Field report


The special thing about my stay was the great people I was able to meet. Whether international or the inhabitants of the respective country. They all made my trip so interesting, gave me insights into different cultures and changed my perspective on some things in life.

September 2022 - February 2022
Leander paints with a little girl

Leander spent several months traveling with WanderWorld in Colombia and Guatemala. He took part in the Hostel Experience in Cartagena and then experienced wonderful moments in the teaching project in Antigua, Guatemala. In this report, you can find out lots of exciting things about his time there.


The first days

The first few days were already very eventful. We flew from Frankfurt to Cartagena, Colombia, with a large group of volunteers. Thanks to the WhatsApp group set up by WanderWorld, the participants were able to meet up at the airport. This also made it much easier for me to say goodbye to my family.

After our arrival at the hostel in Colombia, the owners took a lot of time to explain everything to us. They also showed us what was coming up in terms of work over the next few weeks, so that we had a good overview of the tasks that awaited us. The fact that everyone gave us such a warm welcome made the homesickness go away by itself. I also felt very comfortable when I arrived in Guatemala, as I was already used to dealing with new situations from my previous stay in Colombia. The local staff were also very nice and attentive.

A day at the Hostel Experience & Teaching Project

For the first two months, I was responsible for planning activities in the Hostel responsible. I got up every day at 10:00 a.m., had breakfast and then did my inspection tour of all three hostels (the hostel group owns three hostels and a resort in Cartagena/ Tierra Bomba Island) and updated the boards with the labels for the activities. After that, I took a break again and informed the hostel guests about the activities from time to time. The activities usually started in the evening. I led them and made sure that everything worked. I was the contact person for the guests and staff on site. Last month, I was responsible for the breakfast service. There was a regular schedule there. The shift went from 7:00 to 12:00 and you cooked and washed up, always with the support of the permanent hostel staff.

In Guatemala, I alternated between working in a School and made home visits to the families, as the children were not yet able to go to school due to the pandemic. It was very interesting for me to see how the families lived and how warmly they welcomed me, even though they didn't know me at first. This vividly reflected the hospitality of the Guatemalans. The working hours were flexible, as the children's visits to their parents' home always took place at different times. It was very remarkable to see how the project staff have made it their heartfelt mission to give children and young people from the surrounding villages a real chance of an education.

My free time in Cartagena & Antigua

In the beginning, I always organized my free time differently, but after a while I found a routine. Cartagena is a beautiful and exciting city, but as a "normal tourist" you usually only spend 4-7 days there. Of course, I did a lot with new friends, went out and about in the city or just spent time on my own. I really enjoyed this because it allowed me to simply relax. You can also go out partying in the evening, but the more "European/American" the atmosphere was, the more expensive the club or bar was. On our days off, we went to the nearby islands and spent the day on beautiful Caribbean beaches.

In Antigua I explored the city and its many hidden corners on some days, but sometimes I just wanted to read a book or take some time for myself. There are numerous excursion destinations around Antigua, so there is never a dull moment. For example, I visited the beautiful small town of Flores, spent time at Lake Atitlan or climbed an active volcano together with other volunteers.

My experience with culture

In both Colombia and Guatemala, I came into contact with the local culture a lot. For example, I celebrated Christmas with a friend in Cartagena and, as already mentioned, I was also able to experience a lot of Guatemalan culture through my work at school. I was fascinated by a lot of things, but probably especially the openness of the Colombians and the warmth of the Guatemalans, and I hope that I was able to take something of this away with me.

My most beautiful moments

There were certainly many wonderful moments. But one moment that I always have to think back to is when I was in Peru for a week and was on the plane back to Colombia. I felt like I was flying home and could hardly wait to get back to the hostel.

My favorite place

Cartagena has won a place in my heart, both for the city itself and for the people and all my experiences there. Medellín fascinated me because it has so much to offer in terms of local activities, but also restaurants and history. Antigua is probably the most beautiful city I saw on my trip. Each place had its own flair and specialty. Combined with my memories of the place, each one was special in its own right.

Why I love Latin America

The special thing about my stay was the great people I was able to meet. Whether international or the inhabitants of the respective country themselves. They all made my trip so interesting, gave me insights into the culture and changed my perspective on some things. For me, besides the cultural experiences, the people are always the "most important thing" on a trip.

How the trip changed me

I have definitely grown as a person, become more independent and am very happy to have gained so many new interpersonal and cultural impressions. Traveling alone has also really strengthened me as a person, as I would never have dared to do this before. Once you've left your comfort zone, it's much easier to embark on new and unknown adventures.

My tips for future participants

I can only recommend this type of trip to anyone. Especially if you are interested in new impressions, can perhaps set aside European standards and are generally open to new things. My only tip is to set aside any expectations and just let the time come to you.

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Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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