Nicaragua Community Trip
One of Central America’s best-kept secrets, Nicaragua has preserved the charm of its small communities and offers students the opportunity to share their cultures and ways of life through a rewarding community trip. Between a lush jungle, dream beaches, a mountainous and volcanic relief as well as beautiful colorful cities, Nicaragua will charm you with its authenticity and the smile of its inhabitants.
Flight to Managua.
Upon arrival, transfer by coach to Nandaime, at Oscar A. Romero Community Center. This center is a partner of the international mutual aid group Spirale, an international solidarity organization that finances projects, organizes solidarity courses, offers training and encourages fair trade. In Nandaime, their mission goes through the Romero center, founded in 1989 by a missionary of the Sacred Heart of Quebec and young people with the aim of working directly on site with locals. They develop projects such as the construction of houses for victims of natural disasters, the maintenance of an organic farm-school or the establishment of a community radio and a library, to name just a few examples. Since 1991, the collaboration has extended to hosting groups from Quebec in order to help the community and make visitors aware of the difficulties faced by young people in such communities with limited resources. Before settling in for the night, enjoy a welcome snack or a show depending on time of arrival. Overnight at the Romero Community Center. Meal included: dinner.
Start your day with breakfast at the Romero Center and then participate in a workshop for an introduction of the center. You will learn more about topics such as the staff who work there, the goals of the center, the philosophy of the organization and the projects completed or in progress. Visit the city’s facilities afterwards before returning to the center for lunch. After the meal, visit a nearby rural community and interact with young people from the community radio. Take part in a folk-dance class. Dine at the Romero Center and enjoy a free evening. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This morning, leave on foot to visit the Nandaime dump. On site, you will be able to interact with the people who work there and discover the realities surrounding this place as well as their work. Then, visit the Vida y Esperanza farm in the Romero center to learn more about the surrounding flora. Have lunch on the farm before offering to help with community work in the fields, as needed. After an afternoon of community work, dine on site, enjoy an evening campfire and sleep in hammocks at Nandaime farm. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today, start the day with some farm work. Then return to the Romero center, on foot, where you will have a meeting to receive advice on living with families. Meet the families you will be staying with for the next 5 nights and make yourself comfortable. With the families, learn more about the living conditions in Nicaragua as well as the social and economic realities of the country. You will discuss the cost of living, livelihoods, access to essential services and needs, and much more. Share a dinner with them and use this free evening to get to know them better. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After breakfast with the families, depart for an excursion to Granada, a city renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture. Cruise around the islands by boat on Lake Nicaragua and discover the third largest lake in Latin America as well as one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Located very close to the Pacific, this lake is still being studied for the construction of a possible canal, similar to the Panama Canal which was built under similar conditions. Its proximity to the sea also allows bulldog sharks to travel up the river and reach the lake where they live despite the fresh water. After lunch, return to the Romero center and participate in a workshop on the history of Nicaragua. Dine on site before an evening of group discussions to make sure your family stay goes smoothly. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This morning, travel to the site of the Mombacho volcano to visit a coffee plantation located on its slopes. Mombacho contains one of the last tropical rainforest areas in Nicaragua with flora and fauna not found elsewhere. You can find, among other things, more than 700 different species of plants, including orchids. The side of the volcano also offers a breathtaking view of Lake Nicaragua and the city of Granada. Then return to your families for lunch and take part in a lively workshop on the status of women in Nicaragua in the afternoon. End the day with an activity with the community, such as a bracelet-making and sales class or a game with the children. After dinner with the families, do a cultural exchange activity with the theater company. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Explore the sugar cane industry in San Juan del Sur and visit a farm where you learn more about this leafy bamboo-like plant, resulting in delicious sugar. Then stop at San Juan del Sur Beach, a clear water beach in a beautiful half-moon shaped bay. You will have free time on site to enjoy the salty waters of the Pacific. A lunch box will be provided. At the end of the afternoon, take the road back to Nandaime for a dinner with the families. In the evening, students will start to prepare the farewell show that they will present two days later with the host families. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today, take an excursion to Masaya, where you will see the craft market, prison, volcano, and gazebo. The city’s main attraction is undoubtedly Coyotepe, a fortress set on a 500-foot hill, towering high above the city. The original purpose of this fortress was to protect the city and have a strategic view of the railway passing nearby. Now the fortress serves as a museum for the curious. In Masaya, there are also two volcanoes, Masaya and Nindirí, which together form 5 craters. The Masaya is still active, but with limited activity. However, it is reported that in 4550 BC, one of the largest eruptions of the past 10,000 years was caused by the Masaya! Return to Nandaime in the afternoon and spend a final evening with the families. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Share a last breakfast with the families and pack your bags. Visit the Romero Center to assess your awareness training and discuss the impacts of the work the Center does. Have lunch at the center and get ready for the evening farewell show. Make a final meeting with the team on site to close the internship. After dinner, students will perform the farewell show they have prepared with the host families. Settle into the center for the night. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Depart to Managua by coach for your return flight. Meals included: breakfast.
- Round trip flight as well as airport transfers and taxes
- Coach transportation as indicated in your itinerary
- Local tour guide services
- Activities, visits and meals mentioned on your program
- Accommodation with families, hotels, hostels or cooperatives depending on the city
- 24/7 emergency phone service
What’s not included
- Meals that are not mentioned on your program
- Personal expenses
- Optional activities
- Donations to host communities
- Bedding (2 cotton sheets or 1 single sheet sewn into a “sleeping bag”) and 1 pillowcase
- Recommended: pre-departure training (30 hours on general culture and 45 hours of Spanish)
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