VISIONS Nicaragua Volunteer Program
98% Rating
(6 Reviews)

VISIONS Nicaragua Volunteer Program

VISIONS offers teenagers opportunities for ambitious service work and cross-cultural immersion in the United States and abroad. We work with and for intercultural communities that lack financial and other development resources. Through service, authentic experience, and active exploration, we encourage new perspectives and dynamic learning.

Visions is home-based in the highland city of Jinotega roughly 100 miles northeast of Managua, the capital city. In the 'cloud forests' where the climate is cooler than the lowlands, Jinotega nestles at the base of a forested mountain range and is renowned for its coffee production in the higher slopes.

Our focus in Nicaragua is on constructing systems that will bring potable water to rural areas, and working with local children in a summer day camp. In our free time, we'll explore the cloud forests on foot, play games with local friends, and visit a volcano.

Locations
North America » Nicaragua
Length
2-4 Weeks
1-2 Weeks
Timeframe
Summer
Accommodation
Hostel
Language
English
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
The shorter session runs from June 30 to July 10, while the longer session runs from July 14 to July 30. Tuition includes all costs except for airfare.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Growth
    95%
  • Support
    93%
  • Fun
    85%
  • Housing
    92%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (6)

Default avatar
Sierra
Female
15 years old
Lexington, KY

Nicaragua service trip 2016

10/10

My trip to Nicaragua was incredible. I can't think of a better word to describe this life changing experience. My group bonded so closely together, and we all still regularly talk, despite being a very diverse group. That's one of my favorite things about this trip. You not only get culture shock from your roommates and close friends but are totally immersed into the life of a Nicaraguan citizen. The leaders trust the participants so much and it really makes the experience because they allow you to have large boundaries that only add to your adventure. Speaking of adventures, embrace everything during the weekend excursions. Whether it be relaxing at a beautiful coffee finca or jumping off a huge rock into a natural spring take it in and appreciate your life for a month. Aside from the activities the not having activities all the time is so vital to your time. When you get up and go to work in the morning and get to comeback in the afternoon and enjoy a cold fresca and a chat in Spanish with your new local friends is the best.

I couldn't think of a better way to spend my July. I loved the wire beds sticking into my side and the kind plumbers always having to fix our rooms plumbing. I don't say this sarcastically either, the living conditions reflect the town and the town of Jinotega is one of the most amazing i have had the pleasure of staying in. I recommend this trip if you want to get the most out of your summer and work hard with the best people.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I would suggest to improve this program would be to have a bit more of an option in what you do and don't do as an individual. For instance, one of the many hikes we did was especially hard for me and I was opposed to doing it but as a group we had to climb the mountain. Thus is truly the only example I could think of, and I know I was pushed to do what I didn't want for my own self improvement and safety.

Default avatar
Annie
Female
19 years old
phila
Tufts University

a parents perspective on sending teens to another country

9/10

Two of my daughters, in different years, have traveled with Visions Volunteer Program in Nicaragua as when they were starting High School. This program is unique because service is the primary focus and the group lives within the village and becomes very close with the warm and friendly residents and families of the village. There are fun weekend excursions as well, but the goal is immersion within this village. My daughters spent memorable time with the residents, playing with the village kids, learning how to cook the local food favorites and learning everything about the challenges of daily life and the gracious ways of these residents. Visions creates a safe, comfortable environment for these unique trips and the Group Leaders are well equipped to handle the challenges that arise in the group. The personal growth that takes place through a Visions Trip surpasses any other program because of the rewarding close knit relationships that develop between villagers and teens. They still stay in touch years later! Highly recommended if you want to change your entire perspective for the better!

How can this program be improved?

We tried to have a Sunday phone call planned each week to check in and this was challenging if phone service was down. This was hard to plan.

Default avatar
Taylor
Male
19 years old
Bozeman, Montana

Nicaragua: Summer 2015

10/10

The Nicaragua trip was fantastic all around. The people I met and the experiences we had together were unforgettable. I really loved being able to talk to people throughout the trip in Spanish. It is an amazing feeling when you are able to communicate in another language, even if you mess up all the time! The people are so understanding. It was a great learning experience, and I think I gained a lot of confidence in speaking Spanish every day. Another big highlight was living with 15 other people. Of course there were less than fun experiences, but we really became a tight-knit group of teens and leaders. Comunidad [evening Circle meetings] was incredible.

