Volunteering in Nicaragua

While being the second largest Central American country, Nicaragua’s beauty is second to none! This dreamland has inspired poets and artists for centuries and captured the imagination of those who have had the fortune to have set foot on them.

Nicas (Nicaraguans) are joyful and artistic oriented people who feel very proud of their many cultural achievements and cultural traditions. After the end of their civil war in 1990 Nicaraguans have managed to build a stable and independent democracy that has allowed for foreign investments to flow in and boost the local economy, particularly in Tourism and Real Estate industries.

Like its neighbouring Central American countries, Nicaragua is blessed with most agreeable weather conditions, bewildering sights and natural landscapes which include rainforest, paradisiac tropical beaches, mountains that hide ancient aboriginal ruins, amazing volcanoes and valleys  irrigated by rivers that nourish an ever-blooming  flora of breathtaking beauty and a fauna of great diversity.

CW’s programs are placed in Granada and its surroundings. This is the first European city built in America and is being massively restored and revitalized. Located on the shore of the Nicaragua Lake, this beautiful colonial city is the perfect destination for volunteers who wish to improve their Spanish language skills and get to know Nicaraguan culture and customs at a deeper level

These are the programs that we offer in Nicaragua:

-Youth program.

-Daycare program.

-Women’s program.

-Physical therapy program.

-Conservation program.

What’s included in our fair-cost policy?

 

All our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.

 

The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others. We need this fee just to sustain the organization.

 

The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community. It’s a fee which helps organisations that work in the country associated with the program at hand to move forwards with their projects and generate work opportunities for the local community.

 

Thanks to our fair-cost policy, the volunteer benefits from not having to pay high fees and our local partners benefit from being able to invest in their projects and keep things moving forwards. Connecting Worlds also benefits from keeping the costs of its programs as low as possible because we get the opportunity to support local communities and make a difference in our own small but important way.

 

Youth program

Although primary schooling is free and compulsory in this country, the local government initiatives to decrease the high level of school outfall have so far failed to achiebçve the desired results. Some of these initiatives involve providing schooled children with transportation, supplies and free meals, yet 700.000 children didn’t enrol at any school last year.

In order to address this serious cultural problem our organization provide a variety of in-school and afterschool programs in Granada that include educational, recreational and daily care activities.

According to your skills and preferences, you can volunteer for this program and help with English classes, arts, sports and dance activities, as well as lend a hand with meals and snacks preparation and children's entertainment and contention.

To participate in this programs volunteers need an intermediate level of Spanish language skills, be creative, flexible and proactive in order to overcome the lack of material resources.


Daycare program

This program aims to bring a safe, caring and stimulating environment to babies and little children under six years old. Volunteers to this program basically need to love little children and to enjoy spending time with them. As a volunteer you’ll be required to look after babies, engage little children in games and educational activities such as drawing, storytelling, singing and dancing. This program is essential to help develop these children self esteem and confidence, healthy social habits and learning potentials, which will make a difference in their adulthood opportunities.

Minimum duration for this program is two weeks and volunteers should have at least high-beginner Spanish language skills.

 

Women’s program

Girl’s Home: This program is aimed to offer a safe and loving environment and psychological contention to orphan girls (huérfanas) who have in many cases endured physical and psychological abuse.

Volunteers for this program assist nuns, nurses, psychologists, social workers and care-takers in their endeavours to help these extraordinary children overcome their traumas and develop a strong self-esteem and confidence so that they can aspire to a better future.

The program includes a variety of educational and recreational activities and therapeutic workshops; and volunteers’ expertise or experience in any of the areas involved are highly valued.

This program is open only for female volunteers and participants need to have high-intermediate level of Spanish language skills.

Minimum duration for this program is four weeks.

 

 

Physical therapy program

This program is open only to health professionals and students on their last year of school training and who have an intermediate to advanced level of Spanish language skills.

Volunteers will assist health professionals in a wide range of activities accordingly to their personal background. They will also participate in discussions aimed at sharing experience and knowledge with doctors and local staff at the Center for Physical Health.

As a volunteer for this program you may work in a Physical Therapy clinic providing direct care to injured patients of all ages, offer psychotherapy sessions to children at a special school or help with psychotherapy sessions at a nursing home,

If you have an appropriate background in occupational therapy, you may be required to do some research work and develop a proposal for occupational therapies at the health center.

 

Conservation program

This program is aimed to help develop and reinforce the local farmer cooperatives located on the slopes of Volcán Mombacho.

In a small scale ecotourism industry, local farmers (campesinos) offer accommodation,meals, tours and other such services that enable tourist to have a taste of the local rural lifestyle. Guided tours to corn, beans, coffee and watermelon plantations are offered by these farmer cooperatives, that also sell visitors handicrafts made by the local women of the area.

Volunteers to this program can help the farmer cooperatives with the creation of infrastructure for their ecotourism activities and also with strategic ideas to strengthen the agricultural production without while preserving the natural environment.

Volunteers who have a background or previous experience in agricultural commerce and trade are encouraged to join a cooperative where they can help promote fair trade in coffee or help develop income generating activities to sustain the farmer cooperatives.

Volunteers will define the scope of their work in a cooperative accordingly to their preferences and areas of interest, but they must also be willing to assist farmers with the tasks that are needed at the time.

To participate in this program volunteers need to have an intermediate level of Spanish language skills.

