The idea for Domino Volunteers formed in 2014 in realizing how hard it could be find volunteer opportunities in projects that were making legitimate impact and where one's particular skills and experiences can be put to use. In Cartagena, there was an evident demand from the international community to find transparent, organized and safe ways to get outside of the small, touristic city center, interact with local culture and donate time or resources to a local community. Similarly, many foundations and social projects could use the help of volunteers, yet were unable to find, assess or coordinate them. In short, so much potential for cross cultural learning and positive change was going to waste.
Our team has a vast variety of skills and backgrounds, and diversity is a big part of our success. We believe that more collaborations = more impact, and are thankful to all those who have collaborated and supported our vision throughout the years.
Christina is from Colorado (USA) and arrived to Cartagena in 2011 as a Peace Corps volunteer. She has a MA degree in International Development and experience as a Project Manager, researching the Peace Accords, and as a professional scuba diver. She is passionate about connecting people and resources in sustainable ways. Some of the many reasons why she has stayed in Cartagena include: turquoise Caribbean water, contact with many cultures and nationalities, champeta music, and the possibility of directly impacting the city's impressive poverty levels. Her favorite part, however, is locals' cogelo suave rule--live in the moment and don't sweat the small stuff. Being around people who focus on what makes them happy is inspiring. Learn more about her story here.
Co-Founder and Director
Maggie was born in Texas, to a gringo father and Cartagenera mother. She may not look half Colombian, but that changes when you get her on the dancefloor. She graduated with a degree in Cognitive Science and Studio Art from the University of Virginia, and has lived in London working in luxury travel for over a decade. Now, she's moved to Cartagena to reconnect with the motherland and her Colombian family. Through Domino Volunteers she has gotten to know many wonderful initiatives happening in and around the city (and use her love of spreadsheets for the greater good)! Maggie also remains a talented artist and brings creativity, positivity and generosity everywhere she goes!
Head of Communications
Wendy is from Cartagena and has a degree as a Professional in Foreign Languages at the University of Cartagena. She speaks fluent Spanish, English and French. She loves to meet people and make them laugh. Wendy is proud of her black identity and loves helping volunteers to understand the important Afro-Colombian culture and history in Cartagena. Wendy is a huge support for Domino Volunteers in sharing her creative perspective, editing video content, finding additional projects to support, sharing Cartagena’s culture, and helping volunteers on the ground.
Volunteer Coordinator / Video Content
Born and raised in Cartagena, Cristian graduated in law from the University of Cartagena, received his specialization in Procedural Law at the Universidad Libre, and currently works in the municipal civil courts. Cristian is dedicated to giving back to his community and supporting positive change. He supports Domino Volunteer’s community engagement efforts, and has been especially instrumental in creating the Red de Fundaciones (Network of Foundations). Cristian is also a passionate Madonna and Green Day fan.
Alex originally came to Cartagena as a volunteer English teacher and afterward worked with Domino Volunteers. After spending almost 4 years in Cartagena, Alex has left for New York City to pursue a Masters in Public Policy from Columbia University. Despite the distance, she continues to support our work, helps us to establish international connections and remains a significant part of our team. We are grateful for Alex's dedication to social justice, positive outlook and support both near and far!
International Liaison and Support
Jose or "Jota" is from Cartagena, studied Social Communication & Environmental Conservation and is passionate about the ocean and social equality in Cartagena. Jota is the Co-Founder of Domino Volunteers and has connected us with many projects including the Adaptive Surf Project and Reef Conservation initiatives, in addition to host families and many other local services in Cartagena. He has worked throughout Latin America and Asia as a Master Scuba Dive Trainer and also runs Paraiso Dive Cartagena, A PADI Scuba Dive Resort in Cartagena.
Co-Founder and Community Liaison
Maria Fernanda is from Cartagena and has a double degree in foreign languages and industrial engineering. She speaks fluent Spanish, English and French and enjoys researching and writing about the Caribbean culture, especially about the role of women in Cartagena's society. Maria Fernanda is a huge support for Domino Volunteers in sharing her creative perspective, helping volunteers before they arrive and once they are in Cartagena, in addition to creating photo and video content. She also helps us to find new community leaders and small businesses to connect with and local entrepreneurs to support. She also runs her own Podcast about stories from AfroColombian women who discuss their natural Afro hair.
Volunteer Coordinator/ Entrepreneur Coordinator
Maria Fernanda Vizcaino
Elida is the ultimate expert when it comes to finding the kindest and most welcoming of host-families in Cartagena. Elida was born in the neighboring coastal city of Barranquilla and moved to Cartagena in 1995, where she immediately fell in love with la mágica de Cartagena. Besides helping volunteers discover the joy of costeño culture, Elida loves walking the historic center’s colorful streets with a delicious raspao de cola.
Host Family Coordinator
Alba is a a professional Financial Advisor who specializes in business strategy and heads Grupo Azka, a financial consultant group. She moved to Cartagena from Bogota in 2013 and ever since has loved supporting entrepreneurs who make positive changes in this wonderful city. In addition to helping Domino Volunteers navigate Colombian tax laws, balance sheets, and financial strategy, she believes that the true need of humans is not to receive nor to be loved, but instead to give and to love. For her, the best part about Domino Volunteers is witnessing how people are interested in giving without expecting anything in return--"it is impossible to visit a place without leaving some sort of a fingerprint, and there is much work to be done in Cartagena!"
Our Community Partners
Local leaders, professionals, and social impact champions
Lastly, we wouldn't be able to do what we do without our amazing local partners!! Domino Volunteers works with over 35 community-based organizations, composed of local professionals dedicated to creating positive change in Cartagena in a range of important fields, from sports to girls empowerment, peace-building to environmental conservation. Learn more about the projects our local partners are leading here.