The Emiliani Project Mission Trips to Colombia
The Emiliani Project has begun a Christian mission in the South American city of Medellín, Colombia, where we are working with a home of 170 children without families; and where we are building a new home to rescue 160 more orphaned and abandoned children from starvation, homelessness, drugs, violence, and prostitution. We are looking for volunteers to support our endeavor to save the lives of these children – and you can help! For more information about the problem faced by the children we are helping, visit the Hogar Bohío de María page.
2017 Mission Trips
Winter: February 18 to 26 (Closed)
Summer: July 29 to August 6 (Closed)
Christmas Mission Trip: December 2 to 10
NOTE: The Christmas Mission Trip itinerary and activities will differ some from that stated below. This trip will be specifically designed to celebrate the Christmas season with the children while they are on break from school. This trip will involve a Christmas party and field trip to visit the Christmas lights of Medellín. Please contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in this trip but have questions.
2018 Mission Trips
Spring: March 10 to 18
Early Summer: May 26 to June 3
Summer: July 28 to August 5
Please register below if you are interested in joining us!
Here are some frequently asked questions. For more detailed information about the trip, download our 2017 Volunteer Information Packet.
What Will I Do on the Trip?
There are two volunteer options available for the February and July trips. Note: the Christmas trip will differ.
Option 1 – Abandoned Children’s Home Volunteer
You will work daily with 190 children (ages 1-18yrs) at our home in Bello, Colombia (30 mins north of Medellín). You will stay at the home in a building set aside for volunteers. You will eat all of your meals at the home with the kids, and you will spend your time helping to support the operations of the home while you brighten the week of kids in need of love. Volunteer duties will be based both on the needs of the children and your personal interests.
Option 2 – New Home Construction Volunteer
You will work at our construction site in Caldas, Colombia (30 mins south of Medellín) where we are in the process of building our new children’s home. You will stay in our newly remodeled guest house. Each day you will volunteer your time and skills assisting our construction crew. Work duties will be based on our needs and on your particular skillsets or interests.
What Does it Cost?
The 8 day trip to Colombia costs $500 USD per person, covers lodging, food, shared transportation and planned activities for the duration of the trip. We provide support for you to help raise funds if needed. We will establish a crowd-funding campaign for the trip and offer you a customized Ambassador page. We also offer a sponsorship packet to help you find sponsors who will pledge funds towards your trip. All funds raised are tax deductible. Roundtrip airfare is not included but typically runs $400 – $900. All money pledged / raised is used to cover trip costs while in Colombia: unused funds are donated directly to the children’s home with whom we work.
Where is the Trip?
For more information on travel to Medellín, Colombia, please visit our Travel Guide page. Note that this travel guide is not specific to your trip. It is a generic guide for traveling to the city.
How do I Get More Information?
For more detailed information about the trip, you can download our 2017 Volunteer Information Packet. Even if you have not made up your mind to join us, we strongly encourage you to register below or contact our Director of Missions Charles Navarrete at [email protected]. You will receive related updates which will answer many of your questions and help you make a decision.
What is the Mission Trip Schedule?
Saturday Day 1 – Arrival in Medellín, Colombia
On arrival into Jose Maria Cordova (MDE) airport, we will arrange transportation for you to the children’s home, where you will be assigned your room and given time to settle in. You will begin meeting the children, and share a meal with them if you arrive in time (Dinner is at 6:30pm). There are no formal activities in the evening this day.
Sunday Day 2 – Children’s Home Orientation Day
Breakfast with the children at 8am, tour of the home, then optional Mass with the kids. You’ll eat lunch with the kids at 1pm, then we have a group orientation meeting. After the meeting those who are staying at the children’s home (Option 1) will start learning about their jobs. Those staying at the new home construction site (Option 2) will depart for Caldas.
Monday Day 3 to Wednesday Day 5 – Work Days
Those at the new home construction site will begin work. Duties will be assigned based on construction schedule. Those at the home will start their work duties. The children will be in school on these days. Due to limited classroom availability, the kids attend school in two groups: Group A – 6am to 12:30pm, Group B – 11:30am to 5:30pm. Your daily schedule will look something like this:
5:30 am – Optional early breakfast with Group A kids
6:00 am – Group A departs for school
7:00 am – Breakfast with Group B kids
8:30 am – Daily work duties
11:30 pm – Group B kids depart for school
12:30 pm – Group A kids return from school and lunch
1:00 pm – Free time (nap time for children)
2:30 pm – Assist Group A kids with homework (for interested volunteers)
5:30 pm – Group B returns from school
6:00 pm – Dinner with kids
6:30 pm – Free time with kids
8:00 pm – Kids prepare for bed, volunteers to quarters
Thursday Day 6 – New Home Construction Day
Volunteers at the home in Bello will travel to Caldas to visit the new home construction site. The day will be spent working on the new home alongside our construction site volunteers. You will return in the evening.
Friday Day 7 – Work Day / Evening BBQ
All volunteers will resume normal work day duties. In the evening we host a BBQ for the children. The volunteers will cook, serve and clean for the kids. After, it’s music, dancing and often presentations put on by the kids of their design to thank you for your stay.
Saturday Day 8 – Free Day (City / Sites / Events)
You will be invited to join us with a group of the children to a local attraction or event. Past events have included things like soccer games at the local stadium, amusement park, water park, Colombian Flower Festival, Pueblito Paisa Museum, and a variety of other fun activities for the kids. For those not interested in attending the trip, this is a free day. Volunteers are welcome to explore Medellín, but it is highly recommended that you coordinate your activities with Emiliani staff. We can help coordinate safe, English-speaking guides to show you the sites. The cost of these tours is not included in your mission trip donation.
Sunday Day 9 – Departure Day
Transportation will be provided to the airport for departing flights.
Will We Do Anything Else?
Yes. In addition to the daily schedule we will plan other small events during the week. We may take at least one afternoon to get together as a group for lunch or dinner outside of the children’s home, and we may plan to take some of the children outside of the home to shop for clothes, see a movie or some other fun event.
Is it Safe?
Travel to any developing country has risks, however, we take your safety extremely seriously. At no time will you be away from Emiliani staff outside of the homes. The home in Bello is walled off and protected from the city. The home is Caldas is fenced/gated and in a rural area. We do no prevent you from exploring on your own, however, we will highly discourage it.
Can I Bring My Children?
Yes. We find the experience to be of great benefit in developing a child’s greater understanding of the world. If you wish to bring small children, please let us know in advance as there are considerations such as access to pediatric medical care that you may want to consider in your decision.
For a complete list of FAQs along with more information about the trips, please review our 2017 Volunteer Information Packet or simply ask us.
How Do I Register to Join a Mission Trip?
Please complete the form below. If you still have questions or need additional information, please contact our Director of Missions at [email protected].