Dear Addy, Drew, Anna, Austin, Avery, Bridget, Campbell, Elizabeth, Ella, Ethan F, Ethan S,
Eva, Fatima, Fedora, Hank, Ishaan, Julia, Kat, Lena, Maddie, Max, Mika, Nicky, Nina, Sara,
Shannon, Shey, Sophia, Tyler and Westray,
I can’t believe I’m sitting here, post-program, reflecting back on all of the time we’ve
spent together and the memories we made in the very short time-span of 21 days. Although our
time together is far behind us, the legacy of group 1 has not been forgotten, even as new
students came, and still continue to come and work on the same projects as you all once did,
your impacts are still seen to this day.
It’s hard even for me to believe that the period of a long-lasting chow circle, endless
shout-outs, food, food, food and more food, watching intense soccer matches with Rolando, the
ability to sit and chat with a new person everyday, early morning-wake ups and walking to our
school site while seeing local people go about their days has long passed.
While you guys are no longer passing around the alpacita, going on endless tienda runs
(shoutout to those Sublime Bars and Inka Cola) and making lesson plans to work with our
students, the impact of your group was truly something unseen before in the children’s lives as
well as the progression of the construction. It’s been said that the first steps of contraction are
the hardest. You guys are literally breaking the ground to set forth the the foundation of a
school. While in the moment the jack-hammering was tiring, we as a group want to thank you for
your intense dedication to the mission of providing an education to children much like those you
worked with. It’s the selflessness of you all that gives the school of San Gabriel hope for a
Thinking back on the summer, a few memories in particular stick out in my head I’d love to
remind you all of:
-Buying a ridiculous amount of sweaters and random items from our amiga at the store with the
-With that being said, just the memory of alpaca sweaters deserves its own bullet point (I’m
wearing mine right now p.s.)
-Mika, Drew, Hank, and Julia (among many others) jack-hammering the ground for three hours
-The Lares trek, our amazing campsite, the DANK food (excuse me if that’s my dinosaur
terminology) Nicky’s “spot” to watch the stars, and our offering of coca leaves once we reached
the peak of the trek.
-Machu Picchu.. nuff said.
-Hank’s finale of his final magic trick, pulling a card out of Jenzor’s pocket (I’m still not over that).
-Creating our amazing mural of the Andean Cross, the final reveal and our goodbye dance party
with the students.
-Having our fortune told by the Shamen at our “Pago de la Tierra” Ceremony.
-Being told that Ethan S’s spirit Animal is a guinea pig and Kat’s is a Cow by the Shamen (lol).
-Fatima showing us her amazing braiding skills.
-Feeding and making long lasting friendships with the llamas, alpacas and guanacos at Awana
-Singing “Umbrella” by Rihana before one of our last chow-circles.
-Practicing and learning more Spanish everyday.
-Eating mad cookies everyday
-The walk to service, while difficult, was satisfying to feel more able to do it day-by-day.
-The awesome house staff, including Patty, Rolando, Jenzor, Yesica and Ale.
-The Soqma trek and all it’s beauty.
-The “sick” or “six” squad bonding POST evacuation from Soqma.
-Our final appreciation circle, anonymously letting everyone know how they’ve affected our time
during the program.
I know you all will continue to carry the memories of this trip with you for years to come.
As I’ve mentioned to many of you, my time in GLA as a student, while a lot shorter and in a
different location, still stays with me seven years later, as I still think about the lessons learned
and remain friends with my close friends from the trip. Our time in Peru has ended but many
new doors have now been opened, whether that be in friendships, career objectives, a change
in perspective or a new appreciation for our own lives. Don’t let that slide you by as the time
Sending love and appreciation for the time we’ve all spent together.
Gaby & the GLA Peru Team