating a rejuvenating breakfast. After eating a delicious meal, we packed up and boarded our bus to learn about how to make textiles, understand the indigenous practices of Guatemala, and the process of a traditional Mayan wedding.
During the Mayan wedding, students volunteered to each play a role in the wedding. From groom, to bride, bride’s family, and groom’s family. After the wedding, students learned how coffee was made and spent time with the local family in which shared their home with us.
After departing the Mayan Wedding, we all headed to a coffee farm. At the coffee farm, students learned how the coffee process is started and the took a tour of the estate. We all then shared a delicious lunch of a traditional Guatemalan dish.
After an eventful arrival day and a full day of tours, we headed to our home base in Xela. When students arrived, we ate a delicious dinner and relaxed for the night before heading to bed to be fully rested for our big hike tomorrow morning!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
We had a busy first full day in Xela! We woke up early and had a breakfast of eggs, beans, and fruit. After breakfast we headed out to hike Chicabal which is a dormant volcano with a lake in the middle. When we reached the lake, we watched a Mayan Ceremony and got to make wish. After the hike our students and staff were ready for lunch! Our lunch was barbecue chicken, a carrot salad and beans. This was a favorite amongst the students.
After lunch students had some free time where they hung out and played board games before orientation. We had our orientation and students got to learn about rules, expectations, and GLA. After orientation we had dinner and ended the night in our mentor groups. We are super excited for our first day of service tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
We started the day off with some delicious vegan pancakes before to the school we are volunteering at, Centro de Atención Integral. There touched up a planetary mural, four square, hopscotch, flowers, and butterflies and scraped an old paint to make room for a new mural. We returned to home base for lunch: cheesy potatoes, carne asada, guacamole, chips, salsa, beans, tortillas, hibiscus tea, and jello for dessert.
After lunch we went on a chocolate tour for our real dessert where we were greeted by Cali the cat. We enjoyed fresh fruit in a vegan chocolate fountain along with three hot, cocoa based drinks. We danced on over to a salsa lesson where we killed it in the dance floor. Just before it began to rain, we hopped on the bus back to base camp where we did chow circle and enjoyed dinner, ending the day in our mentor groups.
We were surprised by a piñata and cake in honor of Caroline’s birthday which is tomorrow! In the morning, we are heading to Panajachel bright and early where we are looking forward to a boat tour in San Juan, along with other fun activities.
– Leaders of the Day A and E
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Good morning from Xela! Nos vamos a Panjachel (we are going to panajajel). We had a “good morning burrito” with beans, rice, and some other goodies for breakfast. After breakfast we took a roady up into the mountains and man oh man was it beautiful! We arrived at the hotel we were staying at and promptly headed to a super cool and fun boat ride across lake Atitlan. The water was soooo clear and the volcanos around us made the journey absolutely breathtaking.
Once we docked at San Juan, we took a few hours to walk through the steep streets. We had to get in some shopping obviously! We found tons of beautiful hand made goods and lots of welcoming people. On our way back across the lake, Mother Nature had a bit of a temper tantrum and there were some waves splashing us ! We survived, don’t fret. It was definitely a trip to remember. The adventures continued as we ventured back to the hotel, the rain still pairing and the old man still snoring, our plan to head to another part of Panjachel was sadly canceled 🙁 but that didn’t stop us from coming up with fun things to pass the time! Playing hangman, soccer along with story telling helped us get through the never ending rain storm. Then it was time for our daily chow circle, mentor groups and a delicious dinner of pasta. Overall it was a great day!
Leaders of the day E and C
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
We awoke in the hotel in Panajachel and started packing early for the bus ride. We had a breakfast of eggs, beans, and oatmeal, and fried plantains. We got in the bus and headed out for our journey to Chichicastenango. Chichi is known for its huge market, so everyone made sure to bring their Quetzales to spend. After dropping off our luggage at a beautiful local hotel, we set out into three groups and explored everything the market had to offer. There were woven dresses, blankets, ponchos, and much more of over a thousand different designs and colors; and vendors sold trinkets, food, jewelry, and many other things. We hope to share these gifts with you soon! After we met up post market excursion, we had a lunch of chicken, fries, and salad. We also had very good desert- fruit cake.
After saying goodbye to the parrots at the hotel we hoped on the bus to drive back to Xela. We put down our new things, and went to the “clubhouse” to play a game with our mentor Lauren. The game was called pterodactyl. How to play this game is quite simple you have to say the word pterodactyl without smiling or laughing and if someone makes a pterodactyl sound, it will reverse the circle. It was really fun and we had tons of laughs and bonding time. We then did our shoutouts to hype everyone up, and will be ending the day with watching a movie. Today was such a fun day and cannot wait for what the future days bring!
-Leaders of the Day F and J
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Leaders of the the Day B and E
Yesterday was very fun, we ate breakfast at home base then went to the school .
At the school we did so much from painting Messi Ronaldo and Neymar jerseys to making flowers on the ground.
