Nicaragua is still suffering from underdevelopment due the decades of dictatorship and the rebellion that sparked a long revolution. Many humanitarian agencies provide services through the unselfish support of volunteers from all around the world. Most of the organisations focus their efforts on community development. This is like a catch-all phrase that encompasses many different areas. In other words, whatever is lacking in a particular community, they strive to provide it.

Whatever your skill or interest, you can find a way to use it in Nicaragua, either in dedicated programs or through umbrella organisations that will place with the NGO of your choice. If you love children you join a program that promotes children’s rights, teach English or simply help out in a school. There are projects that involve building, renovating and repairing schools. Also, the same kind of scheme to build housing for poor or homeless families.

Veterinaries or veterinary students have the opportunity of getting valuable field experience by working on vet projects that include both large and small animals. And if you like a more exotic field of work you guard sea turtle nests on night patrols along the coast.

There are organisations that help build confidence and hope in young adults through the arts. This can be through music, theatre or sport and games. They also teach them how to make products to sell. Other subjects are dance and acrobatics, including capoeira, the Brazilian dance and martial art that, teaches physical and mental discipline. You can apply for an internship or the longer term Artist-in –Residence. Volunteers are encouraged to create their own projects.

Nicaragua has the highest poverty rate in Central America.  Studies show that 47 percent of Nicaragua’s 5.7 million people survive on less than 2 dollars a day.  For decades now Peace Corp volunteers, church missionaries and a wide variety of NGO’s have made valuable contributions to Nicaragua and its residents.

Despite the poverty level, Nicaragua is quickly transitioning into one of Central America’s most popular vacation destinations.  In an effort to bridge the gap, we strongly encourage volunteering or donating to one of the many worthy non-profit organizations seeking to alleviate poverty and provide opportunities for education in Nicaragua. In fact, here are 8 reasons why you should volunteer in Nicaragua

Some of the content on this page was contributed by….

Brooke Rundle, blogger at San Juan Live and co-author of the Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur electronic guidebook.


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