YMCA Colombia

YMCA Colombia


Founded in 1844, the YMCA operates in 120 countries around the world and has been in Colombia for 57 years empowering young people and impacting communities. We are present in 14 departments of Colombia, with almost 400 employees, over 900 Colombian volunteers, and 100 outreach and bilingual programs.



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Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING Experience!

I went with the COLead3rs program in 2015 after graduating college as a way to gain experience and travel. I was planning to stay 1 year, and I ended up staying 3 YEARS! Its that good! This is a program that allows you to develop your own skills, learn indefinitely, take responsibility and initiative, travel, and so much more. They cater to the participant's skills and always give support where needed. You have many opportunities to travel, both with work and independently. Colombia is an immensely beautiful country and the people are warm and welcoming.

I cannot explain how much I recommend this program. I made lifelong friends and Colombia is another home to me. If you have any doubts, just reach out. This is an experience you will never regret!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take initiative and share your ideas. The YMCA staff is very open and is willing to work with you in many ways. This is a place where you can grow, try new things, and step out of your comfort zone.
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Yes, I recommend this program

COLead3rs experience

Nowadays most volunteers are afraid to go to Colombia and they are losing opportunities! You will be surprised how beautiful this country is. It is full of waterfalls, mountains, national parks, friendly people and dances. At first I was hesitating about traveling here, but after being here for 6 months, I decided to stay for one more year. And most of my friends did the same, no wonder why. I live near Bogota, so the temperature here is +20• C the whole year. No extra clothes is needed, just jeans, sneakers, a raincoat and a t-shirt are fine.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful life in Colombia

This is a great opportunity that can be as involved as you want it to be with opportunities to work on other YMCA projects across the country. You work m-f during school hours and lead English activities with kids. People from many walks of life participate in the program and can create lasting friendships and deep connections in Colombia. I met a Colombian roommate and we loved happily together in a beautiful apartment, went out to explore many cities near and far. There is SO much to get to know in Colombia, and Colombians are happy to tell you about it! Vibrant culture full of dancing, the culture is refreshingly not rat-racey. My job was light and fun, I could stay here much longer. My suggestion is to have a bit of money in a savings account, I spent around $800 over six months on top of my stipend to travel a lot. The truth is, however, the stipend is a normal Colombian monthly wage. The history, the nature, diversity, the friendly people, in general the lifestyle are just amazing. Many layers to get to understand such a complex and beautiful place!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would invest in a Bicycle. After you get used to the roads, the freedom of a bike would have been huge since transport is often a bummer (traffic) in Bogota and would have allowed me to visit and explore more nearby places.
Yes, I recommend this program

Loads of generosity at YMCA

Although my experience was rather brief, It was a pleasure working with YMCA, learning about the program and it's workers, and being able to meet all of those involved with the program. They made us feel like a part of a family even though our time in the program was short. Being a part of the schools in Colombia was also a beautiful experience, especially when it came to meeting all the teachers, staff, and students. It was first experience teaching, and I feel it will perhaps be my most memorable one.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The first moment when we taught with the Colombian children was nerve wrecking, but eventually I became accustomed to and enjoyed assisting with English and exchanging my culture.
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Yes, I recommend this program


If you love traveling, working with kids, teenagers and youths then this one is for you. Oh! You'll learn spanish for free as well… The support from the YMCA team is 100%, they are there every step of the way.. you'll get a training for everything you'll need to do.

I loved it ! You will Love it.

I have visited a lot of places through this program, tried different things and activities.

Improved my skills in every aspect, challenged my abilities and a lot of other things

What are you waiting for now? Apply 🤩

What was your funniest moment?
Being out of my comfort zone and trying new things


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