Alternative Spring Break Programs

  • Share your love and passion and make a difference
  • High affordable alternative spring break program trusted by thousands since 2003
  • 20 countries and 200 volunteer projects to choose from
  • Immerse in local culture, travel, explore, e adventure of a lifetime!

Are you a team leader or college professor? Are your students looking for a spring break with meaning? Do they want to spend their vacation doing something worthwhile? Look no further than a Global Crossroad alternative spring break trip! Our programs are the perfect way to experience a new culture, explore an exciting country, and help disadvantaged communities all in one week.

Global Crossroad is one of the most reputable volunteer organizations on the market today. We’ve been offering safe, affordable volunteer adventures since 2003 and we’re excited to now be offering college students the alternative spring break of their dreams. Our alternative spring break programs give students the opportunity to travel within an exciting Latin American country, while working on meaningful projects designed to help communities in need.

Whether it’s Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, or Guatemala, we have the experience they’ve been looking for. In our alternative spring break program,, students will be able to choose the project they feel most passionate about; in the country they’ve always dreamed of visiting. They’ll have the option to live with a host family, in order to really immerse themselves in the culture. If your students are ready to make a difference, you can join us today!

Why choose an alternative spring break program?

The great thing about volunteering during spring break is that it’s a unique experience that students will never forget. They’ll have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, work on interesting and worthwhile projects, and explore an exciting country. We’ve put together some of the key benefits below.

An unforgettable experience: Going on an adventure like this is a once in a lifetime thing. Students can expose themselves to a new culture, language, people, and country and return home having broadened their horizons. This is certainly an experience to learn and grow from – many students find that they change for the better while they’re on their alternative spring break trip.

Connect with new friends: It takes a certain kind of person to dedicate their spring break to helping people. While your students are away they’ll meet plenty of passionate people just like them. They’ll form new bonds and lifelong friendships and network with the change-makers of their generation. They might even return from their alternative spring break with several friends they’ll keep forever.

Personal development: All of our student volunteers finish their alternative spring break trips as changed people. Helping disadvantaged communities and prioritizing the care of others is a personal development opportunity and one of the key benefits of volunteering during spring break. Students will also walk away from the experience with memories to last a lifetime.

Cultural immersion and awareness: Working with locals, staying with a host family, learning a new language, and experiencing cultural traditions, such as food and social events is a wonderful opportunity for students on their alternative spring break program. Volunteers will get to spend a week living a completely different life to what they’re used to back home, which is probably the biggest reason so many students decide to undertake the experience with Global Crossroad.

Why choose Global Crossroad for an alternative spring break?

Global Crossroad simply can’t be beaten when it comes to alternative spring break programs. We’ve been in this business since 2003 and consistently deliver the experiences our volunteers have always dreamed of. We’ve got the experience, the knowledge, and amazing prices to match. Our programs are also guaranteed to be 100% safe, so volunteers and their families can feel confident on their adventure. Find out why we’re number one below.

We have tons of experience

Literally thousands of volunteers have completed programs with us across 18 different countries all over the world. In simple terms, we’re experts at what we do. We’ve been providing amazing volunteer experiences since 2003 and we’re good at it! Our programs are not only safe and high quality, they’re very affordable too.

The Global Crossroad team aren’t strangers to our own programs – we’ve tried and loved them, just as your students will too. We’ve stayed with our recommended host families, worked on inspiring projects, and explored countries spanning across three massive continents. We do this to ensure our service is perfect and that our volunteers will get the absolute best experience. We always have a team on the ground to help our volunteers if needed and we’ll do everything we can to make sure they have the time of their lives. With all of our experience, creating a flawless alternative spring break experience is second nature to us now.

Global Crossroad programs are simply the best

We have some of the most reputable and highly regarded volunteer programs available. We know how difficult it can be to make a decision when there’s so many options saturating the market, but one thing you can be sure of is our outstanding reputation and glowing reviews. Global Crossroad clearly shines above all the rest when it comes to quality volunteer experiences. Our highly trained staff will help you every step of the way – from application to the completion of the program. Whether it’s admin enquiries or help on the ground in your host country, we’ll always be there to ensure volunteers are getting the experience they’ve always dreamed of.

We always keep our programs affordable

One thing volunteers can be sure of with a Global Crossroad program is the affordable price tag without sacrificing on quality. We want to do everything we can to help volunteers help disadvantaged communities all over the world - keeping our programs accessible is a big part of that. With Global Crossroad you’ll get a program packed with value at a fraction of the cost of some of the other options out there.

