Elderly Care Volunteer Program in Colombia - Bogota
Eager to be a Elderly Care volunteer in Colombia - Bogotá? International Volunteer HQ’s Elderly Care project empowers volunteers to assist in community programs that help get abandoned and ill elderly women off the streets and into care. Volunteers will help improve quality of life for those elders who will benefit from increased interaction, connection and care, while the local staff will appreciate the helping hand.
- Programs start on the second and fourth Monday of each month
- Affordable fees from CA$364 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals (monday to friday), airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Care for elderly women, many of whom have been abandoned by their families
Discover Colombia’s vibrant culture
Stay with other volunteers in the safe neighborhood of El Quirinal, Bogotá
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
In Colombia, the elderly get little to no financial assistance from the government as traditionally their care was left to younger generations of the family. Due to war, poverty and illness, many Colombian families are faced with crowded multi-generational households that have no financial ability to care for the needs of their elderly family members. Unfortunately, this has led to high rates of abandonment among the elderly, many of whom are left to fend for themselves on the streets of Bogotá with dementia, pneumonia or other health conditions.
As an Elderly Care volunteer, you will volunteer in centers that help elderly women off the streets and into care. You will provide social interaction, encouragement, protection and assistance to older people during their daily activities, improving their quality of life. Elderly Care volunteer work can include:
- Assisting with meals
- Talking and connecting with the elderly
- Helping staff with basic medical care
- Cleaning and operational tasks
Why do Elderly Care volunteering in Bogota with IVHQ?
While volunteering on the Elderly Care project in Bogotá, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Providing care and attention to elderly people
- Practicing your Spanish
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining elderly care experience
- Immersing yourself fully in Colombian culture
- Exploring Bogotá, Colombia’s busy capital
- Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
- All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Colombia photo gallery
”I experienced so many memorable moments, therefore it is hard for me to choose an overall favorite. I'd say I really loved volunteering with the elderly and having the support I needed while doing so. My trip to Bogota, Colombia was my second volunteer experience with IVHQ. Both of my volunteer experiences with IVHQ have been phenomenal and I will continue to volunteer with IVHQ in the future. The project was amazing and I felt as if I had total support the whole time.”
Read reviews from Elderly Care volunteers in BogotaSee more reviews
Bogotá is Colombia’s capital, its biggest city and home to several IVHQ projects.The sprawling metropolis is a hive of activity where you can find an interesting mixture of nature, history, culture and modern convenience. There are plenty of museums, markets and mountains to be seen and vibrant nightlife, shopping and delicacies to try.
Some projects are set in Bogotá’s surrounding neighborhoods rather than the central city.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Volunteers need to arrive in Bogotá the day before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the El Dorado International Airport (BOG). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Bogotá. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Bogotá prior to your volunteer program, you will need to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation and the local team will provide guidance on this.
Orientation is taken by our Colombia team at the volunteer apartment in Bogotá. Orientation is held on your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Colombia – an introduction to Colombia, Colombian customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Colombia, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Volunteers typically work in morning and afternoon shifts, but work hours are dependent on the project and placement. Volunteers on the Bogotá program can easily take part in a range of the projects if they would like to, this can be arranged with the local coordinators. A typical volunteer day is as follows:
|7:30 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.|
|8:00 AM||Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.|
|8:30 AM - 1:00 PM||Volunteer work and a lunch break.|
|1:00 PM - 3:30 PM||Spanish lessons and volunteer work.|
|6:30 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house.|
To ensure the safety of our volunteers and respect of others in the volunteer apartment, a curfew of 11:00 PM has been put in place from Sunday to Thursday and a 2:00 AM curfew for Friday and Saturday.
During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Bogotá and wider Colombia. You can ride the cable car to Cerro de Monserrate, boasting breathtaking views of all of Bogotá, or in the center of the city, walk the cobblestone streets of La Candelaria as you explore the Botero Museum, Gold Museum and Emerald Museum. At the Usaquen Flea Market, pick up souvenirs for friends and family, listen to live music, and stroll down more cobblestone streets set amid colonial architecture. Further afield, explore the coastal paradise of the Caribbean, the numerous hiking adventures of the Andes, or the natural wonders of the Orinoquia region.
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in a volunteer house in the safe neighborhood of El Qurinal. Bedrooms have bunk beds and volunteers can expect to be sharing a room with up to six other volunteers of the same gender. Bedding is not provided, so you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag and fitted single sheet, towels and toiletries.
Living is comfortable and the volunteer apartment has electricity, running water and western bathrooms, generally with hot water. For couples or those wanting more privacy, private rooms in the volunteer apartment are available for an additional CA$33 per night. Private rooms are subject to availability.
WiFi is available at the volunteer house, although this can glitch out at times. You can purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the volunteer apartment Monday through Friday.
Breakfast is varied and can include pancakes, fruit, eggs and arepas (corn bread). Lunch and dinner include a range of traditional dishes like Ajiaco - a chicken soup or stew - and Bandeja Paisa - a platter of various foods including beans, rice, meats, egg, avocado and lemon.
During the weekends, volunteers can prepare their own meals using the ingredients provided, or can eat out at one of Bogotá’s many restaurants.
Tea, coffee, fresh juices and toast are available in the volunteer apartment throughout the day. Purified water is available in the volunteer house, however it is recommended that volunteers buy bottled water for drinking at their placements.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||CA$363 Equivalent to CA$52/day|
|2 weeks||CA$552 Equivalent to CA$40/day|
|3 weeks||CA$727 Equivalent to CA$35/day|
|4 weeks||CA$888 Equivalent to CA$32/day|
|5 weeks||CA$1050 Equivalent to CA$30/day|
|6 weeks||CA$1211 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|8 weeks||CA$1602 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|10 weeks||CA$1992 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|12 weeks||CA$2396 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|16 weeks||CA$3204 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|20 weeks||CA$4012 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|24 weeks||CA$4820 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
- Meals (Monday to Friday)
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$404 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Bogota generally find US$60 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.
Spanish language lessons
Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ recommends these lessons for all volunteers unless they are fluent in Spanish. Volunteers with a basic level of Spanish should strongly consider these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. These language lessons are organized upon your arrival in Bogotá during your program orientation. The language course is tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers at US$15 per 90 minutes. There is also ample opportunity to participate in conversation exchanges if your Spanish is at a more advanced level.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||Colombian Peso (KES)|
Weather and climate
Given Colombia’s proximity to the equator, the country experiences little variation in temperature throughout the year. However, the climate does vary greatly with changes in altitude, creating various climactic zones from hot, coastal lowlands to freezing, mountainous peaks. Bogotá has a mild climate that is generally characterized by frequent cloudiness and occasional drizzling rains throughout the year. Days are cool (averaging 19°C/65°F) and nights can be cold, due to the altitude (average 5°C/40°F).