ACTIVE CLOSED colombia-trip-september-2019

Colombia Trip

September 11-17, 2019

$3,498per person
($280 deposit)
Learn more about trip pricing. Trip Overview

On this exciting tour, you will visit the Compassion ministry in an all-new Colombian destination for sponsor groups. Top off the experience with a day of memory-making with your sponsored child!

Your gateway city is Miami, Florida.
Your Trip to Colombia

Colombia, a short flight from Miami, is a fascinating world away! The country’s diverse landscapes, colonial charm, vibrant culture, and warm, welcoming people make Colombia one of South America’s brightest gems. We invite you to experience all that makes Colombia special on this fully-guided, seven-day tour.

Starting in the beautiful Caribbean port city of Cartagena, this tour will take you to a nearby city (yet to be determined) that hasn’t been visited by a Compassion sponsor group before. Imagine the excitement of the children and local Compassion staff to meet a sponsor group for the first time!

You will visit church-based Compassion centers to experience the full range of our ministry, including the Survival Program, which sets babies on the path to good development, and the Child Sponsorship Program. You will also see the Complementary Interventions Program, which meets children’s needs beyond regular sponsorship benefits, and the Youth Development Strategy, preparing youth for life as responsible, self-sufficient adults.

Along the way, you will have opportunities to minister God love and encouragement to the children, families and local staff you meet. There’s also some sightseeing and souvenir shopping in the agenda. But the highlight of your trip will be meeting and spending an entire day with that very special young person — your sponsored child!

Please join us on this exciting trip to visit an all-new location in Colombia for sponsor tours! Just read through the itinerary and sign up today.

 
Trip Itinerary

Please note the itinerary is subject to change.

Day 1, Wednesday: Travel to Cartagena, Colombia

The Miami International Airport (MIA) is the departure point for our trip to Colombia. At the designated American Airlines gate, we will meet up with our travel companions and Compassion guide. Together, we will board a late morning, non-stop flight to Cartagena, an historic port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Our arrival about 1 p.m. will be met by Compassion Colombia staff, who will escort us to our hotel for the night, pointing out Cartagena’s interesting sites along the way.

Day 2, Thursday: Travel Outside Cartagena, Compassion Center Visit

After breakfast this morning, the Compassion Colombia staff will present a brief orientation to Colombian culture and our 45-year-old ministry to the country’s children in need. Then we will check out of our hotel and drive by air-conditioned charter bus to another city that has not been visited before by a Compassion sponsor group. (The exact location is still being determined.)

After lunch, we will have our first exposure to Compassion in Colombia by visiting a church-based child development center. The staff will give us a tour of their center and explain how the Child Sponsorship Program releases children from poverty. They will show us how children’s and financial records are kept and be glad to answer any questions we might have.

We will then head to our hotel. After checking in and getting settled, we will enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Day 3, Friday: Experience the Survival Program

Friday morning, we will visit a Compassion center that operates the Survival Program. This important program serves pregnant women and mothers of babies up to 1 year old, providing them the resources and training they need to give their little ones the best possible start in life. We will also visit the homes of some of the program mothers for an up-close look at the obstacles they face because of poverty in raising healthy, happy babies. The mothers will appreciate our words of encouragement, and we might get to hold a baby or two!

After lunch with the staff back at the center, we will learn more about the Child Sponsorship Program, the heart of Compassion’s ministry. The staff will explain how the program curriculum, adapted to the unique culture of Colombia, develops children in all facets of life: physical, educational, relational and spiritual.

Day 4, Saturday: Complementary Interventions & Youth Development Strategy

This morning, we will visit the homes of some Compassion-assisted children and enjoy the opportunity to pray for and encourage their families. It will be an inspiration to hear from their caregivers about the amazing difference Compassion sponsorship makes in their lives.

After lunch at the children’s Compassion center, we will see an example of the Complementary Interventions Program (CIV) in action. This program goes beyond regular sponsorship benefits to meet the pressing needs of children, families and communities. Today, we will visit an income-generating skills workshop for youth, made possible by special donor contributions to the CIV.

As we interact with the youth, we will hear from them about how Compassion’s Youth Development Strategy is preparing them to graduate from our program with the skills they need to be productive, self-sufficient Christian adults. We will enjoy hearing their goals for the future and encouraging them in their efforts.

Day 5, Sunday: Worship Service, Sightseeing

On Sunday, we will have the privilege of worshipping alongside Colombian brothers and sisters in Christ at a Compassion church partner. Language and culture barriers will melt away as we lift our voices together in praise to God.

