Directory of volunteer opportunities in Nicaragua

Directory of volunteer opportunities in Nicaragua.
Directory of volunteer opportunities in NicaraguaWonderful Water: Carole Harper is the founder of El Porvenir, which has been working with rural communities and foreign volunteers since 1989 to bring clean-water projects to Nicaragua (photo/ Tim Rogers)

By Nicaragua Dispatch October 27, 2012

In an effort to promote volunteerism, community service and good deeds in Nicaragua, The Nicaragua Dispatch has created this space as an open-source directory of volunteer opportunities in the country.

I get questions quite often about how to become a volunteer doing something positive, to give back something to Nicaragua and the people here. I have to say, really a couple of weeks minimum commitment (if not more) is required by almost all the organizations that I know of.

For most people visiting Nicaragua, if you are here only 10 days or 2 weeks, then it is difficult to really get yourself involved in something if you only have a day or even just a morning or afternoon to get to a place and offer to help out. Its not that the organizations do not want volunteers, it is just that it takes a while to train a new person on the mission, the work, and how to organize all that into something that will actually benefit a given local community.

My advice for most people who can’t make that sort of time commitment, I suggest bringing down something to donate.

La Esperanza in Granada has a good page of suggestions on what is worthwhile to bring down to Nicaragua to donate.

What to Bring

If you are traveling to Granada and would like to bring items to donate, here are some suggestions of things that are always needed:


  • Sports equipment, balls of any kind (baseball, soccer, basketball), baseball bats and gloves
  • Jigsaw puzzles (simple ones)
  • Educational toys for the very young 3 – 8
  • Numbers games, dice, dominoes etc.
  • Any Spanish language reading material, books, magazines.
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, paints.
  • Craft supplies – e.g. glitter, pipe cleaners
  • Stickers – to reward good work
  • Face paints and wash off tattoos – for School Festivals
  • White shirts, blouses and/or t-shirts for children.
  • Navy pants, shorts or skirts for children.
  • Toothbrushs, toothpaste
  • Bandaids and bandages
  • Children’s toys for prizes
  • Any children’s clothes or shoes

Some of the above list, such as pens,pencils, crayons and paint, plus bandaids and bandages cost less here – but if friends or family would like to give you items to bring they will be greatly appreciated.

With the exception of the toothbrushes and of course bandages it doesn’t matter at all if the items are ‘pre loved’. Educational toys are very expensive and hard to find here – we especially need those that help with manual dexterity and color/shape recognition such as building blocks, things that fit together etc.

Falling under the spell of a Nicaraguan island | Travel | The Seattle Times

Falling under the spell of a Nicaraguan island | Travel | The Seattle Times.

Falling under the spell of a Nicaraguan island

No cars, just beaches and peacefulness, on Nicaragua’s remote and simple Little Corn Island.

If you go


Getting there

From Managua, La Costena flies to Big Corn Island (with a brief stop en route in Bluefields). The only transportation to Little Corn, about 30 minutes away, is via public panga boat, weather permitting. About $4.50 one way.

Where to stay

Casa Iguana has very simple but charming cabanas, plus a dining room and lounge, all facing the beach on Little Corn Island. Rooms from $35.

Yemaya Island Hideaway

The new and first upscale hotel on Little Corn Island, described as “eco-chic,” offering 16 cabanas on the waterfront. Rooms from $300.

The lobster trawlers bob like toys in a bathtub, tipping to and fro with every swell of gray sea. I watch from a crowd of Nicaraguans about to board the day’s last panga, a small open boat that ferries passengers, wondering whether the storm is as bad as it looks.The word I keep overhearing is end“angry.” In Spanish, English and a Creole that sounds like English flipped inside out and set to a beat, everyone’s calling the sea — our only highway — angry.

I just found this article, which originally came out of the Seattle Times Travel section. Thanks so much for this article. I will pass it on to my Farmstay guests who are going on to the Corn Islands. Good up-to-date useful information and a bit of a scoop on the latest happenings on the islands. Good stuff!

We just hosted a family who are living on LCI and it was fascinating to hear all about the progess being made on the island and some of the challenges too. Little doubt though, the Corn Islands are pretty darn close to Paradise! Also, look at the too for further information.

“Best Cities to Live in Nicaragua” A note on the process of discovering your best place in Nicaragua

A note on the process of discovering your best place in Nicaragua

Let’s dig in a little deeper with our “Best Cities to Live in Nicaragua” series. Specifically, the suggestion here is that you define your process of deciding which Nicaraguan city, town or village will you call home.

Decisions to make: Weighing if, for example, a beachfront location beats out every or nearly every other data point whose relative importance is well-marked on your scale where you decide what the scores are and what they mean to you.

