Volunteer in Colombia

3 volunteering Projects in colombia

We are delighted that you are looking into doing a volunteer program in Colombia. Doing a volunteer program in Colombia is a great way to gain new experiences and skill sets while learning about the local culture and people. In Colombia you can choose from projects including Kindergarten, Teaching English, Spanish Classes and a Culture Week from only £260, US$345, AU$455 or €285!

Fast Facts

Location: Cartagena City, Colombia
Start Dates: Start every Monday throughout the year
Arrival: Aeropuerto Internacional Rafael Núñez on Saturday or Sunday before 17:00
Duration: 1-8 weeks
Accommodation: Volunteer house
Age: Join from 17 years old
Price: From only £260, US$345, AU$455 or €285

about the program in colombia

About the Program

We see volunteering and meaningful travel as an essential part of personal and career development, playing a key role in building on life and work related skills. We aim to provide life changing volunteer & travel experiences for individuals looking to take part in placements during a volunteer abroad experience, gap year, career break or a meaning trip abroad.

For the program in Colombia you need to arrive on Saturday or Sunday, on both days you need to arrive before 17:00. You will be picked up and taken to your accommodation by the coordinator. Saturday arrivals need to book 1 extra night of accommodation which costs £30/US$35/AU$40/€35.

You can join the program from 1 to 8 weeks. We have several projects available in Colombia available and you can build your own program from the different projects.

Requirements

  • Volunteers need to be 17 years or over to participate
  • Volunteers aged 17 are required to present a parental consent letter
  • You need to have your own travel insurance in order to join the program
  • Participants need to be in good health
  • As this is a cross-cultural program it is important to be flexible and open to local customs and traditions
  • All participants must have a clean criminal background check and present it to the coordinator upon arrival

Support

Throughout your stay, you will have the support and guidance of our the team of local coordinators of our partner who will provide you with assistance and help you with any thing that you may need. The coordinators will provide support in all aspects of your projects starting from arrival to departure.

Location

Our program in Colombia is located in Cartagena City. Cartagena City is also well-known as Cartagena de Indias. Cartagena is a city bursting of life with stunning wonders.

Accommodation & Meals

About the Accommodation
Your accommodation will be in the Conjunto Residencial Santo Domingo, located just 5 minutes away from Cartagena’s main square which is very convenient. WiFi access is available in your rooms and in common areas. 
As a participant you are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restriction, specifically water, paper and electricity. While rooms will be cleaned everyday by staff, you are also expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your share to keep the accommodation neat and organized.

Food Arrangements
There are 3 meals on weekdays and 2 meals per day on weekends included. 
You will be served a Colombian meal meaning lots of corn, beans, rice, chili peppers, potatoes and other grain, all are vegetarian friendly. Bear in mind that some local dishes are spicy!

Facilities
The center is located in near the main square of Cartagena, you will have access to a variety of facilities.

Shops
There are a lot local restaurants and coffee shops in the central town that is walking distance from our center. Cafes and Restaurants, the beach, mini-marts, fitness gyms, the supermarket, and shopping mall are all nearby.

Internet Access
There is Wi-Fi in your rooms and also in all common areas at your accommodation, plus there are also a lot internet cafe in the main township where you can access wifi.
 

Money
There are a lot of shops and ATMs in the center of town. 

