Jump to content

Friends for Colombia


Recommended Posts

  • 4 weeks later...

Below is the description that was sent to me regarding the tour and it is pretty accurate.


Explore Colombian culture, meet local people, see the work being done by a local nonprofit foundation and help in a small but meaningful way. This is really an understatement. I know I got more out of my interaction withthese people than I could have given them. They are a very proud, kind, genuine people.


After we leave the port in an air-conditioned bus, we’ll first pass by the market where we can see local fish, fruit and vegetable vendors. We will continue through local barrios (neighborhoods) and see how people of Cartagena live and work. Our destination is the nonprofit foundation Granitos de Paz (Grains of Peace), located in the barrio Rafael Nuñez. The drive pastwhere people actually do the da to day shopping was an eye opener for me. We were not able to get out, but just seeingthe chaos of everyday life.....


This foundation helps 10,500 low income people through integrated programs addressing education, economic development, health and nutrition. Through these programs the cycle of poverty is broken and families are able to sustain their lives through employment and better living conditions. www.granitosdepaz.org.co


After a short presentation about the foundation and its programs, we will visit the training center, elder care center, a sewing business and a bakery. For those interested we will then walk through the barrio, visit family homes, and see productive patios where they grow herbs and vegetables that are sold through a cooperative to local restaurants and hotels. Passengers will also distribute bags of food and school supplies to people in the barrio which will be provided by the tour. We will get to know the people, hear about their lives, and see where and how they live. - They also arranged for some of the Children to Sing and Dance for us. During the Dance the kids invited some of us to dance with them. They seemed so sweet and were very giggly and fun. At the senior care center, there was more music and I again got to dance with the locals. After one woman brought me out to dance, many joined in. It was so much fun. We then passed out Food to soome of the residents.

We saw the Bakery where they are producing baked goods for the center and then selling the excess to the local resturants. We saw where the women are lerning sewing skills to make uniforms for the pediatric Nurses among other businesses.

After the tours of the facilities and an oppertunity to purchase hand goods (Jewlery, Paper, Handbags, etc) made by some of the women (There new businesses) we walked through the Bario. The kids came running and following us. We were invited into 3 homes that have created organic sustanable Gardens. We were able to ask questions through translators about their lives and how they had changed. They were so proud of their Gardens and homes as well as the fact they were learning to read and write. One woman expressed how before she was not able to read where the buses were going and had to hope it was going where she wanted.

The amount of joy and happiness I felt from the people and children is something I will always treasure.


Next we will drive through several barrios of Cartagena on our way to the walled-in Old Town. Along the way the current social situation of Cartagena will be explained as well as many of the current solutions underway. The history of Cartagena will be reviewed. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. - To see the difference between a Bario that is benefiting from this organization working with the residence to help educate, train for professions or start their own business, teaching about sanitation resulting in community pride and self reliance compared to those that currently do not have these resources. (They are planning to use this as a model for other Barios) was amazing


We will drive along the waterfront before arriving at the Old Town. This site is rich in history, architecture, and charm. Upon arrival, we will take a walking tour through many notable sights and plazas of the city. We will see the Plaza San Pedro Claver, Plaza de Aduanas, Plaza de Coches, Plaza Simon Bolivar and Plaza Santo Domingo. You’ll have an opportunity to step back in time over 300 years as you walk down the narrow cobblestone streets with flower draped balconies above. At the end of the walking tour, we will have some free time for shopping, having lunch or refreshments (on your own.) - The Old Town is also incredible. I fell in love with this area and wish I had more time. I will hopefully get back to visit again and again.


On our return trip to the port, we’ll drive through Gethsemani and Manga where we’ll see some very unique architecture.

Our Cruise was on the Celebrity Infinity and I am sending a letter to Celebrity letting them know that they should contact this organization to begin tours with them as it was truly the highlight of my cruise. Even more so than going through the Panama Canal which I exected to be the highlight.

Let me know if you want any other info as I can send you the contact for the gentleman who hosted the tour for us. He and his wife (Dan and Berit) were so genuine and delightful.

Marty Ohana



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
baylor, could you please elaborate on the excursion.





Please note: Marty described this tour as Friends of Colombia, but it is actually Friends for Colombia. The only reason I mention this is because both organizations exist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
Do you remember the cost of the excursion, and how large was the bus? I am leading a tour of approximately 30 people on a cruise and might be interested in doing this as a group. Thanks.


Hi mhbtravel,


Although Friends for Colombia conducted the tour, I was involved in the planning and finding folks to take the tour.


The tour cost, as I remember it, was $30 per person, which basically paid for the cost of the bus, the food for the adults, and the candy for the kids. If there was any "extra" - it was given to the non-profit. Friends for Colombia made nothing.


I believe our bus was about a 30-passenger bus, but I think there are different options. It was very comfortable and air conditioned.


This tour is exceptional - I highly recommend it. Dan and Berit Wick are so passionate about the Colombian people, you can't help but catch some of their enthusiasm.


Check out their web site at: http://www.friendsforcolombia.org/

or contact them directly at: info@friendsforcolombia.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...