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107 Reviews
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July 28, 2014

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July 28, 2014

I spent 1 week in CCS Costa Rica with my teen daughter and niece. I chose this program based on a personal recommendation from a friend who has done 4-5 CCS trips (both on her own and with her teenage children) so I was physically and mentally well-prepared for the trip. The actual experience so exceeded our expectations that we all three wished we had selected a 2 or 3-week program instead of the 1-week one. Everything from the pre-trip support, the in-country staff (extraordinary!), the placement and the impact we made there to the cultural activities, the food, and the fellow volunteers was a 5-star experience. Even the dorm-style accommodations and limited restrooms were clean and cared for with pride. I did find my earplugs very useful for sleeping in the evening.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 27, 2014

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July 27, 2014

I just spent 3 weeks in Morocco with CCS Rabat, and I had a great experience!!! The program was well balanced with volunteering (I taught English) in the morning and cultural activities in the afternoon. The food at the house was incredible - I've never had more delicious and well-balanced meals that consecutively. There was also plenty of time to explore on your own. The staff were super friendly and helpful, as were the other volunteers staying at the house. Overall, I had a great experience and would recommend it to anyone wanting to get to know Morocco!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 27, 2014

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July 27, 2014

I just graduated from James Madison University in May. I was planning on taking the summer to travel and spend time with family. My older sister had volunteered in Thailand and Brazil with Cross Cultural Solutions, so I decided to look into their programs. I had never done a volunteer trip like this before, but did spend a semester abroad in Florence, Italy and consider myself a “well traveled” woman.
Despite the apprehension that my family and friends had that I was going to a predominately Muslim country during a time of war and unrest in the Middle East, I spent two weeks in Rabat, Morocco! I too had a lot of anxiety before departing, mostly concerning my safety. It was also going to be a bit of a unique experience, because I visited during Ramadan, one of the most religious times of the year. However, these feelings were quickly quelled when I was greeted at the airport by our program director Mohamed Mhmmoudi , and when I arrived at our home base in Rabat.
Our home base was clean, comfortable, and in a very safe neighborhood. We had a guard 24 hours, and were quickly informed about how to stay safe in the city. We were told what taxis to use, Arabic and French phrases that would be of help to us, and the general location of all things. During our orientation, the staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about where to eat, how to act, and our placements. They were open and honest with us about everything! Within the first twenty-five minutes they asked us who wanted to go to the Eastern Sahara for the weekend and ride a camel. All of us shot our hands up, and Mohamed organized a trip for us with transportation, accommodations and a tour guide all taken care of! It was easy, and is one of my favorite memories from the two week time spent in Morocco. On the way to the Sahara we stopped to see monkeys on the road and met Nomads. I truly felt like it was something out of a National Geographic article and an experience I will never forget! Orientation was thorough and helpful. The staff made me feel right at home, along with the other volunteers.
The food was delicious and no one during my stay there got sick. The water was all filtered and everything was clean, which is something that is not a given in some countries. We were served three meals a day with lunch being the biggest. There were plenty of options and a variety of different dishes to choose from. They also catered to dietary restrictions such as gluten free, vegetarian, or vegan. There was a grocery store right down the road from our home base, where we could shop for snacks as well. The home base had a separate refrigerator for volunteers, if we wanted to keep some of our own snacks. This worked very well, and no one ever took others food etc. we all respected one another’s stuff. Personally, I can tend to be a picky health nut when it comes to food. I am going to miss the delicious fresh cuisine they served us, especially couscous Fridays and all of the fresh fruit! I did get a few of the recipes, so I will be able to recreate them in the states! We also had two cooking classes while I was there, which were great. We got a very good understanding of how much passion and emphasis they put on meals. In addition, I visited during Ramadan, so it was fun to learn all about the traditional food they serve when they break fast.
The home base was incredibly clean, safe and gorgeous! Our rooms were cleaned everyday, and we got clean towels whenever we asked for them. I had two other roommates and they were very respectful of my belongings. The home base also had locks and safe places to keep any valuables such as a computer, and passports. However, I never felt the need to lock anything up. I often had my laptop sitting on a table while I left to volunteer for a few hours. I am a huge runner, and was nervous I would not be able to exercise while I was there because of security issues. Luckily, I found a running buddy the first day (a fellow volunteer) and there was a super safe park that we ran to and around every morning. We ran down a street inhabited by embassies and royal families. I felt safe and secure. However, we did make sure we were respectful of their culture and wore long running pants and a long sleeved shirt.
I loved my placement, and did feel like I was making a difference. For the first week I was put in a children’s hospital. I played with the kids and family members while they were waiting for treatment etc. The children were incredibly affectionate and loved to do crafts. I could tell the mothers also appreciated someone else occupying their children (giving them a bit of a break). The second week, I taught English and was thoroughly impressed with the ability of the children to soak up all the information I handed to them. The kids ranged from ages 6-15. At times, it was challenging because there were a lot of different levels from beginners to more advanced students. However, I learned how to adjust to this. I had never had any teaching experience prior to this, but the staff helped and supported me along the way. Abdellah (CCS Staff in charge of our placements) was constantly checking in with us making sure we were happy with our placement and if we weren’t what he could do to change that.
I believe the CCS program in Rabat, Morocco was absolutely incredible. I had a bit of apprehension going to a predominately Muslim country, when it came to my safety. However, I soon learned that the CCS staff and fellow volunteers were there to make me feel as safe and comfortable as possible. I learned an immense amount about Morocco, and about the Muslim culture. I also felt like I was truly able to extend myself to others in my volunteer placement and hopefully teach them a bit more about my culture and the English Language. As an American Citizen I can proudly say that we need more programs like this in Muslim countries! We need now more than ever to educate ourselves on Islamic beliefs and values. We also need now more than ever to immerse ourselves in Muslim countries, to understand them, and simply build relationships with others! People are people!
A HUGE THANK YOU TO CCS for giving me the opportunity to explore Morocco, learn, and give back to another culture!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 23, 2014

