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 8
Written by Cara, Ella, and David:
On Friday July 8th we woke up to a beautiful mountain sunrise view with sounds of roosters before having breakfast then doing an orientation with the students, where we went over rules and completed exciting icebreakers. We separated into two groups, where one group went on a walking tour through the historic parts of Ollantaytamba which, after 500 years, still resembles what the city once looked like. Other group stayed at Homebase to do team-building exercises. We participated in the Bucket of Dreams activity where we learned a lot about communicating as a group and The Roosters were our best group (but don’t tell the others)! After lunch we switched and the other group had the walking tour. We busted a move while learning to salsa by a Peruvian dance teacher, then enjoyed the local cuisine for dinner before resting. Also, happy birthday Liz!
Now down to the important part:
Yelp review! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Deduct 1/2 a star because oh man it’s harder to breathe!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Gracie, Neta, and Riley
Our GLA group today woke up with expectations. We knew what our plan was, our outline and our goals, but truly not what we were going to experience and feel on the way.
We learned about a woman named Hilda who fought through a life of domestic violence and abuse to start a company to support local women in her area. She’s upheld her foundation within her community and has refused to expand it in order to keep the profit local.
The excitement leading up to seeing salt flats and alpacas paled in comparison to the vastness of 40,000 salt beds wedged into the mountain side, and nose kisses to friendly furry friends after a beautiful picnic lunch (which included a very interesting side of guinea pig.) Today we worked together as photographers, adventurers, hypemen, and more to make something special of our third day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Jacinta, Liz, and Sarah
We started the day off with a jolly wake up call which consisted of Pass The Dutchie and a withering look from Reid. Then, we had a delicious cup of THE Peruvian Hot Chocolate and a divine breakfast meal. We then began our journey towards the service site with grandiose views and many dogs both friend and foe. At the service site, we learned more about the group and how they contributed to the education of indigenous women. The service site is a school dormitory where Peruvian girls stayed during the week to access their learning facility. They then sent us out into the field of dirt and rocks to begin its journey into a volleyball court and greenhouse. We used mighty tools of pickaxes, shovels, hammers, wheelbarrows, and sickles to prepare the land for future use. After we ate a delectable lunch, we had the options to either visit the ruins or Plaza De Armas in town. When we returned to home base, we had the privilege of witnessing a ritual performed by a Quechua Shaman. After a dinner that had people going for seconds, we had a team building activity to reflect on the culture of the community before shutting down for the day.
Now for the most important part:
Yelp review! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Deduct a star for the obscene amount of dust in every accessible part of our body!
Note to families: Apologies for the delayed blogs! The WiFi has prevented staff from sending daily posts – but rest assured the group is having an amazing time! You can find the posts for July 11-14 below. More to come! Happy reading 🙂 -GLA HQ
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Ben, Alyssa, and Syd
We started of the day with a delicious breakfast that featured avocado and fruit bowls! Then we started the walk to service where we continued digging a hole for the well and plowing the field for a garden. We started work on the pavilion. We had a fantastic lunch, that consisted of crispy fried chicken, with French fries on the side. We then stopped by the market where people continued to pick up souvenirs. We also purchased the soccer ball which we used at our enthusiastic soccer game later at night. After service we received a presentation about chocolate and tried some hot chocolate that was spicy. After dinner, we played a great game of soccer with even better cheerleaders. It resulted in a 5-1 score.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by: Reid, Connor, and Genny
Today we woke up tired but ready for our third service day. We enjoyed our typical Peruvian breakfast and headed out to our service site. While there, one group carried loads of cement to cover the front entrance of the dormitory. Another raked and planted vegetables for the garden. Our third group finished the hole from day one for a water tank. Also we all worked together afterwards to create an irrigation system for the garden.
We also got a special guest visit from a friendly puppy we named choco! Afterwards we visited and learned more about the ollanta ruins over looking the town. From there we split up and got to explore more of the town ! Once back we learned more of our trek to Machu Picchu and prepared for our early morning start tomorrow. We enjoyed another delicious peruvian dinner and overall had another day filled with excitement and adventure!
And the part you have all been waiting for :
Yelp review ! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Maya, Isabela, and Jaden
We started off with biking at 14,000 feet in the Incan Cloud Forest. The biking lasted about three hours. The fact that we all were above cloud level and how cold it was surprised us. We were all so proud of ourselves for making it through the bike ride and being optimistic. Lastly we finished the day off with white water rafting. We all learned that we have good listening skills when paying attention to the guide telling us where to go.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by: Genny and Sherry
Today we woke up at 5 am ready for our second day of the trek. Although a bit tired, we enjoyed another great breakfast with a jungle view. Afterwards we began our journey hiking part of the Inca trail. It was a mix of Peruvian flats ( a.k.a lots of ups and downs) and some steep hills. Mid way we got to rest and visit at la casa del mono. Here we learned more about Incan culture and had some snacks.Although sweaty and a bit tired we got to enjoy beautiful views of mountains and rivers. After this, we ate lunch and headed to some natural clear hot springs to soak our bones in after the hike! We also further explored the town of Santa Teresa where we’ll be staying for the night and ate another great dinner.
