|"Vivian Allen and Kristy Wong planting trees in an impoverished community in Esteli, Nicaragua" Copyright © Global Glimpse, All Rights Reserved
A Closer Look at Global Glimpse
In this issue of The VolunTourist Newsletter I have chosen to introduce Supply Chain readers to Global Glimpse. Founded in 2007, Global Glimpse takes high school students on three-week summertime journeys to Nicaragua in order to facilitate increased global consciences in a developing country. Their programs emphasize community service, mutual understanding and respect. Whether you have teenagers at home or simply harbor an appreciation for the ways in which intelligent travel helps today's youth grow to become better global citizens for tomorrow, an introduction to the world of youth-orientated service travel is a glimpse into the development of their potential.
Background & History Of Global Glimpse
"Global Glimpse really came from my experience growing up in Ohio and Kansas where a lot of my friends are smart, they are successful, but they really don’t engage with the world or seem to have an interest in it. I always found it strange as I was a big traveler. I realized that with the world we live in, and the US being such a resourced and highly influential country in that world, this would not lead to the success of the planet as a whole. So, I started Global Glimpse with this grand vision to really inspire the next generation of Americans to engage responsibly and to care about the world," says the organization's founder, Abbas Hasan.
Philosophy & Vision
A not-for-profit organization, Global Glimpse strives to provide global education, leadership skills and training beyond the classroom in order to educate young people about the reality of the world they will inherit. Their motto is "Expanding the Global Perspective of Tomorrow’s Leaders" and they function on the principle that in order to give back to the planet, people must truly understand it and study the proper way to impact communities. Students are shown that they cannot just go into a community as an outsider and say, "This is what you need." Trip participants are taught about the country, community and a mix of issues before they begin to give back. Part of this educational format comes in the form of various modules.
Program Focus and Modules
Global Glimpse's programs are conducted in Nicaragua. Hasan did not want to take the teens to places where they couldn't receive an authentic experience of being in a developing county. According to Hasan, "Nicaragua is safe with a low number of tourists, so you're not trying to teach students about poverty issues while working next to a Marriot Hotel. In addition, it is not a 16-hour flight away. Nicaragua is very close and accessible."
|"Omar Apodaca teaches students to read at a mobile school in the city dump in Matagalpa, Nicaragua" Copyright © Global Glimpse, All Rights Reserved
Programs offer various themes to inspire the students’ interests. They include: Adventure, Learn and Serve, Youth Exchange in the Developing World, The Foundations of Life; Culture and the Arts, Peace and Development in the Modern World, Global Poverty and Human Rights, etc.
On each trip Global Glimpse presents modules with a focus on the specific program's subject matter. For example, an environmental program might include talks by the community's mayor on environmental policy, trips to see a sugar cane field, then a lecture on the consequences of that form of agriculture needing large amounts of water and what that means for people and habitats downstream.
A staff favorite is the Reality Challenge modules. "Living on a Dollar a Day" is especially popular. A dollar per day represents the global poverty line and also how many people in Nicaragua live. Two participants paired with a local family will wake up in a rural village with no electricity or running water. They have breakfast with the family – rice and beans, of course. Then they haul their water from a well (spill it and start over), walk a half mile to school, attend for three hours, and so on.
A Reflections Module ends the day. Students have the chance to talk among themselves during these candlelight sessions. Hard questions are asked. What does this mean to me? How does my day compare to other experiences within the group? What will this mean to the rest of my life? Am I going to do anything about this? Once a participant become familiar with the culture and the issues, the community service components begin.
Community Service Modules
Depending on the trip, the teens put in anywhere from 15 to 30 hours of community service.
When Hasan first went to Nicaragua, he asked people, "What do you need? What do you value? And what skills, if any, do high school students have to offer?"
"In Nicaragua if you speak English you can double your annual salary, which is a big difference in someone's life. In Nicaragua the kids study five years of English, yet when I go talk to their English teachers I actually have to talk to them in Spanish because they can't understand my English," Hasan says. As a result, Global Glimpse runs English-language tutoring sessions for local youth who want to practice their English. It is rare for the people being served to have an opportunity to talk with native English speakers.
