LANGUAGE-LEARNING IMMERSIONS AND CULTURAL EXCURSIONS IN A VIBRANT RENAISSANCE CITY
Medellín has in recent decades transformed itself into a family-friendly destination for people who love a lively and culture-rich urban vibe. Join other visiting families with kids ages 4 to 17 for an action-packed month in this pulsing modern city filled with culturally enriching educational experiences sure to strengthen family bonds and create lifelong happy memories. Young people enjoy an experiential language camp on a lush hillside, where they will befriend local youth, learning about their culture while developing Spanish-speaking skills. Parents can embark on weekday excursions, work remotely from well-equipped co-working spaces, or just wander around this fascinating city. Evenings and weekends bring families together to connect and relax with newfound friends.
Click here to watch the recording of our recent Info Session!
The World's Most Innovative City
Disney’s animated film Encanto inspired kids around the world to sing and dance about Colombia’s rich traditions. Now your family can explore the real-world enchantment of this warm and family-friendly culture.
At nearly 5,000 feet in altitude, Medellín's climate is milder than other Colombian regions. Dubbed the “City of Eternal Spring,” the city boasts a comfortable climate year round, with daytime temperatures typically ranging from the high 70s to the low 80s. Most of this lush, green cityscape straddles the Aburra Valley, with outlying neighborhoods sloping up the surrounding mountainsides.
Emerging from the shadow of the cartels that once marred its reputation, the people of Medellín (“Paisas”) are proud of their city which has reinvented itself as an innovative and energizing urban environment just perfect for families.
In 2013, The Wall Street Journal and the Urban Land Institute presented Medellín with their “Most Innovative City of the Year” award in recognition of the city’s ground-breaking solutions that transformed social connections and created economic opportunities for residents living in formerly isolated mountainside neighborhoods.
Our Family Exploration Educational Concept
Working Without Borders has crafted a month-long curated itinerary of hands-on learning, educational excursions, mind-expanding fun, and immersive cultural activities for families with kids and teens ages 4 to 17.
Participating families enjoy a uniquely creative program expertly designed to facilitate new and meaningful bonds within your family unit and with others as well. While visiting kids enjoy a fun-filled day-camp, parents can choose to work at a co-working hub, explore the city, or opt for yoga and workouts at the nearby fitness center. Families reunite in the evenings, enjoying local delicacies and sharing the excitement of new discoveries.
WWB empowers families to experience Medellín as their home away from home. Some parents simply want to try remote working in an exciting foreign city as a lifestyle alternative. Others seek a well-organized and culturally enriching family vacation for the fun of it all, connecting with their kids, sharing new experiences and creating memories that the whole family will forever cherish.
An Extraordinary Day Camp for Kids & Teens
We are proud to partner with Thinking Mind, an award-winning provider of summer camps, well-known for their innovative experiential language-learning. Visiting kids learn conversational Spanish in fun, communicative ways through a variety of group activities: science, arts and crafts, sports and games.
On weekday mornings at 8:30 am, visiting kids will be picked up by minivans outside the apartment complex. They will be whisked up into the hills overlooking Medellín to the camp’s beautiful, expansive, lushly-wooded campus. There, visiting kids will meet in small groups with local peers, guided by a team of skilled bilingual activity leaders. One is an expert in language development and the other is responsible for ensuring that campers are connecting, feeling good and enjoying their time. The result is language-learning, cross-cultural skill development and good, healthy fun.
These small group interactions inevitably foster friendships. At lunchtime in the camp cantina, the new friends mix and mingle. During the afternoon, groups combine for collaborative team-building, sports activities, and social games.
On most days, kids return to the apartment complex at 4:00pm. On Fun Fridays, the camp continues till 8:00pm with exciting evening activities, dinner and a festive bonfire.
Exceptional Weekday Activities for Parents & Kids Alike
A typical weekday morning will likely find you and your family enjoying the delicious complimentary breakfast buffet in your apartment building restaurant, appreciating the spectacular views of the cityscape from the terrace dining area.
As the kids head to camp, parents have plenty of options to fill their weekdays:
- Work remotely from the apartment, coworking business centers or informal co-working spaces with wifi in nearby shopping centers.
- Explore the El Poblado neighborhood with its many small boutiques, cafes, shops and gyms.
- Grab a coffee while doing some grocery shopping at the Carulla FreshMarket, right next to the apartment.
- Call an Uber for a hike in Parque Arvi, a beautiful nature reserve in the mountains above Medellin.
- Choose from a provided list of cultural excursions and outdoor activities, some free and some bookable for an additional fee.
Unforgettable Friday Experiences for Parents
On Friday evenings, while the kids are continuing their camp activities with local friends, parents will appreciate the opportunity to get a unique perspective from local experts and participate in enriching workshops while enjoying delicious cocktails and local culinary treats! Our local partners at MUVon Travel have carefully selected and trained guides especially for these evenings.
