Volunteer with Marina Orth Foundation

Marina Orth Foundation

Medellin, Antioqia, Colombia, South America

The Marina Orth Foundation is dedicated to providing an excellent, modern education so that students, no matter their race, economic status or gender, will be able to compete globally.

Our foundation emphasizes "Information Technology". Each student from preschool to fifth grade receives a personal computer to use in school and to bring home to their parents. We also specialize in teaching English, the universal of business and technology, and leadership, to build self-confidence and ability too work in teams.

We stress “learning by doing”, the training of teachers and the inclusion of parents in the education of their children. We use computers to bring forth the creative energies of previously marginalized communities.

We have developed an innovative curriculum for preschool through 11th grade using One Laptop Per Child in grades 1-5 and Intel Classmate computers and conventional computers at the higher levels. We emphasize English language skills, the use of computers for everyday tasks, and the use of the internet both for research and for exploration far beyond the geographic and psychological barriers of the students’ lives.

Beginning at the kindergarten level, our students are given computers to use in class, take home, take apart and learn from.

The foundation is currently developing the VUELA (Taking Flight) Project to use the laptops in innovative ways to improve education. We use computers to teach English, Spanish and Mathematics and to help the students to create 3D graphics, compose music, and take pictures.

We encourage both teachers and students to use the computers to improve their research abilities and to develop critical thinking and leadership skills. The students learn work as a team and to follow a plan from its inception to its completion.

English is taught using SMART Boards, interactive white boards that not only function like old fashioned blackboards but allow teachers to project anything from their computer screen onto the board. It’s erasable and can also save pages.

The Marina Orth Foundation has been training teachers in computer technology since 2005. Teachers now use computers routinely to communicate, assign homework, file grades and schedule meetings. The Foundation is also training the teachers to use educational software to enrich their teaching methods in the classroom.

Our Activities

What We Need

FMO volunteers’ main tasks are to make English, Leadership and Technology learning fun and interactive through various activities. These include, but are not limited to, after school clubs based on the volunteers skills and interests, exam preparation courses for high school students, vocational English courses, teacher training, event preparation, supporting the English school and FMO teachers and doing office based tasks.

Mid-January to November and/or July to June – This is in line with the Colombian school semesters.
To have a bigger impact in the Educational Communities where we operate our volunteer program last one year which are two semesters of school with a four weeks of vacation in between.

What We Provide


Option 1: Volunteers live with a host family found by the Foundation. The host family provide the volunteer with three meals a day, seven days a week. The volunteers will receive COP $300,000, to help with local transport costs.

Option 2: Volunteers can find their own accommodation. The Foundation will provide the volunteer with COP $800,000 per month the contribute to rent and local transport costs.

Important Info

Suitable For


Minimum Stay

Any period of time

Staff Size

20 to 50 people


Volunteers are expected to cover their own transport costs to arrive in Medellín, Colombia. Volunteers are also expected to pay for their visa (US $250 at time of writing, again subject to change).

Other than that the Foundation has no fees and provides volunteers with a monthly stipend of COP $800,000 if they live independently. If they live with a host family the volunteer receives the food and accommodation as well as COP $300,000

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Your Contact Person

Alejandro Urrego
Calle 49aa #77c – 98, Barrío Estadio, Medellín, Colombia, Medellin, Antioqia, Colombia.
85% response rate

Application Process

Step 1: Introduction. Read about the foundation and the possible volunteer roles
Step 2: Application. Fill in the Application Form and send to mhenriques@fundaorth.org
Step 3: Interview. If your application is of interest, you will be invited to interview. The interviews can take place over Skype for applicants overseas. The interview will consist of some general questions and some based on your answers in the Application Form.
Step 4: Application acceptance. You will be advised if your application has been successful and your references will be checked. Conversations (through email or Skype) with past or current volunteers can be facilitated if you have further questions.
Step 5: Acceptance of volunteer position. You accept the volunteer position offered by the Marina Orth Foundation.
Step 6: Pre-arrival Pack. You will receive a Pre-arrival Pack with more information as well as several documents from the Foundation you will need to apply for your visa.

Timings: Deadline for a January start is October 15th. Final decisions are made by November 10th. Deadline for July start is April 15th. Final decisions are made by May 10th.
(These dates may vary depending on the academic calendar in Colombia).

What are you waiting for?

We at Marina Orth Foundation would love to hear from you!