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Cindy from China came to visit our class


Mar 5, 2023

Cindy was invited into the neighbourhood to present China, learn more about their experience in the following article.

In February 2023, during my travels in Medellin, Colombia, I came across "Intercambio." Always on the lookout for meaningful volunteer opportunities, I reached out to Alexander, the founder, via Facebook. Soon enough, my husband and I found ourselves waiting for him at the San Javier metro station.


Intercambio's vision is to establish a language and culture exchange center that empowers children from the underdeveloped barrio of Juan XXII. Alexander recognized the value of broadening the kids' knowledge and curiosity about the world beyond a potentially limited professional and educational opportunities. We were there to participate in the China-themed Class Night event.


We prepared an interactive game featuring true-or-false questions about Chinese culture, along with Chinese character puzzles and tonality games. Additionally, I had the children design a series of cultural questions about Colombia to test my knowledge. Initially, I was doubtful that the children would be interested in a distant country like China. However, their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn quickly dispelled my doubts.


It is true that a lack of interest can exist in the absence of knowledge. However, once exposed, interest can spark and ignite like a small firework, becoming a source of inspiration and drive towards greater things in the future. I believe this is the significance of Intercambio's projects.


Prior to volunteering with Intercambio, the San Javier area was only associated with the infamous Comuna 13 graffiti tour in my mind. The barrios beyond the tourist area were perceived as the poor and dangerous side of Medellin. Thanks to Intercambio, my understanding of Medellin has been broadened. I also hope that our volunteer work has enriched the children's understanding of the world and life.

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