Volunteer programs in Colombia

About Colombia

About Colombia

The nation of Colombia, covering an area of 1,141,748 square kilometers, ranks as the fourth largest country in South America and the sixth largest in the Americas. With coastlines along both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Colombia boasts a favorable geographic location that is reflected in its rich biodiversity and diverse climate, establishing Colombia as a true natural paradise.

Climate in Colombia

Colombia’s climate is characterized by a consistently mild year-round temperature. Nonetheless, regional variations arise due to the country’s diverse geography. Travelers to the coastal regions can anticipate warmer climates, characterized by tropical and humid conditions. On the other hand, if you venture into the Andes and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain ranges, you will encounter cooler temperatures.


Time zone

Colombia is on Colombia Time (COT), equivalent to Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the US, without daylight saving, staying consistent at UTC-5 year-round.


The country’s official currency is the Colombian peso. 1 euro equates to 3,473.49 Colombian pesos.


Volunteer programs are based in the city of Cartagena de Indias.


The volunteer stay officially starts upon being picked up at the destination.


Meals provided as part of the project/destination will be served at the accommodation. However, they are not included during journeys to the destination or excursions undertaken by volunteers.

Pick up times

Adhering to the specified pick-up times for each destination/project is essential. Volunteers arriving outside these times will incur an extra cost, varying by destination.

VOLUNTEER programs

Where are the volunteer programs located?

The volunteer programs are based in the city of Cartagena de Indias. Visitors to this city will be pleasantly surprised by the warmth of its people, its museums, centuries-old buildings, and the stunning nearby islands with incredible coral reefs. All of this is set against a backdrop of a warm Caribbean climate that prevails year-round.

This city is always bustling with activities, including events, concerts, and festivals.

We ensure the safety of our operations, and our accommodation facilities are conveniently situated near the country’s historic center.


  • Teaching volunteer program
  • Teaching and recreational activities volunteer program
  • Environmental protection and sustainable community development volunteer program
  • Nursery volunteer program

Requirements and costs

  • Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old at the beginning of the program.


  • The costs of the volunteer program start at 210 EUR for 1 week. You can consult all of the costs in Program Costs

What is included?


Volunteers should plan to arrive at Rafael Núñez International Airport (IATA code: CTG; ICAO code: SKCG). Upon arrival, they will be picked up by local staff and then transported to their accommodation.


Colombian cuisine typically centers around various types of meat as the primary ingredient. This meat is typically served with beans, rice, and almost always potatoes. Beyond the ingredients, the preparation of dishes varies significantly. Some of Colombia’s most popular meals include Ajiacos, bandejas paisa, arepas, and empanadas.

Transport in Colombia

Taxis and buses are the two best ways of getting from one point to another within the city.

All program sites are located close to the volunteer’s accommodation. If the volunteer prefers to travel by bus, a one-way ticket costs approximately 2-4 thousand pesos (between 60 cents and 1 dollar, equating to roughly 7 dollars a week).


  • For the environmental protection and sustainable community development volunteer program, a minimum stay of 3 weeks is required.
  • For the teaching and recreational activities volunteer program, a minimum stay of 1 week is required.

For the teaching and recreational activities volunteer program:

* Volunteers should plan to arrive in Colombia on the Saturday or Sunday prior to the program’s start, before 5 PM. If they arrive outside of these timeframes, an additional cost will be incurred.

If volunteers arrive on Saturday, they will need to cover the cost of one night’s accommodation. This is because the program weeks for this program run from Sunday to Saturday.

Tourist attractions in Colombia

Volunteers will normally have some free time during their volunteer program, often in the evenings. In many cases, following the completion of the volunteer program, the participants decide to stay and make the most of the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country. Some possible places to visit include:

  • Santa Marta, with its wonderful beaches
  • Leyva, which is considered to be one of Colombia’s most beautiful towns
  • The coffee triangle
  • Santa Catalina
  • Gorgona Islands, which is a natural sanctuary that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Program goals

The project aims to train young individuals to become social leaders. Volunteers will live in a multicultural setting, collaborate as a team on tasks or institutional projects, support beneficiaries in their daily activities or through workshops, and assist with the needs of the centers and homes.

To achieve this, we use three different approaches

Social inclusion

Social Inclusion of children, young people and grandparents in situations of social risk.

