I volunteered along with my girlfriend to teach English at Emerging Voices in Cartagena, Colombia from Nov-Dec of 2019. The experience overall was amazing. We got to work with lots of different groups of people, from young children living in a poor neighborhood, to teenagers learning skills related to the hospitality industry, to adults who’s English was very good, but they just lacked the confidence to use it. I also enjoyed the ability to visit other projects at Emerging Voices such as the project to feed and spend time with the homeless and the sports development project that worked with kids living in a Drug Rehabilitation Centre.
One of the highlights was definitely meeting all of the other volunteers. Programs like these bring out great people and we had a ton of fun hanging out with people coming from all over North America. My other highlight was definitely the food! Sophie was our local Colombian chef and she made the most amazing meals every day. I was always excited for meal time! She also kept the house impeccably clean and even made our beds every day; what an amazing lady! I also enjoyed working with Monica who is the program owner. She is a very inspiring women and a kind soul. We happened to be there during a transitional time for Emerging Voice so that meant we had lots of different volunteers, but also lots of different coordinators. We had three different teaching coordinators during our 4-week stay. One consistent throughout though was Lao. He worked with the childcare program, but he was the only constant in the volunteer house for the entire time that we were there and he made our experience that much better with his kindness and light hearted nature. The last thing that I really enjoyed was the location of the volunteer house. It was located in the safe neighborhood of Crespo; it was only a 5 minute walk to the beach and only a 10 minute cab to downtown so it was truly perfect! All in it was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to give back and also push themselves a little out of their comfort zone!