Immerse yourself in the Maya Highlands in the city of Tecpán, Guatemala, where 90% of the population is Kaqchikel Maya. The traditions of an ancient culture is still alive today, with colorful fabrics, fascinating ruins, and intricate ceremonies. Surrounded by lush farms and towering volcanoes, your experience in the Maya Highlands is a unique opportunity to see the true culture of rural Guatemala.Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala »
Beach life and cowboy culture converge in the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Let the city of Santa Cruz amaze you with it's expansive ranches and rolling hills, or head over to the pristine beach communities along the Pacific coast for an afternoon in the sun. As you sip on tropical juices at the CCS Home-Base, and perhaps pick a mango or cashew from one of our fruit trees as an afternoon snack, you'll find yourself in the Pura Vida lifestyle in no time.Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica »
The city of Lima is the gateway for travel throughout the diverse landscapes of Peru, featuring deserts, rainforests, and the Andes Mountains. In Lima, on the banks of the Pacific Ocean, discover a varied and deep culture combining indigenous and Spanish populations, with the influences of migration bringing world-renowned food and art. With a unique neighborhood at every turn, you'll never run out of opportunities to explore what makes this capital shine.Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities in Peru »
As you explore 3 distinct countries and cultures on your Spanish Immersion Gap Year program, you will be working with sustainable community organizations to help them to advance their goals in child education. You may be working toward supporting community development in Lima at an education center for underprivileged youth. Then, hop over to Tecpan, Guatemala, to work with Maya children in an elementary school focused on improving their opportunities to stay in school past fourth grade, while improving hand washing and sanitation facilities. Finally, help young children meet their early childhood education goals in Costa Rica through schools and day cares.
Nestled in the Maya Highlands, the CCS Home-Base in Guatemala immerses you in a rich Maya farming community. Just a 20 minute walk up scenic rural roads, you'll find yourself in the bustling city of Tecpán, 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.
Your home away from home in Guanacaste is located on a safe and quiet rural neighborhood, complete with swinging hammocks and lush Costa Rican vegetation. Living areas are communal, and you'll find plenty of space in and around CCS Home-Base to relax and reflect on your time abroad. Whether you're kicking it in the expansive gardens with fellow volunteers or lounging in the common area, this eco-friendly spot will provide the perfect respite at the end of the day. The interior of the Home-Base invites in the lush outdoors with large windows to continue to enjoy Costa Rica well into each evening.
Your Peruvian home away from home is located in a lovely community, just a short walk from a convenient hour laundry service and delicious restaurants. With little gardens inside and outside of the CCS Home-Base with plum trees and grapevines, you’ll never feel too far from nature. The CCS Peru Home-Base has bedrooms upstairs and downstairs and wood floors throughout. The common area is a great spot to play board games with fellow volunteers, or study up on your español. Then there's the food in Peru. You'll enjoy incredible local meals made up of meats, salads and veggies, all served with a side of amazing fiery sauce that will quickly become a new favorite!
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.
Franklin brings his passion for social development and sustainable solutions for social equity to his position as Country President with Cross-Cultural Solutions. is part of the Cross Cultural Solutions team in Costa Rica as a Country President. Franklin received a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University in Honduras and did a study program in Sustainable Agriculture at Minnesota University. Previous to his work with CCS, he worked Global Brigades- Nicaragua and he was involved as a volunteer with non-profit organizations in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Ecuador.
Karol Hermoza is a passionate advocate for education for all children. With a background that ranges from cultural heritage to tourism to social responsibility, her passion for her home city of Lima shines through in the support to volunteers in creating meaningful change. Karol's unique insights into Peru will take you on a journey to explore the vibrant history, food, and culture of Peru as you experience a unique and diverse city.