Volunteer in Colombia: My experience has been amazing, the month has definitely flown by. I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier host family, Elena has really made me feel at home. Her cooking is excellent, once she found out all my favorite foods she really made an effort to cook them for me. I love the neighborhood and experiencing authentic Cartagena and the old town is so beautiful I will definitely be coming back.
Volunteer in Colombia
1- How were the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
Excellent – I didn’t need much support but felt it was always there if needed. I was accompanied to and from the foundation on my first day to learn the route on the local bus and shown around the City Centre on my first weekend which was very helpful.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Program: How efficiently the foundation is run and how well equipped it is. I experienced training afternoons and a day out at the Centro de Convención where the teachers and students performed various dances and plays. It was overall a lot more organized than expected.
Host Family: Nothing surprised me, maybe that I was lucky enough to have air con!
Country: Cartagena is very lively I perhaps wasn’t expecting so much noise in the street in the Neighborhood where the host family is.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Program: Multitasking when working with the young kids, as they are so small it’s important to always keep an eye on all of them. Secondly, you are not allowed to pick up the children which I found very hard resisting!
Host Family: Getting used to the breakfasts, they are very different! Sleeping through the night whilst there is loud music playing on the street outside.
Country: using the local buses and knowing the routes.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. No shorts allowed at the foundation- I found linen great for staying cool.
2. To go to Playa Blanca without booking on to a tour with lunch etc
3. Use Uber – I always felt very safe
5.1- Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
(that’s not in the orientation guide)
a. The foundation has air con and lots of fans so you won’t die of heat.
b. The host family is a 25 min taxi
c. There are plenty of shops etc so you can buy most things here.
Most of the food is fried
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
My experience has been amazing, the month has definitely flown by. I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier host family, Elena has really made me feel at home. Her cooking is excellent, once she found out all my favorite foods she really made an effort to cook them for me. I love the neighborhood and experiencing authentic Cartagena and the old town is so beautiful I will definitely be coming back. The program is wonderful I really connected with the children and overall had a very rewarding experience I will miss them very much and Everything else about my time here.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Accommodation- basic but homely and sufficient
Meals- varied, large, quite bland and no spice in anything.
Security- fine, I always felt very safe here
Everyone is exceptionally friendly.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Program: walking in every morning and seeing their tiny faces!
Host Family: everything, and Elena’s fresh juices
Country: the heat, scenery, people
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? (who helped you, emails, phone calls, chat online, how fast did you got an answer, did you got all your answers)
Great I received many emails and always got an exceptionally fast response.
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?
Great, very easy
9.2- How did you find Abroaderview website (keywords, search engine, word mouth to mouth, recommended by .., other)
Google – I searched volunteer with children Cartagena
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?