An important part of studying abroad is the opportunity to contribute to a local community in a meaningful way. Volunteering is the natural choice – while allowing you to put your newly acquired teaching skills to good use. INTESOL Nicaragua has partnered with established volunteer organisations who run free, non-profit volunteer programs in and around Granada. Once you graduate from your TEFL course, we can help arrange a placement with one of these organisations, or assist you to find alternative volunteer work through our vast network of contacts in Nicaragua.
Education Plus Nicaragua
Barrio Pantanal, located on the outskirts of Granada, is one of the poorest suburbs in the world. Founded in 1992 to house those affected by natural disasters, it has virtually no urban planning, little infrastructure and a high level of unemployment. Many of the barrio’s children work late into the night begging or selling cigarettes or gum. The majority of Granada’s child prostitutes, street kids and criminals are from Pantanal. Education Plus was established to break this cycle of poverty by providing the barrio’s children with access to a holistic array of resources including education, personal development, nutrition and health services.
They currently provide over 200 children with classes, school supplies, activities and daily meals. Their work has seen positive results including an increase in high school enrolment, improved grades and a reduction in malnutrition. Education Plus volunteers work directly with the kids as English teachers or program assistants and benefit from community involvement and personal connections with local families.
Read more about Education Plus Nicaragua here.
La Esperanza is a non-profit, non-political, non-denominational organisation focused on children’s education. Established in 2002 in a small village on the outskirts of Granada, they provided resources and opportunities that were previously unavailable to local kids. The organisation has since grown to help more than 2,000 children living in the poorest areas of Granada and the surrounding villages. They rely on funding through donations and independent fund-raising. The money raised goes towards school repairs, dental visits, sports supplies, building new classrooms, contributing to teacher salaries, providing copies of worksheets and exam papers, buying textbooks and other essential resources.
La Esperanza’s volunteer program is invaluable in helping stimulate an interest in learning. Volunteers are placed in needy schools where they assist the teachers, tutor kids with learning difficulties, run sports programs, provide introductory computer classes and teach English. La Esperanza encourages volunteers to help in a non-invasive way, working directly with the children, local schools, teachers and parents to ensure they are meeting their educational goals.
Read more about La Esperanza here.
The Peace Project
The Peace Project is a community organisation founded in 2011 as an offshoot of Proyecto Ecologico. The Project is based in Laguna de Apoyo, and focuses on community development, environmental responsibility and education. Through the interactive process of learning to love and respect the environment, each other, and themselves, The Peace Project hope to increase the opportunities available to the Laguna’s local residents.
Volunteers work with local primary schools and The Peace Project Hostel in their after-school enrichment program, teaching youths and adults basic and advanced computer skills, art, literacy and ESL. Environmental conservation is another key principle, and is facilitated via educational activities such as beach clean-ups and other community events. The Peace Project recently helped set up Laguna de Apoyo’s first health clinic, and continues to collaborate with local businesses and residents to facilitate the development of other critical community projects.
Read more about The Peace Project here.