Attention to Centers and Homes

Focus on centers and homes aimed at protecting and restoring the rights of socially vulnerable children, adolescents, and older adults.

Social action

Volunteers dedicated to the project will collaborate with the community, engaging various societal actors to ensure the complete realization of everyone’s rights.

Our programs

Teaching volunteer program – colombia

This program is designed for volunteers with a strong interest in working with children and young people. In this fulfilling program, volunteers will engage with young individuals and play a key role in facilitating their educational journey. These children are highly expressive and eagerly embrace interactions with volunteers. They are immensely enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn from volunteers and are consistently seen with broad smiles on their faces. The age group of the children typically ranges from 6 to 14 years old, depending on the specific project. The tasks assigned to volunteers may vary based on their skills and interests. These may include:

  • Academic support, tutoring and help with homework.
  • English classes.
  • Sporting activities, such as football and surfing.
  • Handicraft workshops.
  • Literature and literacy workshop.

IMPORTANT: Volunteers are asked to send us their CV and cover letter, so that the local team can consider the activities most suited to their skills. Their placement will depend on the profile of the volunteer and the time of year at which they want to work on the volunteer program.

The timetable may change depending on the particular project. On this program, the typical working week will be 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM from Monday to Friday. Work will always be available for volunteers who would like to work for extra hours. They’ll be able to work on the projects in the afternoon or provide assistance with administrative tasks. The cost of traveling from the host family’s residence to the project site is quite affordable, at $2 per day, and the maximum commute time is limited to 30 minutes.

Environmental protection and sustainable community development volunteer program – Colombia

This program is designed for individuals who have a keen interest in sustainable development and are dedicated to preserving the local ecosystem. Volunteers will collaborate closely with the local community, receiving a warm welcome from the locals, who are eager to make them feel at home and share their culture. Tasks assigned to volunteers will be tailored to their skills, interests, and the specific needs of the local area. These tasks may encompass:

  • Implementing recycling programs, managing waste collection initiatives, and participating in community cleaning efforts.
  • Assisting in the creation of community education programs focused on topics such as health, food, and urban gardening.
  • Educating local schoolchildren about environmental issues, promoting conservation awareness, and instigating positive behavioral changes in the community.
  • Engaging in marine conservation activities, monitoring coral reefs, and raising awareness about the reef ecosystem in local islands (volunteers must possess an official scuba certificate).
  • Organizing hands-on activities with local children utilizing recycled materials, including the construction of housing or structures from recycled plastic bottles, as well as perimeter walls and furniture for football pitches.

IMPORTANT: Volunteers are kindly requested to submit their CV and cover letter so that the local team can assess the most suitable activities based on their skills. Volunteer placements will depend on the volunteer’s profile and the time of year they wish to participate in the program.

The program schedule may vary depending on the specific project. Typically, volunteers will work from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Additional work opportunities are available for volunteers interested in extending their hours, allowing them to work on projects in the afternoon or assist with administrative tasks. The cost of commuting from the family home to the project site is relatively affordable at $2 per day, with a maximum travel time of 30 minutes.

Teaching and recreational activities volunteer program – Colombia

During this volunteer program, you will offer support to the teaching staff of local primary and secondary schools in nearby suburban districts. Each school is situated within a 30-minute radius of the volunteer accommodation. You will be transported to the school every morning in a minibus. Once there, your responsibilities will include assisting the teachers in various ways, following any instructions provided. Your role will involve engaging with the students in the classroom to facilitate enjoyable and effective learning. You can employ a variety of methods, such as games, songs, activities, and theatre performances. Your creative contributions to these schools will be immensely valuable and can significantly enhance the learning experience for local children in Cartagena. Volunteers can help teach a range of interesting subjects, including:

  • Music (piano, violin, acoustic guitar, flute, singing)
  • English (beginner to intermediate level)
  • Karate and other sports such as football, baseball, basketball and volleyball.
  • Arts (sculpture, painting and drawing).
  • Mathematics (algebra, trigonometry, geometry and arithmetic).
  • Dance.

***All volunteers must have a sense of initiative***


  • Inspire the children to learn through creative teaching methods.
  • Gain practical teaching experience while learning from a local experience in Cartagena.
  • Offer practical assistance to local program staff

The volunteer will work on the program for 4 hours a day, whether in the morning or in the afternoon. The rest of the day will be spent preparing lessons/activities for the following day, resting, going sight-seeing, etc.


