Why volunteer in Granada, Nicaragua?
Granada, Nicaragua is an ideal location for volunteering for your whole family: it is beautiful and safe, well-located next to many day-trip attractions, full of quality home rentals and is host to many worthy organizations that are doing meaningful front-line social work with children and families.
Volunteers from around the world arrive year round to offer their time and skills to non-profit organizations that require no program fees to participate. Families with small and grown children spend days, months and sometimes up to a year immersing themselves in Nicaraguan life, culture and language while finding personal satisfaction dedicating their work hours to their volunteer projects.
What about the Spanish?
Most volunteers find that language is not a barrier to volunteering. Spanish language skills can be greatly improved with daily lessons. Other languages, particularly English, are so helpful to many Nicaraguan students who are dedicated to learning a second language to improve their job prospects.
How to get started
Contacting an organization directly before you leave for Nicaragua is the best way to get started with planning your volunteer experience. Volunteering families often enroll their children in a bi-lingual school during their stay to meet other families and help kids strengthen Spanish language skills.
These pictures were taken at Sacuanjoche International School the day that they received an enormous book donation from Better World Books. Moments like these in Granada can be euphoric, but the smaller details of reading one book with a child can be even more magical.
Below, I am listing 5 organizations that do excellent social work and provide meaningful volunteer opportunities and experiences:
Education Plus works with disadvantaged kids through after school programs in the neighborhood of Pantanal (Granada). They aim to provide the children of Pantanal with food, education, and activities in order to eliminate malnutrition, instill core values, and offer the resources and opportunities they need to rise above their impoverished circumstances.
Sacuanjoche International School is a private, bilingual kindergarten, elementary and middle school that has a diverse student body and faculty from all over the world. Scholarships are given to 35% of the local students attending so that young Nicaraguan scholars can have access to a bilingual education that will double their salaries as English speaking jobs seekers years later.
La Esperanza Granada is a volunteer group focusing on children’s education. Volunteers go to local schools and learning centers where they assist teachers, tutor young children, introduce children to computers, teach English and help stimulate an interest in learning.
Corzon Contento serves individuals with special needs. The center integrates the services of early intervention (newborns- preschool), and occupational therapy (18+ years). Corazon Contento aims to maximize the potential of the individual to help them to integrate fully into their personal communities.