YOUTH DEVELOPMENT COLOMBIA
You are socially engaged and like working with children? You would like to get a taste of the teaching profession and support children from precarious backgrounds in Colombia? In this project you can work at a school in Barranquilla or Cartagena and gain unique experience. In addition to assisting teachers and students in learning groups and educational activities, you will also be able to create activities outside the classroom that contribute to overall development, such as art, meditation, environmental education and much more. In this way, you will help ensure the right to education for children and youth from economically poor backgrounds by providing them with a positive learning environment in which they enjoy going to school. If you already know Spanish or are motivated to improve your skills, an exciting stay in Colombia awaits you!
Type of program
Educational project for children and youth
Barranquilla or Cartagena, Colombia
approx. 6 hours, Monday to Friday
Every 1st Saturday of the month
February – May and August – November
2 – 6 months
Spanish (good basic knowledge, B1-B2)
Desire to work with children
Guesthouse or Homestay
included, Mon – Fri
English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
WLAN in the accommodation and SIM card from WanderWorld
From 1230,00 €
Type of program: Educational project for children and young people
Program location: Barranquilla or Cartagena, Colombia
Working hours: about 6 hours, Monday to Friday
Program start: 1st Saturday of the month
Program period: February – May and August – November
Duration: 2 – 6 months
Minimum age: 18 years
Language: Spanish (good basic knowledge, B1-B2)
Requirements: Desire to work with children
Accommodation: Guesthouse or Homestay
Meals: included, Mon – Fri
Support: English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Internet: WLAN in the accommodation
Price: From 1230,00 Euro
The non-profit organization was founded back in 1997 by Colombian singer Shakira and is committed to improving the education and social development of children and young people in Colombia through quality education throughout Colombia. Since its inception, the Foundation has been working to provide quality and free education to children and youth in the most vulnerable regions of Colombia. To this end, the organization builds public schools with partners to reduce the deficit of school infrastructure in the country and contribute to education with contemporary spaces. The mission is to ensure that all children and young people in Colombia go to school, recognize and develop their talents so that they can later fulfill their life goals.
The education situation in Colombia is complex: 6 out of 10 children live in economic poverty, most of them in rural areas or in densely populated urban centers. Nearly 70 percent of poor households do not have access to the Internet at home. Moreover, out of 100 students, only 36 complete their studies. Many children and young people therefore come from families that cannot afford schooling or, like most, have to work to support the family. This creates a vicious circle in which young people cannot find a way out of poverty.
The foundation wants to tackle this problem and support the children on their way to education so that they have the chance to find good jobs later on. With the help of donations, the organization has already built 9 public schools in Barranquilla, Quibdó, La Guajira and Cartagena.
The schools provide a protective space for learning and help students with educational and psychological activities beyond the classroom.
Thus, the organization not only supports the construction of more schools, but has also developed an innovative curriculum from kindergarten age to graduation.
As a volunteer you can support the activities of a public school in Barranquilla or Cartagena, which was built by the foundation. Classes at the “Colegio” take place from Monday to Friday from about 07:00 to 12:00, in the afternoon there are workshops and activities. Depending on the tasks, the working hours can vary, on the weekends you have free time.
At the schools, normal teaching takes place and in order to promote the children’s education and provide them with skills and knowledge that are not part of the curriculum, the organization offers learning groups, workshops, art and sports programs at the school. This is where your help as a volunteer comes in handy. Together with the organization’s staff, you can support learning groups in English, math, art and music classes. The groups can be very different from math, Spanish, English, chemistry, physics or music. Here it depends on your skills and interests. Similar to a school class, the groups can have between 20 and 40 children, and the ages vary from 5 to 17. When volunteering, it is important that you like to take responsibility, are proactive and motivated. You can bring in your own ideas and also lead your own groups. Depending on your skills, you can also offer a learning group yourself. For example, are you interested in environmental protection? Then you can give workshops on recycling, environmental protection, etc.
In addition, you can help out with courses and workshops or give them yourself. These are for example in sports, music, art, dance, photography, debating club, computer or robotics club, soccer, social sciences and educational activities.
It is very important to the teachers and staff of the organization that you can participate according to your own interests and abilities. You can bring new ideas and creativity and make your own suggestions on how you can best help the children. It is important to give the students a positive learning atmosphere, to support them with their weaknesses and to answer their questions. It is also important to encourage their individual talents and to give them creative freedom to develop their abilities. Fun and motivation in everyday school life is important so that the children enjoy coming to school and graduating and do not go off the rails.
In addition to education, there may be other activities around the school and in the local community where helping hands are welcome. Tasks such as repairs to the school buildings, improving the school environment, workshops for the local community or recreational activities.
The city in the Caribbean hosts the most important port of the country and is therefore also called the “golden gate”. It is located about 2.5 hours’ drive from Cartagena, on the Caribbean Sea and the huge Magdalena River, and is therefore of particular importance for shipping in Colombia. Barranquilla, with about 1.3 million inhabitants, is the fourth largest city in Colombia and has developed into a cultural metropolis. In addition to the modern skyscrapers, there is also a historic center that was declared a cultural monument in 1999. Many architectural masterpieces can be seen there and the church buildings are of unique beauty.
