Global Glimpse experiences the Caribbean

Sam Kiemwiess, Staff Writer

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Students traveled to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic (DR) this summer to participate in two-week culture, service, and leadership programs through the organization Global Glimpse.

The trips were coordinated through the diversity office, which sent out an email last year that encouraged people to go, Yasmin McLamb (12) said.

20-30 rising seniors participated in the trips, according to the Global Glimpse website.  Most of the students were from public schools in the tri-state area, Muhaiminul Ashraf (12), who went to Constanza, DR, said.

McLamb was in another delegation to Constanza, which went during the second and third weeks of August, she said, while Tenzin Sherpa (12) went to Ecuador during the same time, she said.

Abigail Kraus (12), who travelled to Constanza, wanted “to gain a better perspective of a world that I’m not used to” she said.

“I had never been to a ‘third world country’ before,” McLamb said. “You are very isolated there.”

Students spent most of their time with locals, Sherpa said. One day, the students accompanied local teens as they sold candy on the streets to pay for books. This gave students an opportunity to “step into [the local’s] shoes,” Sherpa said.

McLamb grew close to one local teenage girl. “I learned a lot about the conditions of young teenage girls there,” Mclamb said. Many teenage girls in Constanza are forced into arranged marriages and spent their time doing housework, she said.

“I was probably the only teenage girl that she had seen who didn’t have to go through those struggles,” McLamb said.

“I was trying to push myself out of my comfort zone,” Gabriel Hernandez (12), who traveled with Ashraf, said. “I was always trying to take that extra step to really try and make the most of my experience.”

The trips concluded with a Community Action Project, where students completed a service project in a community, Hernandez said. “For our particular group they wanted us to restore a little park they had.”

The students completely restored the park, building a gazebo and a garden and painting the walls and ground, Kraus said.

Sherpa’s trip also had a Community Action Project, she said. She remodeled the offices of Utopìa, an organization in Riobamba that provides affordable food to the community.

“Running water and smooth roads and lots of electricity I see very differently now, because those were things that I lacked in Constanza and that a lot of the people who live there lack,” Kraus said.

“We as people in America tend to overlook the things that we have,” Sherpa said.