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.
My CCS trip was in Costa Rica and I was placed in the HIV clinic. At first, I was a little worried about working there because everyone was telling me that it wasn't a safe place. Once I got there, I understood how incorrect everyone was about it. The people in the clinic were quite healthy individuals and they were so kind and curious about us volunteers. I felt like I made a positive impact on on the people I helped there, and they made a positive impact on me. The CCS staff was amazing, they were very welcoming, patient, kind, and fun to be around! They were always willing to help us out with any issues we had during our stay, and it was truly amazing getting to know each and every one of them. They all had amazing back-stories and they all made an impact on me. I am so glad I participated in this trip, because I will never forget the memories/friendships I made there. I would definitely recommend this program for anyone interested in making an impact in the world, having a lot of fun, and experiencing new cultures!
I volunteered at the Costa Rica site along with a group of co-workers from my consulting company. I had an absolutely incredible experience, and was surprised by how much we were able to do in just one short week. The CCS staff is very organized, and did a great job scoping our volunteer project and making sure that we were always working hard in the mornings. Our group volunteered a a local nursing home, and formed some great relationships with the residents while there. The cultural activities were great every evening, and I felt like I learned a lot about the local culture. I was able to practice my Spanish as well. Overall, the CCS staff and the experience was great!
I would definitely recommend this program for somebody looking for a fun, engaging, well-organized, and meaningful international volunteer experience.
WOW!!!... where does one begin..upon arrival you knew instantly you were in another place, maybe even in another time... for Costa Rica is truly paradise from the culture to the people everywhere we went, the people made you right at home. My assignment was the Pueblito Orphanage, on my first day I notice that the children's playground equipment was in horrible shape from swings hanging from one chain to the see saws with no seats for the children to sit on.. so I used my 5 days in repairing 6 swings, 4 see saws and put in 3 new tire swings as well. The most inspirational part was on Friday, when a little girl was swinging on the very tire swings I had just put up hours prior. That moment was what this trip was all about for me. Thank you CCS for giving me the opportunity to display my talents as a carpenter, and to bring smiles to children's faces for months to come...Also the Home base was great, Jose Hernandez and the rest of the CCS staff were very welcoming, inspirational and dedicated to their work. I will miss them all... Pura Vida!!!!
The week that I spent in Guatemala City this summer was by far the best week I've had in years. This program gives you the opportunity to do something good for yourself by using your time to help others, learn an incredible amount about something important, have a good time, meet other people with similar interests, and relax. Going to another country can be scary, you know the things you want to do or see but you might not be sure how to go about it. The CCS staff helps you do whatever it is you desire. You also have the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.
I have often said that if i could change anything about the trip I would have wanted to stay longer. I will continue to volunteer through CCS; they have exceeded my expectations.
I would recommend the Guatemala City location to anyone. The in-country staff there is fantastico!
Words can't describe the incredible journey that I had in Dharamsala, India. I knew that it would be life-changing, but I had no idea exactly how much it would be. It was the experience of a lifetime. The staff, fellow volunteers, locals, and everyone else I came in contact with were such amazing and inspiring people. If you're looking to have an awesome volunteer experience, look no further than CCS!