Globe Aware December 2012


Merry Christmas!

Globe Aware wishes you all a very safe and joy filled Christmas and holiday season!
Every day we are thankful to work with such an amazing group of volunteers, communities and partner organizations.

May the sights, the songs, and the sounds of Christmas bring joy to you and your family this holiday season.

Mountains of Diversity:  The New Legacy of Peru’s Machu Picchu

With green rolling hills, rugged mountains, arid deserts, and lush jungles, the landscapes of Peru promise nothing less than a chance to see it all. Containing almost 95% of the climates that exist in the world, the beautiful and diverse country has experienced a wild and tumultuous history that, centuries later, has resulted in unique cultural diversity permeating all aspects of life. Originally home to indigenous peoples under the strong hand of the powerful Incan Empire, Peru was momentously confronted by Spanish conquistadors that arrived in the land in the mid 16th century, hungry for wealth, power, and territory. It only took a few brief councils and one massive battle for 169 Spanish soldiers to overtake the Incan ruler and, consequently, the entire Incan Empire.

From that point, the Spaniards intermixed with the indigenous tribes, creating a new race that is known today as the Mestizos. Although the population of the Incans dramatically decreased due to disease and defeated battles against their enemies, remote tribes still survived in pockets of Peru’s highland areas among the rocky mountains. Throughout the subsequent centuries, the divide between those of European descent and those of indigenous descent only continued to expand, and Peru quickly developed into one of the most diverse and multi-cultural countries in South America. With the Mestizos inhabiting the populous coastal cities and the Amerindians still residing in tucked away highland areas, economic and social divides also developed. While modern day amenities and opportunities are available and enjoyed by most urban dwellers, much of Peru’s Quechua and Aymara communities (descendents of Incans) remain untouched by modern advances, leaving them to dwell in poverty and rely on sustenance farming for survival.

Unfortunately, this is often at the expense of the children’s education, who generally spend their time contributing labor to the family farm rather than attending school. In 1992, a group of inspired women decided to take action and create opportunity for these poor highland communities. They established an organization in the Cusco area that includes a dorm-like facility to house students from rural communities while they attended school in Cusco. This center, or “Albergue” (the literal translation is “shelter”), is not an orphanage but does provide shelter, food, education, medical care, and job training that otherwise is not available to these children. Children are able to come to the Albergue during the school year and then return home to their families for the rest of the year, equipped with new skills, abilities, and an education to help them both at home and in the future. Globe Aware partners with the Albergue to aid in upkeep of the facility and to work directly with the children that stay there during the school year. The children take their summer break – winter for the northern hemisphere- off school during late December, January, and February to return home, as well as a short 2 week winter break – our summer – at the end of July. That means that the upcoming months of March, April and May are some of the best times to visit the one-of-a-kind country. Travel with Globe Aware and get a chance to explore and discover the diversity and variety that characterize the beautiful and vast country of Peru. You’ll even get a chance to visit the heart of the original Incan Empire, Machu Picchu, and be an eye witness to one of the amazing Seven Wonders of the World.

“For me personally, [my trip to Peru] was very enlightening and I had an amazing time. I believe it's a very good way of knowing the culture and the people of a different country. I found amazing people who struggle every day with such different situations and problems from my own, and it helped to face my own reality with a different perspective. And of course, I feel good for having tried to improve other's life (even for just a few days) with my presence, work and my monetary contribution.” – Marta Carvalheiro
"My GlobeAware volunteer program to an albergue in Cuzco was beyond anything I could have imagined. Cuzco was once the heart of the Incan Empire until being conquered by the Spaniards in the 1500s. The architecture of the city clearly marks its history with Spanish colonial buildings directly on top of ancient Incan walls. During our stay with our volunteer coordinator, Rocio, at the albergue, we worked hard during the days and completed a number of projects. However, Rocio made sure there was time to see much that Cuzco is known for - including Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle of Spain against the Incan forces, and a trip to Machu Picchu as well as local sites and celebrations. We dined on typical Peruvian fare served family style at the albergue. She even included a visit to a remote albergue where we built a new brick and clay stove and stopped on the way to deliver basic toiletries to remote elementary schools. The entire experience was one never to be forgotten. I felt a sense of great accomplishment within the albergue and with the children, and yet also felt that I experienced an amazing introduction to the city, the people, and the history." – Astrid Hagen
Explore Peu's intriguing history - CLICK HERE!
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December Volunteer of the Month: Mandi Evans

