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October 21, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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October 21, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

In July of 2013, I returned from the best volunteer experience of my life! I traveled to Cartago, Costa Rica with Cross Cultural Solutions. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by two CCS staff members who welcomed me with open arms. Not only did they spot me out of a crowd of people, they even helped me take my luggage to the van. Tired and hungry from traveling all day, when I arrived at the home-base, dinner was awaiting. I felt so grateful for the hospitality I received on my very first day, I knew from that point on that these next four weeks were going to be tremendous.

Indeed, the next four weeks turned out as I hoped. I received fantastic support from all the CCS Staff members. At my work placement, not only did I feel safe and secure, but I met so many wonderful people. The locals were so nice and caring. They took the time to remember my name and always greeted me when I saw them. The cultural activities were loads of fun. Every day, with the exception of Monday's and Tuesday's, we traveled around the surrounding towns with the CCS Staff members as our guides. They explained everything to us in such a patient manner. Workable, flexible, and simply caring, they took care of all our needs. By the end of the four weeks, I felt like I was with family. It was so hard for me to leave. I feel like I need to go back simply due to the fact that I know that I have a home to go to.

Ways to make it better...

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

love to get the community involved with more projects. It would be wonderful to get high school or university students to work alongside us. We can learn from each other and build ideas off of each other. Imagine what can be done when multiple perspectives are involved!

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?

2013

October 15, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 15, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Just returned from a 2 week volunteer experience with CCS in Hohoe Ghana. Had a wonderful time helping in the Hohoe community hopsital and learning about Ghana culture. CCS staff are very knowledgeable, resourceful and welcoming. The home base was exceptional and there was a good balance of volunteer work visiting places and speakers all geared towards increasing our awareness of the culture and understanding of the wonderful people in Ghana.
This experience definitely brought a different perspective for me and CCS did a great job at ensuring we got the most of it. Looking forward to do this again sometime in the near future!

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?

2013

October 14, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 14, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I volunteered withh CCS and was stationed at the hospital in Hohoe, Ghana. The program was a valuable learning experience for me and as a group we made the hospital experience a bit better for many patients while we were there however, as expected, we had little if any long term impact on health care in Ghana. CCS does a fantastic job of scheduling and provided a very welcoming and secure experience at the home base. The cultural experiences were exceptional.

Ways to make it better...

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

Reduce pretrip training and leave more to be surprised about when you are there

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?

A little

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?

2013

October 5, 2013

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October 5, 2013

My fiancé, Josh, and I participated in CCS's Kilimanjaro, Tanzania program this past September.

The home base was great. Meals were provided, beds where made, laundry was done (at a fair price), and the staff made sure concerns were addressed and support was provided. Cultural excursions
and education sessions were sprinkled in. Above all, the safety level, Wi-Fi, electricity, and running water were a blessing.

The placement was life changing. Josh and I volunteered at a women run HIV/AIDS children education & support center for two weeks. In that time, we focused on providing guidance through an organizational restructure, and laid the foundation for a sustainable organization. In the brief two weeks, I learned the meaning of the phrase, "I have hope for a brighter future." The three women organization leaders graciously donate their own time to the organization and do their best to provide primary school level education, home visits, and life skills for children affected by HIV/AIDS. They say - and it shows - that they do what they do because they have hope for the children's future.

I absolutely recommend partaking in a CCS program.

If you are looking to do good in the world, learn about a different culture, and grow personally, CCS is perfect for you.

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?

2013

September 28, 2013

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September 28, 2013

I have now volunteered twice with CCS - once in Costa Rica and also in Peru. I thoroughly enjoyed both of my volunteer experiences and would volunteer with CCS again. CCS does a great job of assisting you in integrating with the local culture and helping you to do your best to make an impact at your volunteer placement. The ability to live in a house with other volunteers also facilitates great friendships!

Ways to make it better...

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

nothing comes to mind.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 23, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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September 23, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

CCS focuses their program on both service and cultural immersion. This experience was unbelievable on both fronts. However, I have to say while the servcie component was excellent, the cultural immersion what really exceeded expectations. My trip was to Guatemala, and because of the cultural immersion components of the program, I now have a much better understanding and empathy for Guatemala that could not have been achieved any other way short of living in the country for a period of time. Truly a uniqye experience that will impact my perspective forever.

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?

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?

