Details & Itinerary
Delve into the layers of community and connection that make this one of our most popular Spanish immersion programs. Participate in a sustainable living community that focuses on environmental conservation in a beautiful region north of Madrid. Then, travel south to live alongside young families and immigrants at a foundation outside of Granada. Learn about the challenges immigrants face here while running educational programs for local children, helping in the community garden, or baking bread with community members. Of course, we’ll also stop to see the beautiful landmarks in Madrid, Granada, and Malaga along the way! From big cities to close-knit rural communities, this program offers an exciting and welcome approach to experiencing the rich cultures of Spain.
Our group flight lands in Madrid and we head north to Sebulcor to begin our adventure. This quaint and beautiful town in the Segovia region is a great place to start our journey and hold orientation. We spend the next two days kayaking on the river, hiking in the Sierra de Guadarrama, and getting to know one another through team building activities. Students divide into task forces to complete projects, take responsibility of trip discussions and reflection activities, and coordinate the schedule for the upcoming stay in the sustainable living community of Amayuelas. We also take an afternoon to visit the city of Segovia to view its spanning aqueduct and towering cathedral.
From Sebulcor, we travel north to the small town of Amayuelas de Abajo, a formerly abandoned Spanish town that has been reclaimed by Spaniards looking to create a sustainable community. Amayuelas provides an inspiring setting for many interesting environmental restoration and conservation projects. Our students break into small groups and join with Spanish community members to work on various projects such as making adobe bricks for construction, gardening, and bread baking. We’ll learn about their work to conserve native regional seeds and collaborate on restoration projects using traditional, sustainable building methods. Global Works Ambassadors are assigned each day to collaborate with the local project leaders, communicate plans with the group, and conduct evening activities with the our hosts. Students practice skills such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Naturally, it is not “all work and no play.” In the late afternoons and evenings, there is time for exploration, activities, and soccer games!
Next, it’s time to explore Madrid, the capital of Spain. Our lodging is right off the Puerta del Sol and gives us easy access to the cosmopolitan inner city and the palaces of another era. During our stay, we visit the world-renowned Prado Museum and stroll through the Plaza Mayor and Retiro Park. We sample local delicacies during a scavenger hunt at the Mercado and see the intricate architecture of the Royal Palace. In the evenings, we take time to reflect on our journey so far.
It’s time to journey south! We transfer from Madrid to Granada via high-speed train. For the next five days, the Fundación Escuela de Solidaridad (FES) near historic Granada is our home. FES is a very special community composed of single mothers, young families, and immigrants from all walks of life throughout Spain, Europe, and even Africa. Everyone who lives there contributes to different work projects throughout the community, while also learning job skills that will help them upon departure from FES. Our community development and education projects vary from day-to-day and may include working in the preschool, teaching English, preparing meals, gardening, building greenhouses, making candles, and even creating a mosaic as a reminder of the important projects that we have completed. Our group stays together in a guesthouse on site and shares all meals with the community members. Spanish immersion activities are held each day with our knowledgeable Global Works leaders and local community members. Students of all ability levels are sure to increase their confidence and improve their communication skills through daily interaction with our local partners!
One morning, we visit the beautiful Alhambra, a Moorish palace-fortress and “paradise on earth” for the rulers who lived there in the 13th century. We take in stunning views of the Alhambra on a walk up to Jardines de Zoraya. We also put on our dancing shoes for a flamenco lesson and enjoy a flamenco performance. The farewell dinner and celebration brings to a close an unforgettable time with this community.
A short bus ride takes us to Malaga and the Costa Del Sol. We cap off our trip with a paella making workshop, time to explore the city center, final souvenir shopping, and beach time on the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, we have a celebratory dinner before we must say goodbye to Spain the next day for our flight home.
The Global Works chaperoned Group Flight departs from New York (JFK) for this program. Airfare is not included the tuition. Please visit Dates & Tuition for group flight costs and Flight & Travel Arrangements for more information about travel days.
Adventure & Cultural Activities
We begin our program in quaint guesthouse lodging in the beautiful town of Sebulcor, north of Madrid. Surrounded by the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, this is the perfect launch pad for orientation activities, hiking, and kayaking. Participants stay in rooms of 2-3 people with private baths.
AMAYUELAS DE ABAJO
In Amayuelas de Abajo, participants stay in a beautiful 17th-century house that has maintained many of its old-world charms. The proprietors have conserved as many of the home’s original elements as possible, including its numerous cozy plazas, large communal dining areas and a gorgeous covered patio. Lodging is simple, clean and cozy with bunk-bed sleeping arrangements. Owners of this hostel work hard to promote community-based living environments with a focus on healthy agricultural initiatives and sustainable rural development.
Our hostel is just off of the bustling square, Puerta del Sol, and a few blocks walk to the majestic Plaza Mayor and the renowned Prado Museum. The historic 19th century building was a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and the location of the first cinema projection in Spain before it became the simple but comfortable hostel that it is today. All rooms have private bathrooms.
Our accommodations are at the Fundacion Escuela de Solidaridad, just outside of Granada. FES founder, Ignacio, has welcomed Global works students for over 10 years to what becomes our home-away-from-home. Residents are committed to providing a caring and secure environment for our participants. Accommodations consist of dorm style lodging with private bathrooms. Students eat meals with and work on service projects alongside the residents. The premise also includes expansive open spaces, a large swimming pool, and a communal dining area.
Our centrally located hotel is within walking distance to most major historical sites, including the Alcazaba. Rooms are for two to four students with private bathrooms.