: The volunteer won’t be strictly supervised during their participation in the program. Volunteers are expected to be proactive, proposing their own activities during which they can interact with the children. Please note that the Colombian lifestyle and atmosphere may vary greatly from your country of origin.


Volunteers must dress modestly (covered knees and shoulders) while on school grounds.


If he/she wishes, the volunteer may bring their own teaching materials/resources for their lessons. These may include:

  • Interesting board games
  • Books/comics
  • Musical instruments
  • Work sheets
  • Objects of cultural interest.
  • Any other item which could be of use.

Nursery volunteer program – Colombia

In this project, you have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself within the local community. This project is hosted at government centers that offer daycare services for families facing financial constraints.

Volunteers will be assigned tasks based on the specific needs of the community. Each daycare facility typically accommodates around 10-15 children. The tasks may encompass child care, teaching classes, organizing recreational activities, and providing basic English lessons.

Depending on the volunteer’s interests and skills, their contribution can be focused on:

– Childcare

– Conducting craft workshops

– Organizing recreational activities

– Offering English classes

IMPORTANT: Volunteers are required to submit their Curriculum Vitae and Motivation Letter for evaluation by the local team. The tasks assigned will be determined based on the volunteer’s profile and the time of year they wish to volunteer.

It’s important to note that volunteers should not anticipate constant supervision while participating in the project. They are expected to take initiative and propose activities for interacting with the children. It is crucial to understand that the environment and way of life in Colombia may significantly differ from that of your home country.

accommodation and meals

Accommodation in Cartagena

Volunteers will stay with carefully selected host families, ideally located near the tourist centers in the most beautiful, safe, and comfortable areas of Cartagena, close to the historic center.

Accommodations offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. If you are traveling with a partner or friends, please inquire about the best options available.

At the accommodation, volunteers will receive two meals a day, which are breakfast and lunch. These meals are culturally significant in Colombian culture. Dinner is not included, but volunteers are free to purchase dinner outside the accommodation or prepare their own meals in the kitchen.

For volunteers participating in the teaching and recreational activities volunteering program:

The program is based in the captivating city of Cartagena, formerly known as Cartagena de Indias, a shining jewel along the Caribbean coastline. As the city grew in importance due to the wealth flowing through its port, it constructed protective stone walls that still envelop the old town, adding to its unique character and Old World charm.

Cartagena is renowned for its remarkable architecture and is a city brimming with life and vibrancy. Strolling through its streets feels like walking in a living painting where the sights and sounds of the city come to life.

Volunteers will be accommodated in a volunteer house located in one of Cartagena’s neighborhoods, offering easy access to various shops and activities nearby.

  • Bedrooms accommodate 1-4 people and are separated by gender.
  • The volunteer house provides Wi-Fi internet access.
  • Volunteers will receive three meals a day from Monday to Friday and two meals a day on weekends.
  • Local cuisine typically includes beans, potatoes, legumes, chicken, and other ingredients. Some local dishes may have a spicy flavor.

program costs

The total cost of volunteering is divided into 2 parts. The registration fee, which is paid to reserve the spot, is 210 €, and the program cost, which is paid later.

Teaching Volunteer Program

859 € for 3 weeks
1030 € for 4 weeks
1343 € for 5 weeks
215 € for each additional week

Teaching and Recreational Activities Volunteer Program

210 € per week

Environmental Protection and Sustainable Community Development Volunteer Program

859 € for 3 weeks
1030 € for 4 weeks
1343 € for 5 weeks
215 € for each additional week

Nursery Volunteer Program

210 € per week

If your currency is not specified in the table, you can convert your costs  here.

What is included in the fee that I am paying?

What additional costs will be incurred by the volunteers?

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Return transfer from the program to the airport
  • Other personal expenses

(* Volunteers in Colombia generally find that around 50 € (US$ 56, approx.) is sufficient for basic weekly expenses.)


Leave us your information and we will contact you within the next 24 hours


Our volunteers will be able to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

What does volunteering focused on university practices involve?

At Cooperating Volunteers, we make agreements with different universities to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

The specialties we work with are extensive: medical volunteering, nursing, education, social work, psychology, physiotherapy, engineering, architecture…

The practices can be carried out in our designated destinations for this purpose, as well as in Spain.