You would think a one-week alternative spring break trip wouldn’t be too expensive for most students. In fact, there are plenty of companies out there charging thousands for the privilege and putting an amazing experience out of reach for many. With Global Crossroad your students won’t have to stress about budget – our programs start at the outrageously low price of $99 (with a $299 registration fee). We’re always transparent about our fees, so you won’t be surprised with additional costs along the way. Volunteer fees will cover accommodation, meals, project donations, and some transport.

Global Crossroad is a proudly American company

We are an American company, based in the USA. We follow federal law and local laws within the state of Texas (where we’re registered). Volunteers can trust that we’re a law-abiding, ethically-run business that will provide a high level of support before, during, and after our programs.

We’re a worldwide family

Despite operating a global company, Global Crossroad is really just like one big family spread out all over the world. Volunteers become part of that family while they’re working with us and they’ll get to participate in the projects that are most important to the team. Our number one aim is to help our volunteers help other people in need.

Customize the alternative spring break experience

We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to our programs. We know that everyone has different skills, passions and life goals, and we’re happy to help students customize their trip to fit them best. The Global Crossroad team is full of experts who will be able to suggest the projects and locations that each volunteer will absolutely love. Whatever the decision, we’re here to support your students and help them tailor their program to meet their needs.

The most reputable volunteer programs available

Global Crossroad programs are nothing less than the highest standard within the industry. Our goal is to provide experiences that prioritize community, sustainability, and responsibility – we won’t settle for any less. Volunteers are guaranteed the highest quality, because our team is focused on and dedicated to being the best. When your students sign up they will be briefed on our standards and will understand how seriously we take our role within the global community. Our Head of Sustainability is 100% focused on delivering programs with long-term benefits and a positive impact on the communities we work with. Volunteers can feel confident knowing that we demand the best of ourselves and this reflects back to the programs we deliver.

How do Global Crossroad alternative spring break programs work?

We offer alternative spring break trips across seven Latin American countries. While each location is different, the backbone of our programs remains the same. Itineraries will always vary slightly, but volunteers can expect the same core program at heart. Keep reading for a better idea of how our alternative spring breaks work.

1.Introduction
Once volunteers arrive for an alternative spring break, they will be given full details about their orientation. This is where volunteers will receive crucial information about language, culture, customs, politics, religion, and society in their host country. They will also receive further information about their project and the work they’ll be completing during their stay. Because alternative spring breaks take place over the course of just one week, orientations will typically not require more than 1-2 hours.

2.Start volunteering
Volunteering is the core part of alternative spring break. Every volunteer gets to choose the type of project they’d love to work on. Luckily, Global Crossroad has a massive range of options when it comes to the industries on offer. Volunteers can choose a project in health care, conservation, child care, education, construction, and more. As a volunteer you will work 3-5 hours in a project sharing your love and passion to make this world a better place.

3.Adventure and travel
Your students are free to travel either before or after their alternative spring break trip. This is a great opportunity for language practice and exploring a new culture and landscape. Most volunteers take a bit of time to check off the places they’ve been dying to visit. This can be a great introduction to a country or a nice wind down after a week of hard work.

Alternative Spring Break Programs

Global Crossroad alternative spring break trips take place all over Latin America, in seven countries to be precise! The projects make up a mix of exciting fields where students can learn and advance their own skills. Check out all of the options below.

Costa Rica

There’s nothing quite like Costa Rica for an alternative spring break. This is the perfect destination for anyone who loves swimming, surfing, hiking, exotic wildlife, and a laid back lifestyle. Volunteers will get to experience all of this while immersing themselves in a new culture and practicing their Spanish speaking skills. Alternative spring break opportunities in Costa Rica involve helping disadvantaged communities, as well as the precious environment. If your students are looking for a destination that is safe yet exciting, Costa Rica is ideal.

PUNTARENAS

Work in an orphanage    

Do your students love working with children? Volunteering in an orphanage for their alternative spring break in Costa Rica will be the experience of a lifetime! They will help care for and play with children who no longer have families to look after them.

Volunteer in a Medical Clinic

This is the perfect option for students interested in the medical and health care industry. Volunteers will support medical professionals as they administer care to disadvantages communities. Students should try medical volunteering in Costa Rica if they’re passionate about directly helping people.

Teach English

Teaching English is a popular option for students taking an alternative spring break in Costa Rica. Volunteer English teachers will help students improve in conversational and written English.

