The Childcare Program
What’s not to like about a program set in a gorgeous historical coastal city that enables international volunteers to work directly with underprivileged children? This essential program is based in the historic and beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Cartagena de Indias, situated on the Caribbean Sea. With a tropical climate and renown as the country’s tourism hub, volunteers will have the opportunity to experience the area's amazing history, architecture and bustling social scene and the unique opportunity to be more than a tourist; becoming immersed in the local people, culture and language. The aim of this volunteer program is to connect volunteers with foundations that offer extracurricular activities for children across a wide range of classes and activities outside of school hours. At-risk youth benefit greatly from additional attention, care and support. This amazing program offers just that – giving deserving children the ability to thrive. Join Love Volunteers in picturesque Cartagena and do your bit to help better the lives of children in need.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide lessons to children to expose them to a wide range of extra-curricular activities
- Provide essential teaching support to guide their learning
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Give children a safe and supportive environment to spend their free time outside school hours
- Expose volunteers and locals alike to different people and cultures
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an integral role in achieving the goals of this project. Participants will be working directly with children aged from 6 – 15 years. They will be helping the local foundation offer a variety of teaching, support and extra-curricular activities needed to support at-risk children in the area. Volunteer placements will be determined based on personal interests, timeframe and profile. Once an placement is confirmed an interview is arranged with the local team in Cartagena to answer any questions and discuss the specifics of the placement based on volunteer skill set and preferences.
Volunteers help children with a range of activities: from English lessons, arts and crafts, homework, music, hobbies or sports. Participants collaborate with various people associated with the project including local teaching staff, social workers, literacy coaches and other volunteers. Volunteer roles may include designing activities, creation of materials as well as administrative duties such as cleaning, maintenance work, social media promotional work and monitoring and reporting duties. This is an ideal project for international volunteers with an interest in teaching and working with children and a willingness to make a difference.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways, depending on their profile and time frame, and can expect to undertake tasks including:
- Teach or assist a teacher with classes
- Plan and organize classroom activities and games related to the curriculum
- Evaluate children’s progress
- Facilitate dance or music workshops
- Assist in sport and recreational activities with children
- Participate in art and craft activities
- Support the foundation's media and communication efforts by taking photos and loading posts
- Assist with general maintenance
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 20 years and over who wish to assist in the ongoing support and development of marginalized and at-risk children of Colombia. This highly interactive and varied project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare as there are many ways you can assist. However, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. It is preferred that volunteers have an intermediate level of Spanish in order to effectively communicate. Most importantly all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Cartagena is a stunningly beautiful port city on Colombia’s wonderful Caribbean coast. Closest to the ocean is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with elaborate central squares, cobblestoned streets and colorful colonial buildings. With a tropical climate, the city is also a popular beach destination. Reachable by boat are Isla de Barú, with white-sand beaches and palm trees, and the Islas del Rosario, known for their coral reefs. Cartagena is such a perfect place to volunteer and give back to local communities!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 3 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Cartagena, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also provide you with your Welcome Pack, which contains a local cell phone (returnable at the end of your placement) with local number and credit, maps of the local area, supplies, contact information, and a volunteer manual to help you to be more aware and fully prepared. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAYS
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAYS
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Rafael Núñez International Airport, Cartagena, Colombia (Code: CTG)
Accommodation & Meals
Despite Cartagena being the most expensive city in Colombia, we offer the highest quality services to volunteers on this program. You will be accommodated with one of our friendly local host families, who are trustworthy and are truly interested in having volunteers be a part of their family. All home-stay families in Cartagena have been fully vetted by our local team and are located within the historic city centre in the neighbourhoods of Bocagrande, Laguito, Manga, and Cabrero. These are some of the best areas of the city, so you can be assured of safety and comfort during your stay.
Our volunteer accommodation in Colombia is second to none, especially in comparison to other volunteer programs! All Love Volunteers in Cartagena will have a private room with air conditioning and WiFi, as well as access to a washing machine and common areas to relax. All host houses have employed staff who are at the house all or a majority of the week to take care of the household, clean and cook.
Host families will provide you with 2 wonderful meals per day (usually breakfast and lunch). The food provided is not made in bulk and not bought from any restaurant, instead it is made within the host family and really takes into account your food preferences and/or dietary restrictions. You will then have the opportunity to use other meal times to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Cartagena has to offer. Simply get a few of your fellow volunteers together and head out to one of the many local restaurants, bars or cafes – which are just a short walk away - and enjoy all the local and international delicacies on offer! Easy!
For our volunteers, staying in central Cartagena means they gain something that mere travelers miss out on: a ‘live’ authentic glimpse into family life and the character of the local people. By having the opportunity to stay with a host family and by working right alongside the local population volunteers can really experience all that Colombia has to offer!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer both full time and part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!