I absolutely loved my full week volunteering at La Mariposa and living with a local family. It was a powerful cultural immersion and a valuable volunteer experience. Considering I do not speak Spanish and my homestay family did not speak a word of English...yet we developed an enduring bond and somehow communicated beautifully. I feel I am now part of their family and our lives will be forever connected. Although living conditions in the homestay were a bit rustic (i.e., no indoor plumbing) if you are seeking a transformational international experience, this is it!
La Mariposa is a treasure, the organization has grown organically over the years to become a multi-faceted community center that is the heart and soul of this region of Nicaragua. I really enjoyed being a laborer with my work teammates at the sustainable forest Reserva under development, assisting in a local re-forestation effort and helping at a innovative local school for special needs youth.
There was also time for fun filled excursions to traditional city of Granada and the beautiful beach with other friendly and worldly volunteers. I made friends with many of fellow volunteers and plan to maintain relationships with many of them. We were cut from the same cloth.
All in all, it was an awesome experience that I highly recommend.