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

SAN JUAN DE LA MAGUANA

2019 Trip Dates

SJ1A: June 8 – June 23 (Bay Area)
SJ1B: June 28 – July 13 (New York)
SJ2B: July 5 – July 20 (Bay Area)
SJ1C: July 18 – August 3 (Massachusetts)
SJ2C: July 25 – August 10 (Chicago)
SJ1D: August 8 – August 23 (Bay Area)

About San Juan de la Maguana

Global Glimpse students will travel to San Juan de la Maguana, a Southwestern Dominican city full of life, history and the warmth of its amazing people. The city is rich with many ornate monuments and public spaces designed by their eccentric architect turned-mayor. Located about an hour from the Haitian border, San Juan is the headquarter city of one of the poorest provinces in the Dominican Republic, but one that boasts incredible history and culture, great need, and immense potential. Students will be staying in an urban hotel with small rooms of 2-4 people per room and private bathrooms.

Culture

The people, culture and-and location of this city offer a symphony of learning and exposure to complex issues of development. History and culture are woven into local celebrations, art, and music that celebrate their indigenous Taíno roots.  The rural communities surrounding San Juan de la Maguana have strong Haitian influence in the cultivation of the land and great investment in building stronger solidarity between the two countries. Traveling to San Juan de la Maguana you will be immersed in the realities of a globalized world; the beauty and challenge of living, growing and envisioning a change in the developing world.

BONAO

2019 Trip Dates

B1A: June 3 – June 18 (Bay Area)
B1B: June 23 – July 8 (Bay Area)
B1C: July 13 – July 28 (Bay Area)
B1D: August 2 – August 17 (Chicago)

About Bonao

Bonao is conveniently located midway between the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, and the “second city” of Santiago de los Caballeros.  A lively city, Bonao is nestled in a valley in the center of the island and surprisingly overlooked by tourists.  The Cordillera Central, the country’s largest mountain range, provides a magnificent landscape, waterfalls and lush vegetation.  Different local and global business ventures provide employment for most of the population, including family-run coffee and cacao farms, mining at the multinational nickel mine or growing rice. Students will enjoy the community setting of eating, sleeping and teaching English classes at a suburban orphanage with private, dorm-style rooms for Global Glimpse’s use.

Culture

Bonao provides a rich setting for our students to experience local Dominican art and culture.  Nationally renowned Dominican painter, Cándido Bidó was a Bonao native and founded the Cándido Bidó Cultural Center, which boasts beautiful murals, intricate mosaic work and captivating sculptures in the plaza.  Cristian Tiburcio is another local artist who has spent the last 16 years covering every inch of his home (including the toilet and the blender) with intricate mosaic art. The first Dominican radio station, La Voz del Yuna, was founded in Bonao and is currently being revived as a historical site. The tension between local and global, rural and urban and old and new in Bonao provides an intriguing opportunity to expand global perspectives in the developing world.

CONSTANZA

2019 Trip Dates

C1A: June 7 – June 22 (Bay Area)
C2A: June 18 – July 3 (Bay Area)
C1B: June 27 – July 12 (Bay Area)
C2B: July 8 – July 23 (Chicago)
C1C: July 17 – August 2 (Bay Area)
C2C: July 28 – August 13 (Bay Area)
C1D: August 7 – August 22 (New York)

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

2019 Trip Dates

JA1A: June 12 – June 27 (Bay Area)
JA2A: June 20 – July 5 (Chicago)
JA1B: July 2 – July 17 (Bay Area)
JA2B: July 10 – July 25 (Bay Area)
JA1C: July 22 – August 7 (Bay Area)
JA2C: July 30 – August 14 (New York)

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; all housing over 10 ancestral Indigenous nations!

Ecuador is the only country where you will find a vast range of tribes, from hunter-gatherers in the Amazon rainforest, to highly sophisticated and technologically advanced pre-Incan tribes (Puruhás). Students will explore the dynamic interplay between environmental preservation in a context of large economic investments, Indigenous efforts to preserve their ancestral knowledge and traditions, and new spaces of social and cooperative entrepreneurship in a highly-dynamic country. 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.

2019 Trip Dates

RB1A: June 5 – June 20 (Bay Area)
RB2A: June 9 – June 24 (Bay Area)
RB1B: June 25 – July 10 (Bay Area)
RB2B: June 30 – July 15 (Chicago)
RB3A: June 15 – June 30 (Chicago)
RB3B: July 5 – July 20 (New York)
RB1C: July 14 – July 29 (New York)
RB2C: July 20 – August 4 (Bay Area)
RB3C: July 25 – August 9 (Bay Area)
RB1D: August 3 – August 18 (Bay Area)
RB2D: August 8 – August 23 (Chicago)

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.

2019 Trip Dates

GU1A: June 9 – June 24 (Bay Area)
GU2A: June 16 – July 1 (Bay Area)
GU1B: June 29 – July 14 (Massachusetts)
GU2B: July 7 – July 22 (Bay Area)
GU2C: July 27 – August 11 (Bay Area)
GU1D: August 8 – August 23 (New York)

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 hand made products.

 

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 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

Chitré

2019 Trip Dates

CH1A: June 6 – June 21 (Bay Area)
CH2A: June 10 – June 25 (Bay Area)
CH1B: June 25 – July 10 (Chicago)
CH2B: July 3 – July 18 (New York)
CH1C: July 15 – July 30 (Chicago)
CH2C: July 23 – August 7 (New York)
CH1D: August 4 – August 19 (New York)

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

2019 Trip Dates

TA1A: June 10 – June 25 (Bay Area)
TA2A: June 20 – July 5 (Bay Area)
TA1B: June 30 – July 15 (Bay Area)
TA2B: July 10 – July 25 (Bay Area)
TA1C: July 20 – August 4 (Chicago)
TA2C: July 30 – August 14 (Bay Area)
TA1D: August 8 – August 23 (Massachusetts)

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. Students will also get to take part in a festival held to commemorate the prized pollera called Festival Nacional de la Pollera, a contest of music, dance, and craftsmanship to highlight the most beautiful polleras in the country.

NICARAGUA


ABOUT NICARAGUA

We will not be running programs in Nicaragua in Summer 2019 due to political and civil unrest. 

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 2019. 

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 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 2019. 

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 2019. 

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, hand crafted 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 a great vibrancy and beauty to an already lovely city.

GRANADA

Global Glimpse will not be running programs in Nicaragua in Summer 2019. 

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.