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Centres For Children

There are several centre's set up around Cartagena that provide children with the care that their parents may not be able to give. The services available at these centre's include education, health/dental and meals for children from the local community and are free to the kids. Regular support is necessary to maintain the daily operations in these centre's as supplies are often inadequate for the demand that they receive.


Fundación Querido Amigo
Financed Privately, Colombian. Established 1998.

Address: Bosque de la Circunvalar, Manzana 14, Lote 1
Office Tel: (+57) 5 652 2709
Director: Oliva Coronado
(+57) 315 779 1163
Coordinator: Rocio Jácome
Internet: cartagenainfo.net/fqa/english.html
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

How to get there
Take a bus marked 'Ternera, San Jose' from the east end of Calle de la Media Luna. One hour exactly, ask to be let off at 'la fundación'.

The purpose of this foundation is as a school in a poorer area of Cartagena where the people can not afford to send their children to school and there is not enough space in the school for all the children of the area. FQA was founded by Olivia in 1998 and now has 250 students from preschool to grade 5. Classes are conducted Monday to Friday from 7.30am until 12.30pm when all students are provided with lunch, there are also activities, including sports, on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm. Students also have medical check ups once a month.

This foundation runs on the sums of money donated through their website and the supplies that the government gives them (i.e. peas and school uniforms), although it largely survives through the persistence of Oliva (the director), Rocio (the coordinator) and the other support staff. The teachers and staff here will happily reorganise the daily curriculum to accommodate any program you may wish to propose (i.e. English or Breakdancing) within school time or in the afternoons. The foundation is in an area an hour from the centre of Cartagena and therefore the children don't come into contact with foreigners at all. This makes teaching here even more rewarding for both you and the kids because just by being there and talking about your home will make an impact.


Financed by Hotel Las Americas, Colombia. Established 1995.

Address: La Boquilla, Cra. 9 #41-41
Tel: (+57) 5 656 8299
Director: Eustorgio Carrasquilla
Coordinator: Catherine Escobar
Internet: www.fundacionproboquilla.org
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How to get there
Take a bus leaving north from India Catalina marked 'La Boquilla/San Jose de los Campanos'. The centre is on the left before the bus gets to the beach. 15 minutes.

A centre on the beach that has various functions including supplying elderly locals with lunch. It's primary ongoing service is providing children in smaller areas of La Boquilla with meals , they also use a their main centre for weekly activities such as medical checkups and occasionally recreational activities. Proboquilla's office has a very large space that could be used for a variety of purposes. It is another location that would happily receive any organised event or short term activity.


Fundación Casa Italia - Programa Boca Azul
Financed privately, Italy. Established 2001.

Office Address: El Centro, San Diego, Calle Portobelo, #10-40
Tel: (+57) 5 664 8682
Centre Address: La Boquilla, Carretera 2, #98
Director: Giuseppe Mazzoni
Internet: www.casaitaliaong.org

The office (which is also an Italian cultural centre) is a couple of streets away from India Catalina, near Vivero.

To get to the centre in La Boquilla take a bus leaving north from India Catalina marked 'La Boquilla/San Jose de los Campanos'. The centre is very close to the end of the route and has a tired looking Italian flag flying above it. The trip takes between 15-25 minutes.

La Boquilla, a beach area north of the centre, has a fairly large displaced community and most of the families that live there rely on the tourist trade to the beach for income. The children that live here are often left during the day while parents go to earn money however they can. Boca Azul began as a centre for providing lunch to the children of the area and now has over 300 kids under the age of 14 visiting the centre daily for lunch. Facilities are very basic in the centre and there is now not sufficient space to seat all the children to eat. However, the services provided in the centre are increasing and there is a doctor that visits monthly, a teacher that comes some mornings to help the children and classes in sewing for some of the mothers. The centre is also currently expanding and by mid 2006 there should be a new eating area as well as rooms for activities for the children and later accommodation for volunteers who want to work there for longer periods. Currently there are only 3 kitchen staff (mothers from the community) and 2 social workers who help take care of the kids. This is realistically enough staff to keep order while the kids come and eat and so there is a lot of possibility for what can be done with the centre outside of an eating space.

The coordinators here would be very happy to have one or two people come and stay for a longer period of time (say 6 months) to help with the daily activities as well as create some different things for the kids to do. There will shortly be accommodation for volunteers at the centre as well.


Fundación Renacer
Financed by Colombian Government.

Address: Getsemani, Calle de la Media Luna #10-18, 2da Piso
Tel: (+57) 5 660 2610/660 2629
Director: Fabien Cardenas
Internet: www.fundacionrenacer.org
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Renacer is specially funded by the Colombian Government and deals specifically with victims of sexual abuse/exploitation. Their office in Getsemani has regular sessions with psychologists and activities, including sewing classes and sports, targeted at young prostitutes in the area. They also have a centre in Turbaco which houses 30 young women whom have chosen to leave the streets.


Fundación Amigos de los Niños
Financed by Children International, USA.

Address: España, Calle Cadiz, Cr 45 #29-49
Tel: (+57) 5 672 2542
Internet: http://www.children.org/factsheet.asp?country=Colombia

How to get there
Take a bus marked 'Zaragocilla' going east at the end of Calle de la Media Luna. Get off at the Cruz Rojo Colombia (Red Cross) and ask for directions.

There are now about 7 centres run by Fundacion Amigos de los Niños in Cartagena, all in the poorer areas where there may not be sufficient public services. They offer things like medical and dental services as well as talks about sexual health and family planning to anyone under the age of 19 for free during business hours. They have very strong support from the USA from where their centres occasionally receive volunteers in the form of trained doctors and logistical staff. There is also a child sponsorship program, a large volume of their employees in Colombia work to administer this program including finding families in need of help and aiding the communication between sponsors and the child they sponsor.