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 JUNE 15
We are thrilled to be here all together at the Garden Lodge in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Our intrepid students have come to us from all over the United States and despite some missed connections, lost luggage, and a twisty ride to our lovely Home Base, all are here, well, and about to enjoy their first Peruvian meal in Peru! The students are settled into their rooms with their new friends and enjoying some of the common spaces and stunning mountain views available here at the Garden Lodge.
Tomorrow we will be exploring a bit of the town, taking it easy, and doing an orientation in the afternoon to get prepared and excited for all of the adventures to come. As for tonight, we all hope to rest well and acclimate our bodies to this new altitude of just about 9,000 feet. Viva Peru!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 16
Today we explored the grainers across from Ollantaytambo archaelogical site. We had a view to the whole town. We had our program orientation where we learned a lot about our service work, GLA, our team members, and spanish. We had time to explore Ollantaytambo and map hotspots. We created the community values rules in teams, and approved a whole one as a GLA Sacred Valley community! Today, we are thankful
By Grace (GLA Mentor)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 17
by Nick Blair and Stephanie Dong
Today was a great day in Peru! Our first day of service went very well! After an early drive to Calca, we met with Logan, Carlos, and Gabbie who directed our work as we helped improve the grounds of dormitories for girls from rural areas to aid in their education. We spent time moving rocks to help level the area, and clearing logs from the site. We ate lunch at Calca, and continued some work after, before heading back to home base.
After some free time to clean up after our service, we met the shaman and his son, who led us in a ritual to connect ourselves spiritually and protect us throughout our adventure. He blessed us with family, education, and abundance. We finished our ceremony by burning our offering and giving thanks to the Mother Earth. It was a great experience giving us insight into the maestro’s life and culture. We finished our day with a gratitude circle, dinner and mentor groups to break down what we are enjoying and want to change about our journey. Another great day in Peru, as we enjoy our time learning and helping others.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18
Written by Jonathan and Kiana
Hi GLA families! We started the day with an early breakfast and immediately headed off to the Maras Salt Mines. We met up with a local tour guide who told us about the history and the process behind the mines. We were able to take some good pictures and buy souvenirs!
After that we headed off to the Moray Archeological Site, reaching altitudes of up to 10,000 feet on the way. Our guide informed us on how the circular site was used by the Incas to test growing different crops in different conditions. He told us that the site was only recently restored in the 1900s and protected by the Peruvian government and UNESCO.
For lunch we drove to Andean Colors, a local business that set up a picnic for us. Along with a spectacular meal, we enjoyed hanging out with the Alpacas while we ate. We got to feed them and hold the very cute baby Alpaca!
After lunch, the people at Andean Colors showed us how to weave traditional bracelets, and we all got one to take home with us. They told us about the history of their company and showed us how they made their textiles. Afterwards, we were able to buy some of their products which helped support single mothers in the area.
Lastly, we drove back to home base and enjoyed a lovely dinner, which lead into a role playing discussion about tourism and the impact it has on local communities, specifically the Laras Trail that we will eventually trek to get to Machu Picchu. It was a spirited but fun conversation, and we all learned a lot. See you tomorrow for another adventure!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21
Written by Yarrow & Sherry
Hola GLA family!
It’s Yarrow and Sherry checking in after our beautiful Lares Trek adventure. We started off the day with a very early morning followed by a gorgeous 3 hour bus ride, the pictures we all took will never be able to compare to the raw beauty of the rugged mountains around us. When we arrived to the start of the trail, we were around 12,000 ft in altitude.
As we continued hiking, we saw lots of alpaca and lamas. The guides on our trip explain to us how to tell the difference between the two. Alpacas are usually fluffier with shorter necks and lamas are smaller, have longer necks, and upturned ears. As we ventured on we also ran into lots of local women and children. We bought lots of different textiles, bracelets, gloves, hats, and other souvenirs from the women and handed out bells and marbles to the children we passed. The guides told us that all the men were gone because they were guiding and packing for the people hiking the Inca trail, which is the main trail to Machu Picchu. The higher up we got, the harder it got to breathe. By the end of our trek we had gained 3,000 ft in elevation and us, sea level people, were struggling. The guides were amazing though and we took lots of breaks and we were fed great food!
