Alternative Spring Break

ChinchinĂ¡, Colombia – Sport without Borders

The goal of this program is to use sport as a vehicle for teamwork, wellness education, and personal growth. You will work with ISL partners to help children and youth hone their athletic skills, while giving you an opportunity to experience another culture, and make global connections through one of the world’s most recognized languages - sport. ‘Foutbol’ is king in Colombia, however we encourage you to introduce your favourite sports, and share your passion with the community.

You will have the opportunity to visit with Colombian coaches and physical fitness experts. In the evenings, ISL will provide information sessions on health and nutrition, body mechanics, self care, team values, and competitive performance skills. You will conclude your week with a visit to Granja Pinares, where you will get to explore a sustainable coffee plantation, and have an option of horseback riding, zip-lining, waterfall repelling, wall climbing and/or paintball.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-beingUN Sustainable Development Goal 10 - Reduced InequalitiesUN Sustainable Development Goal 11 - Sustainable cities and communities

Community Partners

International Service Learning

Dates of Travel

Saturday, February 16, 2019 – Saturday, February 23, 2019

Participant Numbers

  • 13 Student Participants
  • 1 Student Team Leader
  • 2 Team Leaders


  • Explore the concept of sport as a social construct in Colombia, and compare this to how sport is understood and practiced in your home country
  • Interact with local Colombian athletes, while promoting healthy living practices
  • Travel to Granja Pinares for exploration and recreation

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Alternative Spring Break 2018 program, students participating in this experience will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than their own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the ASB Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Identify and describe how participation in sport can contribute to a community's understanding and practice of health
  • Define the impact of various measures of wellbeing within the community
  • Recognize the limitations of their own knowledge and abilities

Ideal Participant

Your team will be exposed to a true local Colombian experience. The ideal participant loves learning about new cultures, and has a well-rounded perception of healthy activities and a healthy lifestyle. Ideal participants are flexible, reliable, and committed to learning. During this experience, you will be challenged to lean into your discomfort, and go with the flow.


Total cost (subject to change) – $3,400 CAD

Costs include:

  • Flight
  • Registration and programs fees with International Service Learning
  • Contribution to the project and comprehensive on-site support
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Transportation in Colombia
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Administrative Fee (t shirt, team leader contribution, journal)


  • ASB participants will be responsible for any luggage costs assigned by individual airlines, airport tax, souvenirs, or additional food/snacks during the trip.
  • ASB participants holding Canadian Passports, Colombia chargs a reciprocity fee to citizens of Canada arriving at an airport in Colombia. The fee of approximately $90 CAD (or 160,000 Colombian pesos) per person and is valid for a single entry into the country. This fee will be the responsability of participants and can be paid via international credit card or debit card.

Preliminary Itinerary

Day 1-2 (Orientation): After a long flight through and an overnight in Bogotá, you will arrive in Chinchiná and have some time to settle in, explore downtown through a scavenger hunt, and enjoy a welcome dinner. The morning of your second day will be all about coffee, with a tour where you will learn about the cultivation, harvesting, processing and preparation of your morning cup of joe.  The afternoon will be spent focusing on professional orientation by the Coach and Physical Fitness Expect, and your evening will conclude with a Spanish and Latin dance class.

Day 3-4 (Team Formation): Your days will be spent visiting with local high schools and club teams to promote the sports camp. In the evenings, you will work with ISL in hosting a community event where teams and individuals can sign-up for soccer or basketball skills clinics, and can join a team for tournament play. 

Day 5-6 (Skills Clinic): You will work with ISL on developing and implementing a skills clinic for the community. The evening will be spent working with local youth on a service project at a partner organization focused on either homelessness, the elderly, violence against women and/or special education.

Day 7 (Tournament Day): Your team will help with set up and facilitation of a community tournament, concluding with a banquet event, honouring the local student participants and featuring awards for team accomplishments, civic engagement, and leadership.

Day 8 (Recreation Day): You will conclude your week with a visit to Granja Pinares, where you will get to explore a sustainable coffee plantation.

PLEASE NOTE: Itinerary is draft, and subject to change at any point in time.


You will call Hotel Chinchiná Plaza home for your 8-day experience, and this is located in downtown Chinchiná, next to Parque Bolivar and the Cathedral.


Meals are prepared in-house by ISL staff or at approved local restaurants and reflect a variety of local foods. Students with specific dietary restrictions may wish to bring supplementary snacks.

Need to Know

  • This experience does not involve travel through the USA.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have the required travel documents and travel visas necessary to participate in the experience.
  • If you require disability related accommodation, or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs./li>