Where is La Libertad?
The Amazon Pueblo project is located in the village of La Libertad, Colombia. The village is on the banks of the Amazon River, located about 4 hours by slow boat Northwest of Leticia, Colombia. The map below is of the city of Leticia.
Most people fly to Bogota, Colombia and then take a regional, one and a half hour flight, to Leticia. Leticia is a city of about 33,000 people. It is located on the border of Colombia, Brazil, and Peru.
Leticia had been described to me as the kind of port town you would see in an Indiana Jones movie, to which I would agree. But here you can not only see and hear the adventure, but also touch, taste, and smell it!
What is a rough estimate of the amount of money I would need to support myself when volunteering in the village?
The average spending per week in USD is: food $30, transportation $20, entertainment $10, personal items/toiletries $5, utility bills $5
Total about $70/week
However, that does not include transportation to/from the Amazon. Additionally we are trying to put in gardens with raised beds. This may reduce the food costs. Here is a link to our work -http://amazonpueblo.blogspot.com/2016/06/community-garden-in-village-huerto.html
What type of visa would I need to stay longer than 90 days? I am aware that each country varies with this, but do you know if Colombia has a volunteer or work visa that I can apply for?
We are a registered foundation in Colombia. We can help you get a special volunteer visa that is good for up to one year. It does not have a cost.
Is Colombia Safe?
Colombia has made great improvements with internal security within the past 10 years. The rebel forces have almost entirely been disbanded. It is now safe to travel to almost any part of the country, which would have been unheard of 10 years ago.
Having said that, a traveler to Colombia must be cautious of things like petty theft, pickpockets, and people stealing things from hotel rooms.
There is corruption and crime, but the tourist are mostly looked after by the police. Foreigners usually get more help from the authorities than regular Colombians. Tourism is encouraged and anything that detracts from the industry is discouraged.
As far as travelling to the village from the US, what's a rough estimate in the flight cost/van pickup or however else I use to get there look like?
In U.S. dollars:
- Round-trip ticket from Los Angeles, CA or Boston, MA to Bogota = @$600.
- Hotel and taxi for one night in Bogota while waiting for the next-day flight to Leticia = @$50.
- Round-trip ticket from Bogota to Leticia = @$250.
- Hotel in Leticia while waiting for boat to La Libertad = @$20.
- Boat to La Libertad = @$6.
Total cost = @$926 U.S.D.
Can I get by speaking what little basic Spanish I know? More specifically, I know basic greeting phrases and questions, I know my numbers & alphabet. I know language can be a barrier at times.
You can get by with just a little Spanish, but the more you know, the better. I recommend the book https://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Gringos-Level-Barrons-Educational/dp/0764194607/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1468023676&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=spanish+fo+gringos
And the smart phone and web app Dual Lingo. You could also try the Rosetta Stone language program.