Where We Travel

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


ABOUT DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Dominican Republic is a vibrant nation that breathes the heat and energy of the Caribbean. The musical rhythms and bright colors of this beautiful island are deepened by the complex history of the island of Hispaniola, which you will begin to unravel as you walk through colonial streets and explore its mountainous terrain.

White sand beaches, deep tropical jungles, mysterious mountains, and cascading waterfalls make the Dominican Republic a popular tourist destination, but tourists only touch the surface. On this program, you will have the opportunity to dive into this fascinating country.

Dominicans are born dancing the Latin rhythms of merengue, bachata, and salsa and carry the energy and passion of the dance into their daily lives.

The Dominican Republic is a safe country serving 4 million tourists annually; though we avoid tourist-heavy areas the country does have strong infrastructure and resources to support this industry.

 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PROGRAMS

CONSTANZA

2024 Trip Dates

  • Constanza 1A: June 17 – June 30 (Los Angeles)
  • Constanza 2A: June 20 – July 3 (Bay Area)
  • Constanza 1B: July 5 – July 18 (New York)
  • Constanza 2B: July 9 – July 22 (Massachusetts)
  • Constanza 1C: July 23 – August 5 (New York)
  • Constanza 2C: July 26 – August 8 (Chicago)

About Constanza

Locally known as the Switzerland of the Caribbean, Constanza feels more like the Alps than a Caribbean island. At 4,000 feet above sea level, it is the city with the highest elevation in the country, and it uses this temperate climate to cultivate 80% of the agriculture (mainly strawberries, potatoes, apples, lettuce, and garlic) and 75% of the flowers produced in the Dominican Republic.  The small town is also famous for organizing a rebel attack against the dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1959 along one of its winding mountain roads. Constanza’s remote location has deterred most tourism, although the locals believe that the breathtaking views, impressive waterfalls, and ecological reserves will soon turn Constanza into the next hub for national and international ecotourism. Students will enjoy exclusive use of a small family-run hotel at the entrance to town with an on-site restaurant serving some of the best food in Constanza.

Culture

Constanza is a cozy, intimate mountain community where everybody knows and interacts with everyone. Local softball games are the daily social activity, along with playing dominoes at the local colmado. Be prepared to adjust to the slower pace of life and revel in the beauty, charm but also the gritty realities of living and working in the capital of industrialized agriculture.

JARABACOA

2024 Trip Dates

  • Jarabacoa 1A: June 6 – June 19 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 2A: June 12 – June 25 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 1B: June 24 – July 7 (Chicago)
  • Jarabacoa 2B: July 1 – July 14 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 1C: July 12 – July 25 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 2C: July 19 – August 1 (New York)
  • Jarabacoa 1D: July 31 – August 13 (Chicago)
  • Jarabacoa 2D: August 7 – August 20 (Massachusetts)

About Jarabacoa

In a country known for its tropical heat, Jarabacoa stands out as the “City of Everlasting Spring” due to its mild year-round temperatures.  This city is known as the capital of adventure ecotourism in the DR, since both Dominicans and international tourists come to enjoy its beautiful rivers, crystalline waterfalls, and hidden mountain trails that wind through cloud forests. Most people make their living from the tourism industry and from agriculture. Small family farms that cultivate flowers, strawberries, cacao and coffee create picturesque “photo opps” around every curve of the small mountain town. While many foreign nonprofits and mission groups have been lured by the magic of Jarabacoa, Global Glimpse delegations will set themselves apart through sustainable partnerships with schools, communities, and local organizations that push students to think critically about the impact of aid and development at the local level.

Culture

Locals feel proud of the warm hospitality for which the region is known and that will engulf students as they explore their new home. Jarabacoans are navigating the best way to balance tourism and agriculture with respect for nature and preservation of the local cloud forest. Students will grapple with these environmental and social questions alongside the locals. Be sure to try an arepa de maiz, Jarabacoa’s local culinary specialty, which carries the taste of the traditional wood-fired oven where it is cooked and served warm as a hearty snack or cool with coffee, milk, or fruit juice.

JUAN DOLIO

2024 Trip Dates

  • Juan Dolio 1A: June 10 – June 23 (Chicago)
  • Juan Dolio 1B: June 28 – July 11 (New York)
  • Juan Dolio 1C: July 16 – July 29 (Los Angeles)
  • Juan Dolio 1D: August 2 – August 15 (Massachusetts)

About Juan Dolio

Juan Dolio is a quiet beach town on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. Historically the site of an indigenous settlement of the Taino people based around the natural coral reefs, and later a small village of fisherman, Juan Dolio offers a close connection to the ocean. It is a popular weekend and holiday destination for local Dominicans and international tourists alike.

