Casual clothing is well accepted, although you should avoid bringing clothing which may be viewed as “too revealing” from the Nicaraguan culture.
Important—Special Cultural Issues regarding clothing for Women:
Respectable women in Nicaragua do not wear shorts in public. As a result, we require that female volunteers wear pants, crop pants or skirts that fall BELOW the knee. No shorts. Also, shoulders are to be covered. Therefore, tank tops/strappy tops are prohibited. We will provide tee-shirts to be worn daily. Bras must be worn at all times. No see-through clothing is allowed. No spandex pants, no bare midriffs. If you plan to attend optional Catholic mass—please bring a nice pair of pants or a dress/ skirt that falls below your knee and a blouse. No bare shoulders.
Respectable men in Nicaragua do not wear shorts in public. As a result, we require that male volunteers wear pants whenever outside of our volunteer housing site. We request that you bring at least three pair of pants (jeans/ dockers/nice casual) to wear whenever you are out of the volunteer housing site and in the community. If you plan to attend optional Catholic mass- bring a nice polo shirt or dress shirt.
Outreach360 will be sending you a tee-shirt to be worn on your travel day to Nicaragua. You will receive additional Outreach360 tee-shirts on-site to wear throughout the week. Even so, we encourage you to bring a couple of shirts, in case the power is out or the washing machine is broken and we can’t wash all the Outreach360 tee-shirts.
You will not have an opportunity to wash items during the week, so make sure you bring sufficient underwear, socks, etc. for a full week. Volunteers staying more than one week will be able to wash clothes on the weekends.
Bring two pairs of comfortable closed toed walking shoes and a pair of sandals for at the volunteer housing site.
Weather during the winter and spring can be chilly at night and even during the day, you should bring pants and a jacket. Even in the summer, a light sweater or windbreaker is good to have.
In addition, you may want to review the following list for more items to pack for you:
- Your passport.
- Mosquito repellent. Extra mosquito repellent.
- Sun screen.
- A flashlight with extra batteries.
- A personal water bottle.
- Rain gear. Our motto in Nicaragua – Be prepared for rain – always – since it doesn’t stop us!!!
- A watch.
- Twin sheets, a towel, an airline style blanket/throw, and washcloths. (Sheet and towels and blankets are optional, they are available on-site)
- Foam Ear plugs (The chickens and donkeys can be loud at night!)
- A camera, extra camera batteries and memory. Double the memory you think you will need.
- Personal toiletry items, including soap, you may need. Instant hand sanitizer is helpful.
- Just in case—items for stomach issues—Pepto Bismol, Immodium, etc.
- An extra pair of glasses or contacts, if you use them.
- A plastic garbage bag to store your dirty clothes (we do not provide them).
- Male Volunteers—bring at least three pairs of pants. If you play to go to church, also bring a nice polo or dress shirt.
- Women – Professional Nicaraguan women dress very modestly. Wear skirts or pants or capris at or below the knee. No shorts, tank tops, or sleeveless dresses. If you plan to go to church, bring a nice pair of pants or a long dress or skirt and blouse.
- You will receive O360 tee-shirts to wear each day when you arrive in Nicaragua.
There is no need to bring electrical voltage converters/adapters; Nicaraguan power is the same A/C power used in the United States and Canada.
You will be able to store your passport, extra emergency cash, phone, and electronics in an Outreach360 safe or secure area for you to retrieve at the conclusion of your time with Outreach360. All other valuables that you bring should be kept with you at all times.
We ask that you put your phone away when you arrive to your Outreach360 location. You can store it in secure O360 facilities. You will have access to an O360 phone to call home when you arrive; multi-week volunteers will have limited access to O360 phones on the weekend.
Some airlines allow you to bring two large (up to 50 pounds) pieces of luggage to check in. You should confirm this with your airline. We request that you bring all personal essentials and one week of clothing in your carry-on, as it may take a week to return to the airport to pick up lost luggage. We request that you save as much space as possible in your two large suitcases for donated items.