Volunteering in Colombia
Isn't your budget that big or do you just like to support local projects and learn a lot about the Colombian culture, habits, language and needs? A volunteering job may be something for you! Here are some options spread out over the whole country:
Building healthy lifestyles in the city of Medellín - Antioquia
In 2006 Eddy Veldhuisen, a Dutch tourist, realized the social reality of the city of Medellín. He decided to stay and work with the most needed. It led to what is now the Fundación Caminos. It starts with the promotion of healthy lifestyles for the youth of the city of Medellín, through sports, cultural and educational projects; it allows them also to enhance their social skills.
For this Eddy Veldhuisen founded the sports club La Naranja Mecánica, being a project with more beneficiaries. Like the journalism workshops from the Entendámonos project, which seeks skills in written, oral and audiovisual language.
The CoCo project promotes communication and cooperation from recreation, as well as music, English classes, study and work. It reaches young graduates to access of superior education, from financing of all or parts of their enrollment, and offers possibilities to obtain a job that allows them to support their needs.
The foundation also contains the project Leadership in My Community, which trains young people within their neighborhood and generates projects that contribute to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.
All together Fundación Caminos benefits more than 200 children of the neighborhood Carambolas, Bello Oriente, El Hogar Jardín de Amor located in Boston, and the Youth Power Foundation of Barrio Triste.
Volunteering at the Fundación Caminos helps to change the future of children, adolescents and young people from marginalized areas of the city of Medellín. It transforms their life, as yours. There are possibilities to help in the diverse sport, cultural and educative strategies; from the projects of football, journalism, music, recreation, English and leadership.
If you are Colombian or foreigner and you can donate your time in the different projects of the Caminos Foundation in the Carambolas neighborhood of the City of Medellín, contact them at +57 (4) 5724215 or by e-mail: [email protected] Website: www.funcaminos.com
SOCIAL FOUNDATION GOALS FOR PEACE
Bucaramanga, Andean North-East, Santander Goals for Peace
Play football, cook lunch and join arts, craft and music activities with local kids. Their main event is every Saturday 8am-1pm doing projects with 80 boys and girls (age 5 to 16 years) in a neighbourhood called Olas, in the north of Bucaramanga.
You can also teach English to smaller groups of children. This takes places every Monday till Friday in the afternoon. Of course, when you have other skills to share with the kids, any ideas are welcome!
Just that you know: go with the flow, you can choose how long and how often you like to be involved! And by the way don’t worry too much when you English isn't that good.
They always need helping hands to improve services so just contact them if you like!
Kasa Guane Hostel
Calle 11 # 26-50 (new address)
Tel. 313 2742 199
Education for Specific Purposes
Cali, Valle de Cauca, Andean South
Let’s go to Cali, learn Spanish while visiting nice spots, dance salsa, volunteering in salsa schools, and living Colombian culture first hand. You can practice your Salsa and Spanish skills in their Cultural Exchange and Social Salsa events. They run languages courses, mainly Spanish and English. They also promote cultural activities, Salsa, wellness activities, yoga, volunteering and tours.
They belong to ASOSALCALI which is a big association of Salsa School in Cali. So this association has more than 30 salsa schools, and they have 20 options to volunteer.
What to do? Volunteers can teach English; you can can help by teaching English 4 or 6 hours a week, minimum 1 month and maximum 3 months. OR help salsa schools with networking (most of the salsa schools do not have web page or Facebook or a blog for example).
Farmwork, Suesca - Cundinamarca, Andean North
How to get there and information: check here! If you like to plant, build and work on the land maybe this place is something for you! In Suesca there are 2 farms with poultry, cattle, orchards planted with corn, quinoa, amaranth, lettuce, spinach, chia, chard ... there's always something to do. And in the jungle they work at the Caño Cristales. The intent of this site is to preserve and make it self-sustaining through sustainable ecotourism: Adopt an orchard; help in the garden; plant native trees.
Lodging and meals: if you bring your tent you can stay. You can also stay in the Casa del Refugio Arco Iris and you contribute 50% of the cost for normal tourists (if it is not occupied). You bring your food and can coordinate family prepared food.
COLOMBIA PARA EL FUTURO
Social work, Cundinamarca and Costa Caribe
They develop social programs in places where help is needed. They innovative sports like cricket; bio-construction-, environment- and community development; and volunteerism in order to achieve improved quality of life in urban and rural communities in Colombia. They also support project management organizations, volunteer programs and security plans for NGOs. If you want to help and carry out projects in your community, contact them!
