Colombia Sloth Sanctuary Fact File
Location of the projectThe Colombia Sloth Sanctuary is based 25 km, or 30 minutes by bus, from the city of Medellin, Colombia, South America. The sanctuary is located in rainforest at 1750m in altitude. It is located next to Medellin River, and is connected to 1000 hectares of private and public nature reserves.
Medellin is one of the most beautiful cities in South America and is now one of Latin America’s safest. The city is luscious, green and the home of orchids, parks and tropical birds, lying cradled in the Aburra Valley and bisected by the Medellin River. Medellin has many bars, restaurants and cafes as well as cultural activities.
Volunteer AccommodationVolunteers can choose between a homestay with a carefully selected local family which includes two meals a day, or a modern friendly hostel (pictured) in the safe and quiet district of El Poblado. Apartment accommodation is also available on request and may suit volunteers who are staying long term - please enquire when you apply.
Our standard volunteer fee includes accommodation at the hostel in a dorm, which will have no more than four people in it. For a small additional fee, you can choose to be upgraded into a private room with a shared bathroom and no television, or a private room wth a television and your own en-suite toilet and bathroom.
The volunteer hostel in El Poblado is well located for access to the project, less than ten minutes' walk from the modern and efficient overground metro station which takes you to the centre of Medellin where the children's project is located.
There are many boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood, and you can walk to the heart of Medellin's lively nightlife scene in the leafy, buzzing Parque Lleras.
The hostel is very popular with travellers and offers fantastic facilities such as a barbecue area, sun terrace with hammocks, and computers with internet access,Skype, webcams and earphones for keeping in touch with the folks back home. There is also wi-fi and a well equiped, shared kitchen. It's a very sociable place and is a great choice for those travelling alone, with frequent activities and excursions orgnised by the friendly, English-speaking owners.
Getting to the projectThe nearest airport to this project is Jose Maria Cordova airport (MDE code).
To help you find the best air fares Globalteer has formed a partnership with a division of The Flight Centre Group who will tailor make your travel arrangements for you at a competitive price.
You can contact them for a free, no obligation travel quote by calling 0844 560 9944 from within the UK, or if you are outside the UK you can call +44(0)203 056 1146. Make sure you mention Globalteer when you call and if you do purchase your travel through them, Globalteer will receive a small donation. However, don’t forget that it’s up to you to make sure your travel arrangements are right for you and your project.
Daily Volunteer ScheduleHours worked and activities will vary based on the season, number of volunteers, and needs of the centre. Be prepared to work hard!
An example of a typical day:
Catch bus from Medellin: 8am
Start of day at the sanctuary: 8.30am
Lunch from 11.30am/12pm
Work day ends around 3.30pm
Arrive back in Medellin: 4pm
Spanish classesWhilst a knowledge of Spanish is not necessary for this project we offer all our volunteers in Medellin five hours of free introductory Spanish classes as many volunteers like to take advantage of being in a Spanish-speaking country to learn Spanish or to brush up on those rusty language skills. You can extend your classes once you are in Medellin.
Even just a few words of Spanish will help you to connect with locals and make your time in Colombia all the more rewarding.
Extra activities in Colombia and Latin AmericaColombia is famous for its music and dance and visitors find it hard to resist the infectious rhythms of cumbia, merengue and salsa.
Medellin has a huge flower festival in August and an impressive Christmas lights display, but the biggest carnival is held in Barranquilla during February or March. Every city, town and village will have its own way to celebrate Christmas and other religious events throughout the year.
Medellin has many plazas boasting sculptures by local artists, old churches and a number of museums with free entry. Pueblito Paisa in Medellin is a replica of a rural village sat on a hill overlooking the city.
Cycling the outskirts of Medellin and along the mountainous woods is an extremely popular activity for the locals. Also you could try your hand at parapenting from the surrounding mountains.
Fly to Leticia for a unique Amazonian adventure. South of the city lies the well-visited coffee region, including the picturesque village of Jardin.
A cheap flight or a 9-hour bus ride to the coast takes you to the UNESCO world heritage site of Cartagena. Its Spanish colonial architecture creates a style unmatched anywhere in South America.
Along the coast you can find unspoilt white sand beaches, deep bays and the world's highest coastal mountain range. For the more adventurous, a trek to the lost city of Ciudad Perdida is an amazing three-day hike through impressive jungle.
Colombia also offers amazing wildlife, birds, orchids, pre-Colombian stone statues and underground tombs, volcanic mud baths, diving, rafting, rappelling, rock climbing and hiking.
Cheap flights in South America will take you to many other popular tourist destinations such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador or many other amazing destinations in Latin America.
General Facts about ColombiaCountry name: Republic of Colombia
Population: 46 million
Ethnic groups: Mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-amerindian 3%, amerindian 1%
Languages: Spanish, 60 indigenous languages
Currency: Colombian peso
Medellin deserves its nickname “City of Eternal Spring”. With its close proximity to the equator and altitude of 1500mts, the temperature hovers between 18c (64f) and 26c (79f) throughout the year.
There are no seasons, but there tends to be more rainfall from March to May and September to November.
Everything you have heard about Colombia's past, is probably old news by now. Colombia has had a remarkable turnaround in security and although it still has its problems, it is one of the friendliest countries in South America.
Colombia has some of the most vibrant and pleasant cities in South America, boasting skyscrapers, metros, plazas, late night dancing, party buses and great shopping. There are beautiful port towns, ancient lost cities, cobbled alleys and fiestas that rate among the best in the world.
Colombia has nine national parks and the country claims to have more plant and animal species per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world. The variety of flora and fauna is second only in the world behind the much bigger country of Brazil. Colombia has more than 350 species of mammals, 15% of the total world population of primates live here and almost one in every five birds on the planet call Colombia home.
The Globalteer Difference
These days there are a great many opportunities to volunteer overseas, but not all organisations are the same.
Watch our short video presentation to see what makes Globalteer different from your average volunteering organisation!
Find out what previous volunteers
have to say about volunteering with our Colombia Kids Project.