-- 2013 Trip --
My project exceeded my every expectation - this was without a doubt the single greatest experience of my twenty-somethings!
The Home-Base and staff me feel so at home from the moment I got there. They are such an incredible group of people - and it was remarkable getting to know them. Plus, the food was to die for!
My volunteer placement was working at a home for children - very similar to what we might associate as an orphanage. It was run by nuns who did a remarkable job keeping things together but it really have the time to really dive into playtime and really work one-on-one with the kids. That were my group stepped in. I was only there for a week (wish I could have stayed longer) but even within that time we painted, made a mosaic, played games, made necklaces, and made a connection. Plus we in the mid-afternoons sowed pillows to leave once we were gone.
I went to Guatemala during the time of Day of the Dead; they do this huge festival were everyone comes into the cemetery and repaints and fly kites. The concept is that the kites build a colorful border to keep the evil spirits out. The staff took us the night before to a man within the community to see how he makes his kites which opened my eyes to how much this celebration is all connected to their history and cultural identification. I would have never seen this side of the celebration if it wasn't for CCS.
I have traveled with them before to Costa Rica and I plan to with them again soon. Where are you going to go?
-- 2012 Trip --
There are no words that describe the effect my CCS program had on me. I went during college; taking a semester and needed a program that gave me the flexibility to experience the culture on my own but who also helped me to foster a relationship with the community.
I went to Costa Rica, and worked in a day care center where I was able to help with the day to day activities as well as paint a mural with the children. The day to day work wasn't a job that seemed as if you were making an impact, but the fact is that by having me a volunteer that allowed the one staff member time to concentrate on improvements. With more assistance, such as myself she was able to cook healthier food and clean more, since she wouldn't be chasing them all over the place. (and I won't lie that running helped me keep off all the AMAZING food I was eating).
My experience totally changed my life, from my experience I fell in love with volunteering! I graduated college and then joined AmeriCorps! Thanks CCS for such an incredible experience.