- June 23rd: A fascinating tour of the Pablo Escobar House Museum will re-shape your understanding of Medellín’s history of drug cartels and paramilitary violence. Then, you’ll be inspired by a lecture and discussion about the city’s rebirth as a global exemplar of innovation and urban renewal.
- June 30th: A destination tour & presentation about Colombia’s incredible biodiversity in surroundings that will inspire and amaze you. (Fun Fact: Colombia is the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world and #1 in diverse birdlife)
- July 7th: During this mouth-watering workshop, you’ll learn about local ingredients and delight your palate as you prepare traditional Colombian dishes with a professional chef.
The Arrival Weekend: Getting To Know Your New Community
After being welcomed at Medellín Airport on Saturday, June 17 and settling into their apartments, program participants will get to spend Sunday, June 18 getting to know other families and their local hosts. A delicious lunch together in the lush, green outdoors of the city will provide a relaxing setting for families to get oriented and start making friends. Our local hosts will introduce the city and lead a walking tour of the neighborhood.
Weekend 2: Creative, Inspiring Street Art
Families will embark on an eye-opening journey into Comuna 13, a neighborhood that rises steeply into the mountainside surrounding Medellín. Thirty years ago, Comuna 13 was the center of the gangs: now, it is a shining example of entrepreneurship, positivity and renewal.
On this tour, families will learn how street artists and unique urban planning propelled this transformation of Medellín into a center of shared learning and inspiration. This specially curated tour, led by a bilingual local guide with personal experience living in the neighborhood, will highlight the importance of the colorful street art for social communication, cultural identity and political expression. The stories shared will be carefully curated to the participant families and kids’ age range.
Weekend 3: Local Family Immersion & Guatape Getaway
Local Family Immersion
Participants spend a day together with local Colombian families, enjoying a BBQ picnic in a beautiful outdoor setting while learning about each other and their cultures. Visiting kids and teens will practice the Spanish they’ve been learning at camp, while their local friends can practice their English. The universal language of sports and games provides the backdrop for this fun afternoon. This day promises to be a peak experience of the whole program, a heart-warming day of fun and camaraderie. Building a sense of community and friendship with local families is something that participants of previous WWB Family Learning Adventures have identified as the highlight of their trip.
Overnight Trip in Guatape
Pack your overnight bags! Traveling on a weekday means fewer tourists. Families will spend two days immersing in nature and relaxing in the colorful and charming pueblo of nearby Guatape. Climb the 740 steps to the top of Piedra del Penol, a 200-meter high granite monolith towering above the town of Guatape, rewarded at the top with spectacular views of the sparkling waters of the surrounding reservoir. Enjoy watersports and delight in wandering the streets of Guatape, known for its brightly painted buildings and some of the best coffee in Colombia -- that’s saying a lot! Spend the night in a local boutique hotel and enjoy the morning exploring the town before heading back.
Weekend 4: Flower Farm & Downtown Escapade
A weekend to experience the incredible and unique range of cultural contrasts that Medellín offers! The guides for the day have been carefully selected for their personal experience and expertise. The stories they will share will be curated to fit the age ranges of the kids in your group.
The morning will be spent high in the mountains, in the picturesque village of Santa Elena, in the heartland of Medellín’s Sillertero flower farms. Silleteros are flower vendors with origins in Colombian colonial times. Today they play a starring role in the internationally acclaimed annual Flower Festival.
After lunch together, families will come back down to the Medellín city center via its celebrated cable car. Listen to traditional Guasca music while visiting Parque Berrio and stroll through the animated diversity of Botero Plaza, with its outdoor sculptures by famed Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
Where We’ll Be Staying
Participants will be thrilled by the comforts and surroundings of their home-away-from-home, a modern, centrally-located apartment building surrounded by verdant spaces in the hip, family-friendly El Poblado neighborhood. Everywhere you turn there are opportunities for dining, shopping, and entertainment for the whole family.
Included with each 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment:
- Amazing views of Medellín sprawling out below
- A kitchen with a 2-burner stove, microwave, full-size refrigerator, dishes/cookware for 4, and a breakfast bar with 2 stools.
- 2 bedrooms each with a king-sized bed (or a 2 twin bed option), ensuite bathrooms and large closets. One bedroom has a small balcony with sweeping views of the city.
- Living room with sofa (opens to a bed), dining table and chairs, a cozy chair and coffee table.
Included in your stay:
- Front desk concierge and security station staffed 24/7
- Full Breakfast Buffet every morning: scrambled eggs, potatoes, fresh fruit, bread/pastry selection, cereals, yogurts, cheeses/deli meats, coffee and juices.