We finally arrived at camp, earlier than expected after having to send a few members of our group home due to recent sicknesses and altitude issues. The day ended with another amazing meal and view of the stars from over 14,000 ft. We all cozied up in our tents before the temperature dropped below freezing and fell asleep after our longest but best day yet.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22
Written by Katie Meyers
We woke up to frost outside of our tents and enjoyed cups of coco tea brought by “room service”. After an energizing breakfast, we finished the uphill portion of the trek and reached the high pass at 14,800 ft. The views were incredible! Thankfully it was all downhill from there. We had a great lunch in Patacancha and went back to the Garden Lodge to prepare for the next portion of our trek. We had a delicious dinner near the train station and some students had alpaca. After dinner we caught the train to Aguas Calientes where we got a good night sleep in preparation for Machu Picchu the next day.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23
Written by Emerson S.
After waking up in very comfortable beds in El Tambo Inn on our day at Machu Picchu, we ate breakfast (some delicious bread, jam, and fruit) and set off towards the Machu Picchu buses. We rode up, up, up through pretty woods and along the sides of cliffs with incredible views of the Andes mountain range. When we arrived at one of the seven world wonders (I’m still very excited to say) we gathered into a line to enter the site.
After hiking up to the “postcard picture” spot above Machu Picchu, we took some breathtaking photos both individually and as a group. Then, our guides gave us an overview about the Lost City of the Incas and we learned that Machu Picchu means “old mountain” in Quechua. Our guides split us up into three groups to explore the site, so we walked down and got to see the agricultural history as well as the religious and astronomical history. We saw cocoa plants, avocado trees, the sun dial, and how the religious buildings were built like a puzzle.
Overall, it was amazing to listen to our guides because they were so knowledgable and we were sad to take the bus back down. From the bus, we walked to a restaurant called Hot Springs 1 and feasted on grilled chicken, pizza, and more. We were all very excited for our dessert of chocolate-covered pancakes and following that we headed straight for the train station.
Around the station, there was a huge market and our mentors allowed us to wander around and purchase souvenirs in groups of three or more. Students bought items from ponchos to snacks and were satisfied once we boarded the train for our two hour ride back into Ollantaytambo. Our group took naps and were glad to return “home” to the Garden Lodge and have a bit of free time before a yummy chicken, rice, and potato dinner. Wrapping up, we bid farewell to a fellow student who wasn’t feeling well and wished him the best. Good night and happy dreams!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24
Written by Gus and Lili
This morning we started by doing community service in Ollantaytambo for 3 hours. We had different jobs such as sanding and painting doors as well as digging holes in order to put up a tent for the girls. We had lunch at the service site and had the opportunity to meet the founder, Alex Ball, of the service project that provides girls with the chance of going to school and gaining an education. After a delicious lunch of fried chicken, quinoa soup, potatoes and more, we went back to ‘home base’ where we had tech time, then got to have a cocoa workshop; where we learned about Amazonian cultures and how they are being preserved by the organization that visited us today.
Later in the evening, we got to walk around the town and get ice cream, where we ironically saw Alex Ball again, (founder of the Sacred Valley Project) while we were getting ice cream and other pastries. Additionally we said goodbye to Titouan a student on the trip as he left due to personal causes. Later, we came back, had dinner and went into mentor groups, with a lesson about responsible photography, and a fun activity revolving around the lesson.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Today we enjoyed shopping for chocolate, coffee and other gifts, visiting the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman, and enjoying some of last delicious Peruvian meals. Our group was hard at work creating One Meaningful Goals for themselves as individuals and for the group to “be the change” once they return home.