Where to stay
The International House
The International House is a good option in an excellent neighborhood and on a transportation line taking you directly to Ciudad Refugio. A great option for those doing a mix of tourism and volunteerism.
We have established a partnership with the Gran Hotel, which hosts our teams less than a 5 minute taxi ride from the base.
We are in the process of building a team house at the Ciudad Refugio, which will allow us to comfortably and economically host large teams at our base.
Medellin was the first city in the world to use cable cars for the purpose of mass transit. Over 30,000 people a day use the affectionately named “Metrocable” to travel up and down the mountain.
World’s most innovative city
Medellin, once mourned as the “World’s Most Dangerous City”, now has a new title. In 2013, it was named by the Urban Land Institute as the “World’s Most Innovative City” for its efforts in sustainability and urban development.
Largest population of internally displaced persons
Due to years of violence at the hands of cartels and guerrillas, Colombia has the world´s largest population of internally displaced people.
Number one in the world in cocaine production
Colombia´s 50+ years civil conflict fuels the crisis of addiction, displacement and homelessness that you encounter in many of Colombia´s major cities.
City of eternal spring
Medellin is close to the equator and situated in the Aburra Valley of the Andes Mountains. Because of its unique topography, it boasts a year round temperature between 70-75 F, earning it the nickname “City of Eternal Spring”.
Colombia is home to over 56,000 species of life, making it the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world behind Brazil.
Medellin is hailed as the arts and culture capital of Colombia, and is specially known for its street art.
Colombia is the second largest exporter of flowers in the world and boasts an annual Flower Festival drawing tourists from around the world.
The Cross and the Switchblade
Run Baby Run
When Helping Hurts
Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
The Walking Ghost
- Copy of passport
(electronic and hard copy)
- Journal and Bible
- Personal toiletries
- Copy of international insurance policy
- Water bottle
- Hand sanitizer
- Trail mix/nuts/snacks
- Comfortable shoes
(sneakers for ministry days, sandals or regular shoes for church and free day)
- Shower shoes
- Hat/baseball cap
- Sweater/Sweatshirt/Light jacket for evenings or rainy days
- Comfortable clothes that you don´t mind getting dirty on ministry days
(jeans and tshirts)
- Church clothes
(think more casual than dressy, blue jeans with a nice blouse or collared shirt is ok)
- Washcloth, sheet, towel
(small pillow if necessary)
- Roll of toilet paper
- Night light, book light, cell phone flashlight or small flashlight to help with roomsharing in evening hours
- Vaccinations and repellent not necessary in Medellin but should be considered if traveling to other parts of Colombia
- No shorts, skirts must be below the knee, blue jeans always ok
- No strapless or sleeveless shirts for women and no leggings
(unless with a long shirt that covers the backside)
- Church dress is casual. You may dress nicer if you like but it is not necessary.
(blue jeans with a nice blouse or collared shirt is acceptable)
- Keep jewelry to a minimum
(nice watches, earrings, wedding rings should be left at home)
- Be prudent with piercings and tattoos as these items communicate different things to different people
- Tap water is safe to drink in Medellin
- There is wifi access in the foundation but internet/cell phone/social media use discouraged during ministry hours
- WhatsApp is a free messaging application that is the number 1 form of communication in Colombia
Things to keep in mind
- It is not recommended to travel carrying cash or US dollars to exchange. It is recommended to bring your ATM card and withdraw cash from a bancolombia ATM machine (safer and better exchange rate). You can withdraw funds in the airport in Medellin.
- Exchange rate of $1 USD to COP
- You can withdraw up to 600.000COP at one time or up to 1.800.000COP per day
- Make sue to call your bank or financial institution to let them know you will be using your ATM or credit card overseas so that it will not be blocked
SAFETY AND TRANSPORTATION
- UBER is the safest form of travel around the city, metro and buses are also OK (during the day and with a local/spanish speaker).
- Buddy system at all times
- Avoid carrying cameras, tablets, cell phones, big backpacks or purses while on the street
- Restrictions on evening travel and activities for safety purposes
- If not needed for ministry work, leave valuables at home
- Foundation curfew 9:00pm (for safety and respect for those living in the foundation)
- There are top-tier, safe and secure health clinics and hospitals in Medellin. If you do not have insurance you can be treated but you must pay cash for treatment. If you have an international insurance plan or travelers insurance in general you must pay cash for treatment and be reimbursed later with your insurance policy. Please review your policy before arriving in Colombia.