We are a small hostel located in San Andres Island, Colombia. We cater mostly for extreme sport enthusiast. We offer a very laid back environment for people to chill out, we are definitely not a party hostel, but are not opposed to the occasional party.
We are currently looking for the laid back, easy going yet responsible volunteer(s) to help with general maintenance tasks an cleaning to help us keep our cost low. If you have an special skill set make sure you write it on your profile.
Volunteering activities would include, but not limited to things like cleaning (a lot of cleaning), painting, fixing, walking/cleaning after/bathing the dog (Beagle), getting drunk with guests.
You must speak A little bit of Spanish. you must be willing to interact with the public in English or your own language. No shy people. no lazy people. we need proactive/positive people who are extroverts and have high energy. We love logical people and problem solvers, we don't like clock punchers.
Also we value people who can cook as we generally do cookouts.
If you are obsessed with staring at your smartphone, please don't apply, we find this behavior it extremely offensive while on your shift or while hanging out with our guests.
Keep in mind that this would be an unpaid volunteering position as it is illegal even for Colombian to work in the islands unless they are legally entitled to do so, however free room, some uncooked food, the occasional beer and full access to the hostel will be provided. Big plus if you are a diver, skateboarder, surfer or kitesurfer.
We urge you to read the reviews left by people that have volunteer at the hostel, most of them give a very clear perspective on what the volunteering position is about.
Also keep in mind that we do not answer to people outside the Workaway system, Don't bother contacting us directly as your emails will be ignored.
My wife and I had a baby, so we now have a volunteering position (2 weeks min) for an english speaker with a bachelor's degree or certification in early childhood education or the like.
This position doesn't involve any hostel duties, however accomodation will be provided in the hostel, this is not a baby sitting/nanny aupair type of thing, however some light help will be needed in that regard. This is ideal for a preschool teacher or childcare worker.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
If you are interested in opening a hostel, we will teach you all the little and big things to get started.
In case we take you you are expected to socialize with guest and offer general help to help them plan their activities also if something is out of place or dirty we expect you to clean/fix it even if you are not on duty.
We value self initiative and we expect you to love the hostel the same way we do.
In August 2016 we built a dorm for volunteers, we call it The Dungeon. Is a small 1 bunkbed private room with a fan an barely any space. Closest toilet is about 20 sec walk in the 10 people dorm and if it rains really hard it gets flooded.
When we signed up to work away we weren't expecting much interest, but its been a bit overwhelming and is driving us a bit insane.
San Andres is one of the most expensive places to fly/live within Colombia, make sure you can afford it before you even contact us, we've had several people back out on us after extensive emails and Skype interviews due to high flight prices. although we understand money constrains are a legitimate reason not to come, We also value our time, so please make sure you check flight prices and that they are in your price range before contacting us. Also as of 2016 the tourist card price will set you back $110.000 COP
so here's what most people who contact us always ask us.
HOW CAN I GET TO SAN ANDRES?
Your options to come to San Andres are:
-Viva Colombia (Low cost airlines. Point to point layover from Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Cartagena)
-COPA (direct flight from Panama)
-Wingo ( flights from Cartagena, Barranquilla, Bogota and Cali)
-Avianca (4 daily direct flights from Bogota)
-LATAM (direct flight from Bogota, Cali and Medellin)
I HEARD FROM A FRIEND OF A FRIEND OF A FRIEND THAT THERE'S A BOAT FROM CARTAGENA
They don't take tourist.
DO I NEED A RETURN TICKET?
You do, but there's a loophole that we tell only to the volunteers we take.
HOW MUCH IS A TICKET TO SAN ANDRES, MORE OR LESS?
HOW'S THE WEATHER IN X OR Y MONTH?
Really? if you can't look this things up don't even bother contacting us, we won't get along.
HOW LONG CAN WE STAY IN SAN ANDRES?
Legally up to 4 months per solar year, however in Colombia foreigners can only stay 3 months before having to do a visa run unless you go to immigration and get an extension which cost $80.000.
CAN I DO LAUNDRY AT THE HOSTEL
No, Living in an island water is always a problem, we try to minimize its use as much as possible. We recommend you do a big laundry before coming to San Andres, if you want to do it here the laundry place closest to the hostel charges $8.000 per item.
HOW LONG CAN WE STAY VOLUNTEERING AT YOUR HOSTEL?
If we like your work you can stay with us for as long as legally possible, but for starters we will only commit for 2 weeks max in order to avoid drama.
I WANT TO VOLUNTEER MORE THAN 2 WEEKS WITH YOU.
We only commit on a one to one basis after your 2 weeks are done, we reserve the right to cut your volunteering time short if we don't like your work.
DO YOU OFFER MEALS FOR VOLUNTEERS?
I'M A KITESURF/SURF/YOGA/SCUBA INSTRUCTOR, CAN I TEACH AT YOUR HOSTEL?
If you are willing to do this for very cheap or for free for hostel's guest, we can talk. If you want to make money out of our business then we are not interested.
I HAVE TESOLF, XYZOFL, BLTXXX CERTIFICATION, I CAN TEACH YOU ENGLISH/YOGA
I already speak English and San Andres is the only place in Colombian where both English and Spanish are the official languages furthermore you didn't have a very original idea as everyone is apparently certified to teach English and Yoga nowadays.
HOW MANY HOURS DO I HAVE TO VOLUNTEER?