Culture

Like San Pedro de Macorís, Juan Dolio ‘s history was heavily influenced by the sugarcane industry, and with the growth of tourism at the end of the 20th century, Juan Dolio experienced further changes in local infrastructure and economy. The local community has played a fundamental role in maintaining Dominican traditions and culture, a mix of Afro-Dominican, European, and Indigenous influences, in a tranquil coastal setting with diverse ecosystems. Efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the region contribute to the cultural landscape by fostering a sense of environmental stewardship.

SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS

2024 Trip Dates

  • San Pedro de Macoris 1A: June 18 – July 1 (Bay Area)
  • San Pedro de Macoris 1C: July 26 – August 8 (Bay Area)

About San Pedro de Macoris

San Pedro de Macorís, located along the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, is renowned for its rich history in baseball and its former status as a bustling sugar-producing hub during the 19th century. The sugarcane industry, once the backbone of San Pedro de Macorís’ economy, left its mark on the city’s landscape and culture, with several azucareros, or sugar mills, distributed throughout the province to handle the large load of its sugarcane plantations. San Pedro boasts a lively blend of cultural influences, with a strong emphasis on its Afro-Caribbean heritage. The city retains remnants of its past in the form of colorful architecture and artisan markets.

Culture

San Pedro de Macorís has long been hailed as the “Cradle of Shortstops,” producing a remarkable number of talented baseball players who have made their mark on the international stage. The sport is deeply ingrained in the fabric of the city, with local fields buzzing with activity and aspiring young athletes honing their skills under the Caribbean sun. Baseball not only serves as a source of pride and identity but also provides a pathway to success and opportunity for many residents.

The vibrant tradition of the guloya, a lively Afro-Dominican dance and music form, adds another layer to the cultural tapestry of the city, providing a unique glimpse into its heritage. Originating from the African descendants in the region, the guloya features elaborate costumes, rhythmic drumming, and spirited performances, captivating audiences with its energy and storytelling.

Ecuador


ABOUT ECUADOR

Global Glimpse will not be running programs to Ecuador in summer 2024.

Sitting on the equator between Colombia and Peru, Ecuador boasts startling contrasts of scenery, astounding biodiversity, an impressive historical legacy, stunning colonial architectural and bustling highland markets with fresh-from-the-ground organic fruits like papayas, oranges, blueberries, mangoes, watermelons, and pineapples.

What makes Ecuador unique is the interaction of 4 main regions: the coastal beach life with Afro-Ecuadorians and mestizos (Spanish-indigenous), the Andes – South America’s version of the Swiss Alps – with stunning peaks reaching as high as 20,564 feet, the dynamic volcanic islands of the Galapagos brimming with untouched wildlife, and the Amazon rainforest – the thickest most conserved jungle in the world; home to over 10 ancestral Indigenous nations!

Students will explore the dynamic interplay between environmental preservation in the context of large economic investments, Indigenous efforts to preserve their ancestral knowledge and traditions, and new spaces of social and cooperative entrepreneurship. Ecuador is a true microcosm of South America and a thought-provoking and inspiring real-world classroom for our students.

 

ECUADOR PROGRAMS

RIOBAMBA

*Special Note: The city of Riobamba, Ecuador where we travel is located at an elevation of 9,035 feet (2,754 meters). Participants that select this site should be aware of the effect this may have on their physical health. Illness and fatigue are possible when traveling and recreating at elevations that are significantly different than what is typically experienced. If originating from a home elevation of fewer than 4,000 feet (1,220 meters), participants may experience side effects including, but not limited to, headache, lack of appetite and difficulty sleeping. Possible side effects can be prevented and/or managed with proper hydration, nutrition, rest and program planning. Global Glimpse has prepared itineraries at this site with consultation from medical and risk management professionals. The Global Glimpse staff is prepared to handle situations that may arise from discomfort due to extended time at higher elevations. Global Glimpse encourages all participants to seek consultation from a preferred medical professional prior to participation in any of our programs.

2024 Trip Dates

Global Glimpse will not be running programs to Ecuador in summer 2024.

About Riobamba

Riobamba is a city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador and is known locally as the “Sultan of the Andes”. Located at over 9035 feet from sea level Riobamba sits in a valley surrounded by several beautiful mountains and snowcapped volcanoes. Riobamba is a very safe city and because the city is off the beaten track it isn’t swarmed with tens of thousands of tourists like Quito and Cuenca giving the city a more authentically Ecuadorian feel and making it the perfect place for Global Glimpse students to immerse in local life and culture.

