Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
This blog is for the Peru split session starting June 26, 2022, which includes both the 14-day and the 21-day student group.
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 26
Hi friends and family!
It has been quite an arrival day!!! All of our students for Spanish Service Adventure in Peru have arrived safe and sound! Everyone made their flights on time which is amazing. We got to meet each other and hang out for a while at the airport while we waited for most of the group to arrive. We were exhausted but driving from Cusco to the small town of Pisac was beautiful. The mountains are enormous and we got to see the beauty of the Sacred Valley as we descended to Homebase. Our Homebase is an hospedaje here in the pueblo of Pisac.
We’ve played a lot of get-to-know you games, chatted, and got to walk around Pisac on a tour given by our Local Director Javier. The people who live here work the land for corn, we saw plots of land with tons of corn laying out drying. Some of our first impressions of Peru: the landscape is beautiful, the people are very kind, and there is color everywhere! Also, at night, it gets very cold. Luckily we have piles of blankets on our beds to keep us warm. 🙂
Check out some of our pictures from today.
– Peru SSA program and Staff Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Written by Kai and Aidan M.
We love Peruvian food and the chefs and staff are very kind and good at what they do. After breakfast we had a “snowball fight” which was a game that helped us get to know each other’s interests. We had Spanish lessons in small groups which were challenging but interesting and helpful. Lunch was an AMAZING hot “chicken salad” with rice. The group then split to get a tour of Pisac, with Javier’s group taking a hike through the corn and wheat fields which were recently harvested. Then the group visited the horse stables which many loved. Diego’s group walked up the mountain to get a view of the landscape. The view was beautiful and many took notice of the wildlife near the bridge ;). The groups met at the market where many beautiful textiles and souvenirs were bought.
We came back and had dinner which was great and filling! The best part of the day was the visit to the Shaman. We had a cleansing ritual which also helped us connect to our souls and allowed us to reflect. We danced around the fire to the music the Shaman played and everybody loved it! Overall, the day was long and interesting with the Shaman being something totally new and the market being beautiful. It was a great start for the trip.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Written by Ben Schlotterer and Colby Gilmore
So first, we were served avocado toast with tomato to start the day. Over the past couple of days the GLA students have learned that the key to a successful and good day is a great and nutritional Peruvian breakfast. Slightly after breakfast, we got ready for our trip to a local pottery place. We learned about the different forms of pottery and about the dying out of pottery culture in Peru. We were also able to create our own pottery and learn the ancient techniques. For lunch, we went to a local restaurant called Dona Clarinda and chowed down on a variety of Peruvian dishes. After the feast, we headed out to the ancient Inca ruins of Pisac and hiked through the centuries old ruins. After an exhausting day, we replenished with a chicken fried rice dish made by our amazing cooks. Then we watched a very interesting documentary about the potato farming culture in the andes called the Potato King. Then we got into groups and discussed amongst ourselves and our peers, and then went to get some good sleep to be ready for service tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by Brady Kadro and Elise Wendlandt
For breakfast, we were served crepes with a variety of different fruits. There was also strawberry and grape jelly that we were able to put on bread with some butter. We left at 9 am to visit the remote village Sacllo where we learned about agriculture and sustainable development. Later for lunch, we were served corn soup and shredded chicken with sauce and rice. After we ate, we were given an overview of the goals for the AASD. We learned it is uncommon to find forests in the Andes. Next, we learned how to plant avocado seeds in a way that does not harm the environment to any extent. We filled bags with soil that we collected in wheelbarrows. We left the town at 4 pm and arrived at homebase for freetime where we played card games. For dinner we had spaghetti with meat with traditional Peruvian tea. Then four groups were made and we debated whether or not a road for travel would benefit our individual roles we were assigned. We are excited to experience another day in the lives of the people of Sacclio.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Written by Iris Smart and Francesca Moreno