Sights & Surroundings
In Cartagena
– Bicycle day tours – A thrilling way to experience Cartagena and the neighborhood, is by hopping on a bicycle or participating in an organized group bike tour around the city.
– Horse and Carriage tours – Discover Cartagena’s walled city thru horse and carriage. Travel through narrow cobblestone streets as you venture to ancient sites all through the city, from the old-fashioned comfort of a horse driven carriage.
– Chivas tours – Formerly used as local transportation, the Chivas of nowadays are the new vibrant life for old wooden buses. They come packed with people, good vibes and music as they bustle down the roads of Cartagena! Jump on one if you see it coming your way and let the good times roll!
– Aerobics – Visit the famous La Plaza de La Trinidad in Getsemani for free classes that are offered to the public during the weekend.
– Centro Cultural Ciudad Movil – If you want to experience a variety of live music and dance then make sure to visit the Centro Cultural Ciudad Movil. All kinds of music ranging from Folk to Cumbia, Rock to Funk, and Champeta to Jazz are performed her live. There are even nights where the DJ is the one pumping up the volume for the crowd. This place should not be missed when you come to Cartagena!
Around Cartagena
– Islas del Rosario – If you love the sea and everything about it then you will surely enjoy Islas del Rosario. Situated approximately 100 kilometers away from Cartagena, this island off the coast of Colombia is one of the national parks that you should not missed. Take tours, visit the aquarium and open-sea oceanarium or discover the coral reefs while swimming and snorkeling.
– Baru, Aviario Baru and Playa Blanca (15 km or 1 hr away) – Playa Blanca provides one of the finest beach experiences in the area. You can visit for the day or stay overnight at one of the hostels or hotels in the area. You can get there by motor boat from the seaport or take one of the direct buses on Sunday mornings. A bit extra down the way is the Isla Baru which is situated in the bay of Cholon. There are tours and packages offered which will provide you access to kayaks, water sports, boat tours, restaurants and even a secluded beach.
– Parque Nacional Tayrona – Envision a vibrant dark night and a sky that make just about every sparkling star observable. This is more than a wish it is a near night by night event at the Parque Nacional Tayrona. You can go camp out in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Appreciate mountain views, mangroves, clear water and sandy beaches all in one place. You can participate in any number of outside events here including swimming, snorkeling and hiking. You’ll never be at a loss for things to do in this marvel of nature.
– Santuario de Fauna y flora Los colorados – This part of northern Colombia is a small but well-maintained sanctuary, with a enormous biological importance because of its widespread forest.
– Jardin Botanico of Cartagena (Turbaco) (12km,  less than 1 hr. Away) – Cartagena’s Botanical Garden is outside of the city restrictions and situated in the municipality of Turbaco. It is home to a unusual reserve of a virgin native forest and hosts more than 300 different uniquely stunning kinds of plants from the Caribbean and other tropical zones all over the world.

Cartagena City, Colombia

GapXperience

Established over 14 years ago, we have grown to become one of the world’s leading provider of gap year & volunteer programs with over 200 programs in over 30 countries around the world.

We see volunteering and meaningful travel as an essential part of personal and career development, playing a key role in building on life and work related skills. We believe that by volunteering, experiencing, living & working side-by-side with local communities in developing countries, participants can come away with a greater understanding of the global community, the cultural diversity and the challenges that developing countries face.

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projects in colombia

You can build your own program on the application form where you can choose which project or experience you want to join and you can also combine different projects and create your own program in Colombia. You can start the regular projects from 1 week.

 

Engage yourself in the Cartagena’s Colombian Culture. Appreciate the sights, sounds and food of this delightful municipality and meet its citizens. You will be introduced to the past and customs of Colombia and its people. Explore some of the tourist attractions, try native foods, unwind on stunning sandy beaches and practice some simple Spanish sentences that will aid you to feel more at ease during your time in this wonderful city. This is an amazing way to kick start your visit in Colombia!

 Our program was made for you so that you can have a look back at Cartagena’s past and at the same time give you a chance to learn this blissful place. Throughout this week-long introduction, you get to experience a mixture of the ancient and new appeal and customs of Colombia, by exploring Cartagena’s historical museums, ancient monasteries, churches, and also the forts around the old city, that are built as defense from pirates. You will get to know about the Spanish, African and Moorish inspirations on the region, as you travel around native markets and districts.

Get to experience some of the flora and fauna magnificence in the district and unwind on sun soaked sandy beaches. For a short time, you will get to see some of the significant Colombian past and riches, as you start to appreciate some of the things that motivate local artists and artisans to produce their own expressions of ingenuity through food, music, dance, graffiti, sculpture and stories. You too will be changed by these experiences by the end of this program

Aims & Objectives

Help you familiarize yourself with the local settings
Practice some useful Spanish words and expressions
Expand your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture
Provide a full introduction, preparing you for a longer stay

Schedule

Monday

After your breakfast, we will give you with a very simple list of usually used phrases in Spanish, so that you can practice while you explore the city and meet its people. We will take a brief trip around some of Cartagena’s key points of interest. You will be having the opportunity to stroll around the mysterious narrow streets of the ancient city, visiting the fortress, the concealed vaults, symbolic churches, the Santa Teresa Convent and the Santo Domingo Church. You will also have time to sightsee some old-style artisanal markets with classic Cartagena ingredients and goods.

We will go back to the accommodation for lunch. For the rest of the afternoon you are free to discover and/or unwind. During the evening, you can join the other members of the group at our accommodation where dinner will be given.

Tuesday

Throughout the day or perhaps in the evening, you will get to visit the more modern part of the city, with stops in Bocagrande, Laguito and Castillo Grande, these spots are the picture-perfect mixture between the old, the modern and the scenic beaches, you can do this tour as a group on a bike or with a mixture of public transportation and walking. We will go back to our accommodation for lunch and you will have free time for the rest of the day to explore the many offerings of Cartagena. Dinner will be given in the evening. You can take your time to relax back at the site or bask the glimmering of one of finest sunsets from one of the viewpoints in the ancient city. 