One might be tempted, with the above example, to think, “well, if beachfront location is the most important thing…” then forget access to good hospitals, some cultural life, and a variety of dining options.

But that isn’t so. Go along with the whole process here, don’t shortcut yourself. This stuff is important!

If the other stuff mentioned above is important to you too, but not THE most important, then that tells us something else too.

I don’t want to just give the conclusion of the above example: “We love beachfront but want to have available not too far away some culture, art and restaurants.” If you also knew that they liked colonial architecture and come from a college town and like that energy, whereabouts should they look for their perfect place in Nicaragua?

Put guesses in the comments below!

Best Cities to Live in Nicaragua

What are the Best Places to Live in Nicaragua?

There are many fine towns and a few real cities to choose from when deciding where to live in Nicaragua. Some of the factors influencing whether one town or city works best for your personal situation are:

  • lifestyle preferences
  • Spanish-speaking abilities
  • financial situation
  • personal health
  • desires to live with or without other expatriates
  • weather
  • transportation
  • amenities

There are many more factors in addition to those named above. We’ll tackle this topic on a broad level now and in further posts will break it down into some detail. If you have enjoyed this post, please comment below and encourage me to continue with this series!

Let’s get started with some broad strokes as to what whould be the best Nicaraguan city for you to live in.

Do you want to live in a city, town, village, or? Would you enjoy being in the center of the pueblo just a couple of streets off of the plaza? Or, do you prefer living a few minutes drive or bus away from the downtown? As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to each of these options and you need to find out for yourself what is best for you.

What about your Spanish-language skills? If you already have a fairly good handle on Spanish, then you are likely much more open to living wherever you want to in Nicaragua. Folks with limited Spanish and little-to-no ability to learn the language will probably be best suited to live in an area with a large existing expat community where you can speak English most everywhere you go.

Are finances a major consideration? If living on a fixed budget, even though your money goes much further in Nicaragua, you will still need to watch your spending habits and keep a reserve handy in case. Obviously, if you have a much more comfortable financial situation, then you can forego thinking about strategizing on money-saving schemes and live you life as you desire.

What about your health? Your age? Anything requiring regular checkups, medical specialists, tests and exams? That will affect your decisions too. Excellent health care is available in Nicaragua, but is not evenly distributed throughout the country. For the most part, Managua is where the best doctors and hospitals are located.

Do you prefer to live in a real Nicaraguan community or one with a sizeable expat population? Some people, usually those with limited Spanish skills, find themselves drawn to expat communities, of which there are not a lot to choose from in Nicaragua. Do you want to join the Kiwanas club or the American Legion? If that is the sort of social life you envision then your options are limited as regards Nicaragua. Or, do you want to live as completely as possible with Nicaraguans in a Spanish-speaking community? This question also speaks to your needs for a social life. Some folks are just fine by themselves or the occasional meetup with friends, and some are real “joiners” that want to be part of every bridge club, charity event, volunteering at the schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Which are you?

Weather is another important consideration. Luckily, in Nicaragua one can choose what kind of weather they like. Warm and hot is the norm here, but there are mountainous areas that are great for that “perpetual spring” climate. As you get to live here awhile, a slight change in temperature can make the difference between sweating and being miserable or quite comfortable.

Transportation is important too. It is not too difficult to live without a car in Nicaragua and in some places it offers a distinct advantage to not drive! Buses and taxis are usually very available and mostly inexpensive. Driving here has its challenges, but of course offers freedom of movement that relying on public transportation just does not offer.

Finally, what amenities are important to you? For example, are you a shopaholic? There aren’t too many shopping malls in Nicaragua and most of them are in Managua. Are first-run movies in brand-new theaters your thing? Again, the capital has those but are not very well distributed outside of Managua. What about nightlife? Culture? Art? Poetry? Live music? A variety of different types of restaurants? I always recommend you be clear with yourself that if you feel you need these amenities, don’t go moving out to the coast where it takes an hour or two to find some of these things. Be real with yourself and admit you like eating sushi and seeing a musical play live once in a while!

Okay, that is the end of this edition. I plan on writing more of these and going into further detail on each and every consideration to help make your move to Nicaragua a good one! Please share, Like, or comment!

Español at the Universidad Centroamerica (UCA)

Este programa está dirigido a estudiantes extranjeros que desean aprender el español para interactuar con hispanohablantes de todo el mundo. El programa, que consta de 10 niveles, permite desarrollar las cuatro habilidades lingüísticas y presenta un componente cultural que ayuda al estudiante a comprender la historia e idiosincrasia del nicaragüense. Las clases son dinámicas, pues en ellas se emplea una metodología comunicativa, por lo que a los estudiantes siempre se les verá interactuando, intercambiando experiencias y desarrollando estrategias-lo cual los convierte en responsables de su propio proceso de aprendizaje.

