• Colombia
    • Medellin

Program Details

Host Family


Price Details
Volunteers are expect to cover cost of their arrival in Medellín and the cost of their volunteer visa which the foundation will help them apply for.
Jul 06, 2018
Jan 07, 2015
1 traveler is looking at this program

About Program

At the Marina Orth Foundation we invite international volunteers to come and support our teaching of English, leadership and ICT in and around Medellín, Colombia.
Our volunteers can expect to run workshops and clubs for students, teachers, parents and/or members of the communities where we work. Volunteers are asked to share their English speaking skills as well as any other relevant skills they may have during these workshops and clubs. Examples of these include school garden club and entrepreneurial training workshops.

We provide our full time volunteers with accommodation with a host family and three meals a day. We also provide a modest monthly stipend.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
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  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
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  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Chance of a lifetime!!

During my time with the Marina Orth Foundation I participated in a wide variety of projects: I taught elementary English classes in two Antioquian public schools, co-planned and taught a course for Medellin public school teachers/administrators, led after school English clubs, participated in curriculum design, translations and the creation of bilingual publications and multimedia presentations.

Despite being a volunteer, I was granted significant responsibility and given the opportunity to propose and develop my own projects. This is an excellent opportunity for people who who want to take initiative and make the most of their experience personally, as well as significantly contributing to the foundation's goals. I saw my volunteer work benefit the communities in which I worked, which resulted in the greatest personal returns I could have hoped for.

I lived with a host family, which gave me insight into the culture (and especially the food culture) that I never would have had living on my own. I truly felt welcomed into the community: I couldn't walk down the street without a student calling "Hola profe!" or stealing a hug. Casual conversations yielded cultural, historical and political insights on a daily basis. The opportunities for learning were endless.

It was definitely challenging, as well. A decent command of Spanish is essential for success, and even so, communication difficulties arose. The bureaucracy and politics of certain projects (whether external or internal to the foundation) could be confusing and frustrating, and expectations were not always clearly communicated. However, I think that the challenges contributed significantly to my personal growth and improved adaptability. The foundation has also implemented additional support services for its volunteers in order to help address some of these difficulties.

This experience changed my life. The opportunity to work with this foundation allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and experience life in an entirely new way on so many levels. I highly recommend it!

85 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience.

My husband and I originally signed up for six months but have enjoyed it so much that we are staying for longer. As volunteers you are included in the decision making process when it comes to the curriculum for your classes which is a lot of fun and great experience. The foundation makes sure that your skill set is utilised which is very rewarding.
We have been made to feel welcome from the beginning and have very quickly made friends with all of the fabulous people who work for the foundation.
The biggest thing that appealed to me when joining the foundation was that the work the foundation does is sustainable. You feel like you are actually making a difference.

What would you improve about this program?
The volunteer program is growing and with it improvements are being made. You definitely need to be able to speak Spanish. I did not have great Spanish to begin with and it was a struggle.
86 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience!

I worked primarily in a school in El Carmen (an hour out of Medellin), and also taught some adult classes in Medellin. I cannot say enough about my experience! My host family stay was great (I still visit them each year), the foundation is a wonderful group of people, and I really had the chance to connect with people in my community and make a difference. Medellin is a great home-base, with tons to see and do, but it is also easy to travel to other parts of the country if you are so inclined - people at the Foundation were always super helpful with giving me insider tips on the bests places to visit!

This program is NOT a good fit for someone looking to party it up in South America and pretend you are "volunteering". But, if you are motivated to take on challenges, work directly with a community, and make a difference (plus have some fun working with great people and traveling in an amazing country), this is the PERFECT option!

What would you improve about this program?
At the time I was there, the program was very small, so I was actually the only volunteer in my town (and one of 2 in the country), and we didn't have a lot of support or social opportunities day-to-day. But I recently went back to visit and it seems that this has really improved - there are now several people in each location, and there is more of a focus on supporting the volunteers in both work and social activities.
91 people found this review helpful.

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