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Construction & Renovation Volunteer Project in Bogota - Colombia

Some families, schools and even hospitals in Bogota cannot afford to pay for important building or renovation projects. With homes, classrooms, community centers and hospital wards bursting at the seams due to increasing numbers of children and patients, volunteers are sorely needed to assist. These projects are not only important for the people who work and live in these places, but also for other members of the community who will benefit from these extra facilities.

As a building volunteer, you’ll work with a local foreman on whatever project is being prioritized at the time. You can help on a number of tasks including knocking down walls, installing kitchens, fixing chairs, painting walls or renovating roofs.

Construction and Renovation volunteer in Bogota, Colombia with IVHQ

You’ll be volunteering under the supervision of local staff, so you don’t need prior building experience, though you will need a reasonable level of fitness and willingness to help out with physically demanding roles.

Please note, the Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of $35 per week for additional supervision, materials and logistics. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.

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Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Help with building and renovation projects in schools, homes and hospitals

  • Assist with tasks that can include knocking down walls, installing kitchens, fixing chairs, painting walls or renovating roofs

  • Suited to volunteers who enjoy physical work and using their hands

  • Additional $35 per week surcharge for the extra supervision, materials and logistics required

  • Volunteer for up to 6 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Colombia at a glance
  • Based in Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, three meals each weekday and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a volunteer house

  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Bogotá each month

The IVHQ Colombia - Bogotá volunteer program has volunteer placements located in Colombia’s capital city of Bogotá and surrounding suburbs.

You can start volunteering on the IVHQ Colombia - Bogota program on the 2nd or 4th Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 weeks to 24 weeks.

The program orientation begins on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month. Volunteers need to arrive in Bogota 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 transported to the volunteer accommodation in Bogota. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Bogota 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 – Introduction to Colombia, Colombian Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Colombia, 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.

First Day: 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 that last around 3 to 5 hours each.

Weekdays: 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 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.

Please note, this is an example schedule as work hours are dependent on the project and placement. Volunteers on the Bogota program can easily take part in a range of the projects if they would like to, this can be arranged with the coordinators.

Evenings: 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.

Volunteers are accommodated in a volunteer house with other volunteers in the safe neighborhood of El Qurinal. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds and volunteers can expect to be sharing a room with up to 7 other volunteers of the same gender. Bedding is not provided, so you 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 $20 per night. Private rooms are subject to availability.

WiFi is available for volunteers to use at the volunteer house. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.

Volunteers in Bogotá are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) Monday through Friday served at the volunteer apartment. Breakfast is varied and can include pancakes, fruit, eggs and aepa (corn bread). Lunch and dinner include a range of traditional dishes, such as Bandeja Paisa or Ajiaco. Tea, coffee, fresh juices and toast is available in the volunteer apartment throughout the day. Purified water is available in the volunteer house, however we recommend that volunteers purchase bottled water for drinking at their placements. During the weekends, volunteers can prepare their own meals using the ingredients provided, or can eat out at one of Bogotá’s many restaurants. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.

“As much as I prepared for the trip, I was not prepared for the lasting effect it would have on me. Little did I know that as I write this testimonial two months after my return home, I would already have a plane ticket back to Bogotá. First, the projects. I took part in construction, feeding the homeless, and teaching in Soacha. Volunteering with IHVQ was one of the best choices I have made in my life. In the short time I was there I made lasting friendships with volunteers from all over the world, and began to get to know a beautiful country which I previously knew little about. I can’t wait to be back!” - Elizabeth Delfing (Feeding the Homeless Volunteer in Colombia-Bogotá)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Colombia here

Colombia - Bogota

Duration Program Fee $USD
1 week $270
2 weeks $410
3 weeks $540
4 weeks $660
5 weeks $780
6 weeks $900
8 weeks $1,190
10 weeks $1,480
12 weeks $1,780
16 weeks $2,380
20 weeks $2,980
24 weeks $3,580
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • The Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of US$35 per week for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from your placement if required.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Spanish lessons (optional)
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Colombia - Bogota generally find US$60 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Bogotá and wider Colombia. Ride the cable car to Cerro de Monserrate, boasting breath-taking views of all of Bogotá. 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 cobblestone streets set amid colonial architecture. Further afield, explore the coastal paradise of the Caribbean region, the numerous hiking adventures of the Andes region, or the natural wonders of the Orinoquia region.

See our Colombia Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Colombia.

Capital Bogotá
Population 48.3 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Colombian Peso (KES)
Time zone UTC-5:00

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).

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on 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 have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Bogotá.

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Colombia - Bogotá volunteer program, however on certain projects, such as Teaching, volunteer work will be restricted with limited language ability. We recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our partner staff in Bogotá. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Spanish lessons can arrange these directly with the local staff once in Bogotá.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

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.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!