The English Teaching Program
For international volunteers with a passion for teaching and who wish to experience one of the most exotic and beautiful places in the world – look no further than this amazing program in Cartagena, Colombia. Participants will be working directly with students who wish to learn English and will support local teachers in developing and delivering the English language curriculum. Based in this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage listed city, volunteers will find it an absolute delight to give their time to this worthwhile program whilst enjoying all this famous tourist hub has to offer. Free time can be spent experiencing events, tours and cultural and historic activities or simply soaking up the atmosphere on the beautiful Caribbean beaches and picturesque streets or relaxing at one of the many restaurants . This is a great place for any volunteer to help teach those less fortunate an essential tool that could greatly improve their lives. English language skills can open up a whole new world to people and make a true difference. Become a Love Volunteer today and put your skills to the test!
Goals of this Project:
- Assist local English teachers in schools and foundations; providing a much needed resource to help with classes and one on one student support.
- Help locals build on their English language knowledge and improve future job prospects
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills and broaden their world view
How You Can Help
This valuable program works with public schools and foundations in Cartagena, providing assistance in delivering the English language curriculum.
Whilst Cartagena offers the appearance of luxury the level of inequality is extreme and much of the population live in poverty. The ability to speak English opens up career pathways otherwise closed to Cartageneros and provides a way out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
Volunteers will primarily work alongside local English teachers providing support in the planning and delivery of classroom lessons. There may also be opportunities to be involved in adult lessons and conversation clubs. Once an placement is confirmed an interview is arranged with the local team in Cartagena to answer any questions and discuss the specifics of the placement based on volunteer skill set and preferences. Specific placements will be decided for each volunteer based on their skills, Spanish level and preferences as well as what is available during their timeframe.
This is a hands-on project with volunteers working directly within this amazing community and a wonderful opportunity to experience the real Colombia, spend time with its people and learn about its rich culture.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake many of the following tasks:
- Assist local English teachers in public schools
- Assist with adult community lessons and conversation clubs when appropriate
- Help to design English curriculum lessons and materials
- Work one on one with English language students
- Review and grade homework assignments
- Evaluate progress of students
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 20 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of education. This project best suits those with experience and/or qualifications in the field of childhood development and education, although volunteers who simply wish to explore an interest in this field are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist in the classroom. Whist not mandatory, completing a TEFL course prior to joining this project would prove to be highly beneficial. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least an intermediate knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with staff and students. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Cartagena is a stunningly beautiful port city on Colombia’s wonderful Caribbean coast. Closest to the ocean is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with elaborate central squares, cobblestoned streets and colorful colonial buildings. With a tropical climate, the city is also a popular beach destination. Reachable by boat are Isla de Barú, with white-sand beaches and palm trees, and the Islas del Rosario, known for their coral reefs. Cartagena is such a perfect place to volunteer and give back to local communities!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Cartagena, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also provide you with your Welcome Pack, which contains a local cell phone (returnable at the end of your placement) with local number and credit, maps of the local area, supplies, contact information, and a volunteer manual to help you to be more aware and fully prepared. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAYS
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAYS
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Rafael Núñez International Airport, Cartagena, Colombia (Code: CTG)
Accommodation & Meals
Despite Cartagena being the most expensive city in Colombia, we offer the highest quality services to volunteers on this program. You will be accommodated with one of our friendly local host families, who are trustworthy and are truly interested in having volunteers be a part of their family. All home-stay families in Cartagena have been fully vetted by our local team and are located within the historic city centre in the neighbourhoods of Bocagrande, Laguito, Manga, and Cabrero. These are some of the best areas of the city, so you can be assured of safety and comfort during your stay.
Our volunteer accommodation in Colombia is second to none, especially in comparison to other volunteer programs! All Love Volunteers in Cartagena will have a private room with air conditioning and WiFi, as well as access to a washing machine and common areas to relax. All host houses have employed staff who are at the house all or a majority of the week to take care of the household, clean and cook.
Host families will provide you with 2 wonderful meals per day (usually breakfast and lunch). The food provided is not made in bulk and not bought from any restaurant, instead it is made within the host family and really takes into account your food preferences and/or dietary restrictions. You will then have the opportunity to use other meal times to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Cartagena has to offer. Simply get a few of your fellow volunteers together and head out to one of the many local restaurants, bars or cafes – which are just a short walk away - and enjoy all the local and international delicacies on offer! Easy!
For our volunteers, staying in central Cartagena means they gain something that mere travelers miss out on: a ‘live’ authentic glimpse into family life and the character of the local people. By having the opportunity to stay with a host family and by working right alongside the local population volunteers can really experience all that Colombia has to offer!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer both full time and part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!