"One thing that stood out to me was the independence we are given at the construction site. After being divided into groups, we were given a job and a quick tutorial but not a lot of further supervision. I think this allowed different groups to work in their own ways, helping to bring out the best in everyone and allow everyone to contribute something to the jobs at hand."
-Niko, GLA Student Alumnus
One of the sites visited by GLA teen volunteers on the Service in the Sacred Valley program
Greenhouses are an ambitious project - building one requires an incredible attention to detail, not-to-mention hard work and persistence. GLA student volunteers on the Peru - Service in the Sacred Valley program spent part of their summer building a greenhouse from floor to ceiling. This involved everything from lifting to roof work, and though it could be tiring some days, these teen volunteers were amazed at how much of an impact their gift to the community provided.
The greenhouse project was important because it provides the community opportunities to grow plants that could not naturally grow in the environment. The Sacred Valley has a very different climate than is typically experienced in places such as the United States, and so even as something as simple as a greenhouse can provide jobs to locals, and food during colder months, among many other benefits.
GLA students get ready to start shoveling
"Our main goal for today at the worksite was to finish the floor of the greenhouse. So we had to use a lot of the pick axes to physically lift the ground. We also had some people bringing fresh dirt to lay on the ground. As the days continue, the progress on our greenhouse is starting to come together and I can’t wait to see the final product!"
-GLA Student Alumnus
The work was hard, but with help from local worker such as Edgar, the students were able to make exceptional progress. One GLA volunteer even remarked, "We were surprised to find only one worker at the site, Edgar, but he is more than up to the task, able to begin constructing a slant roof with only a string for angle measurments."
As the project neared completion, our teen volunteers rushed against the clock to put the final touches on the greenhouse. After all the sweat and labor they had poured into the project, they didn't want to leave the community with a greenhouse that couldn't be used. In the end, their determination paid off.
"It was our last day of service, so we had to complete the greenhouse. We had to use scaffolding in order to pull the plastic tight across the whole roof of the greenhouse. Once the plastic was on the roof, we got up onto the roof and nailed the plastic onto the roof’s frame. While we were finishing the greenhouse, we also took turns going into the school classrooms and hanging out with the kids. They were extremely grateful for the greenhouse, and it felt good to see the finished product."
-Claire, GLA Student Alumnus
The team celebrates their incredible success on the greenhouse project
"My hope for each and every one of you is that you put in the same hard work, care, dedication and passion into your relationships, families, schools, and the strangers you have yet to meet, as you did in Yuncaypata and the community of Peru. I was blown away by how invested you were, and what we accomplished in the end."
-Jen, International Director