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Volunteering in Nicaragua


Volunteering Types:

When visiting a country like Nicaragua, even for a short term, volunteering is a valuable experience and can make a trip that much more rewarding. There are many volunteer opportunities available, particularly in and around Managua. To choose a suitable one, think about what your interests are and help out doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s working with children, the environment, sports, building and construction or writing, there should be work to match your skills and interests.

With a population of 5.2 million and nearly half the country living below the poverty line, Nicaragua is one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. It is a country with a huge international debt and therefore the government has few resources to alleviate the many societal problems.

Some of the basic human necessities, such as clean drinking water, are unattainable to many poor people living in areas across the country. About 46 percent of the inhabitants lack potable water and sanitation services. Where there are drinkable water sources, many people (mainly women and children) must often walk far distances to reach them. Without clean water, illness and disease become chronic and can cause death for children and those with weakened immune systems.

Contact one of these organizations for volunteer opportunities:

Agua Para La Vida:

They work with providing water to rural communities and volunteers can help in the Managua office. They seek volunteers to help with the sanitation programs or people with backgrounds as civil engineers, social educators and health educators to assist with planning and integration of projects. All fees and accommodations are arranged by the volunteer, therefore no application fees are required. Volunteers here are of best service if staying in the area for an extended period of time.

If you’re looking for an all expense paid volunteer placements, the sort of position that requires a payment but provides accommodation, transportation and meals try:

Seeds of Learning:

Volunteers help build classrooms and schools, but for those who want less physical work, there is also helping to teach children. Work missions are eleven days and cost $1200 plus airfare.

Witness for Peace:

Supports justice, peace and sustainable economies in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries. Week-long delegations involve learning about organizing grassroots movements, peacemaking, advocacy, cultural sensitivity and learning firsthand how one can get involved with important issues. Cost is $850 plus airfare.

A useful website with more information on volunteering in Nicaragua is:

Casa de La Mujer Nora Hawkins, Other volunteering opportunities, Grupo Venancia, Movimiento Comunal Nicaraguense , Proyecto Mosaico, Isla MancarrĂłn Volunteering, Carita Feliz, Volunteering Opportunities, Colectivo de Mujeres Matagalpa and Centro Girasol.

By Karina Zobolotny

Karina currently�lives in Nicaragua, where she intermingles with the local animals and wildlife, and occasionally likes to...

20 Jan 2009

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