 

Requirements

All our volunteers must be at least eighteen years old on their starting date of any program, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. They must have full travel insurance and an intermediate level of Spanish language skills. Volunteers with just a basic level of this language can participate in certain projects but taking Spanish lessons

Those volunteers participating in the Medical internships must have an intermediate to advanced level of Spanish language skills and some previous medical experience.

Volunteers with some expertise or previous experience on the field of their chosen project is highly valued, but what we value most in our volunteers is a sincere willingness to help those who are in need and to be responsible, proactive, positive and compassionate.

Our Nicaragua programs minimum duration is two weeks and there is no maximum duration limit.

Since our orientation sessions begin on Friday mornings, we prefer that volunteers arrive to the country on a Thursday.

Location and duration

Our Nicaragua programs minimum duration is two weeks and there is no maximum duration limit.

Since our orientation sessions begin on Friday mornings, we prefer that volunteers arrive to the country on a Thursday.

Most programs are located in Granada and the surrounding areas, but there are placements in many other places around the country.

Orientation

On their first day in Nicaragua our volunteers will be taken on a tour in and around the city, receive all the basic information about the local customs and traditions, their host families and the programs rules and regulations. This will allow them to have an insight of the cultural and historical highlights of the country. They will be taken to their projects placements and introduced to the local staff they will be working with.


The local coordinator in charge of this orientation will also fill them in with basic safety tips and provide them with some travel advice.


This is the ideal moment for volunteers to clear out any remaining doubts and also a good opportunity to exchange money, buy sim phone cards, get acquainted among themselves and exchange contact details for future outings together.

Accommodation and meals

Accommodation in Nicaragua is provided by local host families carefully chosen by our local team and with plenty of experience in hosting international guests. These homestays are located in a very nice and safe neighborhood just a few minutes away from the projects placements.

Our programs include daily breakfast and dinner at the volunteer’s homestay. Nicaraguan food is well renowned for its delicious flavour combinations and the typical meals usually include some beans, corn and chillies. 

Living with a local family is always the best way to get a deep insight of the local culture and lifestyle, and Nicaraguans are known to be very hospitable, warm and friendly.

Working Schedule

Volunteers tasks and schedules will vary from project to project, but a working week will usually start on Monday and end or Friday; leaving the weekends free for relaxing, socializing, sightseeing and travelling.

We try to be as flexible as possible and allow volunteers to take a long weekend now and then, on special request and with notice given well in advanced. Yet volunteers must be aware that most of our projects depend greatly on their assistance and that they have a responsibility towards the people involved in their program.

A typical weekday may look something like this:

Between 7:00 and 8:30 AM you’ll have breakfast at your homestay.

Depending on the project you’re volunteering at, work can take place either in the morning or the afternoon, or for those Teaching English or involved in extracurricular activities some working hours in the evenings can also be required. So you may work four to five hours either in the morning or afternoon, or up to six hour throughout the day.

Evenings are free and you can take Spanish lessons, go out with friends, have dinner at home with your host family or go to a restaurant.

Weekends are free and they are the ideal time to go sightseeing and exploring the many tourists’ attractions with your new friends.

Weekends are the occasion to explore the capital city and its cafes and restaurants, or to just stay home and relax. 

 

Basic Facts

 

-Spanish is the official language, but there is also a part of the population that speaks English, Miskito, Rama, Sumo or another language.

-The total number of people that lives in Nicaragua is 6 million 212,077.

-According to the United Nations for development Program, Nicaragua is the safest country in Central American with 8.7 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

-Like in Argentina, Bolivia and other South and Central American countries, in Nicaragua it’s used the pronoun “vos” as a part of the cultured norm.

-The Capital of Nicaragua is Managua.

-The national currency is Cordoba, but in all the country is accepted the US dollar.

-The volcano Cosigüina is located on the peninsula that has the same name as one of the most popular tourist destinations and it is actually a submerged cauldron of a great crater.

-The agriculture is in the top of economic activities, stand out the cotton, sesame, banana, coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, banana, corn, peanuts, beans and sorghum crops.

-The highest point is “Mogotón”, a mountain on the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. With a highness of 2106 meters above sea level, found in the volcanic mountain range.

For more information, visit the following link: http://www.cwabroad.org/nicaragua-p-55.html

Program Fees:

 

Volunteer duration Program Fee USD*
2 weeks 562
3 weeks 692
4 weeks 888
5 weeks 1012
6 weeks 1136
7 weeks 1260
8 weeks 1384

 

*Please note: All Volunteer programs in Nicaragua attract a refundable*Registration Fee of USD 249 on top of the program Fee.  A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment. If you want another type of volunteer program without the accommodation for example, please contact us directly. We will be happy to personalize your program.  You can calculate the value of your currency in US dollar using this currency convertor.

 

*Please read our refund policy.

What do my fees pay for?

 

Registration Fee:  Support and guidance from CW staff, program marketing costs, staff salary, pre-departure assistance, CW Solidarity Fund,  administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.

 

Program Fee:  Accommodation and 2 meals per day (homestay), certificate of volunteering, transportation to language school and volunteer project site, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

 

What’s no included:  Air tickets, Vaccinations, Certificate of Good conduct, Visa, Local travels,  transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, Personal expenses and International Insurance against sickness, accident and 3er party liability. In addition to providing health insurance, the plan must cover medical evacuation and repatriation. Our participants in Nicaragua generally find USD 50 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.