Indigenous Cultures and Biodiversity


Duration 12 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience Indigenous Communities


Exploring Indigenous Cultures & Biodiversity

Colombia II

This immersive program explores Colombia's cultural heritage and biodiversity. Students engage with indigenous communities, learning customs and traditions. Visiting diverse regions, they hike the Andes, explore the Sierra Nevada rainforest and Tayrona National Park, experience Wayuu culture in the Guajira desert, and visit Amazonian communities. The program fosters empathy, respect, critical thinking, and self-reflection, providing a deeper appreciation for Colombia's richness.

“Mountains touch the sky and oceans cradle the shores, every landscape is a canvas, painting stories of a nation's resilience.“


“Where Sierra Nevada meets Caribbean waves, Parque Tayrona is nature's poem, where ancient jungles and pristine beaches compose verses of ecological harmony.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Upon arrival in Bogotá, we take time to settle in and then have lunch and a walking tour through the historic Candelaria neighborhood. We finish the day with a welcome dinner.

Day 2

We begin with a visit to the Gold Museum, offering a glimpse into Colombia's pre-colonial history and indigenous cultures. After lunch, we travel to Guatavita, check in, and enjoy free time. Evening entails dinner, a daily debrief to reflect on the day's experiences, and preparation for the next day's hiking excursion.

Day 3

We embark on a hiking excursion to the sacred Laguna de Guatavita, significant to the Muisca people. After lunch, we return to Bogotá. This day provides a unique blend of nature, culture, history, and the importance of preserving indigenous heritage in Colombia.

Day 4

We fly to Santa Marta, then transfer to Tayrona National Park. There, students explore the stunning beaches, emphasizing the importance of preserving the Caribbean coast's unique natural environment. The day ends with dinner and reflection on Colombia’s natural beauty and heritage.

Day 5

After breakfast and a briefing, we hike to Pueblito, a Tayrona settlement showcasing their engineering and agricultural knowledge. Later, we travel to Palomino for the night, concluding with dinner and an Envoys Evening for reflections. This day provides insights into the Tayrona people's harmonious coexistence with nature.

Day 6

The first morning in Palomino will focus on environmental sustainability and cultural exchange. We hike through La Sierra Nevada to a Kogui village, engaging in a reforestation project. Then, we tube down the river, enjoy a traditional Colombian sancocho at the beach, and participate in a mochilas workshop, gaining insights into cultural significance and environmental preservation. The day will conclude with a beachside dinner and bonfire.

Day 7

We head to Riohacha, where students immerse themselves in Wayuu culture at the Divi Divi rancheria. After breakfast and the daily briefing, we explore El Malecón, then head to the rancheria for a unique experience in traditional hammocks. The day includes learning about Wayuu history, beliefs, and challenges, with an evening of traditional dances and music.

Day 8

After breakfast and briefing, we head to Mayapo to explore the impact of tourism on indigenous communities. The day involves visiting a Kitesurf School to learn about this local activity, engaging in conversations with community members, and discussing ways to promote sustainable tourism. This immersive experience emphasizes the importance of responsible and respectful tourism practices.

Day 9

We fly back to Bogotá and visit La Plaza de Andrés Carne de Res for an early dinner. Immersed in the vibrant atmosphere, we reflect on our journey, emphasizing the role of food, music, and culture in fostering peace and understanding. The evening conclude with a final Envoys Evening, sharing memories and lessons and preparing to go back home.

Day 10

After breakfast and our final briefing, we take some time to discuss what we learned, the impact of our work, and how we can continue to support and learn from the communities we visited. After lunch, we transfer to the airport for our flights home, filled with memories and a newfound appreciation for the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Colombia.

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Lenses of Inquiry


Sustainability & Biodiversity

Explore Colombia's ecosystems, with a focus on environmental challenges, conservation strategies, and the role of indigenous communities in preserving biodiversity. Students learn to assess human impact and identify strategies for sustainable development and environmental stewardship.


Cultural Preservation

Through visits to indigenous communities and cultural sites, students learn about the diverse cultures and traditions of Colombia. They explore the challenges facing indigenous communities in preserving their cultural identity and the importance of recognizing and celebrating cultural diversity.


Social Justice

Students learn about social justice and the human rights issues facing indigenous communities in Colombia, through immersions and meetings with community leaders and activists. They explore the role of indigenous activism and social movements, and the importance of addressing inequalities.


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