I just finished volunteering for CCS, for 3 weeks, in Morocco. The program was so amazing and I highly recommend this organization. I am going into my senior year of college and wanted to travel this summer, while also making an impact and learning about a new culture. CCS provided an insight into the culture of Morocco with their Arabic lesson, Islam lesson, cooking classes, and tours around Rabat. I loved my placements for volunteering - a children's hospital and an orphanage - but also felt that there was plenty of free time for exploring and traveling ourselves. The program director was amazing; he answered all my questions about Morocco and helped me with planning weekend trips, all while making me feel right at home!
I was definitely nervous about traveling alone for the first time, but my time in Morocco is a trip I will cherish for my lifetime!
1. Pre planning consultant was good and always offered assistance on time.
2. At the time of getting close to date of trip, it was not very clear my work assignment. I had to insist to get a meeting over the phone in order to get a brief about it. It would be better to assign the tasks at glance, a list 2 weeks before the trip so anybody can prepare. And exchange expectations and questions. Because experienced volunteers would like to use at list every weekday to use our professional skills.
3. It would be very helpful, to update or train the local coordinator, about how these days in America we are volunteering. Some people might travel just to spend time, but some other like me, we invest our time and money in order to be very productive during the trip of volunteering and comeback home fulfilled.
4. About the condition of the home-base: Since Delhi is a city with high pollution, so is not a city to walk or spend time in a park, or streets, it would be helpful, to have the apartment (home-base) with some windows so daylight can be seen inside. This means when is early in the morning you can meditate or after a day of work you can relax with a book or writing your journal.
5. The office of the local staff should be separate from the room or home-base. This gives a bit of privacy on hours or days that there is no work to do. Specially if a woman is the only volunteer and the rest of the local staff are just "man".
6. Special thanks to: preparation and assistance provided from "vicky" was very remarkable. (The local personal from CCS Delhi). He was going with me everyday to the schools were I was doing "Dental screenings", he also taught me very useful words in Hindu, show me the cultural aspects of the city. and very interesting temples.
Although I was the only person during my week of volunteering in Delhi, I was able to meet my expectations 100%, about applying my professional skills as a dentist and experienced volunteer.
I volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in June of 2015 and completely fell in love. This program absolutely exceeded my expectations and the in country director and staff is amazing. I truly feel like I now have a family in Tanzania. I felt that it was a well balanced program with volunteering and cultural activities. The guest speakers really gave me a deeper insight into the culture. I think the program fee was completely worth the experience I gained and I could never have gained this experience just as a tourist on my own. The food was exceptional and I felt totally taken care of throughout the entire program. This is a great organization and they were very organized through the entire process of my volunteer experience from start to finish. Even when I returned a really friendly women reached out to me to stay in touch!
I highly recommend this organization.
I recently volunteered in Guatemala. This was my first experience with cross-cultural solutions and I cannot imagined how other sites could match the amazing staff and the great cultural experienced here. The staff offered a level of protection, food preparation and care that you would expect from your family, hence it was hard to leave both staff and your fellow volunteers because they create a sense of family at the host home. The first day after work I realized that someone kept making my bed and I was shocked that they go as far as to ensure your bed is comfortable each night. The pride the staff takes in making sure you eat, get to know each other, and ensure you make your trips and work assignments is excellent. I would recommend that the if you go to Guatemala, spend time in the kitchen with the staff to learn Spanish. Also, the internet works a few hours throughout the evening although this was different for many Americans it taught us to spend time in conversation and deplug, so embrace it. My work assignment was at a school in zona three you really learn a lot about how to teach in Spanish as well as how to become accepting and loving of other to point of giving and receiving a tangible hug and besos despite the conditions of the child or environment. You also learn how to find joy in the midst of lack and how to become resourceful! This place if full of beauty and lessons that you may want to see and learn in this life time. Thank you Guatemala staff! Love- JenniJessica lol
I recently volunteered at the CCS Guatemala location for 2 weeks. The Country Director, Virginia, was AWESOME and helped make the experience worthwhile and truly enjoyable. The staff at the homebase was welcoming and very friendly. My placement site was with elderly women in a hospital/institution. I had such a wonderful time and have amazing memories that will last a lifetime! I would return to Guatemala in the future and I highly recommend CCS and the Guatemala location!
Very fun and a great learning experience. Staff was very kind and I enjoyed the volunteer experience.
Just returned from an amazing 5 week journey to Ghana. I can honestly say it was the best 5 weeks of my life. The local staff were kind, trustworthy, helpful, and made me feel safe 100% of the time. CCS could not have done a better job choosing their local staff. The home base felt like home and was always clean and surrounded by children. The food was absolutely delicious-shout out to Joe! Ghana is breathtaking and all of the cultural activities that we got to experience are something that I will hold with me forever. Makafui, the program director was a great leader and made my experience unforgettable as a whole. And Atsu was always very helpful and informative and our safety was always his top priority. Very thankful that I was able to do this. I HIGHLY recommend Cross Cultural Solutions.
I really didn't know what to expect when i signed u[ for 3 weeks in peru, but when i got there, from the minute i got there, it was a whole other world that made me realize what life was really about and made me realize what I've been missing out on. I wanted to stay longer and i honestly couldn't asked for a better group of people and children to volunteer with it felt like home and i absolutely loved it. the little children i volunteered with stole my heart and i know that a part of me will always be left behind with them and the other volunteers and peru because i have taken a whole lot of peru and the volunteers and the children with me. it was absolutely the best experience of my life. i plan on doing another country next year, maybe one where the language barrier won't be so bad? :p)
I had the incredible opportunity to spend 3 week in Hohoe, Ghana with CCS in their teen program. Needless to say, my experience was life changing. I tried to go into the trip with an open-mind and learn once I got there learn everything. And for me this was perfect, from the minute I landed in Ghana, I was learning. Everything was already planned out with group leaders. Being an 17 year old girl, I was not worried about anything but my mom on the other hand had every worry in the world. I can honestly say that I never once felt unsafe and having everything planned was more than perfect. I would pick up and leave today to go live in Ghana through the CCS program if I didnt have to finish high school and my mom would let me!
What a unique way to experience another country! I volunteered in Costa Rica for four weeks. I could not have asked for a more welcoming group of staff. Everything was always taken care of. The staff always answered any questions and always were willing to talk about what we were experiencing. This is the perfect balance of touring a country and making an impact through volunteer work. I was truly able to learn about the culture through the native staff, food, and living in the city. I highly recommend CCS to anyone!