Volunteer Experience | Teaching

Nicaragua: Language & Cultural Exchange

San Juan, Nicaragua

Description

Location: San Juan, Nicaragua

Duration: Minimum 1 week, maximum 6 months commitment

Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday

Cost : $500 USD for the first week, $300 for additional weeks (discounts for long term stay)

Includes; all food, accommodation, orientation, in-country support and all project related activities.

Does not include; flights, visas, vaccinations, insurance are not included. Optional premium support available.

Benefits:

  • Gain work experience in a small eco-hotel, organic garden and Spanish school.
  • Learn Spanish in a unique setting and full immersion programme.
  • Help manage and develop this centre, and help facilitate its growth Ideal for all, many different options available.
We also offer Paid Teach Abroad placements with TEFL training.

Introduction

Nicaragua, known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, has much to boast about. It has two beautiful coasts, some of the best surfing in the world, and one of the oldest cities in Latin America. And while tourism has increased greatly in this beautiful country and is now the second largest industry, it is still the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

You will work in a small and friendly eco-hotel and Spanish school, on the outskirts of town in a very beautiful area. This project allows you to work side by side with other volunteers, interns and local staff, having a direct impact on the people of the local community. There are several options for placements and many opportunities to make a difference in a way that best suits you (see the next tab).

There are volunteer placements at a small organic farm and community garden, a wildlife and animal rehabilitation project, and on English education projects in a local school or library. There are plenty of on-going projects you can get involved with and help develop further. You can focus your internship on any of the on-going or new projects. This is a unique opportunity to work in an ongoing development initiative, and help it grow!

Daily Life

You can choose from any of the following projects, and can switch between them once you arrive;

Primary School
There are projects in two primary schools in the nearby barrios. The schools serve between 200 and 700 children and are the poorest in the area. You will work Monday-Friday from 8:00am-11:30am. You will reach the school via public transportation or motor taxi, which means you will need to leave your residence by 7:15 or 7:30am in order to arrive at school by 8:00am.

At school you will work with small groups of children helping them practice their English, specifically reading and writing. Students will be taken out of their mainstream classes and you will read with them, help with their homework, and help them practice their writing. You may also assist in the mainstream classrooms.

Children’s Library
Children come to the library as an after-school activity. They come to play games, do a puzzle, and to read borrowed books. You will work alongside the main teacher giving students extra attention and helping them get excited about learning. You will help students with their homework, play educational games, and read books.

The library is accessible via public transportation or motorbike taxi. This is an afterschool program so your schedule will be from Monday-Friday from 2:00pm-5:00pm.

Organic Farm and Community Garden
In this project you will either work in the organic farm or in a community garden. The goal of the farm is to provide basic greens for the hotel kitchen, to increase biodiversity, and to experiment with crops. The gardens are in local neighborhoods and are all family-owned and operated. Your tasks will include typical farm work like weeding, watering, transplanting, building raised beds. You may be asked to use farm tools such as shovels, buckets, watering cans, and you should be able to lift up to 15 pounds.

Your schedule will be from Monday-Friday from 8:00am-11:30am. The farm is a 20-minute walk from the eco-hotel.

Wildlife and Animal Rescue
This eco-hotel has undertaken several initiatives to promote wildlife. In addition, they also rescue and rehabilitate animals. Right now it is home to parrots, parakeets, toucans, 20 rescue dogs, 7 cats, 14 horses, and 2 rabbits. As a volunteer your responsibilities, mostly carried out in the early morning and late afternoon, include helping out the care takers of the animals by cleaning cages, washing dogs, applying simple medicine, making food, and other general care.

You would be working from Monday-Friday but the hours can be a bit odd. They generally will be from 7:00am-10:00am and 3:00pm-4:00pm but they could change slightly.
Spanish School

All of the above activities can be coupled with Spanish lessons in the mornings. You will be able to study Spanish with our well trained, experienced and professional teachers who all live in the local community. The head of the school has been building up the school since day one and his unique blend of language teaching skills, enthusiasm and humor has got many a student through the intricacies of the imperfect subjunctive! The conversation teachers are happy to respond to particular interests of individual students - from exploring Nicaraguan recipe books to visiting the local health clinic and schools - all as part of your conversation class. Whether you want to discuss serious politics and the day´s news (we provide national newspapers) or stroll around the beautiful grounds learning about medicinal plants - the choice is yours and we have a teacher who will share your interest.

The teaching method that we have developed combines the highest level of professional excellence with the openness, humor and friendliness typical of Nicaraguan people. The vast majority of the students leave the school not only much more fluent in Spanish but also having made good friends with their teachers here. Classes are usually one on one (maximum three students) and the element of relationship building is a crucial part of our work and an excellent basis for learning. We also use this approach to good effect in Spanish teaching with children and young people. We know that for some, serious grammar study is what is required but for others a mixture of some conversational teaching with a range of activities works much more successfully! Particularly with the very young (we have worked successfully with 2 year olds) it is more along the lines of high quality child care in a wonderful stimulating environment. The range of activities on offer varies from feeding bananas to the monkeys to taking a walk into the local village and playing football with the neighboring kids. Always practicing a few words and phrases! We sort out the balance of activities and serious study through talking to both kids and parents.

Book with Confidence

Travel & Accom.

You will be given easy to follow instructions on how to reach the hotel from Managua International airport. Alternatively we can arrange for airport pickup for an additional $40.

You will be staying with a host family within walking distance of the hotel. You will get a comfortable private room, with a desk and bed, but outdoor bathroom facilities! If you need something more conventional you can always use the more 'western' facilities at the hotel.

You will get 3 meals a day, with vegetarian options available, home cooked by your host family.

Fundraising Help

Requirements

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Enthusiasm and interest to work in the various projects on offer.
  • Minimum 1 week commitment.
  • Necessary vaccinations.
  • Necessary flights & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance.
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Costs

$500 for the first week, additional weeks are $300. There is a monthly discount if you stay long term. Enquire with us when applying.

  • Places are confirmed with a 1 week deposit
  • Admin fee of $200 included in price
What's Included:

All food, accommodation, orientation, in-country support and all project related activities.

What's not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you request additional support.

Airport pickup available for an additional fee.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

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