The educational service modules lead up to a "Build Your Own Service" component. Participants ask themselves, now that I have spent this time talking to people and learning about the issues, what can I do to make a difference?
|"Xuan Le and Bryan Nguyen celebrating their climb to the top of the Cerro Negro black sand volcano in Leon, Nicaragua" Copyright © Global Glimpse, All Rights Reserved
One past project was a litter education program. Participant put waste bins all around the town, and met with the local trash collection agency to make sure the bins were emptied. Then they designed a community education program, putting up signs encouraging people not to littler. Next, they went out to schools conducting talks to encourage people not to throw trash in the street where it would run off into the local river – the place where the community's kids were playing.
The goal of the "Build Your Own Service" program is to expand the participants' development of critical thinking skills, enabling them to continue to serve communities in sustainable and important ways in the future.
Tourism With A Purpose
When asked about the opportunity for students to visit local historical sites and points of interest, Global Glimpse's Assistant Director Eliza Pesuit summed their approach up by saying, "Global Glimpse is not a tourist program; however, as our students learn about the history, culture, and politics of Nicaragua they certainly do visit a range of landmarks and sites. We believe in education through experience; as our students learn about the Nicaraguan Revolution they visit the central Plaza in Managua where the victory of the revolution was celebrated and meet with a number of both revolutionaries and counter- revolutionaries to understand both sides. Weekends are also dedicated to fun and students have the opportunity to hike volcanoes, visit waterfalls, and raft through canyons!"
Participant Age: 15 to just graduating high school
Group size: 15 to 20 participants per trip
Staff to Student Ratio: 5 to 1
Staff: A mix of teachers and Global Glimpse staff – both Americans and locals.
Programs Per Year: Around 15
Calendar: Trips run June through August around US schools’ summer vacation.
Accommodation: The groups take over entire hostels or buildings
Meals: 3 meals per day are provided
Participant Demographics: 35% Asian, 23% Caucasian, 18% African American, 25% Latino, 2% other
Back in the USA, Global Glimpse achieves their balanced demographics by actively recruiting in communities that are traditionally underserved by study-abroad programs, explaining that this is a program that values diversity. "Global Glimpse is committed to making global education and study abroad accessible to high school students from all backgrounds", says Pesuit.
They also offer scholarship programs, have partnered with 18 schools so far, and have noted that around 80% of participants write about their Global Glimpse experience for their college essays. As for the parents, according to Hasan, "Parents see their kids come back inspired with a sense of appreciation for all the opportunities they have."
|Nola Lee Kelsey, Author, Blogger, The Voluntary Traveler
To wrap up each Supply Chain article, I ask two questions of an entity. Here are the questions and the answers from Global Glimpse.
What is the most important attribute a participant on a Global Glimpse program should have?
Global Glimpse students are compassionate, motivated, determined, college-bound, and eager to learn more about themselves and the world around them.
What is the most important thing a student can expect to take away from participating in one of these programs?
Global Glimpse students gain perspective on the world and on their own lives and communities, increase independence, and confidence. Students gain inspiration combined with leadership and critical thinking skills that will help them be successful in their college and professional careers and contribute to their local and global communities.
Learn more about Global Glimpse at:
Phone: 800 499-0656
* * * *
I hope you enjoyed my second Supply Chain column for The VolunTourist Newsletter. I look forward to introducing readers to many more unique voluntourism opportunities in the future. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to The VolunTourist Newsletter or email me directly at: Nola(at)NolaKelsey.com
Happy travels everyone!
Nola Lee Kelsey
Owner, Dog's Eye View Media
Rapid City, SD USA/Chiang Mai, Thailand
Nola Lee Kelsey is a freelance journalist and the author of multiple books on voluntourism, including 700 Places to Volunteer Before You Die: A Traveler's Guide and the Animal Addict's Guide to Global Volunteer Travel.
[Return To The Top]