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Working and volunteering

Volunteering

Colombia offers a decent array of volunteering opportunities in education, the environment and social fields. Most major international volunteer boards have in-country listings.

One worthwhile local organization is Goals for Peace (www.goalsforpeace.com) in Bucaramanga where volunteers can help out giving English classes, sports training, arts and crafts workshops or with homework assistance.

While some hostels will offer travelers 'volunteer' positions in exchange for food and board, this is technically illegal as it takes jobs away from Colombians.

Work

  • In order to take part in any paid employment in Colombia it's necessary to apply for the appropriate visa through Migración Colombia; your employer will need to sponsor the application, which is more likely if you have formal qualifications and are willing to commit to a longer contract.
  • There is a growing demand for qualified English-language teachers in Colombia. Some schools may be willing to pay cash-in-hand for a short period of time, but for longer-term employment you will have to find a school willing to organize a work visa. Don't expect to get rich teaching English: you're unlikely to make more than a few million pesos a month, and usually much less.
  • As a general rule, the more popular the city is among travelers, the harder it will be to find employment.

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