Assist Waste Management & Recycling Innovators

founded in 2014
Domino Volunteers
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Coordinator | Christina
Coordinator | Christina
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Connect personally with impactful local organizations leading the way towards innovative, sustainable solutions to Cartagena's current waste management crisis.
Gain Spanish proficiency with the city's best Spanish teachers and a range of class options that best suit your needs and schedule.
Settle into life in Cartagena easily, thanks to our assistance with all aspects of your trip preparation to Colombia and continued, 24/7 local support throughout your volunteer experience.
Enjoy Cartagena's diverse range of fun activities with the local community, from movie clubs and zumba classes, to kitesurfing and scuba diving.
Bask in the vibrant culture and tropical surroundings of Cartagena, a beautiful historic city on the Caribbean coast.
Work alongside local leaders to develop and advance sustainable waste management, recycling initiatives and sustainability projects in local communities. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 20+

Looking to make a real contribution to impactful local organizations leading the way towards environmental sustainability and urban transformation? Then read on, this is the project for you.  

A very small percentage of Cartagena households and businesses recycle, largely because there is a lack of information, infrastructure and organization in the city to do so. Lack of recycling, littering and poor waste management throughout the city create serious pollution problems — especially noticeable in low-income areas and coastal communities. 

We work with local social enterprises and foundations that focus on new technologies, waste management and recycling in communities where there is little being done. Some of our local partners are community based organizations dedicated to education, while others a new start ups developing new circle economy technologies, but all share the goal of protecting Cartagena's delicate environment by creating more impactful and accessible waste management systems. These projects may involve doing door to door visits with community members, grant writing and research, working with students at local public schools, or a range of other tasks depending on your skills sets and schedule. 

Typical day

Volunteers begin their day with a traditional breakfast at the host family, who's homes are always located in a safe neighborhood with reliable and convenient transportation, and nearby the historic and touristic center of Cartagena. 

Volunteers will generally either work with their assigned project during the morning or afternoon. Volunteers will take public transportation to their assigned project (which a Domino Volunteers staff member will help them navigate during their first day of volunteering). At the foundation, volunteers will work alongside a local professional to support the innovation and implementation of new waste management strategies and technologies. 

Typical volunteer responsibilities include: 
  • Go door-to-door with social workers and students from public schools to educate community members how to recycle

  • Assist in grant-writing for social enterprises developing new waste management technologies 

  • Help to construct, paint and prepare buildings and structures made from used materials

  • Participate in beach clean-ups

  • Work with recycling companies and help bring bins and collectors out to poor communities

  • Help with audio visual material, take photos and videos that can be later used to show impact

  • Help design maps and recycling routes

When not at their assigned project, volunteers may want to use their free time to take Spanish classes with our expert local teachers, take part in some of the many exercise groups and classes available, join a local salsa class, or explore this diverse in exciting city. Or, if you prefer to stay busy 24/7 during your time in Cartagena, we can help connect you to additional volunteer projects as well. The choice is yours!

Free-time activities

There's a wide range of activities available for volunteers in Cartagena. A few of the most popular activities include: 

  • Affordable Spanish classes with an expert local teacher  
  • Dance classes (Salsa, Champeta, Zumba, Cumbia, etc.) 
  • Visit local museums, art galleries, etc. 
  • Bike around the picturesque historic city 
  • Snorkeling or Scuba Diving (get certified with our local partners!) 
  • Boxing classes 
  • Gym memberships 
  • Attend many cultural events, concerts or exhibitions going on 
  • Relax at the many boutique cafes in Cartagena 
  • Spend the day at one of the many beaches throughout Cartagena  
  • Explore the nearby, gorgeous Rosario Islands  
  • Take a day trip or weekend trip to nearby sites, such as Tayrona National Park, Mompox or Minca

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Education Requirements
Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Political Science, Social Work, Public Policy, or related fields at University level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 14:00

What's Included

Services by Domino Volunteers

We offer volunteers a package of services, which includes areas where we have found that volunteers in Cartagena need the most support. We normally place volunteers to live (and eat) with a host-family, as it can be very difficult to find a safe, affordable, comfortable, and well-located place to live. Below is more detailed information about what we normally offer:

  • Prior to your arrival, we will complete a full evaluation of your profile and connect you with a projects in Cartagena that best matches with your timeframe, Spanish level, interests, and abilities. 

  • Homestay placement with a local family. Includes a private room with AC at night, wifi, laundry, and 2 delicious meals per day / 7 days per week (optional). Our home-stays are located in the safest areas and near the historic center. We send full details and photos of the homestay 4 weeks prior to your arrival.

  • 2 meals per day (generally breakfast and lunch) with your host-family. Volunteers eat very well, and fresh food is common. Host families are usually able to accommodate dietary preferences (vegetarian, lactose intolerance, etc), but please let us know about any food requirements you have. 

  • Airport pick-up and transportation to your home-stay

  • Information pack with maps, supplies, contacts, and Volunteer Manual. We will also sit with you and give you a full orientation upon arrival. 

  • Cell phone with local number and credit

  • We will take you to the project on your first day to make sure you know how transportation works and details about the project, its site(s) and staff. We will also help you make a schedule based on your goals and time-frame.

  • Connections to cultural and recreational activities (Spanish classes, other volunteer projects, English Conversation Club, cultural events, sports, etc.)

  • 24-hour in-country support

Airport Pickup at Rafael Nunez International Airport

A Domino Volunteers staff member will wait for volunteer at the local airport, and provide transportation to your host family, where we will provide a general orientation to living and volunteering in Cartagena.


Our volunteers stay in safe neighborhoods conveniently located near the touristic center. Volunteers stay in homes with local families dedicated to our mission of immersive, meaningful cultural exchange. Volunteers will stay in a private room, with AC at night, strong wifi and laundry machines available.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Volunteers will be served 2 delicious meals per day, 7 days per week with host family. Meals are home cooked, and feature traditional dishes. Adaptations are possible for vegetarians or those with any other eating restrictions.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Rafael Nunez International Airport (CTG) in Cartagena. We assist you to find cheap flights to Colombia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Colombia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Colombia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Colombia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Upon arrival, a Domino Volunteers team member will greet you at the airport and bring you to your host family (which we strategically make sure is both located near the historic center and easy transportation to your volunteer site). We provide each volunteer with an Updated Volunteer Manuel, full of useful information on living in Cartagena, such as volunteer tips, transportation information, expected cultural differences, etc. A Domino Volunteers team member will then help orient you to your new neighborhood: Where is the closest grocery store? What are the best transportation options? We will also provide you with several maps with our top recommended sites in the city, a cell phone with minutes, a Spanish-English dictionary, and a complimentary notebook. 

One of our team members will also accompany you on your first day volunteering at your assigned project. We will meet you at or near your host family's location, take public transportation together to your assignment, and help introduce you to your supervisor and colleagues. We accompany volunteers to school on the first day, so that they feel comfortable, have a proper orientation to the project's environment, have a translator on hand if necessary, and can feel assured that we are there to support them in their volunteer work. While a Domino Volunteers team member won't be working with volunteers each day at the school, we are available 24/7 for any questions or concerns, and maintain constant communication with your assigned project as well. 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
11 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$322 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Domino Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Domino Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Domino Volunteers cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Domino Volunteers.

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Assist Waste Management & Recycling Innovators

Work alongside local leaders to develop and advance sustainable waste management, recycling initiatives and sustainability projects in local communities.


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