THEY ARE NOT A NON PROFIT I have used them three times in the past. I had issues with accounting department(not the only one I am afraid) and a few with reps they are young and have high turnover. I have always had wonderful time when in country. With accoubting descrepencies I decided to stop using them and went with different organization. This year i got an email about working with refugees in Greece. I decided to give them a try again. Found out once in greece they are no longer a non profit eventhough states it on their website. The change happened in october 2016. Only found out because someone in group was complaining they were found raising and asked for tax id for 503 status. I did not found raise this time due to them miscalculating donations in the past with me. They increase charge for volunteer trip once they saw demand. Also working with disorganize ngo at camps but continue because was how they got into camps. I and another volunteer who also is a special education voiced our concern for saftey of children because of how unsafe and philosophy promoting negative behavior. I did get hurt. The staff at ccs was great in coming with me for xrays and mri butin all honesty it could of been prevented and i wonder if them now being a for profit ngo had something to do with it.
I volunteered two weeks this year in Rabat, Morocco. It was an incrediable and amzing journey. This was my second time volunteering through CCS and it made me realize all the reasons why I chose them. You are together with all the volunteers in one house(great for making new friends, and having someone to go out with at night and to travel on weekends with. Eight of us went to the Sahara Dessert together. It was unbelievable. Food and dafe water is provided for as is transportation to volunteer sites and unlike all others you see your country contact every weekday, Mohamed was there if we had any problem and quickly helped resolved any concern. I never felt more safe or comfortable. He and the rest of the staff tried to make us feel at home while sharing their culture with us. We had cooking lessons, language and cultural. We felt at ease to be able to ask anything, Morocco was beautiful my only regret is that I did not stay longer so I could of seen more of that beautiful country. Volunteering at the hospital working with children was so rewarding. I highly recommend this program and this location.
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 just finished up with a cross cultural assignment in Guatemala. It was spectactular. The cross cultural team at the home base (Guatemala City) were so incredible and it was because of them that made my volunteer experience so meaningful. As in the last review, they ensured the safety of each volunteer, fed us the most amazing meals and took care of us as if we were their own family.
My assignment was working in a pediatric clinic and not only did I learn a little bit about how the health care system works in Guatemala but developed close relationships with the staff. The families were kind, grateful and so caring.
This being my first experience as a volunteer really motivated me to be more involved with local volunteering, but I am also looking into my next Cross Cultural volunteer trip since it was such an impactful experience.
If you are considering a volunteer program, cross cultural is the one to do and Guatemala is beyong life changing! You won't be sorry to have participated in such a great program!
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!
I no longer want to travel as a tourist per se. Through its volunteer program CCS offers a combination of activities that allow you to interact with the people, gain a clearer understanding of daily life and at the same time allow for opportunities to experience cultural activities and local landmarks. Although my schedule does not allow time for it now, this trip has made me aware that in the future I would like to volunteer in my area. As a college student, many years ago, I thought of joining the Peace Corps. I realized this was my mini Peace Corps experience. I do hope to return to Guatemala and also participate in other CCS programs. The home base was truly a home away from home. The meals were delicious and the accommodations were good. The staff went out of their way to ensure that our needs were being met.
I can't express how much I loved my experience. I got on the plane to Guatemala not knowing what to expect. Honestly, it exceeded my expectations. I went for 3 weeks and not knowing any spanish it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! Money very well spent. Worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY! It is really an all inclusive program. God truly blessed me with the most amazing trip!
The people at my placement were absolutely amazing and, oh, don't get me started on the staff here in Guatemala. I worked in a pediatric clinic. It helped me realize this was the career path for me. Also, the staff were so friendly and extremely helpful, especially taking extra time to help us plan weekend trips or a night out on the town. Also, the food was superb. literally drooling thinking about it!
You should definitely consider Guatemala if you are thinking about volunteering with CCS. I made great friends who I hope to keep in touch with. The city itself was beautiful and had a lot of character. I was with a very very big group, about 24 people. Honestly, I am 23 and was one of the older people there. Some of the younger people did cause some drama. That was the only thing that took away from my experience. Please don't let this sway you to not volunteer with CCS. I felt like I had true family there aside from the drama. We all took a 10 hour red eye bus ride to Tikal and it was wonderful. We made some very interesting/lasting/fantastic memories. Some were adventurous, while others were just silly. One night, I stayed in with one of the girls I became close with and we just sat in the common area for a few hours goofing around with on another. Like, sending the ugliest faces through snap chat. I could write a huge dissertation if I had the time.
