There Are Two Basic NGO-Mediated Volunteer Opportunities in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is highly saturated with NGOs. Many offer two different types of volunteer experiences. Those sojourners who only have one or two weeks can form a group of travelers, usually between ten and fifteen people and often called a "brigade," and the NGO serves as the group's in-country host. The costs of this can be significant, as it is a large source of income for the NGOs' charitable projects.

A second, less expensive option is to work as a long-term volunteer. This type of volunteer work can range from a month to a year and is generally free (housing and food are provided in exchange for your services) or very low-cost, for example $5 per day to cover food and housing. In both situations, cost depends on each NGO.

Three Nicaraguan NGOs that Offer Long-term and Brigade Volunteer Opportunities

The Center for Development in Central America (CDCA)

Located in Ciudad Sandino, the poorest section of the city of Managua, the CDCA is run by members of the Jubilee House Community (JHC).The organization runs several health clinics and is also involved in various microfinance endeavors, including providingfinancing for the Genesis Spinning Cooperative, a spinning plant for organic cotton production.

Seeds of Learning (SOL)

SOL has officially been in operation since the early 1990s, and its Nicaraguan headquarters is Based in Ciudad Dario (home of the famous Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario). Based on a request from a community, SOL will build a school in that community. These communities are rural and have often been victim to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods. SOL also operates an after-school learning facility in Ciudad Dario.


ProNica operates out of Managua, Nicaragua and offers financial and human support for a variety of grassroots organizations. ProNica's primary focus is on community development, health, education, non-violence training and sustainable agriculture.