As a CCS staff member, I had the opportunity to visit several work assignments during my one week service trip to Costa Rica. My colleague and Program Coordinator for CCS Cartago, Juvel, accompanied me on my first stop, a nursing home founded on the donations and efforts of the local community.
CCS alumna Courtney Hudson recently won CCS' 20th Anniversary Alumni Storytelling Contest with her photo of a Tanzanian boy who communicates through his smile.
While other kids dream about becoming vets or doctors, since Courtney Hudson was eight years old, she dreamt of going to Africa to help other people.
As the plane pulled away from the gate, tears started to stream down my face. It felt as though my heart was being ripped in multiple pieces and was left scattered throughout Cartago, Costa Rica. To tell you how meaningful and extraordinary my experience was I would need to write a novel. To fully understand the heartbreak, every individual must experience a CCS program for oneself.
After a sleepless night I was worried I was gonna be completely useless at my placement Step-Up Centre, a pre-primary school.
Fortunately, kids have a way of re-energizing you, and before I left I had promised to give them my best no matter how tired I would be due to jet-lag, so I sucked it up, and powered forward.
by Jessica Couture
When I signed up with Cross Cultural Solutions I was afraid. Not of the program but rather of growing up. Volunteering for four weeks in Morocco was my way of avoiding the “real world”. I was a college senior who had spent the past 3.5 years working towards a degree in a field I suddenly didn’t care about.
by Patricia Gott
Tanzania greeted me on a balmy 70-degree evening around 9 pm in November. Cross-Cultural Solutions had sent a driver, Simon, to pick me up and drive me to the Home-Base. He spoke English, and it was from him that I learned much about Tanzania and its people in the coming weeks.
I awakened with my head pressed firmly against the airplane window with a stale sandwich wrapped in plastic on my lap. I had slept the entire 5-hour red-eye flight from LA to Guatemala City. I opened my eyes to the early morning sun peeking over the mountaintops. Wait, I could not believe it, those were not mountains they were volcanoes.
While in Costa Rica visiting a friend, Priscilla Thomas, photographer and Dharamsala India alum, offered to stop by CCS Cartago to document the home base and volunteer placements.
The CCS Home Base
CCS Alumni Julie shares her volunteer adventure in Guatemala and how it led to a career with Cross-Cultural Solutions.
By Catherine Kerber, Volunteer in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Deciding where and how to volunteer can be daunting for anyone, but when I chose to volunteer overseas I knew that I wanted to do something that would benefit the community I would be serving. My friend had recently come back from Tanzania with Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) and raved about her time there and her plans to continue her relationship with her placement and the people she met in Tanzania. She inspired me to volunteer with CCS and I haven't looked back since.