Marine Project Volunteer

Costa Rica is a country dedicated to maintaining its beautiful natural attractions. Students looking to get up close with unique wildlife on their alternative spring break in Costa Rica will absolutely love this. Volunteers could work with baby turtles or help clean up stunning

SAN JOSE

Volunteering with children/a>

Working with Costa Rica’s abandoned children is a highly rewarding volunteer opportunity for students. If volunteers love telling stories, playing games, and providing care, they’ll do well on this project.

Become a volunteer English teacher

There can never be too many English teachers in Latin America! This is a great option for alternative spring breaks in Costa Rica. Volunteers will have an unforgettable experience sharing their language with the local community.

Volunteer on a health care project

Volunteers are needed to assist professional medical and health care workers in Costa Rica. Helping to deliver medical care to disadvantaged communities is a rewarding experience for many volunteers.

Construction work

A great project for students who don’t mind a bit of physical labor. Volunteers will help build much needed schools and orphanages for communities within San Jose. This is an ideal option for students on an alternative spring break in Costa Rica..

Conservation and environment projects

Anyone passionate about protecting the natural environment will appreciate an opportunity like this one. Help spread the word about conservation as part of a community educational programs.

Peru

Peru is a country which truly offers something for everyone. Whether it’s hiking, ancient history, traditional culture, or spectacular nature your students are interested in, they’ll find it all in Peru. Don’t forget famous landmarks, such as the majestic Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. An alternative spring break in Peru is something volunteers will never forget! Check out the volunteer project options below for more information.

Help out in an orphanage

Volunteering in an orphanage is a rewarding way to spend an alternative spring break in Peru. Volunteers should love working with kids, providing education, and of course playing games!

Work on an educational project for street children

The street children of Peru need your help in the form of education and care. These kids are some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the country and the kindness and support of volunteers makes a huge difference in their lives.

Volunteer English teaching

o If your students are in college to become teachers, this is the perfect alternative spring break in Peru! Volunteers will have the opportunity to lead classes in local schools and help their students become fluent in English.

Volunteer medical assistant

Any student interested in a career in health care will truly appreciate this unique opportunity. Volunteers will support doctors, nurses, and other local medical professionals as they provide medical care to communities who desperately need it.

Guatemala

Do your students love stunning landscapes, Mayan culture, friendly locals, and adventure? If the answer is yes, an alternative spring break in Guatemala is the perfect choice! A wonderful country for learning Spanish, traveling off the grid, and volunteering on inspiring projects. All volunteers are sure to leave a piece of their heart in Guatemala when they leave. Browse our options and projects for Guatemala below.

Teach English

Local schools in Guatemala are crying out for more English teachers. This is the ideal opportunity for any student interested in the field of education. Volunteers will teach their students how to speak, read, and write English, and have a lot of fun in the process!

Volunteer in an Orphanage

Guatemala sadly has its fair share of orphaned children who simply need a little love, care, and affection. Most volunteers find this alternative spring break in Guatemala highly rewarding.

Medical Volunteering

If your students are interested in becoming doctors, nurses, or another type of medical professional, this option will provide some great experience. Volunteers will support local health care professionals as they provide medical attention to disadvantaged communities.

Work on a project for street children

This alternative spring break in Guatemala is one of the most rewarding experiences a volunteer could hope for. Help educate and care for street kids and give them the best chance for the future.

Volunteer on a women’s project

Help Guatemalan women gain financial independence by teaching them how to earn money in their local market.

Ecuador

It’s impossible to visit Ecuador without falling in love with the entire country. Most are familiar with famous attractions, such as the Galapagos Islands and the Andes Mountains, but there’s so much more to discover! Quaint colonial cities, unique food, gorgeous beaches, and a perfect climate make this country a must-see. Alternative spring breaks in Ecuador are a great way to experience everything it has to offer. Read through this section for more information about our projects.

Teach English to local students

Volunteer English teachers are always needed in Ecuador, where the tourism industry continues to grow and language skills are prized. Our volunteer teachers always love seeing their students make progress!

Work in an Orphanage

There are many children without families who are in need of someone to play with! This is one of the most heartwarming and rewarding alternative spring breaks in Ecuador.

Volunteering with Street Children

Help guide and educate street children who have been left behind by the system. Sometimes all they need is someone to talk to and play with.

Los Cedros conservation project

If your students can’t get enough of the great outdoors, this conservation project could be the perfect match. Volunteering in Los Cedros Biological Reserve is a great way to have fun and help save the environment.