We went to some really extraordinary places. Out of all of them, my favorite was Peñas Blancas, a rainforest reserve where they are reforesting as much as they can since a lot of Nicaragua's rainforests have been cut down due to deforestation. The community and their mission was really inspiring. That place is so incredible, and I’m planning on going back if I can once I’m done with school.

How can this program be improved?

I think that if possible I would have made the trip longer. By the time it was over, all of the staffers and students really had just gotten comfortable and it would have been nice to develop stronger connections with all of them.

Default avatar
Krist
Female
63 years old
LA

High School Adventure Excellente! - A Parent's Perspective

10/10

High school kids that bond and become best friends, truly great leaders and a warm and hospitable host country make for a memorable trip that will be remembered forever. Everyday experiences such as doing laundry by hand, cold showers, walking to the job site, working hard, playing hard, communicating with the kids, leaders and local community- contributed to long fully satisfying days. The time flew by. I wish it could have lasted longer.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly, cannot think of anything to change. The cost was high, but commensurate with the gain.

Default avatar
boarder33
Male
19 years old
Bozeman, MT

VISIONS Nica Aug 2012

10/10

VISIONS was a great experience for me, as well as the other people on the trip with me. We were always doing something that was fun and never bored. We did service for the community there, and interacted with the people there a lot to. We did fun stuff withing the group to. There was so much to take in, i was in awe most of he time. Learning more Spanish was cool to. If you are a teen and want to travel this is the way you should go.

How can this program be improved?

The length of time we were there, although three weeks was good, if we had another week or two, it would be better.

Default avatar
Elena88
Female
19 years old
Bozeman, Montana

Two Thumbs UP!

10/10

My month in Nicaragua with Visions Service Adventures helped me make the connection between school and the world around me that I was looking for. After I came home, I had a clear understanding of what I wanted to do with my future schooling and that I was going to use my college education as a path to a career in which I make a positive impact for others.

After the last couple weeks of summer drifted away and my senior year started, so did the process of college applications. College applications are really never what you want to be doing in your spare time. My friends and classmates whined and complained about writing their essays, but for me I had nothing to really complain about. I was ready and motivated to plow through my applications. I wanted to apply to college.

The long and boring college essay that everyone else was talking about was not the one I was writing. It was not even remotely hard nor did it take as long as it seemed to take my friends. I had so much to write about such as the people I met on my trip, what work I had done, and the Nicaraguan culture and the adventures I experienced. After seeing the desire and willingness to learn in the Nicaraguan kids around me who could hardly afford a decent pair of shoes let alone notebooks and pencils, I realized that my education here in the U.S. is a great privilege that most of us take for granted.

In Nicaragua our work building community structures, involved getting really dirty, sweating and working hard. But, it never really felt hard nor did it seem to take a long time. I was with such great people who wanted to help in any way they could. Every Nicaraguan was grateful and excited that I had come all the way to where they live to meet and help them. This gratitude and the smiles all around me were contagious. Happiness filled the work site. Their smiles, shining through their dirty, sometimes sweaty, faces was worth every nail I hammered, every spot of mud and dirt on my shirt and on my face, and all the sweating, too.

When I got home I knew I want to do something with my life to help people. I want to travel and experience new cultures and new people, and most of all I want to see those smiling faces again. I don't know the job title that I will have when I enter the work world, but I plan to focus on international studies and human development in college, and to choose an educational path that leads to a job that gratifies me as much as I was gratified by every moment I was in Nicaragua.

Traveling abroad with Visions to do community service more than helped with me write my college applications and essays, and scholarship applications. Community service helped me find more of myself; begin to figure out what I want to do with my future. I am more than ready to start college and start making a difference in the world.

I would highly recommend Visions Service Adventures to anyone that is looking to travel, work with people, learn about culture and make a difference in their world with safe, fun and friendly people, programs and environments

About The Provider

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High-quality summer programs for teens who want to accomplish challenging projects and make lasting friendships. Through service work and cross-cultural living, VISIONS offers new perspectives and deep learning while assisting under-resourced communities. Our evenings and weekends are reserved for exploration and adventure. English, Spanish and

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