After lunch, we will explore the city, taking in its sights and soaking up some of the vibrant culture. Later, we will have dinner at a local restaurant featuring the best in Colombian cuisine before returning to the hotel to rest and prepare our hearts for meeting our sponsored children tomorrow!

Day 6, Monday: Spend the Day with Your Sponsored Child!

Today, that precious child you have been faithfully supporting, writing to and praying for will become real! You will meet your child at a local recreation area and spend the entire day together, playing and sharing your lives. A translator will be on-hand to ensure easy communication between you and your child. Although you will be reluctant to say goodbye at the end of the day, your relationship with your child will be on a new and exciting level, and you both will remember this special day forever!

Day 7, Tuesday: Travel Home

It will seem like we’ve only just arrived in Colombia when we have to say goodbye! We will return to the airport today for an early afternoon American Airlines flight that will put us back in Miami about 5:30 p.m. From here, we will catch our individual connecting flights home, where friends and family will be eager to see our photos and hear how God is working to transform Colombia, one child at a time.

Important Information About Your Trip
Pricing and Logistics

We work diligently to provide a world-class experience at the most reasonable price possible. If you would like to read more about what accounts for the cost of these trips and the value within visiting your child, please visit our CI difference section. Below, you will find complete pricing details and options specifically for this trip.

Full Trip Price: $3,498 per person for double occupancy

Land Only Trip Price: $2,998 per person for double occupancy
Land Only pricing is available if you plan to purchase your own airfare and ground transportation to the hotel.

Single Supplement: $300
The fee for single room occupancy is to be paid with your initial deposit and is refundable up to 30 days prior to the trip start date.

Additional Child Fee: $550 per child
Meeting three (3) of your sponsored children are included in your trip cost.

Trip Deposit: $280 per person

Final Payment Amount: $3,218 per person

Final Payment Due Date: June 3, 2019

Gateway City: Miami, Florida
Due to frequent airline changes, we recommend waiting until 6-8 weeks prior to the trip to purchase your airfare to the gateway city.

Included in the Trip Price

  • international airfare from the gateway city to the destination booked under a group contract by Compassion
  • all in-country hotel costs
  • all in-country transportation costs from buses to in-country flights to varying destinations within the country you are visiting
  • all in-country meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and tips
  • entrance/exit fees at the airport
  • fun day venue costs and visits to any tourist attractions
  • limited travel insurance (see brochure)
  • meeting up to three personally sponsored children and all child-associated costs: This may include the costs for transportation, translation services, meals, lodging, activity entrance fees, etc., for the child(ren), their student center representative and parent (when desired by the parent/child).
  • administration fees

Not Included in the Trip Price

  • domestic ticket cost from your hometown for you and your guests to meet at the gateway city
  • fuel surcharges
  • travel documents such as passports and visas
  • immunizations
  • baggage fees, including fees related to exceeding weight limits or number of pieces allowed
  • additional snacks, mini-bar, shopping, gifts for your child or souvenirs purchased in-country
  • Internet, phone calls or laundry services while traveling
  • transportation to and from the airport if you choose to fly “Land Only” apart from the Compassion group

Cancellation Policy
In the event that you need to cancel your trip, please refer to our cancellation policy below:

  • All deposits are nonrefundable.
  • Fifty percent of the trip cost will be required for cancellations 59-31 days prior to the sponsor trip.
  • One hundred percent of the trip cost will be required for cancellations 30-0 days prior to the sponsor trip. Although rare, in the event that Compassion feels it is necessary to cancel a trip, a full refund will be given to anyone who has already applied a payment to Compassion for their trip cost.
Terms and Conditions

BACKGROUND CHECK In order to ensure our children’s protection and determine eligibility to travel with Compassion, we now require all travelers over the age of 18 to complete a criminal background check to ensure the safety of the children in our programs. Compassion uses a third-party vendor, ScreeningOne, to process all background checks. The results of your background check are confidential, and all personal information is encrypted and secure. Compassion reserves the right to not permit a traveler to go on a trip or rescind eligibility at any time even if the traveler’s background check was preliminarily approved.

AIR TRANSPORTATION and FUEL SURCHARGES Air transportation as included in the trip is based on economy-class transportation and is subject to all rules and regulations governing these fares. Fuel surcharges are added on a per-ticket basis at time of confirmation. In the event these surcharges are higher than budget estimates, we may require additional funds to cover these increased surcharges. We will communicate any pricing changes immediately.