After a light breakfast with some traditional Peruvian foods, we gathered into our groups for our second Spanish lesson of the trip, improving our grammar and language skills. Today’s lessons were extra special because we were able to sample some native Peruvian fruits, causing a variety of reactions. These included Noni, Pepino and Tuna, among others. After an early lunch of chicken and rice, we packed our day bags and headed over to Sacllo to begin the process of painting and restoring the local chapel. We simultaneously touched up the exterior of the church while also getting to know and playing with the locals. The paint-related mishaps that ensued brought the group closer together in a lot of ways. After an incredible day of service, we returned to home base where we discussed our day and enjoyed a reminder of home of Hamburgers for dinner. Afterwards we gathered in our mentor groups and discussed the impacts that the trip has had on us so far and how it has changed our perspective. We are excited for the adventures that tomorrow will bring during our day in Cusco.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Written by Tyler Lieberman and Julia Wang
Our day in Cusco arrived! We woke up early at 6:30 AM to omelets and traditional bread with jam and butter. We quickly ate and began our trek toward Cusco. First, we had a pit stop at Saqsayhuaman, an Incan creation which honors the Sun God. After receiving enlightening tours we traveled to the center of Cusco where we enjoyed breathtaking views, touristic crowds, and many laughs. A group of us entered a Catholic Church which was beautifully decorated and had a gorgeous bell tower. Then we journeyed to Tunupa, for a three course meal accompanied by the delicacy, cuy (guinea pig).
Afterwards, we rushed to a chocolate class with the absence of making chocolate. However, our palates were tested with a spicy chocolate drink with orange essence. Then we explored more local shops in the city, bought souvenirs, and returned to our homebase. For dinner we had delicious chicken and rice, and a beet salad. After dinner, we played a round of mafia, as well as Similarities and Differences to learn more about each other. Everyone was super tired but still craved dessert, so finally, we went on a night excursion to an ice cream shop. The plan for tonight is to go to bed on time so that bedtime will possibly be extended tomorrow night!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Greetings from Day 7!
Anna and Nick here. This morning was filled with intense games of chess and groggy campers. After breakfast, our Spanish teachers entertained us with games like Jenga and Pictionary. Once our Spanish skills were recharged, we used them by communicating with the locals of Sacclio. We were able to paint the inside of the same chapel that we worked on on Thursday. It was filled with good music and enthusiastic volunteers. Once we came back from service, we had time to check our phones before enjoying a nice dinner of chicken noodle soup. With a quick survey, we left for a competitive game against a local soccer team (they crushed us). Stay tuned for more fun adventures coming your way!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Jax girls logging on (Anessa and Fiona)! Today was super fun! We started the day by playing Mr. Blue Sky to promptly wake everyone up at 6:30 AM. We ate yummy bread, avocado, cheese and more for breakfast. Super delish. Next was clase de Espanol! We got to play Jenga to review our verbs and then ended clase by going to a botanical garden. We saw the prettiest butterfly ever!!!!! Lunch was next and yum as usual. Then you know the deal…to the service site we headed! Our afternoon was filled with waxing the church floor and then using an old Incan tool that translates to “Earth Opener”. We became farmers for the day.
We also got to play with many kids in the community and by the end they were our (in their words) “mejor amigos”. We came back for dinner, and ended the day with…drumroll please… SALSA CLASS! That’s right, we learned to salsa with an expert right here in Peru. By the end of the evening WE became the experts. Ask your kids to salsa when they return…they should have some skills. Then all of us screamed for ice cream as we headed over to the shop. Overall it was a fab day. Stay tuned for the next day of fun. We love yall (and we loved being leaders of the day today).
Signing off, JAX GURLS <3
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Ollie from Australia and Aidan from Kentucky here.
