A Week of
volunteer student group travel,
the lesson of a Lifetime

so, what is a squad?

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The dictionary tells us that a squad is “a small group of people, having a particular task.”  In fact our Squads, comprised of student groups and the adults that lead them, have decided to take on the largest task of all, making meaningful change on a global scale.

With over 22 years of experience in the field of international volunteering, Cross-Cultural Solutions and it’s student travel division Squads Abroad has excelled in providing safe and immersive group experiences. What makes Squads Abroad unique is the home-base model and the organization’s reliance on the local community and our expert in-country staff to guide the approach to service and cultural activities.

Each Squad chooses where they would like to serve, what type of squad they will be, and how many members will take part in their squad.  Squads Abroad will then match the group with an under-resourced community organization, such as a school, daycare, or an after-school program. Volunteers provide educational support while fundraising directly towards a designated small construction project they complete during their trip.

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global health squad

Resolve public health challenges while learning to identify the systems that cause them.

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global education squad

Improve educational outcomes by creating inspiring learning spaces in schools.

what our volunteers say:

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The staff was incredibly welcoming and helpful in making us feel at home. My volunteer experience was truly eye-opening and extremely rewarding. I spent a week helping in an elderly home and underprivileged primary school. We also got to try so many different activities in the evenings and on the week-end!

julian
ottawa HS

The kids were so sweet and really appreciated us teaching them and playing soccer at recess. I recommend this to anyone!

elizabeth
rye high school

The people were so welcoming and friendly and I felt very comfortable. I never felt unsafe during my time there. My volunteer placement was a ton of fun and I felt they really needed my help

chris
washington dc

The staff was incredibly welcoming and helpful in making us feel at home. My volunteer experience was truly eye-opening and extremely rewarding. I spent a week helping in an under-served primary school. We also got to try so many different activities in the evenings and on the weekend!

julian
ottawa HS

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The kids were so sweet and really appreciated us teaching them and playing at recess. I recommend this to anyone!

elizabeth
rye high school

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The people were so welcoming and friendly and I felt very comfortable. I never felt unsafe during my time there. My volunteer placement was a ton of fun and I felt they really needed my help.

chris
washington dc

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where we go

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Greece, Refugee Program

Since 2015, more than one million people, fleeing war, persecution, natural disasters, and poverty, have risked their lives through perilous sea and land crossings to seek refuge in Greece. Recent international political policies have limited immigration out of Greece resulting in more than 60,000 people currently trapped, scattered across detention centers and makeshift camps and the number is increasing daily. Living in substandard conditions and lack of adequate food, medical care, and information have heightened depression and uncertainty for camp residents. Your Squad has an opportunity to help restore dignity, share compassion by providing direct support at refugee camps in Greece.

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Maya Highlands, Guatemala

From the colorful textiles on a Maya woman walking down a cobble-stoned street, to the volcanoes that seem to rise straight out of the ground, to the freshly-made tortillas, Guatemala is a country for the senses. From the central squares of Antigua to the way the light hits Lake Atitlan at sunset, visitors can’t believe the beauty of this country and we’re sure you’ll be astounded. Guatemala has one of the largest populations of indigenous citizens in Latin America and many of our volunteers tell us that Guatemala, with its many traditions, is a place unlike any they’ve ever visited.

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Santa Cruz, Costa Rica

A worldwide leader in eco-tourism, Costa Rica is recognized for its rich biodiversity while also well known for its warm and welcoming people who live by the expression ‘Pura Vida.’  In the heart of the Nicoya Peninsula, the town of Santa Cruz is a short drive from stunning beaches, rainforests, and a warm, tropical environment. However, among the palm trees and sandy shores, the community rural towns like Santa Cruz struggle with over 25,000 residents living in extreme poverty and the highest unemployment rates Costa Rica. Your work to support health and education initiatives within elementary schools in Santa Cruz help lift access to opportunity and resources for a community struggling to meet their most basic needs.

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Lima, Peru

Peru is a melting pot of culture, with roots tracing back to the Pre-Colombian Incan culture, it claims Chinese, European, Japanese and African influences. Bustling Lima is an urbane dream, full of contrasts between the ancient and the modern. CCS works in Villa El Salvador, a nobel-peace prize nominated neighborhood for efforts in community planning, and Squads Abroad in Lima can be sure that their impact is felt, as the residents of Villa El Salvador continue to struggle to meet infrastructural challenges for the ever-growing neighborhood. Volunteer in Peru and your Squad can scratch off bucket list items, like Machu Picchu and the Amazon.

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The Volta Region, Ghana

As a volunteer in Ghana, you’ll find a unique richness everywhere you look, from the country’s cultural history to its varied expanses of wilderness and coastline. Known for its exceptionally warm national character, Ghana, meaning “Warrior King,” is a place where visitors are welcomed as friends. In the Volta Region, home to the Ewe people, you will become family. With English as an adopted “official” language, amazing connections can be made for your Squad Abroad in Ghana.

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Azrou, Morocco

The labyrinthine of a local Medina, the call to prayer echoing otherworldly in the distance, the smell of a local dish cooking in a clay tagine, the offer of mint tea at virtually any time of day, are just a few of the cultural staples of Morocco.  In traveling to this North African country, you’ll have the opportunity to write your own narrative about the people in this predominantly-Muslim society.  Our home-base is located in Azrou, a small town, located in the towering Atlas Mountains where students at the Fatima Al Fihriya elementary school face many challenges in their home and academic lives.  As a teen volunteer at this Moroccan school, you’ll establish peer-to-peer relationships with the students while leaving a lasting impact through much needed small construction projects in local schools.  On weekend journey to Fez or take an overnight camel trek in the Sahara to revel in something so unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

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Greece, Refugee Program

Since 2015 more than one million refugees, fleeing war, persecution, natural disasters, and poverty, have traveled to Greece in search of safety and a dignified life in Europe. Lacking safe and legal alternatives, they put their lives in the hands of smugglers and risk everything during perilous sea and land crossings. In 2016, a series of international political policies have limited immigration out of Greece and as a consequence, more than 60,000 people are currently trapped, scattered across detention centers, abandoned buildings, and makeshift camps. Substandard living conditions and lack of adequate food, medical care, and information have heightened anxiety, depression, and uncertainty, but your squad can help through small construction projects at the refugee camp.

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