Wednesday

Be prepared for a fun filled day. We will have an early start, leaving right after breakfast to travel to Baru. On the way there, we will have a stopover for a visit at the extraordinary Parque Nacional Aviario, home to more than 1800 birds from about 140 different species. It is the biggest park of its type in Latin America and has the peculiarity of being a true bird and bird-lovers’ utopia. These flamboyant beings include exotic flamingos, spoonbills and parrots. We will take our time here and try to witness as many of the species as possible. There will a plenty of chance to relish this stunning experience and make sure to take lots of photos. After this amazing stop, we will make our way to Baru, where we will have our lunch. Then we will devote the rest of our day adoring the sun and fun at Playa Blanca beach, before going back to our accommodation where we will have dinner.

Thursday

After breakfast, we will leave for a visit at the indigenous community of San Basilio de Palenque, that was one of those communities named after the wooden wall fortresses surrounding them. They were created by fugitive slaves who were looking for refuge and liberty during the XVII era. After many communal and political changes in Colombia, most of these “palenques” have all vanished, and their inhabitants have joined into the big cities and as a result the mestizaje raze emerged. San Basilio is now the last place that transports us back to the arrival of the Africans to America, after being captured from their homeland and enslaved. The Palenque municipal and its culture with its African origins, are now considered to be a treasured cultural space that holds the social, medical and spiritual views, as well as musical and oral traditions. In 2005 it was known for its historic meaning and was deemed a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Before leaving this community,you will get to try a scrumptious native dish for lunch. After that, we will go back to Cartagena, where you can relish some free time and then join the cooking class, as we cook your own authentic Colombian dinner!

Friday

We will start our day with breakfast at our accommodation and then we will leave for El Totumo which is an active mud volcano in Santa Catalina. The mud in this volcano is enhanced with minerals that are said to be beneficial and to have health-giving or medicinal properties. We will pass through some of the lovely beaches and jungle landscapes. At the Volcano, we will climb the 15 meters to get to the top where you can dip yourself into the soothing and revitalizing mud bath and relish the exceptional swimming experience because of the high level of buoyancy. After this, we will clean up at the sweet water lagoon right next to it and after that we will enjoy lunch. Before returning to Cartagena we will just cool down and relax at the Manzanillo del Mar beach. During the evening we will have dinner and then hop on a “Chiva” bus tour, where we will be able to appreciate the city of Cartagena at night. It will be an experience like no other, full of local Vallenato music, fun and excitement!

This schedule can be changed and/or revised depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Work and get to know the Cartagena city children in some of the underprivileged parts, as you help out with day-to-day kindergarten activities. Assist with daily Kindergarten tasks and teach English to kids ages 2-5 who are enthusiastic to meet and interact with you. Be resourceful and use fun activities to deliver an entertaining and valuable learning experience.

You will have an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the community, as you work with local children in some of the areas of Cartagena City that would benefit most from your assistance. This program is focused on government run Kindergartens that provide services targeted for low-income families who cannot afford childcare. Community needs may determine where you will be assigned, but you can expect your school to have around 10-15 children. Your role will involve looking after the children, managing classes, assisting local staff with caretaking, playing games, and guiding learning activities whilst teaching them basic English along the way.

All participants must have a sense of initiative and understand that teachers at the project might not speak the same language

Aims & Objectives

Engage with the local children and teach them basic English
Provide practical experience in teaching young children
Assist and support the local kindergarten staff with daily operations

Schedule

Monday to Friday

This project will be flexible based upon the needs of the teacher at the school. Tasks may include, but are not limited to: making teaching materials, painting the classroom, organising the children, playing games, constructing lessons, singing, etc. The main thing to remember is that you are expected to help with every aspect of the daily operation of the Kindergarten!

You can expect to work for 3-4 hours a day from morning till early afternoon. A typical day would have you helping to brush the children’s teeth in the morning, then teaching English and assisting staff with any tasks required by the kindergarten throughout the rest of the day.

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Share your passion for teaching with the local students and help teachers in primary or secondary schools located in disadvantaged parts of Cartagena. This is where you can Teach and Learn, as you help a local Cartagena teacher in the classroom. This program is flexible enough that you can teach a variety of formal subjects and have the chance to innovatively insert some fun into the learning module and even lead extra-curricular activities.

