Field report


My best moment was when I realized that I had found a new home at my place of work. When I walked down the street of my small village, met one friend after another and was called out to by all the motorcycles whizzing past. Unforgettable!

Fabian in rain jacket in front of meadow with llamas

Our participant Fabian spent some exciting months in Colombia and Peru. He participated in the program Hostel Experience worked in two different hostels in Santa Marta (Colombia) and Cusco (Peru) and had an exciting experience. Volunteer project in Colombia, which looks after children and young people. A time he will never forget. Now he tells us about his experiences.


My preparation time

In the time leading up to the trip, I spent most of my time finding out about the countries I would be traveling to and had already made a few plans.

What was particularly exciting for me was actually getting and putting together my equipment. Thanks to my travel backpack, for example, which I used for backpacking, I already had tangible proof in Germany that I was about to really get going.

The first days

I finally arrived in Cartagena after about 30 hours of traveling and was picked up by my contact José and taken directly to the hostel where I spent my first two days on Colombian soil.

There was already another participant from Germany there, with whom I watched some of the party at our hostel in the evening, but then went to bed quite soon because I was really exhausted. We then spent the next two days with José, who showed us around Cartagena, provided us with SIM cards and introduced us to Colombian food.

After our exciting introduction, we traveled on to our respective projects.

A day at the Hostel Experience & Youth Development Project

I took part in three different programs in two countries. In Colombia, I worked shifts at the hostel bar either from 12 noon to 6 pm or from 6 pm to midnight. The alternating working hours were ideal, as I had time for excursions, but was also able to experience the nights in the hostel.

My second program was a social project, also in Colombia. Here I organized lessons for the children twice a day for two hours and then played with them. However, the working hours vary greatly. It always depends on how many children are there and how long they want to stay. You are also often involved in activities such as beach clean-ups.

My third placement was at a hostel in Cusco, Peru. I worked in entertainment here, which was a really cool job. After initially varying my working hours, I worked from 8 pm to 1 am. A change of course, but practical because you have the whole day to yourself.

My free time in Peru & Colombia

I have always spent my free time in very different ways. While I was working at the hostel bar in Colombia, I usually spent my days off traveling. This worked particularly well because I got on really well with my colleagues and we often swapped shifts so that we had several days off in a row.

But I spent most of my time getting to know people, making friends, exchanging experiences and building up a social environment there too.

When I was working in Peru, I had already seen a lot of the country and so I spent a lot of time in Cusco itself, strolling through the huge markets or going hiking with friends. I also had a gym membership there. So you can definitely create a routine for yourself abroad.

My experience with culture

I got to know so many different people and characters, more than in my entire life in Germany so far. There were incredibly beautiful moments, but also sad and moving experiences. As you come into contact with many locals, you get a very deep insight into the culture. But it's best to gather these experiences for yourself.

What I appreciate about Colombians is that they are very cheerful and always find a reason to celebrate, whereas Peruvians are a little more reserved - but all the friendlier for it.

My most beautiful moments

The moment when you realize that you have found a new home at your place of work. When I was walking down the street of my little village, meeting one friend after another and being shouted at by all the motorcycles zooming past. Unforgettable!

My favorite place

The Pacific coast of Colombia was incredibly interesting as I was in a very - and I mean really very - remote place and lived in very basic conditions. The entire Caribbean coast is of course super beautiful anyway. Colombia simply has an incredible variety to offer and it's difficult to pick a favorite. However, I was very surprised by Cali. Originally only intended as a stopover, I had one of the coolest experiences of the entire trip here. A packed salsa bar in the heart of the city. I'm not really a fan of salsa, but even as a complete beginner I had a great time here, as the party-loving Colombians really know how to get the party started.

Peru is very different from Colombia, the Andes are really incredibly beautiful in their entirety. Of course I visited the classics Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain etc., but Peru has so much more to offer. There are impressive deserts and islands populated by penguins and sea lions that are simply beautiful.

Why I love Latin America

Life is very diverse, everyone has their own story to tell and the adventure begins when you step outside the door. Simply brilliant. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, I think you can only really understand it once you've experienced the lifestyle there for yourself.

How the trip changed me

The trip made me understand the prosperity in which we live in Germany, sensitized me to many topics and definitely made me more self-confident in dealing with strangers. It taught me to take things as they come and to lose some of the German stiffness. You don't have to plan everything, things just work out in South America. How will I come back from the trip? I don't know, but I'm sure something will come up when the time comes. That's how it was. My Spanish has also improved. As you have to deal a lot with tourists from Europe who mainly speak English, it's not really fluent and still quite bumpy, but enough to talk to people.

My tips for future participants

Go abroad for a longer period of time, the longer the better. Don't set your expectations too high, but go into your adventure with open arms. It's often the little things and especially the human experiences that make a trip an adventure. And perhaps most importantly: talk to people, even if you are shy or, like me at the beginning, hardly speak any Spanish. You'll always find a way to communicate and it's worth it. I only found many hidden waterfalls or super tasty restaurants because I talked to locals and other travelers who had already been to the region.

Would you like to find out more about our programs?



Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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