FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it safe to travel to Nicaragua right now?
Your safety is of primary importance to us. We will not plan a trip unless we are sure it is safe. If you have concerns, please talk with us about our emergency policy and the many ways we work to keep travelers safe.
How long are the trips?
It's up to you! Trips can last between one and two weeks, depending on the constraints and interests of each group.
how much do the trips cost?
Trip costs range between $1200 and $2000 depending on type of project, length of stay, and off-time activities. This does not include airfare.
What is included in the trip costs?
Trip costs include meals, lodging, in-country transportation, translation, recreation, and the materials for the project you work on. Participants are responsible for round trip airline tickets, airport taxes, and Nicaraguan visa fee of $10 (paid when you arrive at Managua International Airport).
Do i need experience with construction?
No! All projects are organized for participants who have no prior experience with international development or construction. But if you do have experience, that's great, too.
Do I need to speak Spanish fluently?
No. All of our guides are fluent in both English and Spanish.
what documents or paperwork is required to travel to Nicaragua?
Two forms of photo ID (your passport and one other). You will purchase a visa for $10 US upon entry into the country.
What are the ACCOMMODATIONS like? will we have bathrooms and running water?
Most El Porvenir work sites are small villages without electricity or running water. While you are working in the village during the day, you will use a latrine and eat simple food that is prepared for the group's lunch.
At night, you will stay in a modest hotel in a town near the work site village and can expect running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, a bed, and a fan in your room. Purified water is available at all times, and is recommended for both drinking and brushing your teeth.
Are kids allowed? What's the minimum age?
Younger participants are welcome, but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
What If I get injured while i'm there?
In the case of an accident or illness, you will receive prompt medical attention. There is a health center in each of the regions in which we work. El Porvenir staff is thoroughly familiar with medical facilities in every location, should there be a need. We recommend travel insurance. Please contact us for more information.
What if I'm not in perfect Health?
You must be in good health to participate, but certain allowances can be made. Participants may need to lift loads up to 20 pounds and hike for short distances. The climate is hot, the roads are dusty, and you will be doing manual labor. Transportation is in the back of a pickup truck, and medical treatment available in rural Nicaragua is not as sophisticated as in the U.S. Please talk to the Trip Coordinator if you have a specific need or concern.
What do I need to do to bring my prescription medications to Nicaragua?
Airlines and customs officials require you carry each medication in its original bottle with the label intact.
Will I need shots or vaccinations?
There are no shots or vaccinations required to enter Nicaragua. However, El Porvenir requires a current tetanus inoculation, since you'll be working with construction projects. Consult your physician for any recommended intestinal antibiotics or pills in case, despite all precautions, you have an encounter with Nicaraguan microbes.
I'm vegetarian or have a food allergy; can you accommodate this?
We can accommodate vegetarians, but not vegans. We cannot guarantee that no animal fats are used in the preparation of restaurant foods. Please let us know your specific allergy, and we will advise.
CAn I bring gifts for the communities or for el porvenir staff?
The fee you pay to participate in the workgroup will pay for the materials of construction for the community’s water or sanitation project, and this donation is your gift to the community. Some work groups have made a gift of sports equipment such as baseballs, gloves and bats, to the entire community. Please do not bring individual gifts for people in the community where you will work.
What is the baggage allowance per person?
Please see the airline's web page to confirm allowances for number, dimensions and weight, as it varies between airlines. We recommend you pack light and bring only what you can carry yourself.
what is your payment and refund policy?
All trip payments are due 45 days prior to departure. Should you need to cancel more than 30 days prior to departure, your fee will be refunded less a $50 per person administration fee. If you cancel 30-15 days prior to departure, 50% of your fee will be refunded. Cancellation within 14 days of the trip results in a 25% refund. All cancellation fees can be designated as a donation to your group's project. In the interest of the safety of all concerned, El Porvenir reserves the right to cancel a group trip, in which case all fees paid to El Porvenir are fully refundable.
Airfare refunds will be processed through the airline. Please see their rules and regulations for details.
Should I bring cash, and if so, how much?
It depends. Some participants spend only $20 while in Nicaragua, and others spend $300. We provide for all your necessities, like lodging and three meals a day. If you intend to purchase snacks, additional beverages, alcoholic beverages or souvenirs, you may bring extra cash. US dollars are accepted in Nicaragua. ATMs do not always work and are rare outside of Managua, so we recommend bringing any cash you intend to spend. Please bring smaller bills, as larger denominations may be difficult to break.
Will I be able to be in contact with my family while I'm there?
Most hotels will have wifi, though it may be a bit slower than you're used to. You will be able to check email, get text messages and use your wifi calling while at the hotel. There is no cell service or wifi in the villages.
If there is an emergency with your family in the US and someone needs to reach you immediately, family and friends can contact Jo Buescher, at 720-237-9486, and she will make sure you get the message directly.
what special equipment or gear should I bring?
We will send you a complete packing list before your trip, but most projects require general work and travel gear. Things like a water bottle, a headlamp or flashlight, insect repellent, cotton work clothes, and sturdy, comfortable shoes.