GIVE Nicaragua Sustainable Development Volunteer Excursion

Video and Photos

Snorkeling
Snorkeling
Teaching English in Jiquilillo!
Teaching English in Jiquilillo!
English Lessons
English Lessons
Sandboarding
Sandboarding
Project
Project
Sandboarding
Sandboarding
Beach Cleanup on Little Corn Island
Beach Cleanup on Little Corn Island
Scuba
Scuba

About

GIVE’s Nicaragua Volunteer Program immerses you in rural fishing villages along the Pacific coast to build sustainable infrastructure, teach English to children and to protect endangered sea turtles. Spend your free time surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking in the Pacific Ocean, and cap off your adventure by sandboarding down an active volcano!

Highlights
  • Work on eco-friendly projects
  • Sandboard down an active volcano
  • Support a Sea Turtle Head Start Program
  • Teach English and build sustainable infrastructure
  • Surf, kayak, and paddleboard in the Pacific Ocean

2020 Trip Dates are Here!

Check out our new 2020 dates and our newest location, Vietnam!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 11 reviews
  • Impact 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 11 of 11
Default avatar
Sara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Give Nicaragua 2019

To someone who is considering traveling with GIVE, just do it and do not overthink it. Save the money and book the trip because I promise, what you gain back from the experience is priceless. A GIVE trip like Nicaragua will change your perspective and in result will change your life. I am not the same coming back home. I feel more aware and more grateful for living. This trip is educational, inspiring, and fun. You work hard in the classroom and worksite, but have fun doing it. This part of the trip is incredibly humbling and rewarding. And the cultural immersion activities are amazing as well. You step into real locals homes for the day and learn their crafts. The locals make you feel like family and despite any language barrier, loving connections are formed. Lastly, the connections you make with fellow volunteers are genuine. All judgment is washed away when you're all sweating and struggling alongside each other and you get to really meet people for who they are. Learn their stories of why they came to this country and see how much you have in common.
This GIVE trip changed my life and it WILL do the same for you as well. Nicaragua is a beautiful country and needs volunteers like you to come and support it.
Thank you GIVE for all the #goodvibes.
Highlights included...
- Meeting like-minded volunteers/students and forming deep, real, and long-lasting friendships
- Meeting locals and finding how much in common you have
- Being embraced by locals
- Disco Techa, dancing freely
- Delicious and healthy meals every day(fresh fruit)
- Learning to surf and make cheese/tortillas/fish/bracelets
- Hiking up and active volcano and sliding down it(and looking at the views from up top)
- Adventuring around a city called Leon
- Beach volleyball
- Mangrove and estuary tour/hike
- Morning yoga outside
- Learning from our intelligent and inspiring guides, Daniela and Carmen
- Learning some Spanish
- Learning about and experiencing the strong Latin culture, first-hand
- Good Vibes and long chats every night with the group
And so much more!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment about this trip was simply starting it. The first night that you arrive, you will instantly notice how out of your element you are. It is warm and many things that you normally do or have are extremely different. You may see animals or insects that you don't see at home. This moment is nerve-racking, but the key is just to stick with it. If you keep telling yourself "This is outside my comfort zone, but that's okay. I am growing", you will soon realize how quickly you've adjusted and become comfortable.
Default avatar
Brittany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life-changing experience that everyone should have

My trip to Jiquilillo with GIVE Volunteers was nothing short of life-changing. Nicaragua is a beautiful country filled with beautiful souls. I was amazed at how the community comes together to build houses and teach kids and clean up the beaches. The kids were incredibly helpful and kind-hearted. One of them, I think his name was Carlitos, was playing with the blow-up globe that was donated. He came up to me and a few other volunteers and wanted to know where we were from. It really put into perspective how much we mean to this community and how badly these kids want to learn from us and the world in general.
You can tell how much GIVE being back in Jiquilillo means to the community. One single mom, Sarah, welcomed us into her home and taught us how to make cheese. While we were there, we got to know each other and she told us all about how her husband had divorced her and she was left alone with the house and the kids. I don't think I have ever met a woman as strong as Sarah. She was truly inspiring and her story moved us to tears. She spoke about how GIVE being back in Nicaragua after a time of political strife symbolized hope for the community. It is now our duty to go back into the world and tell everyone about how Nicaragua is not the scary, conflict-torn place that the media portrays it to be. We need to humanize Nicaragua and tell the stories of those who can't tell their own.
I am forever grateful for my time in Nicaragua. The people I met, locals and volunteers included, left a permanent mark on my heart. I hope that everyone gets a chance to have an experience like mine, as it will truly change your life for the better.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I wish I had while in Nicaragua was more time. If we could do 2 weeks in Jiquilillo, that would be amazing.
Default avatar
Allison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience of a lifetime