Throughout this program, you will be assisting the teaching team at local primary or secondary schools in close by suburban areas, which are just 30 minutes away from your accommodation. You will be taken to your school each morning on a minibus where you will be helping the regular teachers. Your role is to help out wherever you can, as they deliver classroom teaching.

Your engagement with students in these classes will benefit the students learn in a fun way and can include a range of activities such as: games, role-play, songs, dramas and plays. Your artistic input at these schools will be valuable and may go a long way to widening the opportunity of learning for local Cartagena children.

There are a variety of exciting subjects that you can help teach, including:

Music (Piano, Violin, Guitarra popular, Flauta, singing)
English (beginners to intermediate)
Karate and other sports such as football, baseball, basketball, volleyball.
Arts (sculpture, painting, drawing)
Mathematics (Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Arithmetic)
Dancing

***All participants must have a sense of ingenuity and understand that teachers at the project might not speak the same language***

Aims & Objectives

Motivate children to learn through artistic teaching methods
Gain hands-on practice in teaching, while learning from a local Cartagena experience
Provide hands-on support to local program staff

Schedule

Monday to Friday

You will teach half-days from Monday to Friday, either in the morning or the afternoon for about 4-6 hours. A typical day will most likely look like:

Breakfast
Teaching
Lunch
Review/Take part in school activities
Free time
Dinner

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Required

Modest clothing (covering the knees and shoulders) is required while on school grounds

Learn Spanish and immerse yourself in the local culture, lifestyle and cuisine of Cartagena. Learning another language has never been so much fun!

This program takes Spanish to a whole new level! Get individualized help from our teachers and a chance bond with your fellow classmates in a positive learning environment, while building your language skills. These classes have a curriculum that will help improve your knowledge of Spanish, and enhance your time spent in Colombia overall.

Learning Spanish quickly and effectively while experiencing the real-feel of Colombian culture is exactly what this program offers. You will taste the local cuisine and be immersed in the free and energetic lifestyle of Cartagena.

During your Spanish course, you will put a full 20 hours of work into improving your ability to communicate. You will be learning the grammatical structure and practicing the conversational aspects of the language in a group made up of no more than six students, to ensure that you get plenty of time and attention from your teacher. You will have ample opportunity to interact and even bond with fellow students and locals using what you have learned in class, as you navigate your way around neighborhood restaurants, markets and shops.

First timers to our program will be required to take a placement exam on the first day to determine your language level and placement in the most appropriate class suited to your level. The length of time needed for completion of the test is entirely dependent upon your Spanish language skills. After one of our teachers has graded your test, you will be introduced to your class!

Aims & Objectives

Learn Spanish quickly and effectively to improve your communication skills
Experience an immersion into Colombian culture, meeting people and enjoying local cuisine

Schedule

Monday to Friday

You will have four hours of class a day, for a total of 20 hours per week. A typical day may include:

Breakfast

Leave for morning Spanish class (2hrs)

Lunch Break back at the accommodation

Head back for your afternoon Spanish class (2hrs)

Dinner

Independent learning or free time

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

prices of the program in colombia

Prices in Pounds
260 Pounds per week

Prices in US$
345 US$ per week

Prices in AU$
445 AU$ per week

Prices in Euro
285 Euro per week

There is an extra cost of £60/US$80/AU$100/€70 for the Spanish classes

What’s included : Volunteer Program • Airport pickup • Accommodation • Meals • Support • Pre-departure information

Not included : flight, insurance, visa, criminal background check, vaccinations, transport back to the airport at end of the program, personal expenses

Why Book with GapXperience

Lowest Prices

Our prices are some of the lowest of similar programs without reducing the quality, support and services.

Fixed Price

With us there are no extra costs such as registration, admin or credit card costs, only one fixed price.

Combine Projects

With us you can combine different projects in one program location at no extra charge.

Book Together

Book together with one or more persons and you all get a discount of £30/US$40/AU$50/€35.

Combine Countries

Combine programs in different locations/countries and get 5% discount from the second program!

Returning Customers

Many of our customers join us again every year. Returning customers get a discount of £30/US$40/AU$50/€35.

How to Book your Program

Participants are encouraged to submit their applications as far in advance as possible as places on the program are limited. Apply today and get ready for one of the most amazing experiences of your life!

Application Form
Fill out the Application Form. We will process your application and let you know if your application was successful within 24 hours.

Deposit
Pay your deposit to reserve you place in the program. You can pay the deposit in these currencies: £95, US$135, AU$185 or €125.

Remaining Fees
Pay the remaining fees, minus the deposit which you already paid, six weeks before your start date of your program.

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