There are many ways to extend your stay in Cartagena working informally but paperwork and the Colombian immigration authorities, the Departmento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), will tend to catch up with you. To establish yourself in legitimate employment there are a variety of options.
Teaching English As a Foreign
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is normally the first port of call for foreigners smitten by the Caribbean sunshine and looking for a way to stay.
The Colombo-Americano [www.colombocartagena.com] has a language school in the heart of the old town and another facility in the Cuatro Vientos district and likes to employ foreigners.
They have been known to employ natural English speakers without previous experience in teaching.
Teaching | Private
Other schools like the Colegio Montessori, Colegio Britanico and the Colegio Jorge Washington employ English-speaking teachers with a track record of working in international schools. These schools will help you arrange a work visa if you commit to staying for more than a year.
If teaching Cartagena's more privileged kids doesn't appeal then there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference to the vast majority of children on the other side of the tracks on a volunteer basis.
Check our recommendations of worthwhile causes, Charities, Non-Government Organisations and Foundations operating in a variety of different fields for more ideas.
Many of these are funded by European Union, Asian and the US governments and operate volunteer programs for people with transferable skills or the commitment to work in difficult circumstances.
They range from Tiempo de Juego a football classes in two of the most downtrodden barrios on the fringe of the central district, Santa Rita to Fundacion Renacer, a refuge for victims of sexual abuse or PLAN, a foundation dedicated to improving the living conditions of children.
These positions tend to be for volunteers and pay is likely to be low as a result although the rewards can be priceless.
If you are looking to work in your chosen field while in Cartagena then there are plenty of places to look for opportunities in some of the multinationals being drawn to the city or in a host of small businesses in the tourism sector looking for multi-lingual staff.
Wages are likely to be lower than similar posts in Europe and the US. To stay indefinitely you will need to reach an agreement with your employer to back your visa application.
All immigration concerns are dealt with by D.A.S in their main office in a beautiful, if a little run-down Republican-style mansion in Pie de la Popa.
Cra 20 B, No 29-18
T +57 5 666 3092 | +57 5 666 0438
Mon-Fri | 07.30 - 12.00 | 14.00 - 16.00