• Nicaragua

Program Details



Starting Price
Price Details
Full construction costs are included in quoted project cost.
Dec 04, 2017
Sep 13, 2013
3 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Nicaragua faces a serious family housing crisis, not unlike those faced in other severely poor countries and even in similar areas within the USA. Shacks made of discarded wood or roofing materials, even of cardboard boxes flatted and reused, are not uncommon. Panorama staff in Managua worked with a set of community advisors to develop a list of “most needed housing for families.” This list is continuously being updated. You will work with experienced Panorama professionals and with community members (sometimes with the family’s children) to build a house (one service team + seven days = one family’s house). Before you arrive, your team will be sent pictures of the shack to be replaced. You will also be able to see pictures of that dwelling being razed in preparation for your team’s arrival. On closing day, your team will hand over keys to the new house’s front door (in all likelihood, the first locked front door they have had).

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.7
  • Support 4
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.35
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Housing Project in Nicaragua

This was a very important project. Building a house within a week allowed us to engage in a project with very concrete outcomes, and our group had the opportunity to see the impact that its work had on the community with which we worked. The organization engages in valuable, sustainable work within the communities that it serves, and we felt fortunate to have been a part of that. Working on a construction site with a group whose abilities varied, with little training, was challenging, but in the end we were able to build a house and fulfill the goals of a project. Not everyone involved put forth the same amount of effort, but that is to be expected, to some degree. In such a context, flexibility is key; regardless of how well you prepare, you don't fully know what you will encounter. On the whole, it was a very rewarding project and overall experience; it was affordable and, for the most part, well-organized. I would recommend this program to other groups.

What would you improve about this program?
Depending on the participants involved, these types of projects can take on a more positive or negative tone, and the organization can't control that aspect of the program. At times, however, the leaders could have used more guidance and experience, structure and support, particularly with providing feedback to the student participants and facilitating the work of the group's leaders. Also, the intended roles of the staff were not always clear. While there were many positive aspects of the location, there were not many activities available to participants after our work on the job site was completed each day. Most importantly, however, is that we were provided with the tools necessary to get the job done, and we made an impact on the lives of members of the community.
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Service, Okay Organization

The trip as a whole was brilliant. We accomplished building a sturdy, spacious house for a large family that did not have an adequate housing structure before we arrived. The coordinators for PSE had very good intentions but at times lacked initiative, execution and communication. Some members who worked for PSE did not work as hard as others and at times it felt like we could have been doing the work more efficiently to accomplish our goals. While the trip was an enormous learning process for myself and my group, I hope PSE learned as much on there end about improving the program to provide quality service trips to future organizations.

What would you improve about this program?
Organizing the day to day operations to be more efficient. Also, always have a cheerful attitude no matter how many things are not going as planned and make sure to work as hard as the volunteers coming to serve.
62 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Impact

This experience was great as we were able to build a house for a family of four in one week. We were able to see the conditions they were living in previously and complete the house so they could move in! It was awesome to celebrate with them at the end of the week and see their faces as they were imagining the new life they would have in this new place!

58 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers