Volunteer in Colombia

Browse 33 Programs
  • About

    From the rule of powerful indigenous communities and European conquest to Colombia's independence and colorful culture, Colombia has a rich history with a mix of cultures and influences.

    Combine that with an easy to learn version of Spanish, and a variety of development initiatives taking place in Bogota, Cartagena, and beyond, and Colombia becomes a wonderful place to volunteer abroad. Whether you're interested in volunteering in Colombia as a teacher, research specialist, or skilled medical professional, start planning your trip with this guide today!

  • Project Types
    Healthcare

    Skilled medical volunteers can be of great help in Colombia. Colombia's health care system has gotten a lot of media and political attention in recent years. In 2012, Colombia will have universal health care. Don't let that fool you though - many disadvantaged citizens are still in great need of help and won't necessarily see benefits from the new health care system anytime soon. One of the country's biggest health issues are deadly diseases like malaria, HIV, and yellow fever. Malnutrition also affects many children in various ways. Whatever your interest in health may be, there are plenty of ways to educate and give greater access of health care to the population as a volunteer.

    Conservation

    Despite its prime location geographically, Colombia has big environmental issues that volunteers can lend a hand with. From the Andes to the Amazon rainforest to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, there is tons of worthwhile and fun outdoor environmental conservation work to be done. Deforestation is one of the largest environmental problems in Colombia. Although legal has been taken recently to protect Colombia's environmental resources, need your help. Other areas of conservation in Colombia include fighting pollution, wildlife preservation, ecotourism, and agricultural work.

    Education

    While there are many universities and schools available in Colombia, not all citizens have equal access. It's especially common in rural areas to find that teachers are often under qualified, resources are lacking, and secondary school isn't always offered. Attendance to primary and secondary school is mandated by law.

    Many NGOs work to send more Colombian children to school and close the education gap. Volunteers can make a difference by sharing their knowledge and teaching students a variety of subjects, including English.

    Recently, an initiative by the Colombian government to bring more native English speaking teachers to classrooms has resulted in the TEC program. Through the program, you can volunteer teach in Colombia in exchange for a small stipend (roughly $400 / month).

  • Planning Your Trip
    >Family Life

    Living with a local family is a popular option for volunteers. Similar to many other Latin American cultures, Colombia's family life is very important. Children usually live at home until marriage and even then don't move too far away. Staying with a homestay family, therefore, is a great way to fully understand Colombian life.

    NGOs/Nonprofit/Volunteer History

    Most NGOs in Colombia focus on environmental issues as well as law and policy. Unfortunately, NGOs don't have a successful history in Colombia. This doesn't mean that there will be no NGOs to work with, but that they especially rely on the help of volunteers. See WANGO for a complete list of NGOs in Colombia.

    Best Places to Volunteer

    No matter where you choose to volunteer in Colombia, you are sure to have an amazing time. Cartagena is a popular tourist destination that also has need for community development. The capital city, Bogota, is full of nightlife and culture but also has a great need for volunteers. Medellin, an important coffee and agricultural destination, is great for those who appreciate the beautiful outdoors.

  • Health & Safety

    Safety used to be a major concern for foreigners in Colombia due to terrorist activities and civil conflict. Luckily, most areas are much less dangerous than they used to be; some jungle regions are even under military guard on a regular basis. Generally, highly populated urban areas are considered safest. It's well worth your time to research the areas and neighborhoods you will be traveling to and be aware of all possible safety concerns.

    Travelers should be sure to check MD Travel Health for vaccination recommendations well before a trip. Recommended shots include typhoid, hepatitis A and B, as well as malaria and yellow fever for those going to rural or jungle areas. Water is safe in urban areas but outside of the major cities only bottled water should be consumed.

Showing 33 Programs

Filter by:
  • Volunteer Programs in Bogota with IVHQ
    IVHQ
    Reviewer Verified
    IVHQ offers a range of highly affordable volunteer programs in Bogota, Colombia. Participants have the opportunity to join a...
    13 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • A Broader View
    Reviewer Verified
    Child Care Center This is a public facility that provides daily child care services, pre-school and kindergarten classes to...
    5 reviews
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Volunteering in Colombia with IVHQ
    IVHQ
    Reviewer Verified
    IVHQ offers a range of highly affordable volunteer programs in Colombia's historical city of Cartagena. Participants have...
    1 reviews
  • Amigos de las Americas
    The AMIGOS Colombia program is unique by the fact that you can chose from two different track options and you will be...
  • International Service Learning
    The home of breathtaking scenery and exquisite coffee, Colombia provides volunteers with a chance to medically serve local...
    5 reviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Teach English in Latin America
    WorldTeach
    Reviewer Verified
    WorldTeach is currently accepting applications for our Colombia Year TEFL and Volunteer Teaching program departing in...
    17 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
  • Volunteer with children in Colombia
    Fundacion Mariposas Amarillas
    Mariposas Amarillas is a small Colombian grassroots organization committed to supporting disadvantaged children and families...
    2 reviews
  • Volunteer Fellows in Colombia
    Atlas Service Corps
    Volunteer Overseas as an Atlas Corps Fellow! Atlas Corps is seeking the best mid-career nonprofit leaders in the U.S. to...
    1 reviews
  • Volunteers in Colombia
    Emerging Voices Colombia
    Immerse yourself in Colombian culture as a volunteer with Emerging Voices! Volunteer with various projects to improve the...
    2 reviews
  • A Broader View
    Reviewer Verified
    A Broader View offers a variety of social welfare programs for volunteers to contribute in Cartagena, Colombia. These...
    1 reviews
  • group of kids in Colombia
    Let's Go Volunteer
    You would be helping hard working Colombians to help the Elderly, Single Mothers and the Homeless in a variety of programs...
    3 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
  • Gap Year Volunteer Projects in Colombia
    United Planet
    Join United Planet on a long term gap year volunteer project in Colombia! United Planet offers community development and...
  • Houses in Cartagena
    Footprints Recruiting
    Footprints Recruiting, in conjunction with Partners of the Americas and SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje) - a...
  • Wildlife in Colombia
    Fundacion ProAves
    Environmental education has been a fundamental area for ProAve's conservation actions in Colombia. Get involved and...
  • Local schoolchildren in Colombia
    Globalteer
    Are you interested in volunteering with children in Medellin, Colombia, but want to support an ethical, sustainable and...