Youth Development

The Ciudad Refugio Youth Development program was birthed out of our children’s ministry outreach in the community of Manantiales.  Manantiales is the second largest community of internally displaced persons in Colombia. Displaced individuals find their way to this community from throughout the country, displaced due to armed violence, natural disasters, and forced land acquisitions devastating the livelihood of the campesinos (local farmers).

After several years of building relationships within the Manantiales community Ciudad Refugio volunteers noticed that the older youth were at a particular high risk due to gang exposure, drugs, broken homes, and lack of access to education. We began to pray and committed ourselves to look for ways to work with these youth, and asking the Lord to lead us to those who had genuinely made a decision to follow Jesus and were interested in changing their lives and futures.

Ciudad Refugio has now developed a small group youth some of who sleep here on weekends others of whom live here with us fulltime.  Our goal is to provide an environment and opportunities for them to succeed in life- spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  We offer them a second home and we mentor them vocationally, academically, spiritually and relationally.  It is our desire to raise up this next generation of leaders to serve and transform the Manantiales community.

Benefits of youth development program


Living at the foundation allows teens to attend Medellin schools with a higher quality of education, as well as access to tutors and mentors to help with homework and address issues that may impede the learning process.

Structured life

Our young leaders are given boundaries and structure related to living in the foundation and living in community.  This contributes to their growth and maturation process.

Safe environment

Ciudad Refugio is a place of peace, without violence, drugs, or weapons, providing youth with a safe environment to live, connect in community and develop relationships.


Each of the youth is assigned a mentor to pour into them while they are in the foundation.


We give each of the youth specific responsibilities to teach them to contribute within the context of community.

Leadership development

These young leaders become mentors for younger kids in Manantiales, as well as taking on responsibilities within various projects in Manantiales.

Interested in youth development

Are you a Christian educator or counselor? Ciudad Refugio is looking for individuals to serve in our youth development program as mentors, counselors, and teachers. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out how to serve with us long term.


Ways to get involved


Come volunteer with us! Join individuals and groups from around the world signing-up to make a difference.


Give financially and make a direct difference in the lives of vulnerable men, women, children and families.

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