Happy 4th of July. Today we woke up early at 6:30 and woke up everyone by knocking on their doors. We then ate breakfast that consisted of fruits and yogurt. At approximately 8 am, we began Spanish Class for an hour before heading to a local empanadas shop where we made them and promptly ate them all. We then had lunch which was fried chicken, rice and lentil beans. It was tasty so we then departed for Sacclo for service and to spread the 4th of July joy. We began digging holes and planting trees as well as picking up various garbage. We then played kickball with the locals and also played tug of war. Both games were well received by both locals and students. We then took the bus back at 4:30 before having tech time for thirty minutes. We then had “circulo de cena” and ate dinner which was pasta and chicken. We also got to celebrate Camille’s birthday with a big cake!! Happy bday Camille. Later we packed for Machu Picchu and also had mentor groups. Morgan put on a grammy worthy performance when performing “screamo music”. We ended the day with a bit of free time and stargazing. Peace yall.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Morgan and Becca
Hello friends and family! This morning we woke up and got on the bus to head out to the beautiful Incan city of Ollantaytambo (say it three times fast). We walked up the terraces to the Temple of the Sun atop the ruins. We got a great view of an Incan face that can be seen in the mountain directly across from the park. After our tour, we got to eat a yummy lunch in the Urban district of town. From there, we left Ollantay by train and arrived in the small town of Aguas Calientes. There we settled into our hotel and ate dinner. We got a briefing from our tour guide, Smith, who prepared us for the next day, going to MACHU PICCHU!!!!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Jacqueline from New York City and Morgan from Fairfax, VA here! Today we woke up early to catch the bus to Machu Picchu! After an uphill hike, which proved strenuous from the altitude, we made it to the top and took gazillions of photos with the beautiful scenery. We split into three groups to go on tours around the ruins aptly named after the ‘Old Mountain’ and learned the history of one of the seven wonders of the world! We all were enthralled by the architecture and the enormity of MP. It really is a magical place. Next, we had lunch in the tourist town of Aguas Calientes, and finally, returned to homebase in Pisaq and got to rest after our two days of travel.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Today was our last day of Spanish classes and going to our service site with the entire group. In Spanish class, we got to try our hand at playing traditional flutes, whistles, and other typical instruments. We practiced and performed a song together. Our Spanish teachers gave us certificates for “graduating” and we had a little ceremony here at Homebase. Our teachers have been great and we are going to miss them (although not so much the 3 hour spanish classes)!!! After classes, we had lunch and then headed to service in Sacclio. There, we put some protection around the trees we’ve planted and then got to play an intense game of Mata Gente (a game the community set up). We also played some soccer. The community gave us gifts as we were leaving and we got to try potatoes cooked in a Huatia (an oven built into the ground). We danced a lot and said goodbye to our new friends. We had an activity tonight to end the program and then went for HELADO!! Twas a great last day of service. Now, onto rafting tomorrow!!!!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Francesca
Yesterday was incredibly bittersweet. We took a scenic 2 hour bus ride to the lodge where the 21 day crew would be staying, and where we all prepared for some intense white water rafting. After many accidental dives into the icy waters, our group scrambled for the sauna, warm clothes, and a hot lunch. But the thrill wasn’t over yet! We geared up for ziplining and sped over the river we had just traversed in our rafts. We then settled in for a guided meditation and a few moments of silence and reflection over our trip. We did a final round of shout-outs in appreciation of the impacts we have all had on each other, and the accomplishments we have had.
We then tearfully said goodbye to the incredible peers, instructors and friends we have made, as the 14 day crew traveled back to home base for our departure the next day. The 21 dayers spent the rest of the afternoon preparing themselves for the intense journey to Rainbow Mountain that they would be taking the following day. The 14 day people began packing and had a final celebratory ice-cream and snack run.
