2019 Lake Oswego High School Colombia Program (Santa Maria)

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 Lake Oswego Colombia Service Adventure! We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info, that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and get excited for Colombia!  
Travel Dates: June 15, 2019 - June 28, 2019
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,490 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,000
Deadline(s): Enrollment deadline forthcoming

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Program Tuition: $3,490

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Colombia Service Adventure

Long overlooked and too often underestimated, Colombia has made a triumphant return to the travel scene in the past few years thanks to a successful peace process that ended the country’s long running civil war. People should feel safe and be excited to finally be able to explore the beaches, mountains, jungles and cities that have always made Colombia a traveler’s paradise. We have been exploring the country for years now, building a network of contacts and providers for the day when we could return with student groups and we couldn’t be more excited that time has finally arrived!  Viva Colombia!

Program Highlights

Check out some of the possible featured experiences of your coming adventure! Each customized itinerary is unique, but these are just a few of the activities which may be available during your program.

Stay in the idyllic mountain community of Jardin de Antioquia, in the heart of Colombia's coffee country

Improve your Spanish by living with a host family

Explore the streets of Medellin, one of most famous cities in all of Latin America

Contribute to sustainable agriculture by working in the rural community

The Itinerary

We work hard to create engaging, educational, and truly immersive itineraries for our travelers. However, we also know that travel can be unpredictable, so we always design our experiences to be flexible enough to allow for adjustments based on group interests, unexpected opportunities, and any weather or safety concerns that may arise during your program. Should changes to the itinerary occur, we will notify travelers and families as quickly as possible. 

Day 1FridayPortland - MedellinWe'll likely have an evening arrival, after which we'll head straight our hotel for dinner and some rest after the long day of travel.Ram Hostel
Day 2SaturdayMedellinOur first full day in Colombia! After a breakfast of buñuelos, coffee and other delicious local treats we hop the modern metro and head into the center of Medellín. We'll take a short walking tour of the historical city center before checking out the Museo de Antioquia where many of Fernando Botero's paintings, sculptures and other works are housed. After a couple of hours in the museum we'll enjoy lunch of traditional bandeja paisas, a favorite in this particular department.

In the afternoon it we'll check out an awesome tour of graffiti street art through Comuna 13, formerly one of Medellin’s most dangerous barrios. These days Comuna 13 is an internationally renowned example of how innovative urban regeneration projects can be used to transform and revitalize communities. Our guide will be a member of the Casa Kolacho community center, responsible for 90% of the graffiti art in Comuna 13. As you climb the outdoor electric escalators they’ll explain the controversial history of the transformation of Comuna 13 and the importance that graffiti & hip hop play in the community.
Ram Hostel
Day 3SundayMedellin - Jardin de AntioquiaThe small town of Jardin is one of the most beautiful pueblos in all of Colombia and has remained virtually unchanged for more than a century. Located approximately 4 hours to the south of Medellin if traveling by car, it sits in the southernmost stretches of the department of Antioquia. The pueblo is famous in Colombia for its preserved and colonial appearance as well as its striking mountain views and lush green, garden filled landscapes.

We will arrive in Jardin this afternoon and begin our homestays after a short community orientation. The days spent in our homestay community represent the heart and soul of the program as students will be volunteering on a selection of meaningful service projects during the day while also enjoying sufficient free time to hang out with their host families and fellow travelers, practice their language skills, play soccer, make friends with local youth, attend community gatherings and explore the surrounding area. At the end of our time in the host community we'll help organize a fiesta de despedida, or going away party, to celebrate the time with our new friends and family and say goodbye to the community that has become our home.
Day 4MondayJardin de AntioquiaService projects, community activities, family time.Homestays
Day 5TuesdayJardin de AntioquiaService projects, community activities, family time.Homestays
Day 6WednesdayJardin de AntioquiaService projects, community activities, family time.Homestays
Day 7ThursdayJardin de AntioquiaService projects, community activities, family time.Homestays
Day 8FridayJardin de AntioquiaService projects, community activities, family time.Homestays
Day 9SaturdayJardin de Antioquia and Santa MartaThis morning we will say our sad goodbyes to our new friends, then begin the journey back to Medellin. We'll fly from Medellin to the town of Santa Marta, the second oldest Spanish settlement in Latin America and the gateway to an amazing coastline of beautiful beaches and massive national parks!

After landing we'll head to our hotel about an hour from the airport and settle in for a relaxing afternoon on the beach and around our hotel pool.
Santa Marta Hotel
Day 10SundaySanta MartaToday we'll venture into the impressive Parque Nacional Tayrona. We'll ride horseback under a dense canopy of jungle on the the shores of the Caribbean and enjoy a delicious lunch of fried fish and plantains under shady palm trees.

We'll spend the rest of the day exploring the hidden coves that dot the coast and the trails that wind through this incredibly bio-diverse national park.
Santa Marta Hotel
Day 11MondaySanta MartaToday we're off to the quite town of Palomino! We'll rent intertubes, motor up a mountain and then float our way down a pristinely clean and lazy river to the point where it meets the sea.

Afterwards it's back to our hotel for a farewell dinner ahead of our flight home the following morning.
Santa Marta Hotel
Day 12TuesdaySanta Marta and Portland (eventually)Fly homeYour own bed


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our travelers, teachers, staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors, we follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Travelers will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their Walking Tree group. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 


Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.
Hostal Casa RAM

Casa Ram welcomes guests with Double Room, Junior Suite, Private Double Room and 14-bed mixed Dorm. The provision of high-speed internet, television, a patio, a mini-refrigerator and a seating area in the rooms makes Casa Ram comfortable for every guest. Rooms are furnished with double beds and sofa beds. Shared bathrooms come with showers and bidets. Bathroom facilities feature guest toiletries and bath sheets.

Safety and Support


Great experience for our son. He would jump at the chance to do it again.

Parent of Raymond, traveler on Peru Service Adventure

Your Adventure Includes

Estimated Airfare

In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.


Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, shade-grown, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!


WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.

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