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

2022 Trip Dates

  • Constanza 1A: June 11 – June 24 (Bay Area)
  • Constanza 1B: June 29 – July 12 (New York)
  • Constanza 1C: July 17 – July 30 (W. Mass)

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

2022 Trip Dates

  • Jarabacoa 1A: June 5 – June 18 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 1B: June 23 – July 6 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 1C: July 11 – July 24 (New York)
  • Jarabacoa 1D: July 29 – Aug 11 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 2A: June 16 – June 29 (Bay Area)
  • Jarabacoa 2B: July 5 – July 18 (Chicago)
  • Jarabocoa 2C: July 23 – Aug 5 (Chicago)

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.

Ecuador


ABOUT ECUADOR

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.

2022 Trip Dates

  • Riobamba 1A: June 4 – June 17 (Bay Area)
  • Riobamba 1B: June 22 – July 5 (Bay Area)
  • Riobamba 1C: July 1 – July 23 (Bay Area)
  • Riobamba 1D: July 29 – Aug 11 (New York)
  • Riobamba 2A: June 13 – June 26 (Bay Area)
  • Riobamba 2B: July 1 – July 14 (Bay Area)
  • Riobamba 2C: July 19 – Aug 1(New York)
  • Riobamba 2D: Aug 6 – Aug 19 (W. Mass)

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.

GUARANDA

*Special Note:The city of Guaranda, Ecuador is located at an elevation of 8,753 feet (2,668 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.

2022 Trip Dates

  • Guaranda 1A: June 9 – June 22 (Bay Area)
  • Guaranda 1B: June 27 – July 10 (Bay Area)
  • Guaranda 1C: July 15 – July 28 (Bay Area)
  • Guaranda 1D:  Aug 2 – Aug 15 (Chicago)
  • Guaranda 2A: June 16 – June 29 (Bay Area)
  • Guaranda 2B: July 5 – July 18 (Bay Area)
  • Guaranda 2C: July 23 – Aug 5 (Bay Area)

About Guaranda

Guaranda is a city located in the heart of Ecuador. It is the capital of Bolívar, a province located in the Andes mountains. It is known as “the city of the seven hills”. Like Riobamba, Guaranda is very safe and a hidden gem where our Glimpsers will truly feel the authentic life of a local. Guaranda is also home to Salinas de Guaranada, a pioneering community of hard-working indigenous co-ops and micro-businesses working towards sustainable development through wool spinning, candy and chocolate factories, and milk and cheese production. Salinas de Guaranda is a wonderful mix of the solidarity and perseverance of hard-working indigenous people.

Culture

Guaranda is one of the regions of the country that contains the most history in its streets that give the city a true historical value. It is also characterized by many folkloric traditions like the vivid and festive Andean Carnival which stands out as one of the most important festivals of the country. It has become a cultural symbol of all of Bolívar.

Guaranda, like Riobamba, also has a large presence of indigenous communities that have allowed the city to build a culture based on traditions, habits, and customs that are interwoven by the mestizo of Spanish origin and the ancient indigenous people. Guaranda is famous for its colorful market days where the locals gather fully clothed in their typical dress to sell various local foods, organic produce, and handmade products.

 

 

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

2022 Trip Dates

  • Turrialba 1A: June 6 – June 19 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 1B: June 23 – July 6 (W. Mass)
  • Turrialba 1C: July 9 – July 22 (Chicago)
  • Turrialba 1D: July 25 – Aug 7 (Bay Area)
  • Turrialba 1E: Aug 10 – Aug 23 (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.

 

NICARAGUA


ABOUT NICARAGUA

All programs to Nicaragua remain postponed due to COVID-19. 

Nicaragua is an undiscovered gem in the heart of Central America where few others travel. Get ready to be lifted off your feet by fast Latin rhythms as you walk through culturally colorful, bustling streets and savor the taste of sweet plantains!

Pristine white sand beaches, deep crater lakes, epic volcanoes, butterfly filled mountains, tropical jungles, rich coffee lands, and some of the greatest biological diversity in the world.

The Nicaraguan people are strong, vibrant, and proud. They enthusiastically share their fascinating history and culture with travelers. Global Glimpse is proud to be one of the largest international youth travel program operating in Nicaragua, with a strong network of national and local relationships that create an unmatched experience for our participants.

 

NICARAGUA PROGRAMS

LEON

Global Glimpse will not be running programs in Nicaragua in Summer 2020. 