As part of the 14 day crew, I hope the 21 dayers have an absolutely incredible last week here in Peru, while we travel back home and return to our lives. I know, however, that I and many of the people in our group will return home with a newfound appreciation and want to make an impact as a leader in our communities, that has undoubtedly come from this awesome and unique experience.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Morgan and Aidan
Imagine: it is 4:30am, and there’s a knock at your door. Who is it? None other than Javier himself. He comes bearing news of far off lands: we must make the pilgrimage to the summit of El Monte Vinicunca. And so we prepared ourselves for departure: seven slugs and eight spider eggs, which were customary of such a trek. Then, we took off in the guagua vieja, which sputtered along the earthen roads leading to the base of the mountain. We ascended four thousand feet. Many of us hardened travelers (after two weeks of acclimatization) were poised to face this great mountain and test our mettle. Us ten pilgrims and three guides gathered the needed supplies at the nearby market and set off. Miles and miles passed while we fought the wicked cold winds. Once we reached the summit we rejoiced in a lavish celebration of our exceptional endurance. We had made contact with the Rainbow Mountain at last. We returned to the van and fell into a deep, much needed slumber. We made the trip back to the lodge on that sacred river, where we rested and ate before returning to home base. Home base was quiet. Too quiet. As if it had just been abandoned by fourteen fellow travelers. We smelled the solemn air and felt our companions’ grief. Many had left notes, goodbyes and farewells. Some of us may never meet again; but our times together will never be forgotten.
Morgan and Aidan
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Aidan M. & Jake L.
Today the group woke up. We were even on time for breakfast. Considering there was music blasting next door until 4:00 in the morning, being on time was shocking. Peruvians really know how to party. The Virgin Del Carmen is being celebrated in the community this week. Fireworks, music, yelling, dancing, cannons, dogs barking, and more all work to keep us awake. The Virgin Del Carmen has apparently not yet woken up, despite us waking up dozens of times every night. We had breakfast followed by two hours of Spanish and a trip to the local fair, where we considered buying cows and sheep for just a few thousand soles. A great deal for a cow! The stalls were full of meat and snacks, and as we write this we hear the music blasting from the fair, through the walls and echoing around us. It was short but sweet, because we were already late for lunch.
After lunch, we left for service, to a campesino pueblo nearby Sacllo and Calca called La Carolina. There, we were introduced to locals, and soon began the difficult job of digging holes. For only ten students, fifteen holes dug and fifteen trees planted is very much for only three and a half hours of work. It was tiring but rewarding. We returned to home base before our scheduled time of 4:30. The group went to the market, but it was nearly empty because of the festival. We bought snacks, ate dinner, and had mentor groups, where we learned more about each other and our experiences. Sleep is much needed. We are falling asleep as we are writing this. The respect we have gained for each other in our small groups can not be overstated. The end. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sorry we fell asleep on the keyboard.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Ollie & Tyler
We woke up everybody very loudly by banging on their doors and making them wake up. We then ate breakfast which consisted of bananas, yogurt, bread and mangos. We then had Spanish class that began at 8am. At approximately 9:30am, we went to a field to play Spanish games against each other. The two teams were named Los Perros Muertos and Los Ganadores. It was very competitive, but the Ganadores pulled it out. We traveled to La Carolina and planted an additional 13 trees. After service, a group of us went to the market and purchased some souvenirs. We had soup for dinner and ice cream for dessert. After eating, we had an impromptu jam session with makeshift instruments from around the Homebase. Everyone’s excited for our journey to Maras tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Camille and Anna
We were awoken this fine morning by a chorus of canons. After a grumpy breakfast of egg, avocado, and tomato sandwiches, we departed for our day in Maras. We arrived after an hour and a half on our shuttle bus to embark on a hike that descended to the salt mines. We realized that it was mainly a bike path due to all the jumps and met some French marathon runners along the way. (Shout out to Jean-Luc!) Our tour guide, Smith, gave us some valuable information about the salt mines and how they harvest the salt. While visiting, some of us purchased this very salt. A short 20 minute bus ride later, we arrived at our lunch spot, with an audience of llamas waiting for us. The picnic table was soon filled with lots of food, including cuy. (Fried guinea pig!!) We were super thankful to Andean Colors for hosting us. Despite the late lunch, we weren’t the only ones that were hungry. We were stampeded by a pack of feisty llamas waiting to be fed. They were aggressive, yet highly adorable. Then, we were taught how to create patterns in the form of bracelet making. Some of us could not knot. (badum chssss) To forget our troubles with the bracelet making, we were taught the process of making and dyeing yarn. But first, the guinea pig room! They were all shapes and sizes, and it was hard to realize that all of them would soon look like our lunch plates. The people from Andean Colors showed us the natural ways to dye the yarn by using supplies such as eucalyptus, moss, and even cacti parasites. They also tested our knowledge between alpaca and acrylic yarn before opening up their store.