Galapagos Islands volunteer work

This alternative spring break in Ecuador is a favorite among volunteers. Working on the famous Galapagos Islands is a dream come true for many. Lend a hand in trail maintenance and farming projects.

Argentina

It’s no wonder Argentina is one of our most popular destinations for alternative spring breaks. With an abundance of red wine, delicious steak, bustling cities, and tango clubs, who wouldn’t love it? Volunteers usually love the European-like culture and architecture and the fiery locals. There’s also a whole bunch of natural beauty to get out and discover.

Help at-risk children

This alternative spring break in Argentina gives volunteers the opportunity to work with disadvantaged children. They can help improve their lives by teaching, telling stories, and playing games.

Be an English teacher

Volunteers are needed to share their language in local Argentinian schools. In addition to seeing their students’ progress, volunteers also enjoy improving their own Spanish during lessons.

Volunteer on a community development project

Assist disadvantaged communities in need by working alongside NGOs on a community development project.

Medical support volunteers

Help local medical professionals by assisting them as they care for communities in need. This is an ideal alternative spring break in Argentina for anyone interested in a health care career.

Volunteer with dental professionals

This is a fantastic opportunity for any student with their sights set on a dentistry career. Volunteers will help local dentists provide oral care to communities with limited health care access.

Mexico

Mexico is the ultimate adventure destination and a fantastic choice for anyone wild at heart and passionate about helping others. Beaches, jungles, Mayan and Aztec ruins, vibrant cities, and spicy tacos await any volunteer who chooses this amazing country. Alternative spring breaks in Mexico are some of our most popular, as they’re close to home and perfect for a one-week trip.

Teach English to locals

Mexico’s local schools are always looking for volunteer English teachers. Volunteers will get to share their language with their students and watch them get better every day.

Work in an orphanage

This is a highly rewarding alternative spring break in Mexico for anyone who loves working with children. These kids need all the love and care they can get.

Child care volunteering

Take care of financially disadvantaged children while their parents work to provide for them. Our volunteers love helping Mexican families maintain their financial independence.

Volunteer with sea turtles

When it comes to alternative spring breaks in Mexico, this one is a favorite. Volunteers will have the opportunity to get up close to adorable sea turtles and help them survive.

Brazil

Brazil is full of adventures just waiting to happen. Lively, exciting, and beautiful, this huge country is very popular with volunteers. Alternative spring breaks in Brazil are perfect if your students love the sound of this vibrant place. They’ll enjoy the stunning nature, the contagious dancing, and unforgettable locals. Brazil is always in need of more volunteers, so check out the project options below for more information.

Child care volunteering

Help financially disadvantaged families keep their independence by minding children while their parents are at work. Keep kids entertained by educating and playing!

English teaching

One of the most popular alternative spring breaks in Brazil, local schools are always crying out for more English teachers. Volunteers will help their students converse, read, and writing in English. They may even improve their Portuguese at the same time!

Volunteer computer teachers

Tech skills are increasing in value in a rapidly advancing Brazil. Volunteers will teach computer skills from basic level all the way through to intermediate. New computer skills will help many Brazilians enter the workforce.

Youth Athletics Volunteers

If your students like sport, they’ll love this alternative spring break in Brazil! Volunteers will help coach kids who need the extra training.

Volunteering with handicrafts

Handicraft skills are valuable to many Brazilian women who use their talents to earn money. Volunteers will help teach local women the skills they need to become financially independent.

Dates and Prices

Dates

For the sake of simplicity, we generally encourage students to kick off their alternative spring break on a Monday. If Monday is a problem for anyone, we can absolutely rearrange the start day to suit. There’s always room for flexibility within Global Crossroad programs, students will just have to advise on their date change in advance.

Prices

One thing the team at Global Crossroad prides itself on is financial accessibility to all of our volunteer programs. There’s simply no point in making these experiences off-limits to large numbers of people – we want to help our global communities and we can’t do it without our volunteers! We’re passionate about making the world a better place, which is why our programs start at only $99 (with a $299 registration fee).

Volunteers will always know where their fees are being spent and how it helps the disadvantages communities they’ll be working with. The one-off $299 registration fee is put towards administration costs, marketing, and other office expenses. The program fee is not for profit and will cover accommodation, meals, project donations, and some transfers. It will be paid to the local project leader in the host country and go straight to caring for our communities.

Are you after the specific fees for each host country? Visit the links below to get more information about alternative spring break projects.