FOUNDATION LA VECINA
Social work, Cartagena - Bolívar
Helps underprivileged children in the Colombian city of Cartagena, providing them with education and support so that they will have a better future. Become a volunteer!
FOUNDATION PIES DESCALZOS
Social work, Atlántico - Barranquilla, Choco/Pacific - Quibdó or Altos de Cazucá
Add your voice to Shakira’s fight for universal education and a better life for Colombian children. The Barefoot Foundation is an US-based non-profit organisation whose mission is to make education universally available to every child. They support sustainable and innovative education programs while working to educate policy-makers about the vital importance of education. This mission is inspired by Shakira, a native of Barranquilla. Shakira promised herself that she would help children like those she saw living on the city’s streets. Help Colombian children who have been victimized by poverty and displacement by doing a volunteering job. People of all ages, backgrounds, income levels, and abilities can volunteer in Quibdó, Barranquilla and Altos de Cazucá, where they run their programs. The volunteer will be assigned to one of their programs based on the volunteer’s interests, experience and capabilities. Pies Descazos
Foundation Pies Descalzos
FINCA ECO LODGING CARPE DIEM
Farming, hostel work; Magdalena - Paso del Mango, Bonda
Carpe Diem hosts travellers and provides volunteer opportunities for day-to-day activities, such as organic farming, gardening, cleaning up Tayrona ruins, cooking for visitors, fruit-picking, building, carpentry and many more. Relax and discover this wonderful area near Santa Marta and/or help 4-6hrs a day and receive accommodation, healthy meals (such as fresh Belgian bread), cooking facilities and a very interesting experience. Carpe Diem advises people who want to volunteer, to contact a few weeks beforehand.
Magdalena - Taganga, Minca, Santa Marta
Fundación Misión Gaia is a non-profit organization whose main purpose is to improve people's living standards in rural communities by developing economic, social and environmental activities that support a sustainable environment.
Misión Gaia operates with support of volunteers who participate in projects under a program of solidarity tourism. This program promotes cultural exchange and teamwork, offering the opportunity to EXPLORE, LEARN and GROW, while traveling under a strategy of alternative, fair and low-impact tourism. They work in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region, a naturally and culturally megadiverse area. Misión Gaia develops: educational projects to support rural schools, projects for animal health and welfare as well sustainable development projects. They also offer non-formal education programs in permaculture and support of local environmental groups.
They offer a variety of Spanish lessons tailored to best fit your current language level, interests and needs. Minca is a perfect place for practicing Spanish and gaining an intimate knowledge of Colombian culture. Not only will you get to enjoy all that Minca has to offer, you will have the opportunity to improve your language skills while volunteering and interacting with the welcoming people living in Minca.
Social work, Bogota - Cundinamarca, Cra. 17 No. 32A - 34 (Teusaquillo)
TECHO is an organization operating in Latin America and the Caribbean that seeks to overcome poverty of thousands of people living in slums, through the joint action of its residents and young volunteers.
Huila - San Agustín
The Foundation for Alternative Development Viracocha is a non profit organization created in 2000 by a group of freethinkers in San Augustín, Huila, Colombia. They are a multidisciplinary team that arises because of a real need, discovered through living with the inhabitants of the municipality. Are open to all individuals and organizations who want to help make our work better education and welfare generation. Their mission is to promote alternative development in the social, environmental and economic efforts to create sustainable conditions that allow the improvement of quality of life and build healthy social fabric in harmony with the environment. The Foundation is projected as a grassroots organization aimed at leading pilot projects that generate a radiating alternative development in the Colombian Massif and in other regions. The Foundation serves Viracocha through the Food Program and Education, 100 vulnerable children who are given a daily lunch and the opportunity to attend school, this thanks to the Plan Sponsor who leads the organization Viras (Viracocha - Salzgitter) in Germany. In the space of Viracocha House, kids will eat, play, playful and fun workshops. Beyond that are working with Project Pilot Agroecological Education Center (ECA) in the House Viracocha, village of La Antigua, St. Augustín. Developing processes agroecology, food security and sovereignty, nursery, conservation and recovery of native seeds, and other ecological constructions that show alternatives of living for our country. Working together with farmers, volunteers and parents of sponsored children, creating databases to supply the feeding center, providing organic food grown with love.