We went on to the hotsprings and we had so much fun there in the water. We then went on to Walmart where we bought all kinds of snacks.
We returned to the home base, we ate and then we did chow circle and the mentor groups.
We were all really tired so we went to sleep right after.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Written by Leaders of the Day M and K
In the morning we had a breakfast of pancakes at 6:50. At 7:30, we departed for the school and met the kids. we were split up in the different groups and visited the different age groups in their classrooms. We helped in their classrooms until their recess, then they enjoyed the painting activities that we nade. Around 12, we came back to homebase for lunch. We had burger Pattie’s and potatoes. Around 1:00 we went down town, took pictures, and got ice cream. After, we came back to home base, and listened to a guest speaker. He told us about the history of the Guatemalan government, military, and conflicts. To close out the night, we had a dinner of rice and meatballs with salsa. Finally, we went to bed at 9:30, and shut the lights off at 10:00.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Wow today was an eventful day! We got up bright and early for breakfast at 6:50 am! We had yogurt with granola, nutella/peanut butter toast, and eggs. After eating breakfast we got ready to head over to the school to work on our service projects. Some kids worked on painting murals, while others played with kids. For the second half of our community service we headed over to a nearby organization (which is connected to the school) that helps kids who were deported from the U.S. by providing them room and board, and a safe space as the program helps to reconnect them with their families. As we considered a new perspective on immigration, we came back to home-base to have lunch.
After eating a filling and delicious lunch we headed over to Momostenango, where we got to see the process of spinning and dying wool, and the garments created on the looms using those materials. While not only seeing this process, some kids were able to try it out for themselves! After learning about how they make the garments, we got the opportunity to buy some, and then headed back to home base. We then had dinner, and we were all enthused to find out that it was pasta! Then, we had chow circle, where we went over the schedule for the next day, shout outs, and how we lived our values. We wrapped the day with a surprisingly fun debate over women’s right, the involvement of international programs in local communities, and the preservation of local norms.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Leaders of the day D and M
We woke up and ate breakfast which was a breakfast burrito and it was pretty good. Then packed and got ready for community service and left at 7:30. Once we got there we were all excited to play with the kids but then we got the unfortunate news that we would not be able to talk to the kids due to the government inspecting the school. This resulted in us all having to paint murals the whole time which was a little different from our usual activity of talking to the kids for half the day and then painting for the other half.
After we finished painting we went back to the home base to eat lunch. For lunch we had chicken and rice which we all enjoyed. After some rest time we had a speaker come in and teach us about his experience during the Guatemalan civil war as a member of the army. It was interesting for us to now see the bias of both the army and guerrilla. Next we went on the tour of Xecul where we saw the San Andres Xecul Church and learned more about the Mayan culture in the town. We wrapped up the day with a delicious dinner, chow circle, and an emotional mentor groups. Overall as a group we learned more about Guatemalan culture today and got to contribute with are community service work.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
We started the morning off with a breakfast of oatmeal, fruit and cake before heading to Centro De Atencion integral for our final day of service. There, we finished up our murals and entertained the children before saying tearful goodbyes. For lunch we had chicken, potatoes, and carrot pineapple salad and then headed to downtown Xela. We toured the municipality council building,
House Noj, and the library, finishing the tour with hot chocolate tasting at Cafè la Luna. Returning to home base, we had free time, Chow Circle, and hot dogs and French fries for dinner. Before bed we played some mafia and got excited for zip lining tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Today we had an early start. We had breakfast at 6:30 which was pancakes and eggs. After breakfast we headed out for zip lining. We had so much fun zip lining over the Guatemalan jungle. After we headed back to Xela for lunch. We had pasta, carne asada, and vegetables.
After lunch we packed and had some free time to hang out. Some people played soccer and others played cards. Before dinner we had chow circle. Our last dinner at home base was soup which was very yummy. After dinner we did some goal setting for after the trip then headed to bed. We are super excited for Antigua tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Today we said goodbye to our home base in Xela. We had a yummy last breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and beans then got our stuff ready for our departure to Antigua. We headed out to the Iximiche Mayan Ruins before heading to Antigua for the afternoon. The ruins were so beautiful and it was super cool to learn about the Mayan civilization. After we went to a yummy lunch on our way to Antigua.
After lunch we got to our hotel and explored Antigua for a bit before doing our appreciation circle where we celebrated each other and the trip. Some of our groups went shopping while others went to Starbucks. Finally we went to a fancy restaurant for our last dinner together. After dinner we said our goodbyes and finished up packing. We had such a great trip and are really going to miss each other.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Our day started bright and early with our first group leaving Antigua at 2:30 am. After an hour drive our first group arrived at the airport, we hung out and got checkin. We waited for our first students to depart at 7:30. In the meantime our Second group arrived to the airport at 6:30. We were all able to hang out for a few hours before the majority of departures started. By 1:00pm there were only four students left. We had lunch at the airport and waited for our last few flights. The students had a wonderful time visiting Guatemala and will be missed dearly by the staff.