Spring Semester

January 13, 2018

Peru: January 2018 (4 weeks) Tanzania: February 2018 (4 weeks) India (Dharamsala): March 2018 (4 weeks)

Fall Semester

September 8, 2018

Guatemala: September 8, 2018 (4 weeks) Ghana: October 6, 2018 (4 weeks) India: November 3, 2018 (4 weeks)
Whether you’re hoping to develop your Spanish language skills, immerse yourself in a unique Maya community, or soak up the beauty of the mountains and volcanoes, Tecpan, Guatemala is the perfect first stop for your incredible time abroad. Then, you’ll jet off the Volta Region of Ghana, where you'll meet with witch doctors and traditional bone healers, sail along Lake Volta, or even take a weekend to see Cape Coast. Your Around the World Gap Year ends in Dharamsala, India, high in the Himalaya Mountains, to experience life in the highlands of India, as well as the adjacent Tibetan refugee government of McLeod Ganj.

Volunteer Opportunities

Tecpan

Guatemala

Since the end of the 36-year civil war in 1995, the country has been recovering slowly, making some improvements in infrastructure and services. However, social progress has been limited by high illiteracy rates, low school enrollment, insufficient health services and access to clean water. In this Maya community, you will support the organizations and schools striving to provide critical services to the population.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala »
Cross-Cultural Solutions Around the World Gap Year Programs in GautemalaCross-Cultural Solutions Around the World Gap Year Programs in Tecpan

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

Cross-Cultural Solutions Around the World Gap Year Programs in HoCross-Cultural Solutions Around the World Gap Year Programs 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, fostering economic opportunities for women, or supporting workers in overcrowded health system.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Ghana »
Dharamsala

India

From Gandhi to modern activists, India has proven to be a center of social activism and resilience. You’ll discover this dedication to positive change and social progress first-hand. Your new home in the Himalaya Mountains is filled with incredible views, welcoming neighbors, and is a short walk to the Tibetan refugee government of McLeod Ganj. Work alongside inspiring leaders and progressive local organizations to support efforts to improve education and healthcare for women and children.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in India »
Cross-Cultural Solutions Global Gap Year Programs in IndiaCross-Cultural Solutions Global Gap Year Programs in Dharamsala

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Our Projects

Embark on a semester-long adventure across 3 Latin America, Asia, and Africa as you become a part of distinct communities in 3 amazing countries. Start off your Gap Year in Costa Rica working in an under resourced community to support the early education efforts for young children. Then, experience the wonder of Dharamsala, high in the Himalaya Mountains, as you experience life and social justice in this important subcontinent. Capstone your experience of a lifetime in the Volta Region of Ghana and make your impact in a community rich with history and tradition.

Your Home-Bases

Relax in your Home-Base in the Maya Highlands on your gap year
Tecpan

Guatemala

Nestled in the Maya Highlands, the CCS Home-Base in Guatemala immerses you in a rich Maya farming community. Just a 10-minute walk down scenic rural roads, you'll find yourself in the bustling city of Tecpan, 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. Every moment in your home in Guatemala will be a relaxing retreat from your impactful volunteer work. In the large dining area, share traditional Guatemalan cuisine with your fellow volunteers, including some old favorites like homemade guacamole and corn tortillas, and some new dishes that are sure to please, like hearty stews, fresh tropical fruits, and frijoles volteados, a popular local dish.

Cross-Cultural Solutions Around the World Gap Year Programs in 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.

Home-Base in India for your around the world gap
Dharamsala

India

Set on a gorgeous lawn and against the backdrop of the Himalayas, the views alone at the CCS Dharamsala Home-Base will make you pinch yourself at least once a day. Though it’s hard to believe, this is your new home away from home. Housed in a two-story building with lots of outdoor patio and deck space, your Dharamsala Home-Base has plenty of room to lounge, indoors and out. While in Dharamsala, you'll be dining on delicious and healthy cuisine including traditional flatbread, soup, fresh meat, fruit, and veggies.

CCS Country Presidents

Cross-Cultural Solutions Global Gap Year Program Director
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 advocates for sustainable volunteer work and development in his home community of Hohoe, Ghana. He is particularly engaged in girls’ and women’s empowerment issues. Makafui 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. With the Voluntary Counseling and Outreach committee, Makafui speaks to girls and women about their health care resources in the community.

India

Bela Singh

The first thing you will notice about Bela Singh is that she has a fiery spirit with a mysterious spark. She’s always asking volunteers about their observations and teaching about cultural nuances. Bela is a community leader with extensive knowledge and experience in women’s issues, education, and support for those with intellectual/cognitive disabilities. She founded the Sahan School for the Mentally Challenged; she started the Vatsalya Counseling Center in Jaipur for first-time learners; and she’s provided counseling to a wide variety of individuals as a School Counselor, a Clinical Psychologist, and a Psychotherapist. She also has a wide variety of experiences as a volunteer, lecturer, nutritional consultant, and proponent of women’s literacy. Bela is full of surprises: she loves all kinds of music, from classical Indian to Arabian music, to Jazz, and she’s an award-winning sharpshooter!

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.
When can I go?

Dates & Fees

Spring Semester

January 13, 2018
Peru: January 2018 (4 weeks) Tanzania: February 2018 (4 weeks) India (Dharamsala): March 2018 (4 weeks)

Fall Semester

September 8, 2018
Guatemala: September 8, 2018 (4 weeks) Ghana: October 6, 2018 (4 weeks) India: November 3, 2018 (4 weeks)

Around the World Semester Gap Program

$11,500 USD
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