Cross-Cultural Solutions: Spanish Immersion Gap Year Program

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Soak up the Latin American culture and learn the Spanish language. Our Spanish Immersion Gap Year is specifically designed for a full language experience, all while making a real impact. Each country promises to astound you with it’s ecological diversity, off-the-beaten-path destinations, rugged coastlines, bustling markets, and delicious food!

For two decades, CCS volunteers have traveled around the world to work on sustainable service projects. You will have a genuine, immersive experience with countless opportunities to connect with, and learn from, local people in the communities you'll work to support.

While in Guatemala, you'll support organizations, schools, and health clinics striving to provide critical services to the population. In Costa Rica, work directly with local organizations that provide necessary social services. And in Peru, you'll help support people affected by the Shining Path still searching for better opportunities.

Spanish Immersion Countries

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Housing 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 8.5
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
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Wonderful experience, could have more language immersion

I attended CCS's Spanish Immersion Gap program Feb-Apr 2017. We spent a month each in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. CCS has a home base for volunteers in each country, and in all three locations the staff were lovely. They were primarily Spanish-speaking which gave volunteers a great opportunity to practice their skills while getting to know them. As far as accommodations go, the only complaint I have is that there were no fans in our dorm in Peru. Everything else was fantastic- food, beds, cleanliness, and support if we needed it. CCS provided cultural activities in each location- we toured ruins in Lima, had dance and cooking classes in Costa Rica, and attended a Mayan wedding in Guatemala (among lots more things). Weekends and some afternoons were also left free for volunteers to do as they pleased. My group took advantage of this to explore the countries more, like going to Machu Picchu in Peru, San Jose in Costa Rica, and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Volunteer placements were well-managed and CCS was attentive to where volunteers wanted to help, within the realms of what their respective communities needed. There was an issue with a few of my fellow gappers in Costa Rica at the HIV home, but once it was brought to CCS's attention the problem was quickly resolved. I loved all of my placements: in Peru I worked with 5-year olds, in Costa Rica I was at a senior center/nursing home, and in Guatemala I volunteered with deaf kids. I learned something new at each placement, not only about myself, but also gained a closer look at the cultures of each country which I think couldn't be achieved without being incorporated so thoroughly.

As far as the Spanish immersion aspect of the program goes, it was easy to speak minimal Spanish over the course of the trip. It is up to each volunteer to seek out opportunities to practice, which is easy to do if you look. I wish we could have had more Spanish classes (we had 2 a week in each country), if only to develop a firm foundation to build off of. Once again, the staff in each country were great help with speaking. They were patient, kind, and happy to answer any questions we had.

It was an incredible experience that I think everyone should have the opportunity to do. I met an incredible number of wonderful people whose experiences and stories will stay with me as long as I can remember.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to have more Spanish classes every week.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Feeling at Home

One of my favorite parts of the trip was how homey I felt in the house. Guatemala was where I especially felt this. I loved the cooks I loved the security guards and I love the staff, Virginia the director would braid my hair while I sat on the couch! Everyone was so nice. When I had to say goodbye to Faby the program specialist, that was when I cried the most. I loved seeing her everyday, she was always happy and nice and I loved her so much, she was the hardest goodbye for me.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe just provide more things to do after placement.
Yes, I recommend this program

About Cross-Cultural Solutions

For 22 years, CCS has been the standard setter for the safest, most meaningful, and enriching volunteer abroad programs while striving to be a global leader in child development and women's empowerment.

Since 1995, over 35,000 people have volunteered...