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July 23, 2014

I volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions South Africa in the summer of 2014. It was my first time out of the country and I absolutely loved it. Not only did I learn about the history and culture of South Africa, but I did it all with a wonderful group of people. The CCS staff was more than wonderful. They made sure everything went smoothly and from the time I met them at the airport I felt right at home!!! They do a wonderful job at making the experience truly an experience of a lifetime!!!! I didn't expect to gain another family after this trip, but I truly did. CCS is beyond amazing. You learn, you help and you grow from the experience. I'm so glad I did it!!!! Amazing!!!!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing at all!!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 21, 2014

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July 21, 2014

I volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions in Morocco this July (2014). It was a great experience! It is a very well balanced program. All volunteers were exposed to an understanding of the Arabic language, Islam, women's rights and Arabic writing. We learned about the Moroccan culture by participating in cooking classes and taking various field trips to points of interest in Rabat. Almost all volunteers taught English two hours a day at various centers and schools around Rabat. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, kind and committed to the program. I would definitely consider returning to Morocco with CCS as well as participating in other programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have the staff include some seminars on teaching English to it's volunteers. Although I was in education for 34 years, I didn't have a background in teaching English. If the goal of the program is to bridge cultural understanding between the US and in this case, Morocco, mission accomplished. I think there is a lot to teaching English and it starts with being able to assess student levels and to have an understanding of language acquisition.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 20, 2014

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July 20, 2014

I have volunteered with CCS in Cartago, Costa Rica twice now and absolutely loved it!! My first time I volunteered for four weeks and the second time for three weeks. The staff is so kind and when I came back for three weeks they made me feel just as welcome as the first time. The people in Costa Rica are so welcoming and happy, and I was glad to be there again. The activities they plan for us are so much fun and being there twice has really helped me learn more about the culture in Costa Rica. The staff is very hardworking and makes sure we are safe and comfortable at the HomeBase and at our site. I love volunteering with CCS and cannot wait to do it again! Thank you for another incredible learning experience, and for the ability to volunteer and help in a new situation.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 19, 2014

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July 19, 2014

I volunteered through Cross Cultural Solutions, in Ghana for two weeks. I would highly suggest this program to anyone. CCS went above and beyond to make sure our safety and concerns were taken care of. The entire staff was extremely welcoming and hard workers. It felt like home :)

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would usually be honest and tell what changes need to be made, but I couldn't think of any. I was that satisfied with this organization!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 19, 2014

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July 19, 2014

I spent three weeks in India with CCS. India itself was so amazing, and the people are so compassionate. The CCS staff had far better service than my expectations. They do a great job of making sure that volunteers respect the local community. Also they really do make sure you need for nothing while you are there.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 16, 2014

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July 16, 2014

I traveled to Lima, Peru with CCS for two weeks. It was the most amazing and eye-opening experience of my life. As a sixteen year old girl, getting onto a plane and traveling eight hours away from home can seem very daunting. Once I arrived in Peru, I felt welcome and safe. The in country staff were so welcoming and responsive. Our group of nine volunteers quickly became good friends and we all got fully immersed into the new culture. The school we volunteered with was for children five years old and younger. It was easy to communicate with the children even with a language barrier. My favorite part of every day was definitely attending the school and working with the children! After we volunteered, we had cultural learning activities. I loved hearing about Peru's history and learning about the devastating Shining Path. Spanish lessons were my favorite activity, but dance lessons were a big hit. Also, we went to a huge Incan market where you could find alpaca blankets, hats, socks, jackets, teddy bears, and everything else alpaca. We toured downtown Lima and visited exciting attractions like the Palacio de Gobierno. I've never learned so much about one country! The two weeks flew by too fast and it was very hard to say goodbye. I would go back in a heart beat and I definitely plan to volunteer with CCS in the future.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have nothing to change!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 16, 2014

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1 previous review
August 28, 2013

I had never travelled outside of the US and decided I wanted to before graduating college. CCS allowed me to make the journey safely and with plenty of help. The experience was beyond amazing and the ... more

July 16, 2014

I spent three weeks in Morocco with the CCS program and it was an amazing experience. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful making staying at the home base very comfortable. The home base is beautiful and in an excellent location in Rabat. Morocco is definitely a country with loads to see on weekend excursions and is absolutely gorgeous!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I really like the way the program is set up so I don't have anything that I would want to change.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

August 28, 2013

I had never travelled outside of the US and decided I wanted to before graduating college. CCS allowed me to make the journey safely and with plenty of help. The experience was beyond amazing and the people working at the home base are all very friendly.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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