As a traveler, it’s important for me to spend more than 2 days in a place, getting to know the streets, the culture, the people, and the vibe.
As a long-term traveler, it’s important for me to stretch my money as far as possible. One way to do this is by volunteering, through WorkAway. There are infinite types of volunteering experiences available; thus far, I have cared for dogs in Santa Marta, taught English/cleaned in Rosario Islands, served food at a restaurant in Guatape, and wrote blogs/social media here in San Carlos at Spanish Adventure.
All of my volunteer experiences had it’s pros and cons, but without doubt, the owners of Spanish Adventure are the best hosts I’ve had the pleasure of working for. They are extremely appreciative of volunteers, treat you like family, and embody the “mi casa es su casa” mantra. If you’re thinking of volunteering here, allow me to provide the good, bad, and there’s no ugly:
- Super chill vibes - “come as you are”, always!
- Do the work you enjoy.
- You choose what you want to work on, based on your skills and what you enjoy. Aka I work on social media and writing, because I love both :)
- Adventures, all the time!
- One cultural adventure (aka language exchange with the locals)
- Four mini adventures post Spanish class, usually involving a waterfall
- One BIG adventure that will be sure to test your bravery.
- Discounted Spanish classes
- Chimbita time!
- See @spanish_adventure on instagram for more on this, but every evening we hang out on the terrace (Chimbita, aka ‘cool place to hang out’), talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company.
- Family vibes
- Between the owners, students, and other volunteers, everyone is working and living together...just like a family away from home!
- Plenty of free time to explore, work on projects, practice your Spanish, etc. But not too much free time to get bored ;)
- Everyone who comes stays for longer than they planned.
- I found a cocktail bar that serves mojitos for $5000 pesos. AMAZING.
- Free, delicious, and kind of healthy lunch! I mean honestly, can you do better than “kind of healthy” in Colombia?
- Free laundry! No more wearing the same socks 5 days in a row...I mean, I don’t do that. Do you?
The "Bad", let's call them "Learning Opportunities"
- We eat family dinner at 9pm. WTF. But you can of course go rogue and eat earlier.
- Cold showers. They’re legit cold. BUT, I’ve heard cold showers are good for your skin, hair, and environment...so there’s that. Also, as someone who absolutely hates cold water, I got used to it by Day 2. #progress!
- The internet isn’t lightening fast. But, when is that ever a thing in South America, anyway?
- Sometimes I get bit by a mosquito.
- I've racked my brain, but that is all I've got.