Volunteering at Angeles de Medellin, Colombia — The Children are Our Future
Aktualisiert: 10. Nov 2018
Before I came to Angeles de Medellin I was full of doubt and questions about what it really means to give and what it really means to help “the poor.” It’s still very unclear for me, but my experience here definitely gave me food for thought and showed me the hard work really required to make a difference.
Angeles de Medellin, or Angels of Medellin, is an organization started by Mark Kaseman (aka Marcos) to help the displaced people of Medellin.
The people are displaced as a result of the years-long conflict between the government and the drug cartels/gangs. As people moved have moved back to the city with nothing, shanty towns have developed up in the mountains on the outskirts of the city.
In short, Angeles de Medellin is a community center. But it’s so much more. It is a safe place where kids can come and play games Mark has provided or that have been donated. Kids can learn computers, typing, English, and even baseball and American football!
Anyone of any age can volunteer, for as long or as short a time as they want. Unlike a number of other volunteer projects, Marcos doesn’t stipulate a minimum period of time, although he does ask for a small one-time donation from every volunteer who spends a day at Angeles de Medellín.
Part of the reason volunteering with Angeles de Medellín is so much fun is because there’s an immediate regression to childhood, regardless of how old you are.
You can play games and chat in nonsensical Spanish to kids and help out with their education a bit, which always feels good.
But one of the biggest factors I took away from my time at the center was a new appreciation for the city of Medellín and the people who call it home. Spending a few days in Regalo de Dios allowed me to see a side of Medellín that I’d probably never have visited otherwise.
My advise for everyone: You have to go to Medellin. And you have to meet Marcos and the Angeles. :-)
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