Location
  • Colombia
    • Bogota
Length
22 to 46 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
21
Age Max
39
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Host Family
Groups
Medium Group (16-30)
Travel Type
Solo

Pricing

Starting Price
500
Price Details
⦿ Program Fee:$350 USD (6 months) and $450 USD (12 months)
⦿ Volunteer visa (approx. $222 USD)
⦿ First Month living expenses in Colombia: $500 USD (approx.)
⦿ Colombian ID: $62 USD

Additional costs:
⦿ The cost of international flights will vary depending on the country of origin/destination. See our Terms & Conditions to learn more about our bonus to support participants with the purchase of return flights. Depending on your destination, you might need to make use of savings to complete the amount needed to purchase the flight.
⦿ Health insurance (cost dependent on current health, level of cover, and duration)

1st-month Benefits:
⦿ Airport pick up
⦿ Training and resources
⦿ 1st stipend: (2.200.000 COP)
What's Included
Some Activities Airport Transfers Some Meals
What's Not Included
Domestic Airfare SIM cards
Jun 20, 2024
Jun 26, 2024
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Exchange ⦿ Educate ⦿ Empower

With the YMCA, the students of schools and universities of Colombia are given the opportunity to discover that English is a tool to gain knowledge, explore new places, meet new people, and learn about different cultures. The YMCA COLead3rs program brings activities based on experiential and integrated education inspired by the YMCA summer camps of Colombia and the world.

YMCA COLead3rs roles:

⦿ Cultural Agent: Placement at a school or university 30 hours/week, you will be the one in charge of planning an activity for each group that you will see weekly. The Colombian teachers will be your partners, you will learn from them and they will learn from you.
⦿ Camp Leader: Join the YMCA Camps, travel to new places, and receive a bonus for your travel expenses.
⦿ Volunteer:10 hours/week volunteering in other areas of the YMCA, community outreach, administrative, marketing, translations, education, and others.

Apply now! Start date: July 9th, 2024

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Travel to the country of magic realism, amazing landscapes, delicious food, and the best part, Colombians!
  • Gain co-teaching experience and empower children and youth through exploring non-conventional teaching methods.
  • Improve your Spanish fluency by being immersed in the Colombian culture and connecting with YMCA Colombian leaders and staff.
  • Receive a monthly stipend to cover your living expenses whilst in Colombia.
  • Lead non-conventional activities in English in Colombian School 30 hours/week, and volunteer in other areas of the YMCA 10/hours week.

Program Impact

Empower Young People with the world’s oldest and largest youth-focused movements in the world. Founded in 1844, the YMCA operates in 120 countries around the world and has been in Colombia for 57 years.

The YMCA Colombia invites you to share your culture, volunteer and empower Colombian children and teens, express your creativity towards the development of new teaching methods, Gain TEFL Experience, and become immersed in Colombian culture!

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Program Reviews

4.82 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.82%
  • 4 rating 18.18%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 4.85
  • Benefits 4
  • Support 4.6
  • Fun 4.6
  • Facilities 4.8
  • Safety 4
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
Default avatar
Alexandra Paula
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

4 months in Valledupar

My experience with the COLead3rs in the cities of Valledupar and Barranquilla was very interesting and made me grow as a person a lot. Working with the students was very satisfying and fun and navigating a different work and workplace culture taught me a lot. At times a bit difficult, but it was nice to see myself adapting to this new type of dynamic. The YMCA of Barranquilla were always so attentive to my needs, all the activities I participated in with them were a pleasure and they are an amazing team to work with. The city of Valledupar is very chill and surrounded with beautiful nature and Barranquilla gave me some of my best nights out in Colombia. My host family was extremely sweet and nice and I found it very easy to make friends and genuine connections during my stay in Colombia. I received a lot of support before getting here from the YMCA Colombia team and all the process with the visa and everything regarding logistics was much easier with their help. I travelled a lot around the country and Colombia is truly a gem, fun and diverse, full of culture and gorgeous nature and much easier to get around than expected.

What was your funniest moment?
Random karaoke party in the uni with my coworkers.
Pros
  • the students <3
  • travel opportunities
  • always feeling very welcomed by all colombians I interacted with
Cons
  • workload a bit too much at times
  • workplace dynamics a bit confusing
  • always having to report everything and sometimes feeling watched over by the team a bit too much
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alexandra Paula
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

4 months in Valledupar

My experience with the CoLeaders in the cities of Valledupar and Barranquilla was very interesting and made me grow as a person a lot. Working with the students was very satisfying and fun and navigating a different work and workplace culture taught me a lot. At times a bit difficult, but it was nice to see myself adapting to this new type of dynamic. The YMCA of Barranquilla were always so attentive to my needs, all the activities I participated in with them were a pleasure and they are an amazing team to work with. The city of Valledupar is very chill and surrounded with beautiful nature and Barranquilla gave me some of my best nights out in Colombia. My host family was extremely sweet and nice and I found it very easy to make friends and genuine connections during my stay in Colombia. I received a lot of support before getting here from the YMCA Colombia team and all the process with the visa and everything regarding logistics was much easier with their help. I travelled a lot around the country and Colombia is truly a gem, fun and diverse, full of culture and gorgeous nature and much easier to get around than expected.

What was your funniest moment?
Random karaoke party in the uni with my coworkers.
Pros
  • the students <3
  • travel opportunities
  • always feeling very welcomed by all colombians I interacted with
Cons
  • workload a bit too much at times
  • workplace dynamics a bit confusing
  • always having to report everything and sometimes feeling watched over by the team a bit too much
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jackson
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Una Chimba

The Coleaders program is a great opportunity to to get experience working with children and teens in Colombian schools or universities and learn Spanish as well. Even if you begin the program with zero knowledge of Spanish, if you work consistently at improving your skills, by the end of the program you can achieve a conversational level and put yourself on the path to mastery.
The cultural experience is very rich, the Colombian people are very kind, the landscapes are beautiful, the weather is great, you can find anything you want to do in Bogotá, and the program is very flexible giving you plenty of time to enjoy the country.
The program may be daunting but upon arrival you will find much support from the YMCA and in no time you will feel natural in Colombia. From doing this program, I have grown into a new person and I am so glad I took the leap of faith to do it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Buy the ticket take the ride. There will always be a lot of unknown with a program like this but if you trust in the program, you will see that it has many benefits to offer you.
Pros
  • Cultural exchange
  • Language learning
  • Experience working in schools
Cons
  • Lack of communication at times
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Benjamin
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Chévere

Living and working in Colombia is a beautiful experience for many reasons : people are so friendly, the culture is very interesting, and the experience in general is awesome.

It is a very good opportunity to learn more about the country, but also to learn more things about yourself. I highly recommend it to you if you want to travel and live something authentic with the Colombians.

You will have the opportunity to improve your professional skills while having fun and meeting new people.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Prepare yourself to be challenged on flexibility, for example being ready and willing to accept the difference between the way you work in your country and the way it works in colombia (more improvisation)
Pros
  • Living with a colombian family.
  • Meeting colombian friends.
  • Sharing your culture.
Cons
  • No dar papaya (being careful about your posessions in the street)
  • The trafic.
  • No metro.
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Hannah
5/5
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.
102 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Anastasiia
5/5
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.

105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rachael
5/5
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.
101 people found this review helpful.
Dathan
5/5
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.
98 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers