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
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
It’s arrival day here in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and we have welcomed 18 of our 21 students so far. They come from the US and Belgium, bringing some travel fatigue but also high spirits, open minds, and great energy along with them.
After collecting our Service Expedition in the Andes crew from Cusco airport, we all ended up back at home base to drop bags, stretch our legs, enjoy a meal (or two!) and orient to The Garden Lodge.
Afterwards we got our first look at Ollantaytambo. We walked to the Plaza de Armas to get our bearings, change money, pick up the first of many souvenirs and eat the first of many ice cream cones. We returned to homebase to dive into some icebreakers, which included a name game and a version of speed dating to get to know each other better.
We enjoyed a tasty dinner and spent the rest of the evening relaxing, hanging out and settling in. We’re looking forward to meeting the final 3 of our group tomorrow and seeing what the day brings!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 26
Written by Malcom and Paige
Today we had the incredible opportunity to visit the historic salt flats of the Peruvain mountains, we also were able to work together with a local organization which supports single mothers and women in Peru. Alongside learning about the mountain culture, we were able to partake in a peruvian feast set up by the Andean Colors team and spent time with the llamas, alpacas and guinea pigs on their property. As a group we met two experts on the salt flats and had time to explore the local markets and vendors. From traditional pan flute music to locally prepared Cuey, the group as a whole had new and unique experiences that overall helped immerse ourselves in the culture of this area! We ended the day with gratitude and a wonderful home cooked dinner by our Peruvian hosts; Along with a lively discussion about current events and the importance of celebrating the traditions and culture of Peru.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
Written by Alivia and Thomas
Today, we started with our first day of service. It was a tough project, but everyone got to help build a garden and start creating a soccer field and volleyball court for girls. Everyone finished covered in dirt and tired, but we were very proud of what we made. Afterwards, Chaman Toribio performed a ritual from his home community giving blessings to each person for health, study, and love. It was very amazing to get the opportunity to see out offerings to Mamapancha get burned at the point. To finish the day, we got the chance to see the town at night. ¡Hasta manana!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Written by Amanda and Cannon
Today we started up early with an early morning hike that a few people attended, Machico (our home base dog) leading us in the hike. Then, we went to continue working on the soccer field using different ideas to try to make the work easier. We were able to clear out two truck loads of dirt! After a lunch break and some more work, we went back to home base feeling exhausted but accomplished. We then got to make spicy hot chocolate (orange juice included!) in a chocolate class where we also learned about threats to the Amazon and the multitude of thriving cultures that live in it. Afterward, we ate a delicious dinner of cilantro pasta and chicken, played heads up 7 up, and went to town! Students ate food, purchased souvenirs, and learned a little more about Peru. Tomorrow we start our last hard-working day of service before our trek. Good night!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Written by Lola and William
Today was final day of service before embarking on our trek! This morning, we enjoyed a healthy breakfast bright and early, and afterwards we made our way to our service site. Our service consisted of spreading dirt and planting grass for a soccer/volleyball field at a girls school/dormitory in Ollantaytambo. At around 2:30 we made our way for an hour of relaxation. After we met our tour guides for our trek, and they informed us of all the content regarding our trek. Afterwords we had the option to go into town and get last minute supplies for our journey ahead. At around 6:00 we enjoyed a delicious dinner with cool rice pyramids. After, we finished our day with a teamwork building exercise, which consisted of cup stacking with a blind folded person.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
Written by Lily and Ty
Today we started our day bright and early enjoying a buffet style breakfast at 6 in the morning. We continued on up the mountain to our biking destination. We rode down the mountain dropping 3 thousand meters in elevation. We saw amazing views and took a few breaks to catch our breath. Later on in the day we enjoyed a delicious 3 course lunch at our lodge. After lunch we went white water rafting and rode down the river enjoying the un predictability of the rocks. We ended our day with dinner and desert at the lodge.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 1
Written by Madison and Spencer
Today we started our day bright and early in Santa Teresa. After we enjoyed some breakfast, we boarded the buses and drove to our starting point for our hike to Aguas Calientes. We walked along the train tracks and then as a group, we decided to take an extra hike to a waterfall. We enjoyed the wonderful view and took lots of pictures. Following, we partook in a commemoration for Pachama Day where we were all given cocoa leaves to bless. Once we reached our destination, we dined at a restaurant in the middle of the town. We went to the hotel from there and had a few hours of relaxation time before we headed back out to embark on a photo scavenger hunt. Next, we went to get dinner and followed that with venturing through the town, buying all sorts of souvenirs. Some of us even played in a game of volleyball and won against the locals. Thanks for reading!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 2
Written by Marge and Halle
Today, in Aguas Calientes, a select few ambitious students woke up bright and early at 4 am to hike the 2,000 steps up to Machu Picchu. The trek was extremely tiring and painful but we made it!!! Making it to the top was very rewarding and relieving. We met up with the rest of the group at the summit and started our journey into Machu Picchu. The view of the city was breathtaking. To be honest, it was an emotional moment overcome with the surrealness of how much of a privilege it was to be seeing this magnificent view. Our guides taught us about the history of the site and how there are many different theories to its purpose, one being that it was used as a laboratory for genetic experimentation in agriculture. It also may have been used as a brothel for religious women, which we learned was proposed because more than 85% of excavated skeletons were women. After taking a bagillion pictures and exploring the city, we made our trek (race) down the mountain to eat an exquisite meal at a lovely restaurant. Depsùes de comemos, nosotros visitamos los artisenal mercados. Nosotros caminabamos por una hora y comprabamos muchos cosas (we spent A LOT of money). Then, we made our way to the train station to catch our ride back to Ollantaytambo. We were MUY cansado, but also very happy to be back at home base. We had a wonderful dinner back in our comedor, all thanks to Saulo and Pancha. Now, we are watching El Dorado, which is a movie about two explorers. We are all so grateful for the awesome trek to Machu Picchu and can´t wait for more adventure. Buenas Noches!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 3
Written by Cameron and Isabella
Today we had a service day in Calca where we jammed out to music while painting and sanding dormitories for young women who come to study. There we enjoyed a delicious lunch of beef and pumpkin soup. After we returned to Ollantaytambo we took part in an art class taught by Noehlia where we painted torritos which are a symbol of protection over one’s household. Since we are traveling to Cusco tomorrow we watched an culturally immersive film and learned about the traditions of the winter solstice and Pachamama. Ending the night we took a nice walk to the town and enjoyed watching a local volleyball match!🏐
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
Written by Charlie Z.and Madison,
To start off our last day, we had breakfast and then discussed our final activities. Some of us decided to wake up extra early to go on a hike and grab coffee and pastries. Then, we drove to Calca to complete our service at The Sacred Valley Project where we scraped and painted the indoor and outdoor walls. Additionally, we cleaned the classrooms to prepare for the girls to come back from break and we watered the nursery. We enjoyed lunch together and then returned to home base to engage in several leadership activities including goal setting and conversations about values. During the evening, we took a trip into town to get our final souvenirs and snacks for our plane rides. We had PIZZA and tequeños for dinner and then went on our final excursion into town. We concluded the night by enjoying each other’s company before we all journey home. Thanks for reading!
Signing off, Madison and Charlie