Feed the Homeless Volunteer Project in Colombia - Bogota
Inspired to Feed the Homeless in Colombia - Bogotá? International Volunteer HQ’s Feeding the Homeless project empowers volunteers to assist in a community centre that serves a free lunch to as many as 200 people from the streets of Bogotá who would otherwise go hungry. Volunteers gain experience in cooking and working with disadvantaged communities, while the homeless benefit from improved food security, social connection and a good meal.
- Programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month
- Affordable fees from £204 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals (monday to friday), airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
- Prepare and serve a daily lunch for the homeless community
- Discover Colombia's incredible natural environment
- 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
As with many developing countries, Colombia struggles with problems associated with homelessness. Homelessness can affect people from all walks of life, leaving them vulnerable and requiring community support for basic daily necessities.
One of the biggest ways you can help the homeless is by giving them access to a good meal. As a Feeding the Homeless volunteer you’ll help local staff to prepare and serve lunch to up to 200 men, women and children every day. These meals are provided for free at a community centre for vulnerable people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a regular food supply.
Volunteer duties may include:
- Food preparation
- Cooking meals
- Cleaning up
- Serving lunch
- Interacting with homeless people
Please note, this project is only open for four days a week. Volunteers are welcome to join another project for one day a week and this can be arranged once you have applied.
Why do Feeding the Homeless volunteering in Bogota with IVHQ?
When you volunteer to help serve meals to homeless people in Bogotá, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving food security for Bogotá’s homeless population
- Giving homeless people an opportunity for connection
- Practicing your Spanish
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining childcare experience
- Learning about Colombian culture
- Discovering 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.
”Bogota, Colombia has a special place in my heart. So many great people. The local team does a fantastic job at getting the best out of all of its volunteers. Everyone is smiling and loving life!”
Read reviews from Feeding the Homeless 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 travelling 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 socialising.
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 centre 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 seven 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 £15 per night. Private rooms are subject to availability.
WiFi is available at the volunteer house. 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||£204 Equivalent to £30/day|
|2 weeks||£310 Equivalent to £23/day|
|3 weeks||£409 Equivalent to £20/day|
|4 weeks||£500 Equivalent to £18/day|
|5 weeks||£591 Equivalent to £17/day|
|6 weeks||£682 Equivalent to £17/day|
|8 weeks||£902 Equivalent to £17/day|
|10 weeks||£1122 Equivalent to £17/day|
|12 weeks||£1349 Equivalent to £17/day|
|16 weeks||£1804 Equivalent to £17/day|
|20 weeks||£2259 Equivalent to £17/day|
|24 weeks||£2714 Equivalent to £17/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 £226 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 GBP.
- 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 organised 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.
Check what's required to visit Colombia
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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 characterised 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).