El programa se podrá completar en 15 meses de estudio ininterrumpido.


This program is aimed at foreign students who wish to learn Spanish to interact with Spanish speakers worldwide. The program, which consists of 10 levels, can develop the four language skills and has a cultural component that helps students understand the history and idiosyncrasies of Nicaragua. Classes are dynamic, in that they used a communicative methodology, so students always look them interacting, exchanging experiences and developing strategies-which makes them responsible for their own learning process.

The program can be completed in 15 months of continuous study.

via Español.

When I first lived here in Managua, Nicaragua back in 2005/2006, I took courses at la UCA, which is the Universidad Centroamerica, a fairly prestigious institute of higher learning here in the country. I really enjoyed the structure and the interactions with the profesor and the other students. It really helped me. I should go back there and take some more classes to keep working on perfecting my español.

I want to post this information to let people know that there are serious Spanish schools here, and that even getting out and about to get to class on time is all part of the adventure and it will help you learn even more Spanish as you try to find the correct bus, negotiate taxi fares, or otherwise look to transport yourself across Managua to get to town.

For rent in Nicaragua / Ciudad Managua | alquilo casa en villa libertad 150 dolar llamar al 81421499

For rent in Nicaragua / Ciudad Managua | alquilo casa en villa libertad 150 dolar llamar al 81421499.
alquilo casa en villa libertad 150 dolar llamar al 81421499

Rental Information

Location: Ciudad Managua
Address of Property villa libertad de la farmacia marien 2 andenes al lago media arriba casa c-739
Price rent / month $150.00
Bedrooms 1
Bathrooms 1
Square Meters 0
Lot Size 0
Parking 0

Rental Description

alquilo casa en villa libertad 150 dolar llamar al 81421499
alquilo comoda casa en villa libertad con solo una habitacion pero es muy grande tiene patio grande porche los gastos basicos son solo de agua y de luz y son muy economicos por que no salen caros, la casa es ideal como para parejas o estudiantes solamente interesados de verdad llamar al 81421499 movistar.con erick obando.

For your information only! Call or email from the link above if interested. Farmstay El Porton Verde does not represent this property and has no affiliation with the seller(s). I just wanted to show you this as an example of a small little house for rent in a more or less decent neighborhood of Managua. At $150 per month it might be a good deal for someone looking to have that whole “urban experience” in Managua.

I rented a small studio apartment in Bello Horizonte when I first lived in Nicaragua. I attended the Universidad Centroamerica (la UCA), where I took Spanish courses at the Centro Superior de Idiomas (CSI). I think I paid $150 a month for that place, and it was tiny and really hot!

My goal at the time was to experience the fullness of living in Nicaragua. Since Managua is the capital city, with the largest population and the fiercest reputation, I decided I had to see if I could live there. If I could make it there, I could make it anywhere…or so goes the song!

Ultimately, I found out about the farm and purchased it.  I finally got around to actually living here in Nicaragua full-time about three years ago. So far, so good!

Calidad, Seguridad, Confianza, Comfort y Compromiso

Calidad, Seguridad, Confianza, Comfort y Compromiso.
Always Rent a Car$$

Just for my own sake, I want to blog about this rental car and driver company. Instead of just renting a car, how about renting a car and driver? Hiring a driver in Nicaragua doesn’t cost too much more and you have way more security and less of a hassle getting around Nicaragua.

If someone wants to hire a car and driver when you come and visit us at the Farmstay, let me know when you want to rent a car and we’ll give these guys a chance!

Transportation is always an important consideration in planning any trip to Nicaragua. While the public bus system actually works pretty well and is certainly inexpensive, a private shuttle is usually fairly costly. And using a rent a car comes with the need to drive it yourself, which for some can be stressful.

Overall, driving in Nicaragua is not too difficult, but it is certainly handy, for example, to hire a car and driver to take you to the Flor de Caña distillery in Chichigalpa. If you have a driver, you can REALLY enjoy the fine rums served and sold at the distillery when you take the fabulous Tour that the Pellas’ little rum operation offers! Don’t miss the 18- or 21-year old rums. Smooth as buttah…:)

Peaceful and relaxing end to our stay in Nica! – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor

Peaceful and relaxing end to our stay in Nica! – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor.

View from the Farmstay

Thank you for the kind review!

Thank you for the kind review!

Thank you to Hayley for the super KIND review! Y’all come back again soon, y’hear?