The Women's Program
This powerful program works with local women and young girls, helping them to gain an education, learn life skills and gain confidence. For volunteers who wish to work in the crucial area of women's empowerment and learn about the challenges and progress made in Colombia this program delivers a great opportunity to do just that. With the aim of enabling Cartageneras (females natives of Cartegena) to live self-sufficient, healthy and happy lives; this important project is a catalyst for positive change in the community. Participants on this wonderful program will find huge satisfaction in helping young women to lead safer, happier and more economically stable lives.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential teaching and support to vulnerable girls and women
- Improve the future prospects of at-risk young women and girls
- Give impoverished women and girls a quality education, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
This wonderful program offers international volunteers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empower vulnerable young girls and support them in creating a better life. No prior experience working in this field is required, however a compassionate nature and ‘can do’ attitude as well as a reasonable level of Spanish is essential. This program promises to be an excellent learning experience and extremely rewarding, with participants working directly with the local women and girls to build their confidence, capabilities and give them hope for the future.
Volunteer placements will be determined based on personal interests, timeframe and profile. Once a 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.
Volunteer placements are varied and may include: supporting the education of young girls, aged 10 - 16 years, through tutoring and assistance with homework as well as extracurricular activities such as dancing, recreation or arts and craft; assisting in the provision of classes for pregnant women or those with young children to impart skills training as well as providing the opportunity to build relationships and a support network amongst the women; assisting with childcare and holistic well-being of the women through a variety of initiatives; helping with administrative roles such as organising events and materials, social media posts, fundraising and monitoring and reporting duties.
Volunteers will work directly alongside social workers, teaching and/or foundation staff to provide assistance as required.
Volunteers will see first-hand how their support helps to improve the girl’s confidence and independence. This is a hugely rewarding program and input from volunteers can make a true difference to the lives of these women and girls.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake many of following tasks:
- Help teachers with classes focused on skills training, self-esteem and network building
- Participate in arts and crafts projects, dancing, singing, music etc
- Help to organize community events such as speakers, presentations, marches, etc.
- Go on door-to-door family visits
- Participate in workshops for new mothers and provide childcare assistance
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 20 years and over who wish to help us provide support to some of Colombia's most marginalized and vulnerable women. While this challenging project does not require participants to have a background in the fields of social work, counselling and/or women’s studies, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role will be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Volunteers on this project will need at least an intermediate understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively with local people. All applicants must of course display 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 4 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!