I run a small mainly vegetarian cafe-restaurant in Guatape. I opened in August 2014 and now it is really taking off. Vegetarian food is becoming popular in Colombia and there are many tourists, both from Colombia and further afield, who come to Guatape. I also have a lot of loyal regular customers, and the clientele is around 50:50 Colombians and foreigners, so if you want to practice Spanish you will have plenty of opportunity to do so.
I open five days a week and In addition to the days I open we also have at least one day per week when we are preparing food for the restaurant. I also employ a Venezuelan man in my restaurant, who is learning English. Therefore, there is plenty of cultural exchange and opportunities to learn Spanish. Or if you speak Spanish, he can help you learn/improve your English! Also, most of my friends are Colombians, so you will be able to find out a lot about the country, its culture and the language.
I live in a beautiful house and have ample room for volunteers. I live with my two (quite large) dogs, so if you are allergic to dogs, this wouldn't be for you! I am looking for someone to help me out generally in the cafe, at home and also sharing the housework. Sometimes I also need some help with handyman type jobs and some dog-walking/ training. If you would like more information, please email me.
The help I need isn't too hard or strenous and there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy the stunning countryside, lakes, waterfalls, mountain air, etc here in glorious Guatape.
I really need people who can stay around a month (or longer, if you wish!) as I don't want to be explaining the routine to new people every week.
I really cannot take smokers. I am allergic to smoke.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
There will be plenty of opportunity to practice Spanish as many of my customers are Colombian and speak little or no English.
There is also a Spanish teacher nearby, for those who want to learn/improve their Spanish - which is something the volunteers would need to pay for.
Most of my friends are Colombians, so you will be able to find out a lot about the country, its culture and the language.
Volunteers will also learn about how to open a small business in Colombia, and running a cafe/restaurant in a foreign country.
There are more opportunities to interact with local people, and to be immersed in local culture with me than in many hostels, where volunteers are only spending time with English-speaking people.
My clientele is varied - mostly Colombians, but lots of visitors from all over the world too. My menus and signs are in both English and Spanish. It is essential that the volunteer could speak either of these languages fluently, and preferably with at least a small amount of the other.
English and Spanish
Sharing my house. I have two good-sized bedrooms and a shared bathroom (with hot shower) for the volunteers, plus use of the rest of the house.
Sorry but I cannot take any smokers.
I normally only need one volunteer at a time, but occasionally I can accommodate a couple.
Internet access is reasonable at both the house and the restaurant.
If you like the fresh air, the outdoors, nature and wildlife, Guatape is definitely for you. There is an enormous lake, and there are many hikes and walks around in the mountains and by the lake shore, where you will encounter crystal clear rivers, waterfalls, swimming holes and stunning countryside. There are lots of different water sports on offer too and there are several small towns and villages nearby too which are worth a visit. Plus Medellin is only two hours away.
There is also a Spanish teacher nearby, for those who want to learn/improve their Spanish - which is something you would need to pay for.
Guatape is about 2 hours from Medelllin, there is a good bus service in the daytime, from the North (Bus) Terminal but it finishes around 6.30 pm. The last part of the journey has many bends and curves, so if you suffer from travel sickness you may like to take a pill before boarding the bus!
Guatape is full of colour and is a very popular destination with Colombian tourists, and more foreign tourists are discovering this hidden gem nowadays too.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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