Hola Outreach360 Nicaragua Volunteers!

We look forward to you joining us in Nicaragua!  Thank you for your commitment of time and funds, and your willingness to serve our students!  Please know that you will make a huge difference to the children you will be working with.  And we are committed that this be a great experience for you, as well!

This Volunteer Guide consisting of the links on the right side of the page, is key to you having a successful trip.  Our intent is that this document will be all you need to prepare for the trip.  It is important that you read it! And share it with your family; they often have more questions and concerns than you do.

If you have any questions or concerns about the trip that are not answered here, please let me know by e-mailing me at cocobarrett@outreach360.org.  I will be your main contact between now and your trip.  It is important to us that you be comfortable and confident in preparing for the trip, so please let me know as you have questions!

Between now and your trip, you can keep up with what is happening in-country by following our Facebook Page; please sign up to follow us if you haven’t already!

Some notes about the trip:

Pre-trip Logistics

Volunteering with Outreach360 is easy!  That said, there are some important logistical items to take care of – registrations, flight reservations, fund-raising, etc.  Important – please review this page for more detailed information.

Location

Jinotega is a beautiful mountain town in the coffee growing center of Nicaragua. It is often called “The City of Mists” because of the mist that often hangs on the mountains surrounding the town. The people are friendly and hard working. Jinotega 

Facilities

We have our own facilities where you will be eating and sleeping. If we do have a large number of volunteers during the time you are with us, we may have you stay in a nearby hotel.  We have modern toilets and showers.  You will be living in simple but comfortable facilities.  Be prepared for “camping in a building” and you will be pleasantly surprised. We have our own cooks, and most volunteers rave about the excellent food. We used purified water for all cooking and drinking. Accommodations.

Your Program

The focus of all our programs is education.  Your contribution will make a difference! You will be involved in one of the following programs:

  • Teaching English in a Classroom – Outreach360 volunteers teams teach English in a local school or the Outreach360 Learning Center.  You’ll be using a professional curriculum, and have the support of Outreach360 leaders who provide ongoing continuity in the classroom.
  • Teaching English in a Language Learning Camp – Outreach360 conducts interactive learning camps where children are able to practice the English they have learned in the classroom. The learning activities are designed to be fun and interactive. Each camp is different, with different themes and activities.
Daily/Weekly Schedule

Every day and every week is unique and different at Outreach360.  It’s real life, not a tour.  That said, some basic expectations for each day and week are available here.

Your Team

One of the greatest things about working with Outreach360 is the incredible volunteers you’ll be working with.  Depending on the week and the time of year, we might have 10 volunteer in-country or we might have 200.  We have many high school and college teams join us. During the holidays and the summer we also have some great individuals and families join us. Small team or big team, you’ll have a great experience! Most of our volunteers are from throughout the United States and Canada, although we are occasionally blessed with international volunteers from other parts of the world.

Your Outreach360 Leaders

We have a strong team of Outreach360 leaders in-country to support your trip.  Current staff leaders are listed  here.

Technology

We encourage you to put away your phones and electronics and be “in the moment” while in Nicaragua. Even if you have an international phone/date plan, it may not work since we are in a very rural, remote community.  It is fine to use your phone as a camera or wake-up alarm.

For those that need to check work e-mail or do an urgent task while in-country, we do sell internet vouchers for a limited amount of time – $10 for 2 hours. We highly encourage you to not make any commitments as to your availability, especially at specific times.  The internet speed and availability can be sketchy, and these commitments will distract from your experience.

Please do not bring any high wattage items – blow dryers, straighteners, curling irons, etc.  Because of unreliable electrical supply, we are often running on batteries and an inverter.  These 1000-1500 watt items can easily damage this equipment.  Nicaragua uses U.S. type outlets; no convertors are necessary.  And you will have access to a surge protector for recharging your camera/phone.

Money

We recommend you bring at least $100 in emergency money (US cash) plus some spending money, $10-$50 per person per week is probably sufficient.  Don’t count on your ATM card working. Most businesses will accept U.S. dollars; it is not necessary to exchange money. We do have a safe available for you to store your emergency money for the time you are with us.

Team Leader Guide

Again, a thorough review of this Volunteer Guide is essential to you having a successful trip.  If you have questions that are not answered here, please let me know!  We want to make sure you are well prepared for the trip.

Teaching Program Preparation

Regardless of which program you are assigned to, you will participate in a program orientation on Sunday afternoon where you will be provided with learning objectives.  You and other volunteers will create lesson plans. You will be supported by Outreach360 leaders.  There is no pre-trip preparation needed!  Just your presence, enthusiasm, and creativity will make a huge difference.

Walking

Please note that there can be significant walking distances from the Outreach360 Community Center to your teaching location, up to 1.5 miles each way, twice a day (4 times total).  Please bring comfortable walking shoes. Most volunteers enjoy the opportunity to be immersed in the community during the walk.  If you believe you may have difficulty with this walking schedule, please let us know and we can make other transportation arrangements.

Thank you again for all you have done and are doing to make this trip and week possible!

Sincerely,

Coco Barrett
Country Director – Nicaragua
Outreach360