Where ever you go, your experience will be different from everyone! Just go with your mind and heart open to just take everything in. Don't let yourself get in the way of immersing yourself in the culture. STAY POSITIVE!!!! Be open with the people at your placement. Follow CCS rules. Most of all just enjoy the ride, be patient, and embrace everything with a smile :)
I am definitely considering going back to Guatemala with CCS. It was very hard to leave. But, I can see myself using CCS again for sure!!! :)
Praise God for programs like this!
I volunteered in Dharamshala, India for 2 weeks on a Global Health Project. It was a very different and pleasant experience as far as placement, staff, food, and cultural exposure was concerned. I went to 2 other Global Brigade trips before this but the experience which I gained through this organization was very unique. Not only because of the experience of working with children as opposed to adults or varied ages of patients but also because of the experience that I was able to get while examining those kids and spending time with them after the examination was done. The food is great and the staff is ever ready to help. I knew the local language so that helped me a lot in multiple ways however, the local staff is very cooperative so language barrier would not be an issue for the volunteers who do not speak the local language.
I worked as a high school volunteer in Lima, Peru. The staff were so helpful and knowledgeable, the other volunteers were so nice, and it was so great working with the kids.
I knew that volunteering abroad would be life changing but I think I underestimated the depths. Helping in the special needs orphanage, creating new relationships/experiences with the other volunteers, soaking in all of the beauty of the country, and ultimately falling so deep in love with the Moroccan people. I merely can’t find the words to describe it…but my life is forever changed. A million thanks to you Morocco…until we meet again, Insha’Allah
I just returned home from volunteering with the CCS teen program in Tecpan, Guatemala for one month. It was the greatest experience of my entire life! Not only was I able to connect with and love the children at the school, but I was able to take cultural excursions that allowed me to learn so much about the Mayan culture. I chose Guatemala as my destination because I knew nothing about its history beforehand, and I left feeling a strong connection with the country because I knew almost as much about it as I did about my own country. I would definitely pack my bags for another CCS trip!
CCS is the best volunteer program. It has a perfect mix of volunteering, cultural activities, and free time. The staff is wonderful and will help you plan any activities you want to do. The home base is beautiful and clean and always has a security guard working. The food they provide was great, too! It was a very valuable experience that I loved very much!!
I had an amazing time with CCS and it was definitely an experience I would recommend to others. I went to Cartage, Costa Rica and I had the best time getting to know the people there, their culture, and being able to impact the lives of many all at the same time. I met some people there that I will hopefully continue to be friends with. The feeling I got from helping so many people is beyond words and has to be experienced!
I have said many times that I was following a call in my heart, and by volunteering in Kilimanjaro all the pieces came together: The experience was rich and deep, humbling and difficult, and yet intensely personal and spiritual. In part, the choice of two weeks of work was good, not because [and in spite] that I found so much to do and to be done and left undone!, but because I fell for those African kids and for Africa in general, and detachment was hard enough for the time shared! Africa will receive anything you have to give with extreme gratitude and humility.
The staff at the home base was incredibly friendly and personable [and yet those seem to be traits of most Tanzanians]; certain tolerance and acceptance are necessary to share different resources and goals with colleagues, but generally speaking, I have spent one of the most intense times of my life.
I loved my volunteering experience with CCS. I was moved by the children I was working with on a day to day bases, and felt privileged to also take part in day to day excursions and hindi lessons with the staff. If you are someone who is looking to volunteer this is the perfect organization to go with
I LOVED my experience with Cross Cultural Solutions. It is well worth the money as every afternoon we had the opportunity to participate in cultural lessons and/or excursions. I felt very safe and comfortable. The staff took excellent care of the volunteers and were extremely helpful in practicing our Swahili.
On five different occasions I have travelled with CCS, 4 times to Rabat, Morocco and once to Moshi, Tanzania. I would give anything to go back to both. I had the most incredible experience in both locations, so much so that I ended up changing my career path and going back to school to become a teacher. I have been fortunate to return to the Rabat, Morocco Program several times. I absolutely love the staff there, they are so nurturing and supportive, and help you through the experiences you go through at your placements. I fell in love with the children at both the orphanage in Rabat and the school in Moshi. They taught me so much about life and put things into perspective with their resilience, positivity and beautiful smiles. I also made some wonderful friendships with the staff I worked with and still stay in touch. The CCS program is great as it takes care of all the logistics for you, for example all your delicious meals, your transport to and from the airport and to and from your volunteer placement. This really puts you at ease and allows you to focus on the work you're doing. I also loved all the cultural activities that CCS organized: traditional dancing, cooking, art (batik), music and amazing day trips. The way the schedule is made you also have lots of time to explore independently in the afternoons and on weekends. Some of my most memorable experiences were during this time; trekking through the Sahara Desert, visiting the ancient ruins, going on safari in the Serengeti, and visiting the island of Zanzibar. Even the accommodations are lovely and comfortable. I would highly recommend Cross-Cultural Solutions to anyone interested in volunteering abroad.
