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've been looking for volunteer programs for my 8-yr old son and myself and came across CCS because they aggressively advertise family opportunities.
The question I have according to the attached 2011 Financial statements: Executive Director, Steven Rosenthal, made almost 400K in direct compensation in 2011. The statements also document that he owns the property CCS works on - and made an additional $718,413 in rent from CCS in 2011. Same in 2010, 2009, etc.
I hate to be cynical but it does sound a bit suspicous. The ED is making over 1 million dollars a year on CCS. Possibley a travel agency disguised as a non-profit?!
I turned them down as to volunteering and they continue to send me their propaganda including this page where there are reviews. 3 out of 11 rate it as a 1! That is one out of 5. I go to Panama and teach English and do it for free and live on my monthly Social Security check of less than $900.00 a month. I'm sure I'm closer to the real life of the public in the countries than one could be in their resort style accomadations. It's a good palyground for the rich to make them feel good while pretending to do a service, but really quite a laugh when it comes down to it.
Review from Guidestar
I was interested in this organization until I looked up on Charity Navigator that the Ex. Director makes over $275,000 year and they spend nearly $1.3 million on administrative and fundraising expenses. I'm not sure how this is a non-profit in spirit; more like an eco-travel group. Charity is charity, not to make nearly $300K year. Sorry. I'll find another group.