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My trip to Ghana was amazing! It was my first time being out of the country and boy, was it an adventure getting there!  I sent my application for my Visa (along with my Passport) off two and half weeks in advance, but because of Hurricane Sandy, it got lost in the mail. So, it was Thursday and I was supposed to head to Ghana on Saturday! I flew to Colorado to get a new passport and flew home that same day.  I decided to try and make it to Ghana (without a visa) anyway, so I flew to JFK airport with our group to begin the trip. Unfortunately, the authorities weren’t going to allow me to go to Ghana without my Visa. I panicked!  A few hours and a few tears later (well, maybe a lot of tears) and they finally allowed me to fly into Accra and get my Visa there! PHEW!!

Africa was such an amazing experience.  The village that we worked at was wonderful. The people were so friendly and welcoming. We got to cook with the villagers, learn about their culture, teach the students and interact with everyone. The work was hard work but worth it. Although it was hot and challenging, it was so exciting seeing how much the villagers appreciated the work that we did in their village.

We worked in the village Monday through Friday and built a washroom for them. We learned how to fetch water on our heads, which was very interesting. It was amazing to see how much women and children could carry on their heads! We taught the children some of the games that we play over in the U.S. , and it was fun to watch them try and learn and then play together with them. I loved how happy the kids always are. One day I asked a little boy if he was always happy. He replied to me, “Yes we are always happy. There is no reason to ever not be.” That brought tears to my eyes. These adults and kids are just happy with the little that they have. They were also so joyful when the washroom was finished. That, in turn, made us all so happy.

large_thank you vivint_0Saturday we got to go explore a little. We went to the monkey sanctuary and got to feed the monkeys.  Then we went on a 45 minute hike up to a beautiful waterfall and all got to swim. Sunday we went to the village and said our goodbyes. They all sang and danced for us and prayed for us. It was such an emotional goodbye.

Ghana is a beautiful country. I am so blessed to have been able to experience Africa. It was such an incredible experience to volunteer like we did and made me want to go volunteer wherever possible! I encourage anyone to do this. It’s so worth it! Africa taught me so much, especially to be more grateful. I will never forget this experience! Thank you Globe Aware and all the volunteers!

Read about Mandi’s experience with Globe Aware on our Website

And vote for her on Globe Aware’s Facebook Page!

Journeys for Good

For years, Joanie Wynn and her husband traveled the world, telling stories of their travels through their passion of videography and film. In 2009, they participated in a volunteer trip to Tanzania and discovered a new side of traveling that moved and inspired them. Upon their return home, the Wynns decided to establish Journeys for Good, a TV series that promotes and highlights volunteer travel. These episodes will share the journeys of volunteer workers and the difference they are making around the globe, as well as the transformation that occurs in the volunteers themselves. For its flagship episode, the Journeys for Good team is traveling to Cambodia with ten Globe Aware volunteers at the end of this month. Together, the team will be constructing and distributing wheel chairs for disabled landmine victims, as well as teaching English to Buddhist monks. We’re excited to be involved in this new project will be updating you throughout the trip, December 29 through January 5, on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/globeaware.

Join Our Community!

community_logo2Exciting news!! We’ve created Globe Aware Community Pages. Join here CLICK HERE

Our Community Pages include a forum to share experiences, stories, photos and videos, ask questions, get answers, or simply tell everyone how excited you are about your trip.

The volunteer vacation and Globe Aware experience is a rich and fulfilling event. No need to keep it all to yourself. This is why we have created this social media, and conversational hub.

Whether you are just beginning to consider a trip, about to go on your next volunteer vacation, or just want to have some fun interacting with other international volunteers, we’ve got you covered.

Travel the World in your Pijamas!

LogoRedGlobe Aware has joined Pintrest!
Globe Aware has recently joined the online pinboard Pintrest. We are sharing beautiful photos for our volunteers past, present and future to add to their own boards. Globe Aware trips are perfect additions to your travel boards, wish list, or bucket list boards. Follow us today! See what other volunteers have experienced: the change they have made in communities as well as the breathtaking beauty of the destination.


