In December 2011, I volunteered in Guatemala with my family: mom, brother, and grandma. We had volunteered as a family with Cross-Cultural Solutions twice before in Tanzania, but this was the first time that grandma was coming along for the adventure.
Volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions is an incredibly effective way to take a step back and evaluate the path you've chosen. Whether you're interested in taking a career break abroad, you're a recent grad ready to experience the life of an international volunteer, or you're just trying to figure out your next big move, the CCS experience offers you an opportunity to shake things up, and change everything.
As soon as I stepped off the plane in Guatemala, I was welcomed into a family of some of the most lovely people I had ever met. They were kind, constantly smiling, and eager to help me with my goal for the week—begin to learn Spanish abroad!
A member of the Cross-Cultural Solutions HQ staff asked me some questions when I returned from my High School Volunteer Abroad experience in Guatemala. I think my answers can help you make the right decision about the best volunteer abroad program for you, and so I wanted to share.
For an international volunteer, there are few moments more invigorating and fulfilling than those that take you off the tourist path. They offer a rare glimpse into a new country and culture, and rare insights into yourself, as well.
When you volunteer abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions, each day brings new opportunities to get off the tourist path. Here are a few special moments experienced by some of the staff here at Cross-Cultural Solutions during their volunteer abroad adventures.
When you volunteer abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions, what awaits you at the Home-Base is a family of local people who’ll immediately plug you into your new community. It's the family in a faraway place that you never knew you had; the CCS in-country team.
When I was in my 20s, I took my first trip as an international volunteer, and when I returned home, my career and priorities did a total 180. So I couldn't wait to find out how volunteering internationally would change my 9-year-old niece.
With over 30,000 alums in our global family, we've heard some incredible stories about how adventurous volunteers have embarked on the Cross-Cultural Solutions experience of a lifetime, and how for them, it changed everything.
Sending you love from CCS destinations around the globe!
I remember learning about Day of the Dead in my sixth grade Spanish class, and thinking that the idea of honoring the dead with expressions of joy and thanks was utterly fascinating and completely new.