Global Crossroad

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8.8 / 10 after 320 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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I volunteered for two weeks in December at an orphanage in Xela, Guatemala with global crossroad. I had an incredible experience! During the planning stages I was a bit apprehensive. By "a bit apprehensive" I mean "extremely petrified!" Lol. As a female travelling alone you can see where I'm coming from. I received a ton of support from the in country coordinators..despite my constant questions! They made me feel at ease every step of the way. Once I arrived in Guatemala I was greeted by one of the in-country staff. She was great! I spent one night with the host family in Guatemala City. My host mother and family were so sweet. The next day I took a bus to xela (about 3.5 hours bus ride). I was driven to the bus stop and she waited with me until I boarded. The bus was really safe and the locals were always willing to lend a helping hand if needed. I arrived in Xela and found it to be such a beautiful city with such a rich culture. My host family in Xela were amazing. The meals were delicious and the living arrangements were comfortable. Despite not being able to speak the language i never felt that there was a language barrier. They're generosity and support made me feel right at home. I enjoyed taking part in their customs and traditions. Some nights they took me out to show me their lovely city. That was awesome! The market and Central Park was a ten minute walk from my home stay. It was very easy to get around despite my inept sense of direction! There's nice little coffee shops and lovely dessert places all around. There's also plenty of Internet cafes, wifi spots, and local travel agencies if you're up for an adventure!

My first day at the orphanage was kind of overwhelming. It breaks your heart to see but at the same time it's an incredible experience. The kids greeted me with smiles, hugs, and kisses. I spent my days playing games, teaching a little bit of math and English, and also taking care of the babies. All the kids were so fun to be around and so unbelievably cute!!! I think one thing to keep in mind when embarking on this sort of journey is that you really have to take initiative. It really is up to you how your experience will be shaped. For me, it is one I'll never forget :)

Program:
Location:
Posted: February 4, 2016
Overall:
7
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: sshah
Age:
34

Great project! Some troubles with organizing the project, and a few issues on site. Overall a fun time!

Program:
Location:
Posted: February 4, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
7
Age:
16

I spent almost three weeks in Costa Rica working in two programs. My first week was on the Osa Peninsula in Playa Blanca working with endangered Sea Turtles. I had a blast! After a longggggggg bus ride down from San Jose, we got to the project site. I spend a week learning about the turtles and the surrounding threats to their survival. Each day we had different tasks and responsibilities that enhanced the surrounding area/environments of the turtles as well as capturing turtles to record data (and set them free) in one week I saw two turtles which was awesome- wish we caught more, but that's nature! The staff was great, flexible, knowledgeable and friendly. By the end of the week it felt more like working with my friends as a unit, rather then volunteers taking orders from the research assistants. We ended up spending the weekend together as well.

I loved the diversity of each day- doing something new, learning about another aspect of the environment and the turtles and leaving time for fun and many dips in the ocean! Another highlight was the host family I stayed with. Warm, sweet, and respectful- and I ate like a king for three meals a day! I only wish every volunteer could stay with the family we did. Areas I think could have been a bit better: Although Spansih is not a requirement I HIGHLY suggest you coming down with some baseline knowledge. No one speaks Spanish that far from any major city (upside is you have no choice but to learn!) also, the heat and the bugs put a damper on my trip. Bring a ton of repellent, sunscreen, after bite cream, and citronella candles. The host family will provide a net to sleep with. I would also suggest (to the program) getting a cooler for the RAs and volunteers to keep cold drinks cold throughout the day.

My second project was in Puntarenas working in an Orphanage. It was a beautiful facility- all the children were amazing, loving and smiling and just wanting some attention and to play. (also is very sad, of course) I wish there was more structure with this program so that I could feel like I was accomplishing and helping more. Also, language barrier was much harder there- no one speaks a lick of English. I didn't like this project as much as the first, but still an enriching experience. Overall, any language base and tools (books with pictures to point at etc) I think would really help anyone considering coming to Costa Rica.

On a final note- if you are trying to figure out which Latin country to come to for your project- look no further. Come to Costa Rica!!! The people are friendly and helpful, I always felt safe and there is so much to do and see!! I did a bit of traveling here to Arenal's volcano and rain forest, ziplining, scuba diving in Osa, and went to some breathtaking beaches- and there is still SO much I wanted to do There is wildlife everywhere your eye wanders to. I love Costa Rica and can't wait to come back!

Global Crossroads set up a very personalized experience for me. Kim was great- quick and helpful (I was planning last minute) I am really grateful for the fact that I was able to do exactly what I was looking for in such a short amount of time. There was flexibility throughout my trip as well since things changed and the staff was very open and flexible with me which took any pressure off there. I would have liked to have had a lot more organization and structure in setting up my itinerary and important addresses, names, numbers, transportation, etc more in advance in order to plan better. A lot of it felt very last minute and disorganized which made me very nervous at times being in a new country not speaking the language. But it all worked out which at the end is what really matters. Thanks Global Crossing for getting me here and living the dream!

Julie

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 13, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
5
Value:
8
Age:
31

I was allocated to work as a volunteer nurse at a small medical clinic called Kibera Human Development Project Clinic. The medical clinic is situated in one of the most deprived areas of Nairobi. I started working there 22 Nov/15 and i will complete 8 weeks working there.

I was received very professionally by an honest local representative of Kenya Global Crossroads, named Barnabas. He introduced me to the Doctor in charge and the staff of the Clinic.

I was honoured to work with Dr Stanley who is a wonderful caring, honest and knowledgeable man. I admire him for his courage in undertaking this challenging work in a slum area of Nairobi.

I have learned a lot from him through observation and consultations.

I thank Global Crossroads who connected me to this volunteer opportunity.

Regards

Soraya Roberts

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 4, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Soraya
Age:
61

MOSHI - Tanzania

My girlfriend (23) and I (24) spent 4 weeks in Tanzania (Moshi) doing a volunteer program.

First of all I have to say that it has been the best life experience I have ever had. We lived in a guest house with other amazing volunteers all over the world. We lived as a family and we had two incredible local people living with us, who take care, shared moments and cooked for all of us.

I worked in a Hospital (I finished my 5th year in Medicine degree) as a volunteer. I went there every morning. I took an easy ride with a funny bus to the hospital. There I could attend the morning passes, I could go to operating room and help also in some operations. I spent some time in the emergency department. It was an incredible experience. I could share knowledge with local doctors, learn from them and try to do my best in order to help the patients.

Afternoons I often went to the orphanage where my girlfriend volunteered and play with the children and also take care of them. Then evenings and weekends we spent most of our time with the other volunteers. Going to karaoke and having a beer and chating with locals was one of our main hobbies. People there is really friendly, they speak quite a good english and like talking with foreigners and everything was really safe, none of was got in troubles or something that people can thing before going to other countries.

Weekends we used to make excursions, ride bikes, visit falls or even caffe plantations.. It is a life experience that I strongly suggest to anyone that want to spend some time abroad and want to have an amazing experience!!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 23, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
24

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