Philanthropic Things to do in Medellin

With an electric nightlife, the finest restaurants, and plenty of activities and attractions to see, Medellin is a traveler’s playground. 

However, many locals live a vastly different reality. Your favorite ex-pat areas of Poblado and Laureles are like little bubbles that encompass an alternative, more comfortable reality, inaccessible to millions of Medellin’s inhabitants. 

The city’s social issues are all the more prevalent in the wake of COVID. Here’s how you can get involved in philanthropic projects around the city and leave an impactful footprint along your travels. 

Angeles de Medellín Foundation

Marcos Kaseman is an American ex-pat who, after teaching English in Medellin, decided to build a community center in one of the most impoverished parts of the city. 

Situated high in a hilly and remote area of Medellin, it serves many families displaced by drug warfare and the Colombian civil war. 

Many do not have clean drinking water in their homes or access to education. Here basic living resources are scarce. 

The Foundation, started in 2006, is a safe place where children can spend time in the afternoons. Here, they can play games, learn English, and use the computers. Marcos also offers education classes for single moms so they can learn a new skill and get better-paying jobs. 

How to Get Involved

Over the years Angeles de Medellín Foundation has received volunteers from over 107 countries. There is something for everyone to do:

  • Donate to the food or clothes bank 
  • Teach English.
  • Teach a special skill like coding, sewing, marketing, etc
  • Donate time to the soup kitchen

Facebook: Angeles de Medellin Foundation

Proyecto Florecer

Although Colombia has made progress with gender equality, there is still a significant disparity between men and women regarding education and employment. 

The aftermath of Covid has exasperated these hardships, and reports of violence against women have increased. Proyecto Florecer is a non-profit dedicated to empowering and advancing women through educational workshops and humanitarian services.

While working in Medellin’s public school system, co-founder Erin Colton-Enberg, saw many female students fall into cycles of drug abuse, pregnancy, and abusive relationships. 

Proyecto Florecer’s grassroots programs are led by community volunteers and offer Latin women the opportunity to break these cycles.

How to Get Involved

If you have personal development, health, lifestyle, or digital marketing expertise, the folks at Proyecto Florecer want to hear from you! Here are some things you can get involved with:

  • Content writing
  • Social media management
  • Curriculum development
  • Educational workshop leading
  • Clothes or food donations

IG: proyecto.florecer


Today 9% of Medellin’s population live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $45 a day, with nearly a third of Colombia’s overall population living in less than adequate housing. 

TECHO was originally started in Chile and sought to provide the world’s most disadvantaged with the bare necessity of shelter. This group of young people began building houses for people living in dire conditions. 

The initiative expanded to the far corners of Latin America and now operates in 564 settlements, including Medellin.

How to Get Involved

You can volunteer with TECHO and assist with activities that improve the lives of local communities. 

  • Help with construction projects
  • Fundraise
  • Campaign at universities

IG: techo_col

Poder Joven Foundation

Poder Joven Foundation is a Medellin non-profit founded in 1996 by a group of college students committed to helping vulnerable children at risk of being recruited by cartels or sexually exploited. 

Targeting some of the city’s poorest areas, they provide life-skill workshops and educational classes.

They also host yoga and meditation sessions to nurture emotional and spiritual awareness within the children. 

How to Get Involved

You’ll need to be over the age of 18 to volunteer and be able to commit at least a month of your time to the organization. You can help with the following:

  • Art and self-esteem workshops
  • Field trips
  • English classes
  • Reading and writing activities

Address: Cl. 45a #57a57, La Candelaria, Medellín, La Candelaria, Medellín, Antioquia

Empower the Barrios

The Medellin grassroots project Empower the Barrios is run by the U.S. based company non-profit Kind Footprints.

Operating in strata 1 and 2 of Medellin, the organization aims to support families with limited resources by assisting with healthcare, food, financial aid, and education. 

Since launching, it has provided over 307,000 meals to communities impacted by COVID.

How to Get Involved

Empower the Barrios is always looking for volunteers to help make a difference. You can apply for the below volunteer positions on their website:

  • English Tutor
  • Programming Tutor
  • Social Media Assistant
  • Volunteer Assistant
  • Copy Writer

IG: empowerthebarrios

Fundación Marina Orth

Focused on three key areas; technology, English, and vocational guidance, this non-profit seeks to provide Colombian children with the tools to break the cycle of poverty. 

The Fundación Marina Orth educational programs have been implemented in 11 rural Medellin communities and taught over 7000 students. 

They also train public school teachers and provide English tutoring in after-school and spelling bee clubs.  

How to Get Involved

Volunteers must be native English speakers and able to commit to a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months. You can contribute in the following ways:

  • Teach English 
  • Social media marketing
  • Donate monetarily 

Facebook: Fundación Marina Orth

Soup Kitchen

After seeing families struggling to feed their children, Medellin native Sneider Zapata decided to create soup kitchens for kids in the Santo Domingo Savio neighborhood. 

The kitchen operates daily, with over 100 children being able to enjoy a hot meal. For some, it will be the only meal they have that day. So, initiatives like this are a crucial part of the community. 

Sneider’s goal is to improve the lives of residents by providing basic needs like clothes, food, sanitary products, school supplies, and toys. 

How to Get Involved

There are several ways to contribute to Sneider’s project: 

  • Donate food or funds
  • Donate items like clothes, shoes, books, or stationery
  • Share time by playing with the children
  • Help out at the soup kitchen

WhatsApp: +57 3127173240

Recode the Future

Latin America is the fastest-growing tech hub in the world. With this exciting advancement comes new job opportunities within the sector.

Empower the Barrios has partnered with Medellin non-profit Recode the Future to provide programming and coding workshops to the city’s youth. These new skills will help them gain access to the best STEM jobs. 

Classes take place on Fridays and Tuesdays and provide healthy meals for the students, access to computers, and a quiet and calm place to learn.

How to Get Involved

Recode the Future is currently seeking expert coders to assist with workshops. You can help with the below volunteer opportunities: 

  • Programming workshop leader
  • Job advice seminar speaker

Facebook: Recode the Future

Participate in Philanthropic Projects and Give Back to Medellin’s Local Communities

The city is home to some real innovators and game-changing initiatives. Project leaders are always looking for new ideas and people to collaborate with. 

If you have an exciting idea or just want to lend a helping hand, reach out to them and get involved!

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