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.
There are so many stories that come from Los Martincitos, a senior center in Villa Salvador in Lima, Peru. Below, our Country President, Enrique Bossio, tells one of them:
"At 26 and having never set foot in the Senior Citizen Program “Los Martincitos” in Villa El Salvador, Pedro Pablo is an unlikely participant of the program, but the staff and our CCS volunteers pay regular visits to his home as part of the center’s activities. And now more than ever.
At CCS, we often get asked about why our volunteers teach English in many countries where we work. While there isn’t one universal answer to that question, we thought we would ask Basil Lima, a former teacher and a passionate supporter of education reform in Tanzania for his take on why English education is important in his country.