Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Check Out the Hotel for Service Trip

Check out the awesome hotel we will be staying at in Bogota! Cosmos 100 is conveniently located in a safe area close enough to walk to Unicentro and Park 93. This hotel includes the amenities you want including free WiFi and a large buffet style restaurant, but it goes way beyond that! They also have a gym, a sauna and an amazing indoor pool with an incredible view of Bogota. I already know you are going to LOVE your stay at this hotel. In fact, they were awarded a Certificate of Excellence in 2013 by TripAdvisor. If THAT does not get you excited about this service trip, I don't know what will! I hope you are looking forward to joining us for this year's service trip, I know we are just counting down the days. If you want to learn more about the trip, please click here. 

Remember, the quickly approaching deadline is MAY 01, 2015. You can click here to access the application. 

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact our trip leader, Beth Whitacre at 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

From Personal Experience

     This coming summer will mark half a decade of my attendance on Gladney summer service trips. They have become an integral part of who I am, and the leaders on the trips are the kinds of people I want to become. I plan my summers around the one week in July I get to travel to Bogotá, usually with one or two plane catastrophes, and teach, play, and love on the orphans at San Mauricio.
     Over the years, I have grown particularly close to a boy named Kevin. I met him on Gladney’s first trip to Colombia in 2012. Back then, he was six years old and fit in perfectly with Mafe’s, the kindergarten teacher’s, class. Over the years, however, he realized that even as he grows
older and moves classrooms, I stay put teaching kindergarten. So, to my pleasant surprise, on the first day at the institution in 2014 when I walked into Mafe’s classroom, I was greeted by two tables of precious four and five year olds, and an eight-year-old Kevin sitting nonchalantly amongst them, over a head taller than the rest of the kids.
     This kid really is something else. I wish I could give him the world, but the best I can do is give him my love for the week we share each year. Beth Whitacre, Pattye Hicks, and little Kevin are my main inspirations for becoming a social worker. I can’t imagine trying to do what I do without them.
     I’m already counting down the days to Bogotá 2015. In a short ninety-five days I will be en route to Colombia (barring any pilots locking themselves out of the cockpit) and on my way to San Mauricio. I’m saddened by the fact this may be our last summer at the institution, but that only means we must make this year the best one yet.

I hope this note of personal experience gets you even more excited about the upcoming service trip! It is going to be an incredible experience that you do NOT want to miss out on. 
To learn more about the trip, please click here. 

Remember, the quickly approaching deadline is MAY 01, 2015. 
Click here to access the application. 

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact our trip leader, Beth Whitacre at 

Looking forward to the Trip! 

Friday, April 03, 2015

Jumping for Joy

Hello Everyone!
 We have some fabulous news to share with you.

In light of last week's post, I am thrilled to tell you about this week. Drum roll please....We have had TWO of our amazing waiting children from Colombia get matched with families!! Although nothing is finalized, two families have begun their adoption process to take home these two sweet kids and give them the forever home they deserve. This kind of news is why I LOVE being a part of this team at the Gladney Center. Our hearts are jumping for joy! 

As exciting as this news is, there are still so many other children waiting to find their homes, so make sure you are staying updated on our Latin America Waiting Children blog to meet our wonderful kids. We are currently still waiting to get more permissions for these other fantastic kiddos so we can post about them but as soon as we do, I hope you will check them out and share the joy with other families. I hope this bit of news got everyone pumped up for the service trip this summer to Colombia. It is not only going to make a difference in these kids lives but we are going to have a blast doing it! Remember the deadline to apply is May 01, 2015 and you can access that application and find out more information right here. 

If you have any questions about this trip please email Beth Whitacre at