Fall 2018 & Spring 2019

September 8, 2018

Guatemala: September 8, 2018 (4 weeks) India: October 6, 2018 (4 weeks) Ghana: November 3, 2018 (8 weeks) Greece: December 29, 2018 (10 weeks) Morocco: March 9, 2019 (6 weeks)
Whether you’re hoping to develop your Spanish language skills, immerse yourself in a Pure Vida community, or soak up the beauty of beaches and mountains, Cartago, Costa Rica is the perfect first stop for your incredible time abroad. Then, you’ll jet off to 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. Then, take off to Ho, a town in 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. Start off the new year in a service-intensive environment in a refugee camp in Greece, where you'll work providing important distribution to refugee residents in need. You'll finish your amazing year abroad in Azrou, Morocco, surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, to work in improving education, as well as reflecting upon an incredible experience in a mountain village.

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 GuatemalaCross-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 Quiche

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

Extended Global Gap Year in GreeceGlobal Gap Year with Refugees

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

Chalkida

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

Morocco

Azrou, tucked into the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco, is a Berber village that struggles with providing education opportunities to children and employment opportunities to families. Experience life in the Moroccan mountains while you make an impact on the educational system for children and women in the community.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Morocco »
Extended Global Gap Year in AzrouExtended Global Gap Year in Morocco

"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 5 countries on 4 continents. 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 Dharamsala, high in the Himalaya Mountains, as you experience life and social justice in this important subcontinent. 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 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

Experience a full year gap program in Tecpan, Guatemala
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.

India Home-Base for Global Gap Year
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.

Your Home during your gap year in Greece
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.

CCS Morocco Home-Base during your global gap year
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

Around the World Gap Year Director - Juan Carlos
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.

Global Gap Year Program Leader
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!

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.

Global Gap Year Director - Mohamed
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.
When can I go?

Dates & Fees

Fall 2018 & Spring 2019

September 8, 2018
Guatemala: September 8, 2018 (4 weeks) India: October 6, 2018 (4 weeks) Ghana: November 3, 2018 (8 weeks) Greece: December 29, 2018 (10 weeks) Morocco: March 9, 2019 (6 weeks)

Around the World Gap Year Program

$24,500 USD
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