And for our best part!
Yelp review : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Deduct one star because the hike had some pretty narrow trails on the side of the mountain!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Today we rose with the sun and had an early breakfast, leaving behind Santa Teresa before embarking on a journey to the starting point of our hike. We walked about 13 km down a railroad track, stopping to see a spectacular waterfall on the way. We arrived at Aguas Calientes around lunchtime and had a scrumptious lunch to fuel up before checking in to our nice hotel (it had an elevator). Once we got settled in we discovered an endless marketplace and had time to recuperate from a long trek. After exploring the town we regrouped and went to dinner together, where we listened to an amazing flute ensemble. Then we went back to our home for the night and had a relaxing evening, prepping for our next exhilarating day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
MACHU PICCHU!! We were all in very high spirits about our long awaited destination. We once again got up with the dawn and had a satisfying breakfast before joining with our favorite muchacho, KJ! Then we rode the bus to our UNESCO World Heritage site of choice. We were very thrilled to be there and see the history in action. We learned about various Incan lore and some of us even voiced alien theories. We especially loved the archaeological wonder that Machu Picchu has to offer as well as the llamas. Then we left its splendor still amazed, heading to lunch. We had some time to look around Aguas Calientes before going to the train station for our final trip back to home base in Ollantaytambo. The ride had stunning views and we stopped for a while to look at them. We were all glad to finally be home once the ride had concluded. Overall, it was a magnificent experience that many of us hope to cherish for our lifetimes!
Sydney and Jaden
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17-18
Written by Sherry and Rachael
We woke up at 8, glad to be back at Home Base where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of locally baked bread and eggs. Then we set off at 9 for our second to last day of service at the dormitories. We continued working on the hole to hold a water tank, began clearing an area for volleyball and soccer, and painted the gate and some stairs. After we finished service, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the dormitories.
On our way back to home base, we stopped in the market for shopping and snacks. In the afternoon, after arriving back at home base, we all got really serious about painting our ceramic protector bulls. The bulls all turned out incredible and we got to see everyone’s artistic talent. Then we had a delicious dinner to wrap up the day.
Yelp Review: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Deduct 1 star for for lack of energy.
Today we woke up at 8 to a slightly rainy morning and got ready for a “walk up the mountain” (which is not a hike according to staff member Matt). It was a beautiful hike with incredible views of the town and surrounding mountains. When we reached the ruins near the top and looked back down on the town, everything seemed to snap into perspective: it’s our second to last day here in Ollantaytambo. We started off by independently meditating and thinking about our surroundings, trying not to take anything for granted. Then we split into our last mentor groups for a reflection of our time here the past couple weeks.
After some further exploration of the ruins and a quick stop at the market, we headed back to home base for an hour before heading out for our last day of service at the dormitories. There we worked on constructing chairs, painting poles, and leveling the area that will become the volleyball court and soccer field. After service, we had the privilege of getting to know the amazing girls who are staying at the dormitories.
We headed back to home base for some free time and time to pack 🙁 Then we set off to eat dinner at the restaurant that has been providing our food at home base- it was delicious. To wrap up the day, we enjoyed a sporting game of fútbol.
Yelp Review: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
All the stars for getting to meet the girls at the dormitories.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Gracie
I think July 19th came quicker than any of us really expected. In the moments between adventures this journey with GLA was simultaneously 2 weeks, and an entire lifetime spent with a group of almost strangers that quickly became close friends.
To finalize our time together we made the most of a perfect sunny day in Cuzco, eating, seeing, and walking around one of the more infamous Plazas de Armas in this country. We conquered the San Pedro Market for last minute finds (and fourteen chocolate bars later) made our last trek to Home Base for dinner.
The night came to a close with a handful of tears, with surely more to come tomorrow. We danced in the lights of a mini disco ball and sang like we were front row of our favorite concert of all time. There was truly no better way to end our 14 days together than to turn Hotel Tierra Inka into Club Tierra Inka until our 11pm bedtime, and linger in each others company just a little while longer.
As a group we are all so grateful for the GLA staff who went above and beyond when we were sick, scared, anxious, and anything inbetween, and for our homebase guardians Alex and Paola who made our home away from home so comfortable. Until Next Time Ollantaytambo!