How I raised $3,000 in 10 days to volunteer with CCS Cartago in Costa Rica

It doesn't take a certain kind of person to be able to ask for donations. Asking friends, family and acquaintances for donations can be a humbling experience. And by offering a contribution to your program fee, they become a part of the effort. It’s about more than simply making a donation but rather working towards a larger cause. Don't be nervous to ask - all they have to say is "no" if they'd rather not donate. Yet, you'll find that people really care.

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Volunteering in Tanzania - The People Who Will Change Your Life

As soon as I step onto the tarmac, beads of sweat ripple across my jet-lagged skin. Eyes itching from too many hours within pressurized cabins, I blink several times and follow the lumbering man ahead of me. With his khaki safari vest, a giant camera bag over his shoulder, and his head swiveling back and forth, it appears he hopes to spot his first zebra before he even clears customs at Kilimanjaro International Airport.

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Here at CCS, we've carefully curated each of our gap year options so that you’ll get the most out of your international experience, while making a tremendous impact. You'll discover the perfect balance: genuine cultural exchange, immersive and eye-opening activities, impactful volunteering, and free time for epic adventures and exploration. You’ve been dreaming about your gap year for as long as you can remember, and now it’s time to choose your dream experience and join hundreds of others who’ve chosen CCS for their gap year. Please note that these gap year experiences are 12 weeks each, but you can add an international internship, or combine two incredible gap year semesters to create your own gap year!

Volunteering in Costa Rica - My best memories

When I was about 11, I used to visit my grandmother at a nursing home nearby. It's a very vivid memory for me, and one that isn't entirely pleasant. When I was asked to select my top two volunteer assignments for my Cross-Cultural Solutions program in Cartago, Costa Rica, I thought about it for quite a while, and decided that this was my moment to try again, and get out of my comfort zone (just a bit). I told Danielle, my Program Specialist, that I really wanted to work with the elderly.

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My alternative break made an impact

In my final year at UC San Diego, I led a group of 14 fellow students on a volunteer program through Cross-Cultural Solutions in Cartago, Costa Rica. We were looking for an experience that would be memorable, and more than just a typical spring break. Safety and pre-departure support were also top priorities for us since we were students and even had a few first-time travelers in the group. And this is how I found Cross-Cultural Solutions.

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