Frequently Asked Questions

  • About our Sponsorship Program

How to sponsor a child?

Want to know how to sponsor a child? Click on this link to take you to our sponsorship site. Once there, you can read through the profiles of the kids that we have (and/or hope to one day have) at the home. Once you pick one, and choose a sponsorship level, you will be directed to our payment page where you can begin your sponsorship. Soon, you will have access to a sponsorship portal where you can communicate with the child and be notified of updates and news throughout the year.

What happens after I sponsor a child?

You will immediately receive an email confirmation of the details of your sponsorship. Then, an Emiliani staff member will contact you by email to confirm your sponsorship details and to answer any additional questions you may have.

How long does my sponsorship commitment last?

Hopefully forever! Although we hope you will make a long term commitment to our organization, you may stop your contribution at any time. You can cancel by logging into the Sponsorship portal.

Can I adopt a child?

No. The Emiliani Project does not facilitate child adoptions, nor do we provide adoption advice or guidance. Our focus is getting the children off the street and in a loving and protective environment.

Am I the only sponsor for a child?

No. Unlike most of the other child sponsorship programs, we allow a child to have multiple sponsors. Other sponsorship organizations provide many wonderful services for their children; food, clothing, education. We are a little big different in that we also provide them with a place to live, staff to cook food for them them and teachers to educate them. We purposely keep our monthly sponsorship program at a minimal cost to allow maximum participation for all those who want to help. Because we are operating a home and school for children, with all the associated costs, our operating expenses will not be covered by one donor per child.

Is my sponsorship tax deductible?

Yes! All of your sponsorship donations are fully tax deductible under the IRS code 501(c)(3). You will receive a donation letter at the end of each calendar year with a total of your sponsorship donations for tax purposes.

Can I visit my sponsored child?

Yes! Every year, we organize mission trips for volunteers who want to help with the children or with the ongoing maintenance of our home. Please visit our Volunteer page for more information.

What makes The Emiliani Project different from other organizations?

Emiliani is a 100% volunteer organization operated in the US to help orphaned and abandoned children. 100% of your sponsorship donations go directly to our projects that supply the care, support and education for these children.

What happens if a child leaves the home?

Many children at the home are in volatile situations where they may have family members in the area, but are unable to provide for their children. Although we are given guardianship over the children, family members, according to Colombian law, maintain their authority. If a family member arrives to claim responsibility, we are obligated to relinquish the child to them. If this happens, you will be notified and your sponsorship will be moved to a new child, so that you can continue helping children in need.

Can I give my sponsored child gifts?

Yes. There will be opportunities to contribute to a birthday, Christmas, or special holiday event fund. This fund will not be directed specifically to one child, but will allow the community to celebrate together.

  • About our Trips

Where are you located, what is the address?

Hogar de Cristo is located near the city of Caldas just south of Medellin. Our home is in a very rural area and doesn’t have a physical address. However the GPS coordinates are: 6.015882, -75.618398.

Where do we sleep?

You will sleep at our home. We will provide you with comfortable accommodations while you stay with us with access to amenities such as hot showers and a washer/dryer. WiFi is also provided.

What/Where do we eat?

All meals will be provided at the home. Generally, you will be eating the same meals as the children of the home. If you have a special dietary need, please notify us in advance so we can accommodate you accordingly.

What do I do when I get there?

A schedule of events will be provided for your specific trip. However, you will be helping us with the latest construction project, maintenance of the home or working with the children.

Is it safe?

Travel to any developing country has risks, however, we take your safety extremely seriously. We have protocols in place to make sure your safety is a priority. Since our home is in a rural location, we added a fenced/gated perimeter, 24 hour monitored security cameras, a guard and secure transportation to and from the airport.

How close will I be to medical care?

Can we come and go as we please?

No. If you choose to do mission work with us, we ask that you adhere to the schedule. This is not designed to be a vacation. However, if you want to see the sites, please arrive a few days early or stay a few days after.

  • About Gente Unida

Who is Gente Unida?

Gente Unida is a Colombian nonprofit organization founded by Padre Jorge Villalobos. For over 30 years, Gente Unida has been saving abused and abandoned children in Medellin, Colombia.

What is The Emiliani Project’s relationship with Gente Unida?

The Emiliani Project has partnered with Gente Unida while building its first home in Colombia. Gente Unida provides its expertise to us while we build and operate our home.

What role does Gente Unida play in the life of the kids?

Gente Unida is an essential partner of The Emiliani Project. They bring their extensive knowledge and expertise to bear providing the care, education, feeding, clothing and nurturing the kids need, from infancy through high school. It is through the love and dedication of Gente Unida that we are able to do more than merely rescue these kids, but are able to see that they are raised in a loving environment.

How can I get in contact with Gente Unida?

Anyone interested in reaching out to Gente Unida can send us an email at this address, and we will facilitate the communication.

  • About Traveling to Medellin

Medellin Travel Guide

This guide, along with The Emiliani Project staff will help you with your travel. We want your group’s mission trip to be safe and easy so you can focus on doing the important stuff! Here is the travel guide

Is a passport required to travel to Colombia?

Yes. If you are not a Colombian citizen, you must present a valid passport to enter and leave Colombia. U.S. citizens do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist or business stay of 90 days or less, or for cumulative stays of 180 days or less per calendar year.

Are COVID-19 tests required to travel to Colombia?

There is no requirement for a test when entering Colombia for fully vaccinated arrivals. Those with at least one vaccination can enter if they have a PCR test with a negative result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test no older than 48 hours.

What is Check Mig?

Colombia Check Mig form is a mandatory travel document required for entry into Colombia. The form is required 24 hours prior to entry through the Check Mig website. Click HERE to be taken to the online immigration form.

Do I need any immunizations?

We recommend that you speak with your medical provider prior to traveling to Colombia.

Do I need any Travel Insurance?

No, but we highly recommend it!

When should I book airfare?

As soon as possible for the best possible rates! Remember, you will be flying into Jose Maria Cordova International Airport in Medellin, Colombia.

Do I need to get Colombian Pesos?

No, but if you want a little cash just in case, we recommend getting Pesos when you land in Medellin at an airport ATM.