I just got back from an incredible two week CCS experience in Salvador, Brazil! The people, culture and volunteer assignment will always be a part of me. Furthermore, I continued to be impressed with the CCS program from start to finish. I am proud to be a CCS alumni and look forward to the next adventure!
This past summer I traveled to Thailand, on my third volunteer trip with CCS. This organization is filled with the most accommodating and genuine individuals, who are dedicated to your experience - both in and out of volunteer work. Through the program, I worked in a public elementary school in Bangkok, teaching English and visiting Wats (Temples) with the most marvelous children. Outside of volunteering, the in-country staff provided numerous cultural activities that vastly molded my experience in experiencing a new culture - touring lotus ponds, Muay Thai classes, cooking classes, visiting monuments and speaking with renowned Buddhist monks (my favorite). I would highly recommend this program!
My visit to Guatemala was more than wonderful. The people were kind, the experiences unique, and the food delicious. As a pre-med student, working in the National Hospital's pediatric unit was unique and memorable, especially speaking with both the children and their mothers. The mothers needed the help too, since they stay there day and night. The CCS staff are welcoming to volunteers, knowledgeable of Guatemala City, and fun to talk to. I highly recommend CCS Guatemala to those that want to practice Spanish as well.
June 2015 took me to Tanzania...a trip of a lifetime! The experience exceeded my expectations. When asked "did you have a good time?" my response is always..."If I could get on a plane right now and return to the same place...reunite with my new-found friends and family...I would do it in a heartbeat". Thank you CCS!!
This was my first time volunteering with CCS, and it was amazing! I was working with children from ages 1-3 in a local convent in Brazil for 2 weeks. I enjoyed every minute working with the sisters, children, and other CCS members! They did a great job of making me feel like I was apart of a family and always checking in with me about how I was doing. The organization allows for a lot of independence which I was really looking for. I also felt like I was very involved with the community so that's a plus. Overall, the entire experience was great and something that I will never forget.
I spent two weeks in Lima, Peru with CCS and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I loved the in country staff and made friends that I am still in touch with today. The community benefited a lot from our help and I think the children we worked with enjoyed our company. I would definitely do it again!
I can't say enough good things about ccs! I volunteered in Lima Peru this summer and although we were working in a range of areas I felt completely safe at all times. I didn't have to worry about food, transportation or where I was staying and if I had questions I could ask any of the staff there. Having all of these worries out of the way allowed me to put myself fully into the volunteer work and get the most out of this opportunity. I would strongly encourage anyone and everyone to travel and volunteer with ccs whether it be as a single person, a school, or a family and become part of the ccs family!
My time with CCS was unforgettable. I traveled to Lima, Peru where I worked at a facility with elderly men and disabled children. The in home and on site staff were exceptional and made us feel welcomed, safe, and loved. A perfect trip for those that may need a reminder of just how beautiful this world is and how lucky we are to be in it.
This was my first trip with CCS and the program far exceeded my expectations. I volunteered in Bangkok, Thailand, teaching English in an elementary school in a northern district of the city. The program had a good relationship with the school and the teachers that I worked with. The teachers and students were extremely welcoming and worked with me every step of the way to make sure I got the best volunteer experience possible.
The accommodations were also fantastic. The program house is in a clean and safe northern Bangkok suburb, which allowed the other volunteers and I to be immersed in the culture from day one. The staff provided excellent Thai food for each meal and helped us explore the city when we weren't volunteering. The program staff understands that the volunteers yearn to experience the culture while on the volunteer trip and they deliver!
Would recommend to anyone looking for an adventure!
This was my 2nd trip with CCS. Brazil 2 years ago and Costa Rica this June. During my solo trip to Brazil I decided that my teenage kids might benefit from the experience so I took my 16 year old daughter to CCS Costa Rica. Given that teenage girls aren't looking for ways to spend MORE time with Dad I wouldn't trade that special week with her for anything in the world. Memories that will be remembered for a lifetime... 3 things impact one's CCS experience : 1) the volunteer assignment 2) the home base and the CCS employees there and 3) fellow volunteers. CCS gets a 10 out of 10 in all three categories. I can't emphasize enough what a joy it was getting to know the local CCS employees. They were absolutely outstanding. Jose and crew - be proud of the great work that you do! I can't wait for my next CCS trip with my son!
I recently went to Costa Rica with a party from my college system and was assigned to an elementary school. As a professor, being an extra pair of hands in a school staffed by committed, welcoming teachers was a humbling and rewarding experience. They reminded me of how much we owe to those to whom we commit our youngest children. While the school lacked the resources we expect in US schools, the enthusiasm and dedication of the teachers was inspiring. The youngest children were already learning to read and write English - most impressive.