Once coming back, we answered the tough question of the day before dinner. If you were to win a million dollars, what would be your first purchase? Dinner consisted of rice, chicken, and potatoes, and was followed by a fun activity about different preferences and values. Tomorrow, we have our new service family and can’t wait to see what’s in store!
Camille and Anna
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Jasper Brokaw and Ollie Bisogni signing on,
Breakfast was a 7 today, a sharp 6:30 wakeup that was a major struggle for many people. Breakfast was a mix of fruits, yogurt, and bread and it was very tasty. Next we had Spanish class that started at eight. During the latter part of Spanish we painted on cups and made incredible Incan-like designs. We then had lunch which was none other than PESTO PASTA!!!! It was really good and everyone was glad to have it. We then left for service around one pm in the small village of 45 families where we cleared a field of dead corn so that the diseases that could potentially brew from the corn were killed off. We were absolutely ‘outstanding’ in the field. We arrived back at homebase around five pm where we endorsed in fifty minutes of TECH TIME. We then had circulo de cena which was really funny due to the new celebration created by Jasper, Tyler and Ollie. We then ate dinner which was “beefaroni” which many people ate quickly. We then had an Incan Culture Speaker who was phenomenal and we learned plenty more about the culture. GOODNIGHT YO
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Wakeup and breakfast was a little later today being 7:30 and 8. Breakfast was eggs, avocado, tomatoes, and the usual bread setup with jelly and butter. At 9, we began Spanish, with a cumbia dance class led by Paola and then at 10:30, broke into our different groups for a little lesson. We finished off Spanish class with graduation where we all received certificates that stated our total completed hours, which was 27.
After that we ate a delicious lunch of chicken and rice, then we descended for Cusco at 1. In Cusco, we were assigned a scavenger hunt where we had to go around a market and find different ingredients for a specific Peruvian dish like ceviche and figure out their average costs. Additionally, each of the groups had to get different ingredients for our specialty dessert later tonight. Then came around 4 when we left Cusco to drive 30 minutes back to Pisac for fifty minutes of TECH TIME. We all gathered around for circular de cena at our usual time and gave shoutouts as well as rating our days from 1 to 10. Dinner was a delight, being fried chicken and fries. Yummy!
After dinner, everyone contributed to making a popular Peruvian dessert called Arroz Con Leche. It was amazing! Then came bedtime at a usual 9:30. Unfortunately, tomorrow is our last day of service and activities! Let’s make it a good day! JB and JD out.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Anna S. and Camille R.
Alas, we have reached the final day in our journey. We started off strong this morning with service bright and early after breakfast. It consisted of clearing corn husks from the fields of La Carolina, followed by 3 intense games of volleyball. The family rewarded our hard work with Ponche de Abas, a traditional drink like horchata made with beans. After the typical lunch of chicken and rice, we said a warm goodbye to our service sites and ventured to find a waterfall. It only took around 30 minutes of hiking before we reached this waterfall, which was flowing freely despite it being dry season. Some photo opportunities followed before we drove back to homebase. With music from fiestas all around us welcoming us back as well as a traffic jam due to horses, we finally got back and started on our OMGs (one meaningful goal). Before our final dinner, we headed out to the main street to catch a glimpse of the sunset.
After a very Peruvian dish of hamburgers, we made a late night excursion for some ice cream. On the schedule, we thought we were going to a nice field/hill to watch the stars, but got surprised with an activity containing stargazing and storytelling on the very roof of our homebase! We only got interrupted by fireworks from the next street over once or twice, but it was a great way to end such a meaningful trip. Tomorrow, we head our separate ways, but we will never forget all the amazing memories made in this country called Peru.