Cuerpo de Paz
Centro Empresarial Las Américas, Calle 77B No. 57-141, Piso 7, Oficina No. 713
TelephonesFor security purposes Peace Corps/Colombia will require you to possess a working cell phone at all times. Peace Corps Trainees are notified prior to arriving in Colombia to bring an unlocked working cellphone. If you do not arrive with a cellphone you are responsible for purchasing one locally at the soonest possible availability.
InternetInternet access is widespread across Santa Marta, Barranquilla, and Cartagena. In addition to Internet cafes, there may be the option for a personal Internet connection in your host family home as some host families may have Internet access. The Peace Corps office has some computers in the Volunteer lounge as well as a wireless hotspot. If you do bring your laptop or other expensive electronics, you are encouraged to purchase personal property insurance prior to leaving for Colombia. You should also bring a USB or external hard drive to back up your laptop.
Housing and Site LocationPeace Corps/Colombia requires Volunteers to live with host families for their entire service. The initial host family will be pre-selected, during site development, by the host family coordinator, in conjunction with your project manager, the safety and security coordinator, and director of programming and training. Host families receive a brochure and brief training on hosting Peace Corps Volunteers. Housing for Volunteers must meet a minimum standard of a room that can be locked with a bed, table, chair, and fan. Volunteer contributions to host families for lodging, utility, and food expenses will be explained and discussed after arrival and during pre-service training. Housing in the North Atlantic Coast will vary from community to community. Most houses will be block construction, some may be wood framed. Some host families live in apartments. Houses are constructed to allow air flow to counter the hot and humid conditions. Most will have water, electricity (110 volts of current), and indoor plumbing. Some houses may have water outside the home and very few homes may have latrines instead of indoor toilets. Water may be unreliable, especially during the extended dry season.
Living Allowance and Money Management
Volunteers receive a monthly allowance in local currency that is sufficient to live at the level of the local people. The allowance covers food, housing, household supplies, clothing, transportation to and from work, utilities, recreation and entertainment, and incidental expenses. Peace Corps Volunteers are expected to live at a level that is comparable with that of their host country counterparts. The Peace Corps discourages Volunteers from supplementing their living allowance with funds from home. However, Volunteers often wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. For this, credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.