For the last fifteen years, our Costa Rican Program has been working with community daycares to improve the lives of children and single mothers. In Costa Rica, approximately 31% of the population are single mothers. More than 12% of primary school children drop out of the education system entirely due to not having the support they need at home. Daycares are essential to breaking the cycle of poverty that often exists in single parent households, by providing a safe and education-focused space for children.
“There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 percent of the world's population, but account for 15 percent of the poorest”(United Nations Indigenous Day). Cross-Cultural Solutions works with indigenous populations, among the most underserved populations, throughout the world to alleviate their plight. In Tecpán, the first Capital of Guatemala, 90% of the population is indigenous people.
Hayden Kemp, Program Specialist for Guatemala shares her incredible journey through the lush, ‘cloud forest’ of Guatemala, El Biotopo.
From teaching English to the sweetest students in a Thai school, to exploring the jungles of Asia with elephants, CCS Thailand fostered the most incredible experience for Ohio State University’s Kim Hosbach.
Matthew Farrow did what most people his age, (or even people twice his age!) have yet to accomplish. He made a significant impact around the world at just 16 years old.
I spent the better part of my 20’s abroad, whether it was living out of a backpack for a year in Asia, eating street food (hey pad thai, I miss you!) or volunteering at various projects around the world while working with CCS (trust me, you can’t go wrong on country selection!) or even running an administrative office for two years in Panama. I loved my adventures, made friends that I still am in touch with weekly, and even fell in in love with a Panamanian, swearing I could live abroad for the rest of my life.
At CCS, our alumni carry a very special place in our hearts. Volunteers embark on their journeys as new friends, and leave as family. They often take their incredible service and travel experiences with them and integrate the lessons that they learned back into their daily lives. We believe that the power of international volunteering can build bridges of understanding through one simple act: service.
Guatemaltecos Extraodinarios, one of Cross-Cultural Solutions’ work assignments in Guatemala City, is a community school for children of families who work at the local garbage depository. Guatemaltecos Extraodinarios is located next to a bus station--smog and dirt flow from there into the school affecting students. CCS stepped in to provide volunteers at the site to build a dust deflector.
A Father Who Helped to Change The World
Many families vacation to resorts throughout the world, but how long does that pleasure truly last? When you take a trip with CCS, you and your family will have beautiful memories along with an impact that will last well-beyond your time volunteering.
I had the chance to sit down and speak with Madel Leal, an intern currently in Lima Peru. Madel is currently working on her Masters’ in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing and Development. Within her school, she works in the Office of Global Activities doing administrative work and web content. Additionally, she does student advising for one of the grants available through the school. Madel has been very active in the community here and her passion shows through her work. She has just completed the first 4 weeks of her 13 week internship.