2010

September 11, 2013

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September 11, 2013

Great program! Highly recommend to college students looking to polish their volunteering and interning experiences. However, I've seen everyone enjoy the Cross Cultural Solutions program and it seemed like a great idea for families as well. Unlike many other programs, Cross Cultural Solutions offers everything from room and board at the home base, food, afternoon tours, weekend trips, language classes and transportation. If you want a program that makes you feel safe and welcomed, this is the way to go. Trust me, my college friend and I researched many programs in our second year of college when we went. The staff was amazing, always welcoming, willing to take time out of there leisure hours to help you and made you feel safe at all times. I interned and volunteered in Ayacucho, Peru in a hospital, lab and mental disability school. On our first day of work in the hospital, the first task was to help in delivering a new life into the world, doesn't get much sweeter than that! Also, when working in the mental disability school, I will never forget a girl name Cassandra, who physically could not use her arms, instead only her feet to write, draw and even erase. No matter how tough it was she kept through it and even changed colors when using her coloring book! If you want a program that offers many aspects surrounding the volunteering itself, Cross Cultural Solutions is the program to chose making you feel rewarded everyday and helping in making lifelong friends across the globe!

Ways to make it better...

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

The Price

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?

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?

2008

September 2, 2013

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September 2, 2013

I just returned from a 2 week program in Tanzania with my family ( husband and 3 teenagers) run by Cross Cultural Solutions. Every aspect of the program exceeded our expectations and my children now say that they don't want to take any more vacations unless they involve some sort of volunteering. The home base was very comfortable and the staff was warm and welcoming at all times. Our work assignments were all very positive and we were so happy to be able to experience Tanzania without feeling like complete tourists. We were definitely shown a different side of things than if we had stayed at a luxury hotel and met only other tourists. The lectures and trips that we experienced were all relevant and very interesting , and I'm sure my family will never forget this trip!

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?

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?

2013

August 30, 2013

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August 30, 2013

I always felt people exaggerated when saying this experience changes your life. Now I know it really does! Sometimes, you just start feeling it once you are back from your trip. It changes the way you think, your priorities, your perception of others, and most importantly of yourself. I volunteered in Cartago, Costa Rica for 2 weeks in May 2013. On my first day, I felt jet lagged, home sick and very uncomfortable in a cold house far away from home. However, as days went by and just like magic, this cold house became my home, the volunteers became my friends and I became a mother of 15 children. It was heartbreaking to leave them knowing that I might not have the chance to see them again. That’s why I’m really hope that more and more people will volunteer so that we can maintain what was already done with theses children and make sure they grow up to be smart, knowledgeable, successful and most importantly happy people. My job as a volunteering was to take care of children at a day care called Los Patitos or Little Ducks. The children were amazing and so eager to learn, play, laugh and dance!! You become really creative in finding out different ways to teach them in the most amusing way possible while overcoming the language barrier. If I want to summarize my trip, I’d say it was a short one that would impact me for the rest of my life and I know I will do my best to hop on another volunteering trip as soon as possible!! Thank you CCS for being at the top of professionalism and for helping me make the best out of this experience!

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?

2013

August 26, 2013

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August 26, 2013

I had an amazing and overwhelming time with CCS in Hohoe, Ghana. For me this was the very first trip to a developing country in Africa so I tried to gather as much information as I could before leaving. CCS was outstandingly helpful as well in getting me prepared for my trip. Still, knowing and having read about things is not the same as really experiencing and FEELING reality.... I will never forget these kids at school, how open and cheerful and friendly they were! After a few days only, they told me already that they would be missing me when I am gone back home.... And this is what I feel now, I truly miss them, see their faces, remember the good times we had, the dancing and playing.... Helping one another is so much more complex than donating money and gifts! One thing I have learned here is that you really need to talk to people, find out how they live, what they need, why things are the way they are.... and then help using these insights, strengthening local economy rather than bringing gifts from abroad, even if sometimes you might get impatient acknowledge that imposing things will not have a long-lasting effect even if done in the very best intentions. CCS has really helped me in getting insights into many aspects of Ghanaian life and I am very grateful for that!!! The team at the home base in Hohoe has been amazing in making sure we get as many insights as possible as well as making us feel welcome, at home, and safe at any time!!!

Ways to make it better...

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

try to provide placement information to volunteers a little bit earlier. Especially at school it may be helpful to know the kids' age a little earlier and know where they are in their lessons to be better prepared with some teaching ideas.

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?

2013

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