Our volunteer projects address a real community need. For example, in Guatemala City, public education is often under-resourced, understaffed, and overcrowded.
* Teachers don't have much time for important one-on-one interaction with their students.
* Student attendance is sporadic, especially during certain seasons when children don't attend school so they can work.
* Children are often grouped by age range and the students' individual needs are not easily attended to.
In Guatemala City, a local school partners with CCS to figure out how international volunteers can sustainably support their mission to educate local youth.
* Identify the school's need like teaching English, leading physical education activities, and supporting special needs classrooms.
* Next, they work to determine how short0term volunteers like you can be most effective in achieving these goals.
* CCS plans projects with the school that will keep volunteers engaged and immersed.
Upon enrollment, volunteers complete a profile outlining skills, interests, and project preferences. Using this information, CCS Program Site Specialists work together with in-country staff and community leaders in order to connect volunteers to projects that match their interests and community need.
CCS in-country staff take volunteers to the project site and make all introductions to ensure that the volunteer experience starts off smoothly and on the right foot.
* The volunteer is given an orientation to the school. She meets teachers, students, and the principal, and even has a chance to start practicing the local language.
* Next, she gets a chance to hear about what previous volunteers accomplished, so that she can naturally transition into her role as a volunteer.
* The CCS staff helps to guide the volunteer through her experience to ensure that she's happy and effective.
The benefits of the volunteer experience have an incredible ripple effect: in Guatemala, our volunteer teaches English to local children. She also teaches the students about her home country and her interests, giving the students a healthy dose of cultural exchange, too!
While our volunteer is working at the school, students attend more regularly. Having a new face in the classroom makes it interesting and exciting for the kids.
* The students now have a chance to learn about a new culture and share their own. Own volunteer becomes a role model and a member of the community.
* The classroom's teacher is thrilled to have the help. An extra set of hands and eyes is always appreciated.
* The classroom teacher also gets a valuable opportunity to practice her English with a native speaker, which will help her become an even better teacher.
When our volunteer wraps up her time in Guatemala, another CCS volunteer jumps in to pick up where she left off. The community’s needs are always changing, and as they do, we work with them to figure out how our volunteers can continue to be impactful. There’s always work to be done, and new ways to do it!