Culture

The capital city of the Chimborazo province, Riobamba is home to the highest percentage of indigenous people in the country. Many indigenous communities surrounding the city travel to Riobamba to sell organic fruits and vegetables in the marketplaces wearing traditional clothing and trading in the local dialect of Kichwa. Riobamba consists of beautiful squares, pastel-colored buildings, cobbled streets and sprawling markets. Located in the center of the Ecuadorian Sierra with incredible views across the city to Volcan Chimborazo, the highest peak in Ecuador, Riobamba is a major trading hub with part of its appeal stemming from an incredible mix of city dwellers indigenous farmers and students. Riobamba has earned the nickname “City of the Students” because it has more universities per capita than anywhere else in the country.

 

 

COSTA RICA

ABOUT COSTA RICA

Costa Rica is a rugged, rainforested, peaceful Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. With roughly a quarter of its area made up of protected jungle, Costa Rica has some of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on earth. During this program, Global Glimpse goes beyond Costa Rica’s natural beauty to focus on conservation and environmental justice; critical issues for the health and sustainability of our planet, and Costa Ricans living in one of the most biodiverse countries on earth.

As students engage in meaningful service and immersion, we’ll ask them to explore the intersections of culture, history, environmental sustainability, and economic growth and support them to define their own purpose and vision for a better world. From the mangroves of the Caribbean coast to the cloud forests, we will examine local conservation initiatives that have persisted despite challenges due to a changing climate.

Students will learn to take care of their mental and physical health through daily wellness and reflection exercises that will support them to unplug from technology and thrive in a community of diverse peers. Through engagement activities with local communities, students will learn principles and practices for sustainable living that increase their awareness of climate issues and minimize their impact on the natural world.

 

COSTA RICA PROGRAMS

TURRIALBA

2024 Trip Dates

  • Turrialba 1A: June 5 – June 18 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 2A: June 10 – June 23 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 3A: June 13 – June 26 (Chicago)
  • Turrialba 1B: June 24 – July 7 (Massachusetts)
  • Turrialba 2B: June 28 – July 11 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 3B: July 1 – July 14 (Los Angeles)
  • Turrialba 1C: July 12 – July 25 (New York)
  • Turrialba 2C: July 17 – July 30 (Chicago)
  • Turrialba 3C: July 19 – August 1 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 1D: July 30 – August 12 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 2D: August 6 – August 19 (New York)
  • Turrialba 3D: August 8 – August 21 (New York)

About Turrialba

Turrialba is a small town located on the hillsides of the province of Cartago. It is located only 1.5 hours away from the capital and it offers the perfect mix of immersion, community engagement, and flavor of real Costa Rica. Locals call it “Turri,”  or the “capital of the world” and they are very proud of their natural resources and roots. A quiet town, Turrialba with its charming street corners and gorgeous surrounding sceneries is among the few places in Costa Rica with direct access to a volcano’s crater. From the summit of the volcano, on a clear day, you can see the IrazúPoás and Barva volcanoes in the distance. Turri is surrounded by sugar and coffee plantations and has a deep connection to farming and sustainable agriculture practices.

Culture

People from Turri are known not only for their natural resources and popular adventure activities but also for their welcoming hearts. They are very open to visitors and are always happy to share a cup of coffee and stories of their lives. Turri offers the perfect combination of a small city and a big enough town to go beyond the natural beauty of Costa Rica and explore the complexities of life in a developing country.

HEREDIA

2024 Trip Dates

  • Heredia 1B: July 8 – July 21 (New York)

About Heredia

The city of Heredia, nicknamed the “City of Flowers,” is the capital of the province of the same name. It is known for its lush landscapes and abundant floral displays. This nickname reflects the city’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty. One of the most important volcanoes in the country, the Barva Volcano, is located within the Braulio Carrillo National Park in Heredia. Heredia is also renowned for its rich architectural heritage, and visitors are often captivated by the city’s picturesque streets lined with colorful buildings. Furthermore, Heredia is esteemed for its role as an educational center, home to some of the country’s most prestigious universities and language schools.

Culture

Students will spend time both in Heredia as well as Santa Ana, the nearby city they will stay in. It is particularly known for its flourishing community life. The diversity of residents contributes to the city’s vibrant cultural scene, with a wide range of cultural events, festivals, and activities throughout the year. Whether it’s enjoying international cuisine or participating in community events, Santa Ana offers a rich tapestry of experiences that celebrate its multicultural identity. Its bustling commercial centers, such as the Plaza Momentum Lindora, offer a wide variety of shopping and entertainment options, contributing to Santa Ana’s reputation as a hub of activity.

