“The experience was so rewarding.  It was educational, fun, and helped me appreciate my decision to go to nursing school. It was amazing helping so many grateful people.”

-Jerry L. Schutz, Lewis-Clark State College

About Colombia

Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world and is experiencing economic and cultural transition with its recently found civil peace and growing trade with the U.S.  Urban areas have made great strides in reducing poverty and providing health care, but rural areas are still in great need of health care, education, and development support.

Equatorial Colombia is situated at the meeting place of Central and South America, and is the only country on the continent of South America with coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.  Tourists are drawn to Colombia’s clean tropical beaches, lush rain forests, snow-capped Andean mountain peaks and fertile coffee plantations.  ISL teams serve in the heart of rural coffee plantation country in the central cordillera of the Andes, at an elevation of just under 4500 feet, where the yearly average temperature is a pleasant 78 degrees.

Communities We Serve

ISL serves small villages in the high-altitude coffee region of central Colombia which are too far for regional hospitals to provide health care on a regular basis. These farm working communities mostly live an agrarian subsistence living off the land and harvesting coffee beans that ultimately end up in your coffee at McDonalds  and Starbucks. Most adults do not have formal education. The young contend with the difficult decision of leaving home to venture into the cities and continue their education past middle school or begin living their lives as the the new generation of  coffee farmworkers  to help family. Yet, you will not find seemingly happier people or a more beautiful setting than in the coffee lands of Colombia.

 

Recreational Activities

Your Colombian experience will begin with an orientation on the history, demographics, and healthcare system of Colombia. Volunteers will participate in community health surveys, clinics and seminars.  Seminars topics include tropical disease, basic triage, suturing, administering injections, and medical Spanish.  All ISL teams collaborate closely with local health professionals to facilitate community health education and outreach.

Other activities may include ELS tutoring, attending cultural events, learning about coffee agriculture and other related industries, horseback riding, swimming in natural hot springs, zip lining, hiking and shopping.

Typical Lodging

Volunteers stay in a comfortable lodging facility in downtown Chinchina.  Volunteers are housed two to a room, have Wi-Fi access, and served a hearty breakfast every morning before being transported to rural clinic sites 30-45 minutes away.  Near the hotel are a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, cultural centers, gyms and grocery stores, as well as the downtown plaza and central cathedral.  Daily room service is provided and ISL staff is available 24/7.

Logistics

Your Colombian adventure will begin in Pereira International Airport. Your country coordinator and team leader(s) will meet you at the arrival gate. From there, you will be transported via traditional jeep taxi ride through picturesque coffee lands enjoying the view of lush green hillsides accented by colonial style villas surrounded by thousands of acres of farmlands yielding year-round crops of coffee, papaya, avocado, mango, citrus, bananas, plantanes, coconuts, sugar cane, and giant bamboo. This first trip to your hotel will feast your eyes on what you’re about to experience over your service stay in the Colombian coffee heartland.  Within an hour, you will arrive at your hotel in the base-city of Chinchina where you will have access to daily free WiFi so you may check-in with your family and friends to let them know you have arrived safely and begin sharing pictures of your temporary new home away from home.

Meet the Staff

Glen Galindo - Colombia Country Coordinator
Glen Galindo
Country Coordinator

Glen says working with ISL as a Country Coordinator for Colombia is his dream come true. Glen has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and is a former US Marine Corps officer and director for a logistics support company. He enjoys facilitating safe & fun learning experiences for ISL volunteers and making a difference in the lives of the people of Colombia.

Stiven Lopez
Stiven Lopez
Bilingual Assistant

Stiven is a home-town talent from Chinchina as a gifted artist and actor.  He is a big fan of English music and movies. Within Chinchina, Stiven is known as an up and coming young leader engaged in various civic initiatives, primarily in music and theater. He is particularly excited to have the opportunity to share his beloved Colombia with our visiting volunteers.

Daniel Sterner
Daniel Sterner
Bilingual Assistant

Daniel graduated in Health Services Administration from James Madison University. He then worked for INOVA Health System for two years before coming to Colombia to teach English and master his Spanish. He plans on applying his background in health management as he grows within the ISL Colombia leadership team.  Daniel is an all-around athlete and enjoys sharing his passion for health and travel with ISL volunteers.

Aidee Ospina
Aidee Ospina
Co-Country Coordinator

Aidee grew up in the coffee region of Colombia, where ISL’s sustainable Colombian work sites are located. Her past experience organizing teams of youth and women to solve community challenges throughout Colombia makes her an excellent choice as an ISL Team Leader.

Dr. Ricardo Quintero
Dr. Ricardo Quintero
Medical Educator

Dr. Q is in his second year of rural medicine. He is passionate about providing medical care to Colombian coffee farm communities. He speaks English fluently due to his extensive studies in Australia.

Dr. Jorge Garcia Colombia Faculty
Dr. Jorge Garcia
Medical Educator

Dr. G is a faculty member at the Universidad of Caldas School of Medicine in Colombia, the faculty adviser for the Colombian Student Medical Association, and the founder of a healthcare insurance start-up providing low-cost healthcare services. His passion is teaching and he is responsible for the workshops provided for ISL volunteers. He speaks English fluently and has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia.

Dr. Angela Sarria
Dr. Angela Sarria
Medical Educator
Dr. Melissa Gomez1
Dr. Melissa Gomez
Faculty
Dr. Derick Jiwan - Agriscience Educator
Dr. Derick Jiwan
Agriscience Educator
Jeison Chaparro - Assistant Team Leader
Jeison Chaparro
Assistant Team Leader
Diego Gutierrez - Bilingual Assistant
Diego Gutierrez
Bilingual Assistant
Jaidiber Castano - Bilingual Assistant
Jaidiber Castano
Bilingual Assistant

Programs with upcoming Colombia Teams

27 teams found

#COL34GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Mar 04, 2017 to Mar 11, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

#COL311GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Mar 11, 2017 to Mar 18, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#COL318GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Mar 18, 2017 to Mar 25, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#COL325GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Mar 25, 2017 to Apr 01, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#COL41GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Apr 01, 2017 to Apr 08, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#WEIColombia2017 - WEI Program Team in Colombia from Apr 01, 2017 to Apr 07, 2017 for $2495

WEIColombia2017# volunteers will participate in community enrichment projects and explore the beautiful Colombian culture and landscape.

#COL48GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Apr 08, 2017 to Apr 15, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#COL415GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Apr 15, 2017 to Apr 22, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#COL422GH8 - Global Health Team in Colombia from Apr 22, 2017 to Apr 29, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#COL55GH11 - Global Health Team in Colombia from May 07, 2017 to May 15, 2017 for $1795

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Colombia they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 2 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!