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.
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.
As a CCS staff member, I had the opportunity to visit several work assignments during my one week service trip to Costa Rica. My colleague and Program Coordinator for CCS Cartago, Juvel, accompanied me on my first stop, a nursing home founded on the donations and efforts of the local community.
What would you do if you had unlimited funds? I would travel the world and live the life I often envisioned for myself, among other things. What if you did not have unlimited funds? Does that mean that you cannot do the things that you want to do? Absolutely not! It is my personal belief that if one has a passion for something, then one can do anything that one sets their mind to.
A mother-daughter story that will inspire you to call your mom right now and start packing your bags.
MaryAnn Steinberg (left), at 82, proved that there’s no age limit to giving back.
As the plane pulled away from the gate, tears started to stream down my face. It felt as though my heart was being ripped in multiple pieces and was left scattered throughout Cartago, Costa Rica. To tell you how meaningful and extraordinary my experience was I would need to write a novel. To fully understand the heartbreak, every individual must experience a CCS program for oneself.
While in Costa Rica visiting a friend, Priscilla Thomas, photographer and Dharamsala India alum, offered to stop by CCS Cartago to document the home base and volunteer placements.
The CCS Home Base
Want to know what it’s like to volunteer for a month in Costa Rica with Cross-Cultural Solutions?
The following samplings from my journal/blog clearly depict my amazing experience volunteering abroad in Cartago with CCS.
My most successful fundraiser was a girl’s only event held at a local hunt club. I sent out flyers to my parent’s friends, all my girlfriends, and every woman I ran into including the mail delivery person. I also created a Facebook event and invited every female on my Friends list. Social media really helped to spread the word about the fundraiser. I included a link to MyCCS page, in case friends could not make the event but wanted to help.
I always had a dream of volunteering, traveling and immersing myself into another culture. I had heard wonderful things about the Peace Corps but knew that a 27-month commitment was way more than I was interested in at this phase in my life. I took to the internet and stumbled upon Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS).
With a little more research, I was hooked. Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) offered a variety of timelines and locations so that I could customize my experience. I decided that 3 months would offer me the volunteer opportunity I was looking for.