Field report


After my 2-month trip, I wanted to visit my project and the people there again. It was nice to meet the children again. They all still knew me and welcomed me with open arms. At that moment, I realized that I had found a new home on the other side of the world.

September 2021 - December 2021
Kathrin has a little girl in her arms

Kathrin traveled to Colombia with WanderWorld Travel to support our children's aid project on the island of Tierra Bomba for four months. In this report, she talks about her unforgettable time on site, her experiences with the children, her experiences in the project and her free time.


My preparation time

I wanted to take a year off between school and university after graduating from high school. As we had talked a lot about Latin America in Spanish lessons, I was very keen on the idea of going there. Even though it might sound a bit strange at this point, I was relatively spoiled in Germany and could always have everything I wanted. For me, it was therefore time to get to know life from a different perspective in order to change my view of things.

I booked my trip a year in advance. WanderWorld made the preparation time a lot easier, as they took care of flights and insurance, for example. Personally, I prepared myself by reading up on the country and its people. The most exciting part was buying the backpack, because that was the moment when I realized that I would soon be leaving. Nevertheless, I was still a bit scared and very respectful of the trip itself. But that's quite normal when you fly to the other side of the world.

The first days

I flew to Colombia on a Friday together with 8 other WanderWorld participants. So I wasn't alone from the start. Nevertheless, I had to fight homesickness, especially on the first day. But I was also very enthusiastic about Cartagena and Colombia. On the introductory day, we were given a guided tour of Cartagena, which was rounded off with a traditional lunch. On Monday, we went to the project in Tierra Bomba with three other volunteers. There we were shown our accommodation and the project. We were also able to meet another volunteer from France there. She explained everything important to us during the first week and we were able to ask her all our questions about the project. I also felt less homesick from day to day and after a week I felt completely at ease.

A day at the Youth Development Project

In the project, we had a 1.5-hour workshop with the children every day. The workshops were, for example, English, technology or art lessons. Special attention was always paid to ensuring that the topic was sustainable. In art lessons, for example, we often worked with recycled materials. Afterwards, the children could always play with us. The children were also always around us, for example to do their homework or just to spend time with us. At the weekend, we took the children surfing. There were also lots of extra activities, such as a beach clean-up, where we tidied up and cleaned the beach together with other volunteers. In the evenings, we often watched the sunset and cooked together. I always really enjoyed doing this, as it allowed me to build up a completely different bond with the children. I was also able to improve my own cooking skills. These were almost non-existent in Germany. The children were happy to teach us and showed us traditional dishes, such as how to prepare patacones (fried plantain slices). We also had a very good relationship with the project manager and were always well supported. This made us feel well looked after.

My free time in Cartagena

I almost always spent my free time with the other volunteers. We often went to the beach, where we were sometimes accompanied by children.

We often went to Cartagena at the weekends. We went partying there or took a closer look at the city. I also had the opportunity to travel to Santa Marta once and see the Tayrona National Park. Another great excursion was to the Islas del Rosario. We were able to go snorkeling, which was definitely an unforgettable experience. We often spent our free time at our accommodation in Tierra Bomba. There we could lie in the hammock for hours and chat with the other volunteers. Writing a travel diary together or playing cards was also almost always part of our daily routine.

My experience with culture

The culture in Colombia differs from German culture in every respect. People are much more open and talkative, which is why you feel very welcome there. Everyone is also helpful and generous. I was particularly fascinated when one of the children came over to share her food with us during my second week in the project. She didn't really know us then, but she already trusted us. You quickly develop a bond with the children. In general, it is very easy to meet new people in Colombia because you always meet new people everywhere who are interested in you or want to share stories and tales about the country and culture.

My most beautiful moments

There were many wonderful moments, but my best moment was at the very end of my trip. As my return flight was from Cartagena, I wanted to visit Tierra Bomba and the people there again after my 2-month trip. It was nice to meet the children again. They all still knew me and welcomed me with open arms. At that moment, I realized that I had found a new home on the other side of the world. It was a wonderful end to the whole time and I am very glad that I made this last stopover.

My favorite place

I was able to visit many beautiful places in Colombia during my time there. The country is unique and has a lot to offer, from the sea to mountains, waterfalls and big cities. However, I was most fascinated by the city of Medellín. It used to be the most dangerous city in Colombia, but today it is the most modern city. Particularly interesting there are the "Metrocable", the cable car that is used as a streetcar for the inhabitants of the outskirts and as a tourist attraction. I felt at home in Medellín right from the start and could even imagine living there for a longer period of time in the future.

My accommodation

At Tierra Bomba, each volunteer had their own small room. It consisted of a bed, a small table and a bathroom. Of course, the accommodation was much smaller and simpler than what I was used to in Germany. Nevertheless, it was nice to live like this for a change and you felt at home right from the start, as the accommodation and the proximity to the other participants made you feel at home. Even the fact that there was only cold shower water didn't bother me because it was usually around 30 degrees. In addition to the rooms, we also had a relaxation area with hammocks, a communal kitchen and an outdoor dining area. We also lived in the middle of the island, surrounded by the locals. Thanks to the other volunteers and the children, it was never boring and there was always something going on.

My tips for future participants

I would recommend a stay abroad in Latin America to anyone. You get to meet lots of new people and leave your comfort zone. Latin America is very diverse, open and simply special and unique. My stay in Colombia has made me curious about the other countries that this continent has to offer. I can hardly wait to discover more of Latin America, and I also want to return to Tierra Bomba at some point.

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