At Global Leadership Adventures, we’re a mixed group of professional educators, travel specialists, advisors, mentors and program directors. But many of us are also moms, and often we’re guided first and foremost by our own maternal instincts as we design and run programs each summer.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’d like to thank all of our moms (and Mother Earth!) for their compassion and leadership. Here are some of our leading ladies, their words of wisdom and which programs you’ll find them at this summer.
Elise, India | Lu, China | Flaminia, Peru | Rita, Ghana | Carmen, Thailand | Jessica, Dominican Republic | Sydney, Peru Amazon | Peter, South Africa (honorable mention!)
Elise Sahota, Program Staff, India
Mom of Layla
India: Service Through the Lens (21 Days) - $400 Service Grant available!
India: Service Through the Lens (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
“It was back in 2006 that I first traveled to India as an international volunteer doing service for a rehabilitation center, and as an assistant yoga teacher. After only two months of local service and cultural immersion in the country, I already knew that I wanted to work with women from the local community through textile products. The colors here are so vibrant, and famously make up a fascinating, literal fabric of society. Six years later, after I met my husband and had my daughter in India, I started a woman-centric social enterprise, which has now expanded beyond India’s borders.
My husband, the official Program Director, and I are so excited to share our personal connection to the local community here and our passion for social enterprise with students this summer!”
Dr. Lu Yuan, Program Director, China
Mom of Henry
China: One Nation, Two Worlds (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
“I’ve been lucky to travel all over Asia as part of my academic work, learning, teaching, being a journalist and directing programs for curious students. China really is a special country. The media barely covers its gems, which include incredible mountains and rivers, a diverse mix of indigenous cultures and ancient towns that feel like a step back in time—your student will be lucky enough to experience all of these, and even help aid with preserving China’s history.
My family members have always been advocates of active, immersive learning. My husband has co-directed programs with me, and my son as well. He’s an adult now, but I remember when he was a teen. A bit rough around the edges, but always a good kid. Cross-cultural experiences bring out the best in this age group.”
Flaminia Cuadros Delgado, Program Director, Peru
Mom of Matías and Mayca
Peru: Service in the Sacred Valley (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
“I’ve guided treks and ski tours from Colorado to Peru. I have to say that the mountains around Cusco, my hometown, will always have my heart! Sharing the beauty of my country and culture with students is the most rewarding experience, and helping them discover that they can be explorers gives me a great sense of pride.
It brings me joy to know that I’ll raise my two young children in a place that so many people around the world make special trips to visit, a place that inspires books and films, and preserves history.”
“Mama Rita,” Program Staff, Ghana
Ghana: Building Healthy Villages (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
“In Ghana, mothers traditionally held important roles in tribes. In the Accra region, the Ashanti tribes regarded them as the leaders or ‘Queen Mothers,’ and they were the decision makers and protectors of all women and children. Ghanaian girls, and your own daughters and sons, will have a heritage of strong, courageous women to cherish. They’ll also work on an important health project that truly benefits the mothers and children around them.
I’m a new mom myself, so I may not be around all the time this summer, but my many sisters and other mothers from the community will be there. In Ghana, the expression “It takes a village to raise a child,” is truly embraced. We treat each other’s families as our own and love sharing our culture with visitors.”
Carmen, Program Director, Thailand
Elephant mom (like a cat mom, but cooler!)
Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope (21 Days) - $400 Service Grant available!
“I may not be a true mom in the biological sense of the word, but I love to care for all living things. This might be a funny comparison, but the elephants in Thailand are kind of like the teens. They’re emotional, spunky, need their space and are occasionally disobedient… but they’re just being playful and will always have my unconditional love!
One of the most important moms to consider this holiday is our own Mother Earth. She feeds us, houses us and teaches us invaluable lessons. I hope to instill in our students a daily appreciation for the natural and cultural world. We should love and celebrate Mothers—in all forms—each and every day.”
Jessica Miller, Director of Admissions & COO, GLA
Mom of Adryan
The programs I’d recommend:
Dominican Republic Building a Sustainable World (21 Days) - $400 Service Grant available!
Dominican Republic: Sports Service Adventure (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
“As someone who’s been with GLA since Day 1 (our first program was back in 2003!), I've had the opportunity to experience powerful programs all over the world. Every GLA program is unique, and they all have specific lessons to teach young people.
That said, our programs in the Dominican Republic are really something special. I’d recommend traveling to this fun, warm country to both first-time travelers and experienced ones. We also continue to welcome back a significant number of alumni to the DR each summer, which is amazing considering how eager teens are to tick more boxes on their bucket lists.
When my son is old enough to travel with GLA (I’m sending my high-school-age niece this summer), I’ll let him make up his own mind… but I’ll quietly be crossing my fingers for the DR. Not only is it a beautiful place with meaningful service opportunities, it’s close to home—the best you can hope for as the mom of an adventurer!”
Sydney Miller, Enrollment Advisor, GLA
Mom of Melia
The program I’d recommend:
Peru: Amazon Service Adventure (14 Days) - $300 Service Grant available!
“What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Amazon’? Free two-day shipping? Or the mighty, life-giving river in South America? Our kids will definitely think the former if we don’t give them opportunities to explore and learn about the world in their formative years. Right now, my six-year-old daughter loves animals and is curious about everything. I want her to retain that compassion and inquisitiveness well into her teenage and adult years. One of the programs I think is best for these specific benefits is in the Peruvian Amazon. It’s a world teeming with life, full of stimulating sights and sounds that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.
As a Mom and an Enrollment Advisor, I spend every day talking to fellow parents who are just like me—wanting to raise healthy, happy children. GLA’s focus never changes from safety, learning, and fun, in that order. Ok, maybe learning and fun can be swapped at times, but safety, even in a wild place like the Amazon rainforest, will always be first.”
Peter Mombaur, Co-Founder and CEO, GLA
(We couldn’t leave dads out completely!) Dad of Maximilian, Leiah and Zoe
The program I’d recommend:
South Africa: Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (21 Days) - $500 Service Grant available!
“I spent several years living in colorful, energetic South Africa, and my children were all born there. So naturally, South Africa is at the top of my list, and a program that’s very close to my heart. Your student will have the opportunity to live on the campus of African Leadership Academy, which accepts students from all over the continent and the globe to have open dialogue about global issues. They’ll learn about thinking innovatively and how they can take action on global issues.
It brings me happiness to see teens come from all over the world to make lasting friendships, discover their strengths and observe the world in a colorful, welcoming environment like South Africa’s. After moving my family away from there, I have to say we miss it. A visit to GLA’s program this summer might be necessary!”