Brazil

Cross-Cultural Solutions

In September 2006 I volunteered with CCS in Salvador, Brazil. Everything about the CCS program exceeded my expectations. I was thinking about volunteering abroad for quite some time and had contacted quite a few international volunteer organizations. Although they were all friendly and somewhat informative they left me feeling uncomfortable about make the decision to go to a country I have never been too and volunteer. I was actually re-considering volunteering in another country because of this. This was until I spoke with a very intelligent, informative, and friendly enrollment manager by the name of Brooke at Cross-Cultural Solutions. She not only answered all of my questions but furthermore me feel extremely comfortable about the CCS program and staying in a country that I have never been too, let alone volunteered in. She also never pressured me to "sign up" like other organizations did. After hanging up the phone it took me little time to make the decision the CCS was the right organization for me. As the time got closer to my trip, CCS prepared me with all the necessary information about the volunteer placement program that I choose and the country I was staying in. They informed me on everything from safety issues to local customs and were always there to answer any questions I had.
When I finally arrived at the CCS home base I found that everyone from the van drivers to the kitchen staff to the security personal to the Capoeira instructor to the Country Director Grace was kind, informative, and always there to help with any questions or issues I had. I also feel that CCS did a great job in balancing volunteer time and cultural activities. I knew that I would be volunteering which is why I signed up but I was not aware with just how much cultural activities we would be doing. From local tours of the community to having a local professor come in and speak about Brazil. It added a more profound and fulfilling experience as I left with a better understanding of Brazil's rich history and culture.
Even after I sadly arrived back home they kept in touch with me and asked what feedback I had about my experience. That shows to me that they are truly an organization that cares about what they do and are always looking for improvement. Their Alumni Director Quinn is still in contact with me and does a great job in keeping me informed about the latest CCS is doing.
Overall, CCS has a dedicated, loyal, informative, and intelligent staff. I whole-heartedly and comfortably encourage and recommend CCS to anyone who is looking for a life changing volunteer experience. My time with CCS literally changed my life and the only regret I have about the whole experience is that I was only able to go for 2 weeks. I still to this day, nearly 3 years later keep in touch with the people I volunteered with and know I will for the rest of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Brazil
Posted: Dec 29, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I was there for 8 weeks and had a blast. They had a great house for all the volunteers, great placements where I felt I really made a difference and I made tons of awesome friends. We had plenty of time to travel on weekends and even see Salvador in the afternoons. I loved my experience and would recommend it to anyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Brazil
Posted: Dec 22, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
7

Comments

how many hours would you help volunteer? I'm trying to decide if i want to go to brazil or somewhere else, is Brazil just a lot of fun or did you feel that your help was needed? not that I'm against fun, just want to make sure I'm going some where that needs me!

Real Gap

Very little support from the company in Rio. They are not there, it is another company that deal with you. No one met me at the airport, had a number in Rio to phone if that happened. No one answering(they were at the movies)Had another number in the UK!
No one available to help when I was mugged. Did not ring emergency number in UK for obvious reasons! but did ring number in Rio and no one available.
Supposed to volunteer from the first week I was at Rio(IN fAVELAS)but children on holiday. Real Gap knew this and did not make any alternative arrangements.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Brazil
Posted: Oct 4, 2008
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

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