Facebook Updates and Information

Did you used to see photos of people and places you visited and got to know on one of our programs, and now you aren’t? There’s a reason and you can fix it. The new Facebook newsfeed shows only what Facebook terms “Top News” by default. Facebook decides what is top news (for you). If you add “volunteer abroad.”
To find where Interest Lists are listed, on your home page, look way down on the left hand column. You may need to click the ‘More’ button, then you’ll see Interests and click the next ‘More’ button. (See screenshot below). This is the direct link to that page:


fbnewsletterFind Facebook Interest Lists on your Home Page navigation
On the next page, click on the Add Interests button and you’ll end up here: https://www.facebook.com/addlist  On the list of Lists, you can hover over any List title and choose to subscribe from the hovercard (see screenshot below). Or, click the title of the List to see the stream (News Feed) of just that list and decide if you wish to subscribe. (The button is at the top right of the actual List page). Not only can you add stuff to your news feed to make it better, but you can also subtract items from your news feed. The best thing to do is to eliminate specific types of updates that annoy you--for many, it's the never-ending stream of gaming updates. The easiest way to zap posts like this is to strike them down where they stand. Let's say that updates from friends playing CityVille are driving you bananas. Hover over a CityVille gaming update, and click the down-facing arrow in the top right of the status area. At the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears, select the option that says Hide all by CityVille.

Peter Greenberg’s The Best Places for Everything: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to the Greatest Experiences Around the World

The Best Places for EverythingAs top Travel Editor for CBS News, Peter Greenberg has become America’s most respected and recognized travel journalist. Traveling to at least 151 of 196 countries in the world, Greenberg has seen it all and done it all and knows firsthand about which places are great, and which are worth skipping. Rather than report only on the good experiences, Greenberg has decidedly committed to sharing the truth with the public, whether good or bad, ultimately making his opinion highly regarded in the travel community. Greenberg has written several books of travel advice, including Don’t God There!, which warns readers about places to stay away from, as well as The Best Places for Everything, which reveals the best of the best. Globe Aware is proud to be featured in the chapter of the latter titled “Voluntourism,” listed among some of the great organizations that Greenberg encourages taking a volunteer vacation with. Greenberg’s entry offers warm praise for Globe Aware: “Globe Aware offers 1-week volunteer vacations that combine hands-on experiences with cultural activities. To get the most for your travel dollar, look for destinations like Mexico, Laos and Cambodia where you can get accommodations, meals, excursions and volunteer activities for about $1200 a week. Projects vary, but in Cambodia you might teach English at a Buddhist school or get involved with a children’s center in Luang Prabang.” Check out more of our trips on our website: www.globeaware.org and experience for yourself why a volunteer vacation with Globe Aware comes highly recommend by America’s most respected travel reporter!



Peruvian Ceviche


Although there is dispute for the origin of ceviche between Peru and Ecuador, this popular seafood dish is famously known as the traditional dish of Peru, an important part of Peru’s national heritage. It has since spread through all parts of South and Latin America with each county adding its own twist. In Peru, the fresh, raw fish, marinated with citrus juices and onion, can be served alongside sweet potatoes and corn for an abundance of tasty, crisp flavors.


You will need:  

  • 1 1/4 pounds fish fillets (sea bass, sole, or flounder), cut on the bias into 1-inch dice
  • 1 quart water, boiled and chilled
  • 1 red onion, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 aji amarillo, rib and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 ears corn, cut in 1/2
  • 1 sweet potato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • Japanese seaweed, for garnish
  1. Have grill pre-greased and preheated to medium-high.

  2. Place fish in a non-reactive bowl. Add 3 cups of chilled water to fish and rinse gently. Drain water.

  3. Add onions to remaining chilled water and let soak.

  4. Meanwhile, place aji, garlic, and pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Grind to make a paste.

  5. Combine fish, lime and lemon juices, aji and garlic paste, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

  6. Brush corn and sweet potato slices with oil and place on grill. Cook about 10 minutes.

  7. When ready to serve, divide fish ceviche among 4 lettuce cups and top with onion slices.

  8. Serve with grilled corn and sweet potato slices and garnish with Japanese seaweed if desired.

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