But Barranquilla is most famous for one thing: the carnival! The famous carnival in Barranquilla is even the second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro. It’s a 4-day festival before Ash Wednesday, where the whole city celebrates exuberantly in the streets.
What excites the most in Barranquilla are the people. The charisma and friendliness of the inhabitants cannot be surpassed. The joie de vivre and energy quickly captivate you and once you get to know the people, you won’t want to leave so quickly. If you like it hot and summery, Barranquilla is the place for you. The temperature is between 25 and 32 degrees all year round.
In Barranquilla, the school is located in a somewhat unsafe part of the city, so we recommend that you always take a cab from your accommodation to the school. However, these are very cheap in Colombia.
Cartagena is known as the pearl of the Caribbean and absolutely deserves this name, because the city is one of the most beautiful in all of South America and is not for nothing a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For days and without getting bored, you can stroll through the narrow streets, admire the colorful houses with ornate wooden balconies or watch dance groups. In addition, the city has numerous restaurants, bars, stores, hostels and first-class street food to offer. Cartagena consists not only of the charming old town, but also of a modern center from which skyscrapers shoot up.
Of course, the Caribbean city also has its own city beach. However, it is much nicer to go to one of the nearby islands and enjoy the endless white beaches.
After work or on the weekend, Cartagena is the perfect starting point for relaxing on Caribbean beaches with crystal clear water and many excursion destinations nearby. It’s perfect for your adventure.
During the project you will live in Cartagena’s hippest neighborhood: Getsemaní. The neighborhood is located in the beautiful old town, where all the tourists in Cartagena stay in the numerous hostels, hotels and apartments.
The aid organization’s facility is located in the poor Lomas del Peye neighborhood.
The neighborhood is considered unsafe, so you should take a cab from your accommodation to the school every day.The project area of the organization is safe and you don’t have to worry about anything in the buildings.However, in your free time you should not stay there, but rather go to the safer area of the old town.
To participate in the project, you do not need to have experience in the social field. However, you need to have a good knowledge of Spanish (approx. B1 – B2), since the children do not speak English and you will be able to support them in Spanish. In addition, you should have at least 2 months of time.
Of course you should like to work with children and teenagers and be motivated and independent. Social skills, empathy and self-confidence are an advantage when working with people. You will work a lot with locals. Therefore you should be open to get to know a new culture and everything that belongs to it.
The national language in Colombia is Spanish. You will spend a lot of time with locals who have no knowledge of English. Good basic knowledge of Spanish (approx. B1 – B2) is therefore a prerequisite. If you don’t have any knowledge of Spanish at the moment, we recommend you to attend a language course in Cartagena, which we will gladly organize for you.
To immerse yourself in the culture of Colombia, we offer homestay accommodation in Barranquilla. You can stay with your host family in a single room and share the rest of the living space with the family. The homestay includes meals in the form of 2 meals per day from Monday to Friday.
You will reach the project daily by cab.
You will live together with other volunteers and guests in a guesthouse in Cartagena. In the accommodation there are several shared and single rooms. You will share the bathroom, the common kitchen and the living room with your roommates. The house is located in the beautiful old town of Cartagena. In the guesthouse there is the option to add a meal package. Breakfast and dinner are included from Monday to Friday in the guesthouse. The landlord of the house will be happy to cook you Colombian delicacies. Otherwise you can use the common kitchen.
From there you can reach the project in about 30 minutes drive. For the organization you should always take a cab. There are convenient and safe cab apps like Uber and InDriver for this purpose. The cost of the ride is about 7 euros per day, which must be paid by the volunteer.
Depending on availability, you will stay in a guesthouse or similar accommodation.
YOUR CONTACT PERSON IN COLOMBIA
Jan is German and has been living in Colombia for six years now. After a long journey through Latin America he stayed in Cartagena. He has traveled all over the country, but Cartagena and the entire Caribbean coast are his jewel. He can’t wait to welcome you there and show you the Colombian culture. His girlfriend is Colombian and originally from Bogotá. Jan has German roots, so he understands both cultures very well and speaks both languages fluently. Jan has been running Café de la Mañana in the old town of Cartagena for 2 years. Stop by, it’s worth it! Jan also works in tourism and is therefore our local expert to show you the city, its history and all the highlights. He will be happy to answer your questions about the country and traveling in Colombia.
Jan will take care of you during the introductory meeting in Cartagena. For questions of any concern during your stay in Latin America, an English-speaking contact person is available via WhatsApp in the same time zone.
SERVICES AND PRICES
Single room host family (with meals):
- 1st month in start package: 1230,00 €
- Extension month: 680,00 €
- As 2nd or 3rd program: 980,00 €
Single room (with meals):
- 1st month in start package: 1.400,00 €
- Extension month: 850,00 €
- As 2nd or 3rd program: 1.150,00 €
Single room (without meals):
- 1st month in start package: 1.180,00 €
- Extension month: 630,00 €
- As 2nd or 3rd program: 930,00 €