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TRAVEL / SERVICE TRIPS

El Porvenir® invites you to share the life and work of a Nicaraguan community. We offer volunteer experiences for small groups (10-12 people) to work alongside Nicaraguan families on water and sanitation projects to improve the standard of living in rural areas. No construction experience needed. You will be accompanied by a bilingual guide at all times, so Spanish proficiency is welcome but not required. Trips are customized for each group and typically last 7-10 days. The group's interests and abilities are considered as are the communities' needs.

Trips also include time to explore other parts of Nicaragua after the project work is complete. Your group may a visit the beach, a live volcano, a cloud forest, a crafts market, and/or a Nicaraguan concert or dance performance.

Not only will you learn a lot, but you'll have fun and do something meaningful. We can't wait to meet you at the Managua airport!

 

WHO TRAVELS WITH US

The majority of our service trip volunteers are part of a larger organized group, such as a faith community, a university program, or a service club like Rotary. A group leader communicates with trip participants and work with the El Porvenir Volunteer Coordinator to plan the details. 

We can create an "open enrollment" trip when we have enough individuals/families who would like to travel with us. Cost is determined by number of participants. If you want to travel wish us, please email Jo, our Volunteer Coordinator. We appreciate your interest in working with and learning from Nicaraguans and will do everything possible to make your trip happen. 

WHAT YOU'LL DO 

Our service trips are working trips where volunteers work hand-in-hand with Nicaraguan community members and El Porvenir staff. Tasks include digging holes, carrying materials, building structures, pouring concrete, and more, depending on the type of project your working on.

 

Possible projects:

HANDWASHING STATIONS 

We partner with rural schools to build handwashing stations for students and teachers. These brightly painted, multi-tap sinks are stocked with soap and improve student health. They are put to good use all school year long, but especially during the ever-popular Hand-Wash-a-Thons! Did you know that studies by the UN Development Program show that access to clean water and sanitation at schools can reduce the risk of diarrhea in children by up to 30%? Also, CARE estimates that school attendance improves 20-30% when schools have sanitation facilities.

DOUBLE-PIT LATRINES 

Our sanitation initiatives increase dignity and hygiene. Studies have shown that improved sanitation can add up to 20 years to the average life span. By working to end open defecation, streams and the environment are cleaner, communities are healthier, and children are able to attend school more regularly. 

FUEL-EFFICIENT, VENTED STOVES 

Indoor air pollution by traditional smoky, woodburning stoves is as detrimental to health as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day (WHO). Our cookstoves vent harmful smoke out of the home and use 60% less firewood. This reduces deforestation and improves watershed health. 

TREE NURSERIES AND REFORESTATION 

Nicaragua has lost 49% of its forests in the last 50 years. We look at the full cycle of water: where it originates and to how to keep it flowing. We improve water quality and quantity through various methods to restore stream flow, decrease erosion, and recharge groundwater. We work with communities to grow seedlings and then transplant them throughout their watershed.

EXPENSES AND PROJECT COSTS

Trip costs range between $1,700 and $2,000, depending on the type of project, length of stay, and activities. The cost includes meals, lodging, in-country transportation, translation, and recreation. It also includes the cost for materials for the project you work on. Participants are responsible for travel health insurance, round-trip airline tickets, and the Nicaraguan visa fee ($10)--as well as alcoholic beverages, snacks, and souvenirs.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICE TRIPS ON THE FAQ PAGE

MEET YOUR GUIDES

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CATALINA RUIZ

Catalina has a degree in Educational Science and a master's in Business Administration with a specialization in tourism. Already experienced in international partnerships and community development programs, she promotes eco-tourism and community development in rural areas. She co-authored Nicaragua un Destino Turistico: Historia del Turismo y Ecoturismo en Nicaragua (Nicaragua, a Tourist Destination: The History of Tourism and Ecotourism in Nicaragua). 

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TANIA GUTIERREZ

Tania studied Tourism Development and Communicative English at the Central American University. She has worked with U.S. groups since 2011 for various Nicaraguan nonprofits supporting community development, food security, and medical issues. Currently, she works as a group coordinator for El Porvenir as well as other organizations.

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JOSE SOLIS RUIZ

Jose studied Engineering in Agricultural Production Systems at the Central American University. He also studied English translation. He has worked with U.S. groups since 2011, and when not working, enjoys spending time with his family.

VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE TO LEARN MORE.

READY TO SIGN UP? OR HAVE QUESTIONS? 

WE HOPE YOU'LL JOIN US! 

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