A once in a lifetime opportunity to make an impact in some of the inspiring and enriching places on Earth. Start in Latin America where you'll develop your Spanish skills, immerse yourself in a vibrant culture, and volunteer in schools set in the rural Maya Highlands of Guatemala. Then, you’ll jet off to the land of Guna Yala in Panama, among indigenous peoples living on the sea for centuries. If you're joining our year-long program, head off to the rolling hills and beaches of Guanacaste, Costa Rica to explore serious social issues mixed with the warm beauty of this region. Next, take off to Ho, Ghana a town in the beautiful Volta Region, where you'll volunteer in rural under-resourced farming schools, sail along Lake Volta, and take a weekend to see the historic Cape Coast slave castles. Your program will conclude in service at CCS' refugee distribution center in Ristsona, Greece where you'll provide essential supplies to families in need and learn about the global refugee crisis first hand. Traveling with us for 32 weeks? Your final destination of your amazing year abroad in Azrou, Morocco, surrounded by the gorgeous Atlas Mountains, to work in improving child education and reflecting upon your experience.

Volunteer Opportunities

Maya Highlands

Guatemala

Immerse yourself in the Maya Highlands in the city of Tecpán, Guatemala, where 90% of the population is Kaqchikel Maya. The traditions of an ancient culture is still alive today, with colorful fabrics, fascinating ruins, and intricate ceremonies. Surrounded by lush farms and towering volcanoes, your experience in the Maya Highlands is a unique opportunity to see the true culture of rural Guatemala.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala »
Gap Year GuatemalaGuatemala Gap Year

"All rise and nobody is left behind, neither not one person nor two or three."
From the Popol-Vuh, Sacred book of the Maya

Cross-Cultural Solutions Around the World Gap Year Programs in HoCCS Gap Year in Ghana

"A single tree cannot make a forest."
Ewe Proverb

Ho

Ghana

As the population grows in the Volta Region, the people are forced to deal with the strain on vital social resources. Schools, community groups, and care centers throughout Ghana are severely under-resourced and understaffed. By volunteering abroad in Ho, you can help the community in ways such as providing one-on-one attention for young Ghanaians, sparking creativity in the minds of children attending our new summer school, or supporting workers in the overcrowded health system.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Ghana »
Guanacaste

Costa Rica

Beach life and cowboy culture converge in the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Let the city of Santa Cruz amaze you with it's expansive ranches and rolling hills, or head over to the pristine beach communities along the Pacific coast for an afternoon in the sun. As you sip on tropical juices at the CCS Home-Base, and perhaps pick a mango or cashew from one of our fruit trees as an afternoon snack, you'll find yourself in the Pura Vida lifestyle in no time.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica »
Gap Year in Costa RicaCosta Rica Gap Year

“¡Ay sí, atrévete! (Oh yes, be daring!)”
from “Drummer Boy,” song by Costa Rican singer, Debi Nova

Support RefugeesDistribute Goods for Refugee Families

"A narrow place can contain a thousand friends."
Syrian proverb

Chalkida (Included in 32 Week Program)

Greece

Of the total 22.5 million refugees in the world today, less than 1 percent have been resettled. Over 62 thousand refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere are currently stranded in Greece, living in temporary camp structures while they wait, often indefinitely, for resettlement. Through your work in a Syrian refugee camp in Greece, you will distribute essential supplies, including water, milk, toiletries, and clothing, and promote dignity for this resilient population.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Greece »
Azrou (Included in 32 Week Program)

Morocco

Azrou, tucked into the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco, is a Berber village that struggles with providing quality educational opportunities to children. Experience life in the Moroccan mountains while you make an impact on the educational system for children through engaging lessons and activities.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Morocco »
Gap Year in MoroccoMorocco Gap Year

"Love truth even if it harms you, and hate lies even if they serve you."
Moroccan proverb

Our Projects

Your gap year around the world with Cross-Cultural Solutions takes you to 6 countries on 4 continents in 32 weeks, or 4 countries on 3 continents for our 12 week program. Truly learn about international development and service work across your immersive journey, starting in Guatemala working in an under resourced community to support the early education efforts for young children. Then, experience the wonder of the the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica as you learn about life and social justice in Latin America. For the next 8 weeks, become part of a unique community in the Volta Region of Ghana and make your impact in a community rich with history and tradition. Get deep in Greece, working to distribute essential supplies at a Syrian refugee camp, then return to your home in the waterfront city of Chalkida. The final leg of your Around the World Gap Year takes you to Morocco, where you'll experience the wonders of winding medinas, and even travel the Sahara Desert on camel.

Your Home-Bases

Guatemala Home-Base
Tecpan

Guatemala

Nestled in the Maya Highlands, the CCS Home-Base in Guatemala immerses you in a rich Maya farming community. Just a 20 minute walk up scenic rural roads, you'll find yourself in the bustling city of Tecpán, the heart of the surrounding villages, with access to cafes, shops, and restaurants. Rest and relax in comfortable rooms, each with a private bathroom, and reflect in the incredible scenery while soaking in the traditional life, colorful fabrics, and unique cultural systems through your new Maya neighbors.

Ghana Home-Base
Ho

Ghana

Sitting atop a hill in a safe, residential community, your CCS Home-Base in Ghana offers beautiful views and your very own mango tree! Common areas are furnished with plenty of chairs and couches that are decorated with bright batik fabrics. Enjoy the evening breeze on the patio with fellow volunteers or bring out a book for some quiet time. Each bed also has a mosquito net, so we've got you covered, literally.

Costa Rica Home-Base for Global Gap Year
Guanacaste

Costa Rica

Your home away from home in Guanacaste is located on a safe and quiet rural neighborhood, complete with swinging hammocks and lush Costa Rican vegetation. Living areas are communal, and you'll find plenty of space in and around CCS Home-Base to relax and reflect on your time abroad. Whether you're kicking it in the expansive gardens with fellow volunteers or lounging in the common area, this eco-friendly spot will provide the perfect respite at the end of the day. The interior of the Home-Base invites in the lush outdoors with large windows to continue to enjoy Costa Rica well into each evening.

Greece Home-Base
Chalkida

Greece

In the town of Chalkida, on the banks of a bay off the Greek sea, you'll relax and reflect in the beautiful CCS Home-Base in a hotel just a block away from the city promenade. When you're not enjoying the views of the town from your balcony, or relaxing with your fellow volunteers in the courtyard, take a stroll along the sea and enjoy Chalkida's cafes and restaurants. Each day, you'll enjoy delicious and authentic Greek meals, including Greek salads with feta cheese, spanakopita, fresh fish, and an array of kabobs.

Morocco Home-Base
Azrou

Morocco

Your Moroccan home away from home is located on a safe, beautiful property. You’ll find enough space around Home-Base to hang out, curl up with a cup of mint tea, or practice your Arabic. The Home-Base includes a common area with a wrap-around couch. Living areas are communal and you'll have more than enough space to keep your belongings. You’ll feel right at home with the aroma of fresh home cooked Moroccan cuisine floating from the kouzina -- kitchen. Enjoy a menu full of healthy and delicious meals.

CCS Country Presidents

Guatemala

Juan Carlos Buonafina

Juan Carlos Buonafina is known for his kind personality and for his dedication to the people of his home country of Guatemala. Juan Carlos is an educator, an intercultural exchange professional, and an expert at guiding international volunteer experiences. After receiving his degree, Juan Carlos started his career with CCS, specifically leading the CCS teen program in the Maya Highlands of Tecpan. Join Juan Carlos on your Guatemala journey to gain a unique and unparalleled insight into life in the mountainside towns of Guatemala.

Around the World Gap Year in Ghana
Ghana

Makafui Amenuvor

Makafui Amenuvor is kind, patient, and wise—an innovator and a go-getter. He often teaches volunteers how to hilife dance—not because he is a dance expert, but because he fully embraces life, which you’ll see in his dancing and in everything he does. Makafui is particularly engaged in girls’ and women’s empowerment issues and has worked with the Municipal Office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to facilitate discussions and develop community outreach campaigns aimed at educating women and girls about their rights and resources in regards to domestic and sexual violence.

Costa Rica Country President Franklin
Costa Rica

Franklin Torrez

Franklin brings his passion for social development and sustainable solutions for social equity to his position as Country President with Cross-Cultural Solutions. is part of the Cross Cultural Solutions team in Costa Rica as a Country President. Franklin received a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University in Honduras and did a study program in Sustainable Agriculture at Minnesota University. Previous to his work with CCS, he worked Global Brigades- Nicaragua and he was involved as a volunteer with non-profit organizations in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Ecuador.

Global Gap Year Director - Greece
Greece

CONSTANTINA STRIKOU

Constantina Strikou has been involved in supporting refugees since the crisis hit a peak in 2015. With a background in policy and advocacy campaigns in humanitarian efforts, Constantina jumped in as a Program Coordinator and then a Communications Coordinator with ActionAid Hellas in emergency refugee response. On the front lines on the Greek islands, Constantina experienced first-hand the emotional struggles that refugee families face in arriving in a new land, and brings her perspectives and experiences to support Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteers in providing meaningful aid in Syrian refugee camps. An experienced aid professional with a rich background of on-the-ground relief work experience, Constantina's guidance during your program provides an invaluable context to a challenging and rewarding environment.

Mohamed Country President
Morocco

Mohamed Mhmmoudi

From the moment you arrive in CCS Morocco, you’ll feel right at home with the welcoming and open smile of Mohamed to greet you. A lifelong student and educator, Mohamed comes from a small Moroccan village on the outskirts of the Sahara Desert. Inspired by an international volunteer, Mohamed joined the Peace Corps as a Language and Cross-Cultural facilitator, and later earned the position of Volunteer Safety & Security Officer. Mohamed’s passion for service grew while guiding volunteers and learning from them. He was later selected to become the founding Country President for CCS Morocco. Mohamed is particularly passionate about education and literacy, as it allows individuals to understand, and therefore defend, their own rights. Mohamed understands what it means to be an international volunteer—he volunteered with CCS in India—and he is passionate to share his culture with you.

In-Country Staff
The CCS staff members are passionate about international volunteering and committed to the success of each program. It takes knowledge and experience to place an international volunteer into a community project, which is why all of our in-country staff members are from the communities where we work. They can share cultural insights with you that only a local person would know.
Their dedication doesn’t stop there: our staff wants you to feel completely at home. They’re always on--hand to support your needs, no matter how big or small. The CCS office is even located in the Home-Base. When you meet our staff, you’ll discover that these are the people who make CCS so special.

Around the World Gap: 32 Weeks

$24,500 USD

AROUND THE WORLD GAP: 12 Weeks

$11,500 USD
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