Panama


ABOUT PANAMA

Panama has long been one of the world’s greatest crossroads. With the opening of the Panama Canal in the 20th century, it literally acted as a bridge between the Americas and connected eastern and western civilizations like never before. Although known for its capital and commerce, Panama remains true to its multicultural past, with colonial architecture, artisanal traditions and distinct indigenous communities.

A third of the country is set aside as a protected area and national parks. From the lush coffee-growing mountains and untapped rainforests to solitary beaches and uninhabited isles, Panama is one of the most biodiverse places in the world.

Because of its history as a global transit hub, Panama is also one of the most culturally diverse countries in Latin America and students will find that European, African, West Indian, Chinese, and several of the least assimilated indigenous communities in the region all play a role in making Panama one of our most sophisticated, open-minded, and culturally dynamic program locations.

With many outsiders assuming Panama is all about the canal and commerce, Global Glimpse will open your eyes to what lies beyond. Our programs focus on exploring the complex impact of globalization and the dynamic interplay between old and new, environmental conservation, and urban growth, as well as the challenges that persist for underserved indigenous groups and the rural poor.

For a small country, we are confident that Panama will leave a big impression, and for all that it has to offer, it is the warmth, openness, and humor of its people that has us most excited to call Panama our newest program location!

 

PANAMA PROGRAMS

CHITRE

2024 Trip Dates

  • Chitré 1A: June 17 – June 30 (Bay Area)
  • Chitré 1B: July 5 – July 18 (Bay Area)
  • Chitré 1C: July 23 – August 5 (Massachusetts)

About Chitré

One of Panama’s oldest settlements, the city of Chitré is an authentic, off-the-beaten-path destination where our students will experience the Panama that other travelers rarely take the time to see. Chitré is the capital of Herrera Province and is the largest city on the Península de Azuero and the region’s cultural and historic capital. A handful of ornate red-tiled row homes hark back to the early days of Spanish settlement as does the main plaza. Colonial records indicate that there was a village here as early as 1558. Not far from beautiful beaches and nature preserves, Chitré gives our students the opportunity to take day trips to experience the natural beauty of Panama, while still returning to a dynamic, diverse community with a small-town feel.

Culture

Chitré, known for slogans such as “Chitré Progresa” and “Chitré, where no one is a foreigner,” combines the sympathy of a small town with one of the most dynamic economies in all of Panama. Chitreans are known for their welcoming charm and opening their hearts and homes to visitors. You can expect an impromptu conversation with a Chitrean in the main plaza who will tell you about the famous folklore of the Azuero Peninsula and then invite you to visit the workshop of a local artisan. A perfect blend of history, modernization, natural beauty and lack of other travelers make Chitré a truly authentic location and powerful window into the beauty and challenges of life in Panama.

LAS TABLAS

2024 Trip Dates

  • Las Tablas 1A: June 7 – June 20 (Bay Area)
  • Las Tablas 2A: June 18 – July 1 (Chicago)
  • Las Tablas 1B: June 24 – July 7 (Bay Area)
  • Las Tablas 2B: July 8 – July 21 (Los Angeles)
  • Las Tablas 1C: July 12 – July 25 (Chicago)
  • Las Tablas 2C: July 26 – August 8 (New York)
  • Las Tablas 1D: August 1 – August 14 (New York)

About Las Tablas

The city of Las Tablas, which was founded in 1671, is the capital of Los Santos Province. Located on the Azuero Peninsula it is most popular for its many cultural celebrations and carnivals. It is in the heart of the folklore region of the country, where traditions are kept alive, friendly people gather, great weather is prominent, and the Spanish culture is very prevalent. The area’s rolling hills are matched by a long and lovely coastline. Las Tablas has the feel of a small town with a central square. However, there is a branch of the University of Panama and it is a growing economic center for this agricultural region where residents from the neighboring districts and small towns go to do business or shop. Similar to Chitré, Las Tablas exposes our students to the many layers of culture, history, and impacts of globalization that define this complex and beautiful country.

Culture

Las Tablas will give our students the opportunity to experience a slower pace of life and revel in the beauty and charm of a small town known for its rich music, dance, and festival culture. This interior region of the country, referred to as el interior, is also famous for its friendly and welcoming people and slower-paced lifestyle. Las Tablas is the heart of Panama’s Carnival festivities, and although festivities occur in February, our students will still get to experience the tambarito rhythms, dress, and traditions that take place long before and after Ash Wednesday. Local artisans can spend over a year to complete a pollera, a coming-of-age dress for Panamanian women embroidered on finely woven fabric with brightly colored designs. Be prepared to dance and sing to the region’s music, called típico, a mix of indigenous, Spanish and African tones that form a strong part of the culture of el interior.