- An exercise gym with treadmills, stationary bicycle, free weights
- 2 hot tubs and a sauna (on a reservation basis)
- Restaurant/lounge space with tables, chairs, sofas, and TVs to gather with friends and family…both indoors and outdoors on a balcony with amazing views.
Medellín’s Most Exciting Neighborhood
El Poblado is leafy and green, exuding a fun, energetic vibe, filled with professionals and travelers. Grab a morning coffee on your short walk to the Tinkko Co-Working Center. Explore local boutiques and shopping centers. Enjoy a family dinner at one of the award-winning local restaurants. It will be no surprise that El Poblado was named “Medellín’s Most Exciting Neighborhood” by Conde Nast Traveler in 2019, and in January 2023, the New York Times included El Poblado in its list of 52 Places to Go This Year.
From your apartment you can walk in under five minutes to the upscale Carulla Fresh Market, a large grocery store that includes a bakery, deli, prepared foods for takeout as well as a beer and coffee bar. Similar to Whole Foods in the U.S.
There are two “Commercial Centers” in Medellín very close to the apartment complex, SantaFe and Oviedo. These are like shopping malls in the U.S. but in Medellín they far exceed what you may have experienced and they are focused on families! These are large, multi-level retail centers with a collection of shops, cafes, a food court and cinema. SantaFe boasts a bowling alley, trampoline park, arcade and bumper cars. Oviedo has an open-air/outdoor beer garden and kids’ play area as well as a large entertainment area that changes monthly and offers activities such as roller skating or ice skating.
Medellín pride in its shopping centers is no doubt connected, to some extent, to its climate. Like springtime weather in many parts of the world, this “City of Eternal Spring” has brief showers nearly every day, so these shopping centers provide a convenient escape from the rain and a chance to do errands at the same time. They also provide a great place for teens to spend time together.
World-Class Remote Work Facilities
Parents who want to work remotely while in Medellín are in for a treat. After a quick ten-minute walk along a lovely, pedestrian-filled, tree-lined avenue, parents will arrive at the modern, open-air Milla de Oro Building with a myriad of options for grab-and-go breakfasts, delicious lunches and afternoon treats. The Tinkko Coworking Center occupies 4 floors and offers great internet, common areas, private cubicles, meeting rooms and flexible spaces.
Parents interested in working from a beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the city can hop in an Uber for a quick ten-minute ride to a 2nd Tinkko location and use their Tinkko Flex Zone membership there as well. Each location offers water, coffee, and teas as well as vending machines. Memberships include printing and scanning options.
A Warm Sense of Camaraderie and Community
Families benefit from being part of a congenial and supportive community. Prior to departure, video calls will be organized and a private Facebook Group will be set up so participants can get to know each other before the trip. Participants will also be connected in Medellín via WhatsApp so they can easily coordinate meet-ups. A sense of camaraderie will arise through shared experiences like field trips, potluck dinners, parent-only excursions, and weekend outings for the whole family.
Your Local Host
WWB has partnered with MUVon Travel, local experts in Medellín and specialists in connecting their clients with memorable experiences in their beloved Colombia. The team is passionate about helping people around the world learn about the extraordinary, yet less accessible, natural places in Colombia. They love adventure travel and are committed to the development of community tourism in Medellin. They pride themselves on creating extraordinary, custom itineraries that surprise and delight even the most experienced travelers.
Will Schwind moved from the US to Colombia in 2005 after retiring from 23 years as an executive in the petroleum industry. He chose the beautiful city of Manizales in the mountainous coffee zone, where he lives with his Colombian bride of 17 years and her two sons. He has remained active in his real estate and construction business as well as other ventures. Will's friendly, calming demeanor will make you and your family feel instantly comfortable and welcome in his beloved adopted country.
Contribution & Impact
A core value guiding our program is Contribution. We aim to contribute directly to the community members who graciously host and guide our families, sharing their lives and cultural traditions with us. Often this leads naturally to lifelong friendships that you and your children will cherish. In Medellin, participant families will get to visit a local non-profit organization as a group to work on a project that will contribute to its mission and positively impact the organization’s target population. In this spirit, too, we encourage participants to consider contributing a financial gratuity, as they see fit, to the hosts, guides, speakers and camp staff who enhance your family’s month-long learning adventure in Medellín.
Pricing is based on the number of family members. The base price is for a family of one parent and one kid or teen. There is a $450 charge for kids aged 3 and under, who are too young for the camp but are welcome at the group events and outings. You can see a detailed list of What's Included under the Invoice tab.
When and How to Apply
Applications are being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is highly selective and participation is strictly limited, accepting a maximum of fourteen families. The application process consists of submitting an online form describing your family, which typically takes about ten minutes.
Click here to watch the recording of our recent Info Session!
Medellín, Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia
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