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About Us

THE GLOBAL WORKS EXPERIENCE

For 23 years, Global Works has been providing exceptional Community Service, Cultural Exchange, Adventure Travel, and Language Immersion programs for teens. Our educational and “student first” approach builds independence, self confidence, and leadership skills within our participants. Much more than a vacation, Global Works international trips are the bridge for meaningful cultural exchange with people around the world. Global Works has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most professional and well organized student travel operations.

Our knowledgeable and experienced staff lead participants according to high standards of quality, safety, and of course, fun! Students who travel with Global Works are adventurous, curious, open-minded, and inspired young adults—comprised of a diverse group of students from across the United States and abroad. A common trait in our enrollees includes a desire to learn more about other people and cultures.

Our programs take students to visit three to five differentcommunities, providing a cross-section of cultures and environments— from rural villages to capital cities. Community Service projects are an integral part of every Global Works trip and students can earn up to 70 hours. A well-rounded journey is made extraordinary by its adventures! It’s difficult to capture in words or pictures that which overcomes you when standing among the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, the feeling of confidence gained after rafting the Río Sarapiquí, or the pure sense of awe in the natural world when snorkeling in the Fiji Islands. Global Works understands that traveling is not about the souvenirs; rather it is about what you share with different cultures and what you learn along the way.

OUR MISSION

Global Works strives to provide young adults with rewarding service, language learning, and adventure travel programs, which foster personal growth and promote social and cultural awareness for the participant and the communities involved.

OUR ROOTS

Global Works was founded in 1990 by Pam and James “Biff” Houldin. After dedicating more than two decades to enriching the lives of young adults through teaching, providing horseback riding programs for physically challenged youth, and running Stone Mountain Adventures (a summer camp at their family farm in Central Pennsylvania), the Houldins dreamed of some-thing more. Pam and Biff envisioned an international program that combined community service and adventure travel as a way to give back to the world. 

Biff choose Puerto Rico as the destination for the first four-week service program. In an unfortunate coincidence, Hurricane Hugo devastated much of Puerto Rico that September. Amidst the devastation, Biff realized that meaningful service and cultural exchange might be achieved through the reconstruction of homes after this terrible storm. In the summer of 1990, 25 students and five staff embarked for Puerto Rico under the name Caribbean Adventures.

After two successful summers in Puerto Rico, Biff expanded to British Columbia in 1992, changing the name of his brainchild to Global Works. Since then, Global Works has steadily expanded to other destinations around the globe. 

The small office at the Houldin family farm has grown into a close-knit staff based in Boulder, Colorado. We hope to share our passion for travel, teaching, and the search for a profound travel experience with you!

 

Founders, Pam and Biff Houldin

 

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Testimonials

Some say, “There is no place like home”.  Before I entered into Nananu village I believed that as well. Within the first second of stepping off the bus the village gathered together and presented us with a native song welcoming us into their families. Looking around at my peers,  not one of them wasn’t smiling from ear to ear. I shook everyone’s hand, heard all the villagers’ names, and was given a gorgeous handmade flower necklace placed on me by my homestay mother followed by a big kiss on the cheek and a heartwarming smile, all within the first hour. It’s an amazing sensation to go from feeling like a tourist to suddenly becoming a part of this blissfully different culture. When I awake in the morning, I put on my Sulu and step onto the front steps, almost instantly the village kids come scattering from different home’s to hold my hand and carry my things to breakfast, as I walk down the path, my arms full of little kids, I hear “Yadra (Good Morning)! How did you sleep?” from almost every villager that happens to walk by me. By the time I reach breakfast my mood has been transformed from sleepy and groggy to happy and grateful to be able to become a part of Nananu village.

Fiji Participant

My favorite part of the trip was becoming part of the community at the last ceremony because we came as guests but left as members.

Juliet, Fiji Surf Participant