About Leon

Leon is the belle of the ball among Nicaraguan cities. Its cobbled streets are lined with colorful, shingled homes, magnificent colonial churches, and bustling parks. Museums examine the revolutionary and cultural history, poetry, legends, and art. From a historical and cultural perspective, León is one of the most important cities in Nicaragua as it served as the country’s capital many times throughout history. Prior to the Spanish conquest, the indigenous Sutiava tribe was the most culturally influential in the region and parts of Leon still preserves a strong indigenous character.

Leon is a hot, tropical city pulsing with music and surrounded by lush green farmland, beautiful beaches, and majestic volcanoes that offer limitless opportunities to experience Nicaragua.

Culture

The people of Leon are deeply proud of their city and political activism is a strong part of the culture in Leon. The best universities and medical institutions in the country are located here and bring a youthful energy to the city as students cluster in its many parks to share platanos fritos (friend plantains) or raspados (flavored ice) after class. Many festivals are held throughout the year to celebrate the dance and music of the Pacific Coast and commemorate the Leon student movement against the Somoza dictatorship in 1956.

MATAGALPA

Global Glimpse will not be running programs in Nicaragua in Summer 2020. 

 

About Matagalpa

Nestled in a river valley in the mountains of northern Nicaragua, Matagalpa is a friendly and bustling city with the alluring scent of coffee and fresh guirillas (sweet corn tortillas). The streets are filled with jingling ice cream carts and children gather in the evening light to play soccer or race along the narrow streets.

The city itself is located at an elevation of 700 meters and the cool cloud forest climate differs significantly from the hot, tropical climate of the Pacific lowlands. There are few foreigners here, however it is not uncommon to see a mix of Indigenous and European decent in the Nicaraguan people due to the influx of Europeans who brought coffee to the region and settled in the 1800s. Matagalpa offers the opportunity to become truly immersed in Nicaraguan culture and to learn how the international coffee industry affects the lives of millions around the world.

Culture

The people of Matagalpa are friendly, open, and very proud to be Matagalpinos! The typical food is guirilla con cuajada (soft sweet corn tortilla with cheese) and the traditional music and dance is tied to coffee production and harvest. The feeling in this mountainous city is a bit more laid back due to the cool climate and more secluded nature of the city. Delicious coffee is everywhere and the coffee culture is transforming to adopt more organic production methods such as collection of rainwater for irrigation, creating compost for natural fertilization, and the absence of pesticides.

ESTELI

Global Glimpse will not be running programs in Nicaragua in Summer 2020. 

About Esteli

Estelí is set on a high plateau and surrounded by breathtaking green mountains and cascading waterfalls. It was the first city to be liberated from the Somoza dictatorship during the Sandinista revolution of 1979 and the political energy and culture still resonates today. Commerce is much stronger in Estelí than in other parts of Nicaragua because of its location on the Pan American Highway. Tobacco, Coffee, and Cacao production are the strongest exports in the region and there are multiple universities within the city that bring youthful energy to the streets. The city has a more modern-feeling than other cities in Nicaragua and it is known as the “City of Murals” because of the strong mural culture that developed after the Sandinista Revolution in the 1980s.

Culture

Estelí is known for its laid back, cowboy culture. The streets are lined with leather shops and people wear incredible, handcrafted and embroidered leather boots, belts, and hats. The city is very tranquilo (calm) and residents spend their Sunday afternoons drinking coffee on the stoop or discussing politics. People from Estelí are proud and joyful and they use art as a medium of expression and remembrance. The largest chalk mural in world history was painted in Estelí in 2005 by more than 2,000 children and the mural culture created over the past 20 years by local youth and artists brings great vibrancy and beauty to an already lovely city.

GRANADA

Global Glimpse will not be running programs in Nicaragua in Summer 2020. 

 

About Granada

Granada rivals Leon with its photogenic elegance as well as a rich and illustrious history. Established in 1524, Granada is the oldest European-founded city in Nicaragua, the second oldest in Central America, and the third oldest in the Americas.

Granada has been subject to many battles, invasions of pirates, and civil wars. The most significant was the American William Walker, who conquered Nicaragua and declared himself president in the mid-1800s. When Walker eventually fled the country, he torched the city of Granada and left the famous words, “Granada Was Here.” Many of Granada’s cathedrals and historic buildings are still fire-scorched.

Granada sits on Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest and most scenic lakes in the world. Its cobbled streets are lined with colorful, shingled homes, magnificent colonial churches, and bustling parks. In close proximity to Volcan Mombacho, Isla de Ometepe as well as Las Isletas, Granada attracts a number of travelers. However, Global Glimpse gives students the opportunity to dig beneath the surface of the tourist scene and experience not only the beauty of Granada, but the grit and resilience of those that truly call it home.