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GLA Galapagos: Preserving Nature's Wonders (for teens)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The adventure of a lifetime!

Words cannot describe how amazing my experience was on the GLA Galapagos trip. This trip was my first time traveling abroad without my family and being away from them and my home for 2 weeks. The GLA mentors and other kids on the trip made it feel like I had made another family abroad (we even called ourselves one big family during the trip)! Everyone was so loving, kind, and supportive of one another. The trip well beyond exceeded my expectations. The food, accommodations, and activities were amazing. Some highlights of the trip for me were getting to snorkel with sea lions and sea turtles, getting very close to the tortoises and working alongside them, spending time at a local school on Isabella Island, exploring Old Quito, and going to the Equator. As for the service work, it was extremely fun but also a lot of work. The service I did consisted of removing invasive species from a tortoise captivity, cutting a fence in half, and replanting indigenous plants. This trip provided me with great learning opportunities, a chance to give back to communities, and forever friends! I hope to go on another GLA trip next summer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GLA: Galapagos

My GLA experience was absolutely incredible and exceeded any expectation I had going into the program. I really wanted to make a difference, I really wanted to go to a brand new place, and I really wanted to experience something new. The only worries I had were about traveling abroad alone for the first time! Once I got on my flight, all the worries flew out the window and before I knew it I was in Ecuador meeting with my mentors. My group had 15 teens (including me), 2 adult mentors, and 3 nature guides. I really wanted to work, volunteer, and make a difference. It was exhausting yet so rewarding to be in such a beautiful place with such amazing people. I am so fortunate and lucky to have had such an amazing GLA group. All of us bonded extremely quickly and truly cared about one another as if we were family. When applying to GLA, you have to keep in mind this is more than an adventure program. You are going knowing that you will participate in hours of community service, which is the most rewarding part. The hardest part was leaving. I made incredible memories and met some truly remarkable people that I will remember for the rest of my life! This program also helped me realize my true passions in life and what I want to do in the future. I will definitely be applying for ANOTHER GLA trip next summer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

The Adventure of a Lifetime

This was the most amazing experience, with the most amazing people, in the most amazing place. There was a perfect combination of volunteering, adventure, and relaxation. We snorkeled, kayaked, hiked, and explored. For community service, we helped a tortoise conservation by clearing invasive species, and then doing the same at a local farm. We also had plenty of free time to read, relax on the beach, and spend time together. Meanwhile, I always felt safe and secure. The food was great, especially the fresh fruit. The mentors and guides were all around awesome! The islands themselves are out of this world! You get face to face with the wildlife, and the landscape is amazing. The lodges we stayed at are run by local families, and they were perfect in helping us submerge ourselves with the culture. This trip was certainly out of my comfort zone, but it was worth it! I'm a different person now, and I would completely recommend the Galapagos trip, as well as any other GLA trip.