We are a small hostel and don't have a set amount of hours per day. All depends on how busy we are. Being a small hostel we are always on shift, let me make this clear, we are ALWAYS on shift. We don't like clock punchers, so if you are expecting to only help us from X time to Y time please don't contact us.
WHAT TYPE OF SKILLS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
We want a little bit of everything, since we are a small hostel we have no use for people with one limited skill, we look for people who are flexible and know a little bit of everything and are willing to learn.
Saying that, we look for people able to do from administrative tasks to construction! that includes getting hammered with guest, walking the dog, painting, cleaning(lots of) among other many things. You have to earn our trust and prove yourself if you want the keys of the place.
WILL I HAVE TO DO CLEANING?
Yes, lots of it.
HOW'S THE INTERNET IN SAN ANDRES?
Very slow, but stable.
HOW'S THE WEATHER IN SAN ANDRES?
Hot, 30+ degrees Celsius and we don't have AC units in the hostel.
IS THERE AN AGE MINIMUM OR LIMIT?
So far we have only had bad experiences with young fresh out of college kids so for the time being we have decided not to take people under 24, unless they have good Workaway feedback. As for age limit we don't care as long as you understand what a hostel is and are not creepy.
I'M ALMOST 24, WOULD YOU PLEASE GIVE ME A CHANCE?
Age is a number, we can only judge you by the quality of your profile and your previous work experience and we do so on a one on one basis.
MY PROFILE DOESN'T HAVE MUCH INFO, BUT I SENT YOU AN EMAIL EXPLAINING HOW AWESOME I AM, WHY DON'T YOU ANSWER?
We love customized emails, but we also take a close look at your profile, We even stalk you on Facebook and Linkedin if we can find you. As a personal recommendation I advice you to put as much information as you possibly can in your profile, this help hosts make a informed decision if we want to keep further communication or if we ignore you. As a rule of thumb, profiles with less than 3 lines get automatically discarded.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A PROFILE?
Previous Hostel certifiable work/volunteering experience, what type of studies you have and what sort of skills you possess, what type of work you are willing or not willing to do.
If you profile says things like "Namaste", "Open minded", "Citizen of the world", "Open to new cultures" those things won't catch anyone's attention and they kind of make us cringe!.
CAN I HAVE INTIMATE INTERCOURSE WITH GUEST?
Yes and no. As long as sexy times are done outside the hostel we are cool with it. Sexy times with guest inside the hostel can lead to legal troubles and will result in termination of your volunteering work.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO ANSWER?
We receive a unhealthy amounts of emails, so it takes us about a week to get to the workaway ones, we however do not guarantee a reply.
HOW MANY VOLUNTEERS CAN YOU TAKE?
We prefer to have only one volunteer at the time, we rarely take 2 volunteers at a time, as of NOV/16 we do not take couples or friends traveling together.
WHY DON'T YOU ACCEPT COUPLES/FRIENDS?
Traveling couples/friends understandably want to do stuff together and we want them to work on different opposite shifts and that generally doesn't sit well, also we have only have bad experiences with people traveling together, so we have decided to ignore all requests from couples/friends traveling together. Sorry.
WHY IS YOUR REPLY RATE SO LOW?
DO I GET A PRIVATE ROOM?
As I mentioned before, we are a business that makes money out of selling beds, so it is understood that you are okay with us switching you around to whatever bed is available as many times as needed, let it be a dorm bed or a private or in my house, we unfortunately cannot guarantee what type room we will be able to give you in advance.
WHAT'S THE COST OF LIVING IN SAN ANDRES?
-Diving cost $180.000 COP for a double dive.
-Open Water certification $900.000 to $950.000 COP
-A cheap meal out $12.000 COP
-Fancy restaurant meal $40.000 COP
-Average price of dorm rooms $50.000, privates $100.000+
-A can of Coca Cola $2.000 COP
-A beer at a club $10.000, in a bar $5.000, on the store $2.000 COP.
-Taxi $10.000, bus $2.500 and mototaxi $2.500
-Kitesurf lesson $150.000/hour negotiable
-Bike rental $35.000/day
-Scooter or golf cart rental on low season $140.000, in high season $180.000+ for 9 hours.
WHY IS YOUR PROFILE EXTREMELY SIMILAR TO ANOTHER HOST IN SAN ANDRES?
This B&B and dive center is owned by my uncle, out of laziness he just copied and pasted everything from our profile, we are two separate entities yet we do business together.
Please DO NOT contact us with questions about them and vice versa.
I READ YOUR PROFILE ON WORKAWAY, BUT I CONTACTED YOU DIRECTLY, WHY DON'T YOU ANSWER?
Don't be a cheap smart ass, Workaway provides a service and as every service there are cost associated with it. We ignore all volunteer request emails sent directly to us either through our website, Facebook or email address.
I FOUND YOUR PHONE IN YOUR WEBSITE AND DECIDED TO CALL/WHATSAPP YOU, WHY WERE YOU SO RUDE?
We only take volunteers from Workaway, we find it extremely insulting and annoying when people call us in order to circumvent the Workaway system and will answer accordingly.
YOU HAVE A HOSTEL IN PROVIDENCIA ISLAND, CAN I VOLUNTEER THERE?
We closed this hostel in June 2019.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Flexible split hours depending on what's needed. maximum 25 hours a week. Generally 5 days of work and two days off.
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