Alternative spring break meals and accommodation

Global Crossroad takes care of accommodation and meals as part of each volunteer’s program fees. Depending on the destination country and location, there is typically a small selection of options to choose from, such as staying with a host family, in a volunteer house, or in a hostel. We have tried and tested all of our recommended options and guarantee safety, cleanliness, and comfort. Most students taking an alternative spring break trip love staying with a host family, as it helps them immerse themselves in a new culture and form new bonds with local people in their host country. It’s also great for language practice.

In terms of food, volunteers will get three meals a day. Trust us when we say they’ll be super tasty, hearty, and more than enough to live on. In fact, most of our volunteers rave about the amazing local food they ate on their trip.

What to do during free time

Working hours on volunteer projects are typically not long at all. Most will work about four to six hours a day over the course of a week. Any time outside of these hours belongs to volunteers and they can feel free to spend it exploring the local area, practicing their new language, hanging out with their host family, or simply relaxing. Volunteers will just need to bear in mind that they’ll have to be back in town for their next shift. Getting to know a new city is part of the fun, so we definitely encourage getting out and about during alternative spring breaks.

Global Crossroad safety and support measures

At Global Crossroad, safety is our top concern and we go out of our way to make sure our volunteers avoid danger and have the best time possible. We’ve been doing this for more than a decade without any problems, so volunteers and their families can breathe easy while they’re away. The team is available to support volunteers whenever they’re needed, including on the ground in all of our destination countries.

Keep reading for more detailed information about our strict safety policies and the high standards you can expect from Global Crossroad.

Support staff and coordinators in destination countries: IThe Global Crossroad team spans across all of the countries we operate in. We always have a local team available in order to help and support volunteers should they need it. Whether it’s immediate help or a simple question or two, our staff will be ready to provide guidance immediately. Our team is full of experts with years of experience keeping volunteers safe and happy while they’re away from home. Volunteers will never have to worry about long waits on hold to a call center – the Global Crossroad family will be available on the ground and will respond straight away.

Ground staff and coordinators are also responsible for the smooth running of our alternative spring break programs. They take care of arrangements such as:

  • Airport transfers or pick up
  • Transfer to accommodation
  • Orientation in destination country
  • Welcome and introduction to volunteer project
  • Making sure volunteers are okay through visits and calls
  • Immediate support and guidance if required

Airport transfer or pick up: Volunteers will always be met by a member of the Global Crossroad team or a pre-arranged airport transfer, depending on what has been organized in advance. Volunteers will be driven straight to their home for the week and will be introduced to their host family or checked into other accommodation. Support staff will always make sure volunteers are happy, comfortable, and settled before leaving them at their accommodation.

Orientation day: Orientation for alternative spring breaks is short, yet crucial. This is where volunteers will discover everything they need to know about their host country and the project they’ll be working on. In addition to learning about the country’s politics, religion, customs, culture, and society, volunteers will receive a safety briefing and information about how to avoid danger while they’re visiting.

Accommodation: Depending on what the volunteer has arranged, accommodation will typically be with a host family, volunteer house, or hostel. Global Crossroad choose host families who meet our strict criteria, so we can guarantee comfort and safety. Most of our host families have been doing this for years!

Travel insurance: Anyone attending a Global Crossroad alternative spring break must either arrange their own travel insurance, or purchase comprehensive insurance through Global Crossroad. Volunteers should ensure cover is provided for medical expenses, theft, cancellation of trip, and other emergency services.

Travel warnings and advice: Teachers, group leaders, and student volunteers should check regularly for travel warnings through their government’s relevant website. Government travel advice websites are updated frequently and provide useful safety information about specific destinations. Check the following websites for up-to-date advice and warnings:

Staying healthy overseas: Getting sick could ruin even the best-planned alternative spring break trip, so volunteers should take all precautions to avoid illness while they’re away. Check the Center for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov) for details about local health risks in the destination country. Volunteers should also visit their doctor at least a month prior to travel in case vaccinations are required. While travelling, volunteers should drink only filtered water to avoid water-borne disease and infection. Carrying strong insect repellent is also advised, particularly in countries where mosquito-borne diseases, such as zika, chikungunya, and malaria are prevalent.

Contact information: Before volunteers travel they will be provided with all essential contact information. They should ensure they have it with them in all times, in case of emergency. Remember, the Global Crossroad team will always be available to help – we’re only a call away!

Most Frequently Asked Questions: High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

  • Who will lead the high school group?
  • Where will students stay during their high school volunteer abroad work?
  • Will there be time for traveling and excursions?
  • What is the food situation?
  • Will my group and I be safe?
  • Is there an opportunity to learn the local language?