CANCELLATIONS In the event that you need to cancel your trip, please refer to our cancellation policy below:

  • All deposits are nonrefundable.
  • Fifty percent of the trip cost will be required for cancellations 59-31 days prior to the sponsor trip.
  • One hundred percent of the trip cost will be required for cancellations 30-0 days prior to the sponsor trip.

MINIMUM PARTICIPANTS: On each trip, we have a designated minimum of participants. If we are unable to fill the trip to the required amount of participants, we will be forced to cancel or reschedule the trip for another date. In the event of a cancellation, we will communicate as early as possible, and all deposits will be refunded.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Compassion International reserves the right to adjust or alter any travel program when necessary or desirable for the protection, safety or improvement of said travel program, or when local conditions do not permit operation as published. Compassion International reserves the right to accept or deny participants application at our sole discretion.

RESPONSIBILITY: Compassion International makes arrangements with airlines, hotels and other independent parties to provide you with the travel services you purchase. These parties are independent suppliers over whom we have no direct control. We are not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of injury, accident or death; damage, loss or delay of baggage or other property; or delay, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental, resulting from (1) the act or omission of any party other than Compassion International or its employees; (2) mechanical breakdown, government actions, weather or other factors beyond our control; (3) failure to obtain documents, passports, visas and health certificates valid through the date of reentry, when required, in which case a cancellation charge will be assessed; (4) failure to follow instructions including but not limited to check-in and checkout times and baggage handling; (5) cancellation or change for any reason in the travel services offered; and (6) medical or health problems or physical disabilities. Compassion International reserves the right to cancel or alter the travel services at its discretion, except as otherwise noted herein. In the event of change, Compassion International will try to substitute comparable services; in the event of complete cancellation by Compassion International, we shall refund all monies paid to us. Compassion International will not be responsible for any other cost incurred by participants.

Trip Staff

Preparing for international travel may seem daunting, but we are here to help! For each trip, we have both a designated administrator and a trip leader.

trip-administrator-heather-tredouxAdministrator: Heather Tredoux | HTredoux@us.ci.org | 800-336-7542 ext. 4661

Your trip administrator is Heather Tredoux, who is experienced with overseas travel and is happy to answer your pre-trip and registration questions! Our trip leaders spend the majority of their time traveling, so Heather will be your main contact during the time before your trip, and will make sure you have the information you need to be fully prepared for your journey.

trip-leader-sandeep-maityLeader: Sandeep Maity

Your trip leader will be Sandeep Maity, who has led dozens of trips across all regions of the world, and has the experience and cross cultural training to guide you through an incredible, immersive experience! Sandeep will prepare you and your fellow travelers each day for the adventure ahead of you. Whether this is your first international trip or you are a seasoned traveler, Sandeep will manage the logistics and details of the trip so that you can wholeheartedly enjoy the journey!

Accommodations

Our trip leaders and in-country staff are hard at work planning this trip, and while we may not have a hotel chosen just yet, it is important to us that you have an understanding of the type of accommodations that we typically choose in Colombia.

Compassion carefully selects the lodging for each trip, which is determined by many variables, such as safety, menu, location and amenities. It is the pleasure of our field staff to search out perfect accommodations for each trip. Because they have relationships with hotels in their areas, they are often able to secure venues that offer Compassion generous discounts because of our frequent trips and our overall mission.

Most hotels we utilize for Sponsor Trips are equivalent to United States’ four-star hotels (or higher). Below we have listed commonly used hotels in for your reference:

example-trip-accomodation
Country's Culture
Weather

Colombia has an equatorial climate. Elevation ranges from sea level to 10,000 feet, so temperatures can vary greatly.

  • Best weather months are December through March.
  • Rainiest months are May through July, October and November.
  • Coastal cities and Leticia have year-round day temperatures from 70’s to 80’s F and night
    temperatures from 60’s to 70’s F. Nights can be cool.
Food

Various cuisines are available in the major cities, but food in small towns are invariably more basic, like corn, potatoes and rice.

  • Lunch and dinner often include soups (caldos).
  • Common dishes are pork, chicken, beef and fish.
  • Antioquian tipico revolves around red beans, white rice, fried plantains, with unleavened bread called arepas (similar to tortilla).
  • Experiment daily with a different fruit.
Helpful Tips

Exchanging money on the street is discouraged, as there are serious problems with the counterfeiting of all currencies. Bargaining should be kept to a minimum as well.

  • A long handshake, with the holding of forearms is a common greeting.
  • When conversing, make frequent eye contact.
  • Dress to fit in and refrain from displaying a camera or cell phone while in Bogotá.

Or call (800) 336-7542 for more information.