Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

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9.8 / 10 after 89 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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I spent three weeks this summer in Belize with Global Leadership Adventures and even though I had spent the summer before in Guatemala, also with GLA, this trip was one of the most amazingly scary things I’ve ever done. Not only being without family but being surrounded with strangers in a whole new country is stressful to say the least, and as should be expected, had a slightly rocky beginning, with lost bags and awkward hellos, but once we reached the Tropical Education Center, which would be our home for the next three weeks, things settled down. We played a few “get to know you” games, nothing like the boring icebreakers I was used to from past summers, and got a tour of home base, and as we did this I started to get to know the other girls I was there with.
The food was always great at the TEC, they had wonderful gluten free options and always something without red meat for me.
Our first day at the school was easy, we split into groups and organized our classrooms, children occasionally stopping in to say hello, four little girls gathered by the fence that separated their yard from the school, telling us how excited they were for tomorrow.
When we did get to the school on our first day teaching, kids were there waiting for us, happy and willing to learn. The kids I taught all spoke very good english, some were better spellers than me. My fellow teachers and I made lesson plans every night after dinner, a quick job once you get it down, we also always had a few back up games incase the kids were especially energetic. We did have a few problems with fighting, teasing, and bullying, and the kids sometimes tried to sneak out when they thought we weren’t looking but all in all they were well behaved.
The day trips we went on we always interesting, though some more than others, I would have to say our trip to the ATM caves was my favorite, but that is only available on the three week program. On the last few days we took a trip to Caye Caulker, a two mile wide island just off the coast without cars, the locals having bicycles and tricked out golf carts instead. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel with AC right by the sea, explored the island, shopped a little, and spent the whole next day snorkeling from which I earned a nasty sunburn, but it was definitely worth the pain.
All in all it was a great trip with amazing mentors, the kids were hilarious, and the other girls on the trip with me were some of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met.
If I were to suggest a summer program I wouldn’t hesitate to say this one.

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Posted: October 13, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
16

My daughter went with GLA to both Ghana and Peru and loved both of them. She has traveled before on her own, so we weren't that worried about her, but also always knew she was in good hands! GLA made the application process really simple, and we loved all the communication we got! They set up a blog that would be updated pretty frequently! GLA is awesome!

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Posted: May 3, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:

It was with great anxiety that we sent our daughter last summer (2016) on her Global Leadership Adventures trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for the Preserving Nature's Wonders program. But it was soon apparent that it was the very best decision we could have made for her! Communication was immediate and sufficient throughout the trip. We were able to speak with our daughter on several occasions, most importantly when they first arrived safely in Ecuador. The excitement and pure joy we could hear in her voice was music to our ears and the enjoyment the group was having was evident in the daily updated blogs the program provided. But we still were not prepared for the incredible transformation we witnesses when we picked her up from the airport. The shy, quiet 16 year old we had dropped off just two weeks prior, was now confident and full of self-esteem! And oh how happy she was! The only sadness felt was that she had to say good-bye to the friends she had made and have come to mean so much to her. It has now been nearly a year since she had this incredible experience and she is still in daily contact with many of these new friends. I am so proud of the service work she completed on this trip and how it has changed her into a thoughtful, thinking young person who truly has compassion for the world around her. Well worth the investment!

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Posted: May 1, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Dawn Popp
Age:
47

I was fortunate enough to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands though Global Leadership Adventures on the "Preserving Natures Wonders" trip during the summer of 2016. This program was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was unique in that I was able to surround myself in one of the worlds most special ecosystems as I snorkeled with sea lions, sea turtles and many tropical fish, saw countless crabs and iguanas, and was able to meet the Galapagos tortoises up close. What made these experiences with the animals and nature of the Galapagos even more impactful, was the fact that I was able to volunteer and help the land I was visiting. On this program everyone was very kind and I am still friends with many of the other kids that I met to this day. Our mentors were very helpful and made sure that everyone felt and was kept safe throughout the trip. Post program, I was impacted mostly by the friendships I had made and the knowledge that I now had regarding conservation and the importance of it. Some useful tips that I have are to bring snacks along if you have any dietary restrictions. I am vegan and the program was very accommodating so I didn't miss out on many of the delicious foods that they served, but bringing along snacks was very helpful. Another tip is to bring a camera along and to keep a journal because there are so many memories that will be made on a trip like this, and since many activities are packed into one day, it is easy to lose some of them. I took many pictures and journaled every day so now I have something to look back on.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 1, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
17

Global Leadership Adventures changed my life. Words can't describe how special this program is. You get to swim with manta rays, see islands stretch for miles, laugh and play games with some of the greatest kids you'll meet, and make such amazing friends. I thought this was the perfect amount of freedom mixed with 100% adult assistance for high schoolers. I also loved that this wasn't just a vacation, it was a chance to make a difference. There was the perfect balance between sightseeing and volunteering. GLA understood that we were teenagers who were visiting a country we had probably never been to before and wanted to see what life was like there. The staff that worked with us and our mentors were awesome. I would not change this trip for anything and I will remember it for the rest of my life. I would highly recommend a trip through Global Leadership Adventures to any teenager.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 1, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: 123emmab
Age:
17

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