Frequently Asked Questions
Before embarking on your journey, be sure to ask all the right questions! You may be able to find the answer to a few below:
- Why should I participate in NICA's volunteer program?
- What makes NICA's volunteer program unique?
- Why should I pay to volunteer?
- Why should I go to Nicaragua?
- Is Nicaragua safe?
- What should I pack on my trip?
- Are more dates available?
- Can I customize my trip?
- What is included in the cost?
- What is NOT included in the cost?
- Why are there black out dates?
- Where can I make a reservation?
Why should I participate in NICA's volunteer program?
Finding your purpose is a journey worth taking. NICA's volunteer program enables you to escape your routine and experience life in another part of the world on your terms. The immersion will introduce you to a country, culture and community very different from your own. By participating in the program, you will be supporting an organization dedicated to creating a lasting change in an under-developed community.
What makes NICA's volunteer program unique?
Flexibility. Unlike other programs offering an experience abroad, NICA focusses on your needs and desires, and we create a program around those expectations. We offer student, family, group and service trips throughout the year on a rolling calendar. This means the program is almost always available on the dates you desire. Other programs have specific dates and projects for selection. Our projects and dates are as flexible as you are!
Why should I pay to volunteer?
We are so confident in the reciprocal benefits for you, the local community and the global economy we wish we could bring every participant down at no cost. However, in order to keep the programs running (and pay for the room, board, food and transportation), we have to charge a fee. Remember, we are a 501(c)3, so much of the costs can be listed as a charitable donation. Just think, in comparison to an ordinary vacation, you will be receiving international experience, cultural immersion and an opportunity to cause lasting change!
Why should I go to Nicaragua?
As the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (Haiti is first), Nicaragua offers an incredible opportunity for you to experience poverty, progress, culture and a different language all within a six hour flight. Our community in focus is located on the Pacific Ocean about an hour and a half from the capital, Leon and Granada, the major historical hubs of the country. During your experience you will have the option to tour the key cultural capitals as well as work in a community located on the ocean. NIcaragua offers a rich perspective on the Latin American struggle that has occurred in Central America throughout the past four centuries.
Is Nicaragua safe?
In 2012, The Economist published the following article discussing the safety of Nicaragua: http://www.economist.com/node/21543492. The country has truly evolved since the turmoil in the 1980's. The economy is growing and opportunities abound. You may read otherwise on the U.S. State Department website. While NICA believes the information on the site is valuable, many of the facts have not been updated for several years. Our local and U.S. staff on the ground are committed to your safety, and we would be happy to have a conversation at any time regarding the country and our personal experiences.
What should I pack on my trip?
Packing for an experience abroad is an important element to ensure a comfortable trip. Check out the following printable document to be sure you have everything you need during your experience with NICA.
Are more dates available?
Flexibility is a key difference with the NICA Global Experience Program. Please inquire with us about any dates you are considering. Our professional staff is dedicated to ensuring every person has an opportunity to travel abroad and work with an underdeveloped community.
Can I customize my trip?
Your experience can be as unique as you are! NICA has projects and excursions for almost every interest. During your inquiry and reservation, please speak to our professional staff about your preferences, and we will work extra hard to accommodate your requests.
What is included in the cost?
Due to the lack of infrastructure in the community of El Transito, NICA has established a communal house for our participants. The house is located on the ocean, and is set up to facilitate collaboration and learning from other participants while being immersed in the community. A bedroom (may be shared with one other participant), three meals a day, housekeeping and local transportation are included in the cost.
What is NOT included in the cost?
Most importantly, the airfare is not included in the cost of the program. We do have partnerships with several airlines which may assist in reducing the costs. Also, you may be interested in additional excursions or travel during your experience in Nicaragua. We have connections in the community to assist in facilitating if you would like to arrange additional adventures.
Why are there black out dates?
Occasionally throughout the year, our staff may have obligations requiring them to work outside of the community. While these days are limited, we are not able to host volunteers during the times. Another reason for black out dates has to do with the nature of the project. As an example, school holidays are January, July and December. Projects revolving around education may be on hiatus during these times.
Where can I make a reservation?
Our professional staff is looking forward to hearing from you. Contact us at any time, and we will work with you on setting up your experience with NICA!