If you choose an international destination, it’s a unique way to live an unforgettable and enriching experience, as you will have the opportunity to continue your education in another country, with a completely different culture.

Stepping out of our comfort zone and being part of the various projects at the destination will allow us to grow both personally and professionally, creating a more extensive curriculum.

And we are fully convinced that this experience will accompany you throughout your life.

You will be able to visit hospitals, schools, centers, orphanages, and participate directly and actively in the daily lives of all those people at the destination, always accompanied by other professionals willing to collaborate hand in hand with you and guide you in daily tasks.

If your university is not part of the agreement with Cooperating Volunteers, you can contact cristina@cooperatingvolunteers.com so that we can get in touch and make this experience a reality. 


Corporate volunteering consists of tailored programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills.

It is proven that teamwork directly impacts productivity. 

Collective effort surpasses individual capabilities, promotes diversity of skills, stimulates creativity, and facilitates problem-solving in the face of various challenges.

Therefore, it not only maximizes efficiency but also enriches the work environment.

We conduct corporate volunteering programs that consist of customized programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills, improve performance, and foster unity among employees.

We tailor projects to the corporate identity and size of the company, and we can adjust them to any destination and time of the year.

The advantages of corporate volunteering include:

  • Improving communication.
  • Group unity.
  • Cultural integration in different situations.
  • Employee training.
  • Increased Corporate Social Responsibility.

The future is aligned with a more responsible society, and participating in social projects positions our company among the list of revolutionary businesses that want to be part of the change.

If you resonate with this message, corporate volunteering is a unique experience both individually and collectively, and at Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the process to make it a unique journey.


Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. 

Spending quality time with family and being able to disconnect from our hectic routines is not only enriching but also necessary.

Sometimes we forget to communicate, connect, and dedicate time to each other. Each one of us lives focused on our jobs, schools… And it’s necessary to find the opportunity to pause and take care of ourselves.

Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. And of course, it creates lifelong positive memories.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we suggest moving away from those ‘more superficial’ trips (which can also be fantastic), but we invite you to live this experience to bring out our most empathetic and humanitarian side.

Family volunteering gives us the opportunity to be part of a positive impact, promoting values of solidarity and social responsibility.

There are many families who choose to experience these trips focused on cooperation and direct involvement with different communities around the world, where living conditions are very different and sometimes entirely precarious.

Projects are tailored to different ages, allowing us to work together.

An incredible way to fill our suitcase with memories, learning, and knowledge.

And although stepping out of our comfort zone often feels daunting, we assure you firsthand that it’s worth it.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the entire experience, from start to finish, to make it unforgettable.


At Cooperating Volunteers, we believe it’s never too late for anything, especially for volunteering and living a unique and unforgettable experience.

There are many people, increasingly so, who opt for responsible travel that involves social work.

Accustomed to organized and mostly touristic trips, at Cooperating Volunteers, we want to advocate for a more enriching experience, one that transforms us from within and allows us to be part of the change the world needs to see.

We can adapt both the destination and the duration of our projects to fit your needs.

It’s an opportunity full of emotions that allows us to significantly contribute to different communities and their evolution. And you can participate in different areas such as education, social support, or assistance in different centers.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Sense of purpose: Provides a sense of purpose by contributing your skills and experiences to meaningful causes.
  • Emotional well-being: Reduces feelings of isolation and establishes social connections.
  • Personal development: It’s continuous learning, skill development, and discovering new activities while keeping the mind-body active.
  • Physical health: Keeping active.
  • Stress reduction: The act of helping others reduces stress and contributes to mental health.

Living this experience will undoubtedly be a before and after. 


A volunteering initiative with leadership and impact through the educational action program.

When we talk about social volunteering, we refer to all those actions and activities carried out altruistically, selflessly, and with the aim of addressing multiple problems and needs of different communities, always focused on education and self-sufficiency.

Education is essential because it provides the tools and knowledge necessary for personal, social, and economic development.

Our goal is to create self-sufficient communities and provide opportunities for the future personal development of each member. The message is not to ‘give’, but to accompany in the process of training for self-managed provision.

At Cooperating Volunteers, many of our destinations and projects embrace this type of volunteering. Some of our projects include: community programs, education, women’s empowerment…

And although they are completely different from each other, they share a single objective: progress towards a society that can embrace us all in the same way.

If you are someone who is restless, who needs to see a change in the future, volunteering is an experience tailor-made for you.