Field report


The culture in Colombia is very diverse, unique and very different from German culture. The local people are more open and sociable. I have only had good experiences with the people. In general, I would describe the country and life there as colorful and full of life.

March 2023
Participant Paula by the sea

Paula spent a month volunteering at a school in Cartagena, Colombia. In the teaching project, she was able to teach the children, support them with various tasks and play with them. She got to know the beautiful city of Cartagena by the sea and fell in love with Latin America.


My preparation time

After graduating from high school, between school and university, I wanted to take a year off. As Latin America has always appealed to me as a continent and I had already learned a lot about it in Spanish lessons, I decided to spend part of the year there. I started planning my trip almost five months in advance. It was clear to me that the project should definitely have something to do with children. After researching the various countries and projects, I decided on the teaching project in Colombia. Of course, WanderWorld supported me during the preparation period, for example by taking care of flight tickets and insurance. We were also provided with a helpful preparation package containing all the important information.

The first days

I was picked up directly at the airport and taken to my future location. My host, a very nice and hospitable Colombian, gave me great and helpful tips for everyday life on site right at the start of my stay. From information on the usual means of transportation to very important information on places to avoid. This made me feel safe straight away. I also had the opportunity to get to know other volunteers who were also taking part in my project.

A day in the teaching project

Lessons started at around 9 a.m. and were divided into two classes. The first class had lessons until 11 am, the second class started at 1 pm and lasted until 4 pm. We used the time in between as a lunch break, during which we usually got something to eat on site. We often spent the rest of the lunch break together with the children. We played games together, such as "City, Country, River" or "UNO". Our main task was to help the children with questions or set them tasks. For example, we helped them with math problems or reading comprehension. There were also often worksheets that we worked on together. Occasionally, the teacher also asked us to teach English (basics). It was particularly nice to be greeted every day, when the children always hugged us directly. We also had a good relationship with the project staff, so we felt that we were in good hands.

My free time in Cartagena

In our free time, we mostly explored Cartagena or the surrounding area. Cartagena has a beautiful, colorful old town with many old churches, squares and buildings. There is also a city beach where you can spend the evening and enjoy the sunset. In any case, there is always something to discover, even if you just stroll through the alleyways between the various fruit stalls at the market. One weekend, for example, we went on an excursion to the Islas del Rosario, where we explored various islands and beaches by boat. We then returned at sunset. Another highlight was a mud bath in the volcano. As Cartagena has lots of clubs and rooftop bars, it was also a great place to party at the weekend.

My experience with culture

The culture in Colombia is very diverse, unique and very different from German culture. The local people are more open and sociable. I have only had good experiences with the people. In general, I would describe the country and life there as colorful and full of life. Music is played and danced to on every corner - sometimes well into the night. But it's not just the way of life that differs from ours, but also the culinary side. For example, there are many dishes with rice, fish or bananas. You can also find fresh and tasty fruit on every corner, which we unfortunately don't know from Germany.

My accommodation

I was accommodated in a guesthouse together with other volunteers. The apartment was in the perfect location, right in the trendy Getsemaní district. I had a single room with a bathroom. There was also a living room with a large balcony and a kitchen (with a washing machine) that could be used freely. From time to time, our host cooked delicious meals for the whole group or made us breakfast. The great hospitality made us feel at home right from the start. Of course, the conditions in Colombia are not the same as in Germany, so it can happen that you come across the odd gecko in your room. But after the first few days you get used to it.

Security on site

Because Cartagena is very touristy and there was always a lot going on at all times, I felt safe there. You were never really alone on the street (there were always people out and about), so you could easily go out on your own. I often went out on my own to get something to eat or drink. As our apartment was close to the center, everything important was within walking distance. For longer distances, such as to school, we didn't use public transport or the available cabs on the advice of the locals, but instead used the cab app Uber.

My tips for future participants

I would recommend a stay abroad in Latin America to anyone. Latin America is very open, colorful and diverse. With its culture and landscape, it is simply special and unique - there is always something to discover. You get to know lots of people on your trip, make new contacts and leave your comfort zone. My stay in Colombia made me want to travel to other Latin American countries and get to know their culture and people.

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