Nicaragua was truly a life changing experience. I was able to interact with the community of Jiquillio on a more personal level and create friendships that will last forever. I worked side by side with a climate change refugee, Donã Socorro, to build her new home. The first time seeing her unlock her front door was a feeling that will stick in my heart. I also taught English to a levels of age groups. Arriving to the the bottle school and seeing everyone so eager to learn was inspirational. I had the opportunity to learn to how surf, salsa dance, make cheese and tortillas, fillet a fish, make bracelets, and refresh my Spanish. A review can only explain so much but being immersed in an amazing country with incredibly talented people will send warmth all throughout your body.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Arrive with an open mind and heart. So many locals will greet you with smiles just because you're traveling to their country and supporting their community. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, that's essentially what you're doing the whole trip.
Default avatar
Carly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am already planning my next trip back

This was by far the most amazing trip I have ever been on. I cannot stress enough how important it is to give places like Nicaragua a chance - especially Jiquilillo!!! Monty's was absolutely wonderful (the food was INSANELY good) & the town itself is so simple; every local I came in contact with was so friendly. The sense of community within this place is absolutely astounding - I have never felt safer in a place. The staff at monty's has my whole heart, as well as each of my guides - Daniela, Carmen, & Alvaro. I am so excited to travel back tooth's little fishing community with GIVE; there is so much potential here... from Carlos teaching English to Ramon giving mangrove tours to Felix making bracelets & teaching us how to surf. Ever person in this community is so pure at heart - such beautiful souls all around. I encourage anyone who is on the fence about this trip to just do it - take the leap, step out of your comfort zone, find yourself, whatever it is. I did, & it was the best decision I have ever made.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just do it. Who cares if your scared - to quote a fellow volunteer on my trip (shoutout D) who gave me advice on our bus ride to Jiquilillo: "pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be scary, but when you get that feeling in your stomach, don't run from it.. instead embrace it because you know its working" - this advice got me through the anxiety of traveling alone to an unknown country & I will carry it with me forever.
Default avatar
Erica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best trip ever!!

Nicaragua was one of my very first experiences outside of the USA without my family. This country is full of beautiful people and beautiful places. I'm so happy I found GIVE when I did because it's completely changed the way I travel.

I really enjoyed the adventure and volunteering aspect of the trip. Even the volunteering ended up being an adventure and some of my favorite memories were the little moments where I could unplug and disconnect. Nothing beats playing soccer with the local boys on the beach at sunset. I went not knowing anyone and found some of my best friends on this trip, learned so much about different people and the complexities behind development. Once I got home it completely changed what I studied in school.

Everyone should go on a GIVE trip!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go on the trip without any expectations. Go with an open mind, ready to see and experience things that might make you uncomfortable. Be ready to grow.
Default avatar
Alexandra
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nicaragua Mainland Volunteering Experience

I went to Nicaragua with GIVE Volunteers during one of their winter trips in January. It was the mainland program so we spent 9 days in Jiquilillo, a small fishing village on the northwest coast of Nica, and then 4 days in Little Corn Island in the Caribbean part of Nica. I cannot speak highly enough about this organization. The guides were so fun, interactive, and knowledgeable on the country and I learned so much from them about being a global citizen, environmentally conscious, and part of Team Human. There was never a dull moment on my trip, and I made friends for life that I still talk to almost every day, one year later. GIVE Volunteers is the best volunteering organization I have worked with, and I’m so excited to be traveling with them again this upcoming May to Thailand and Laos! Don’t think, just do it!!!

What would you improve about this program?
The cost is higher than some other volunteering organizations, but it’s SO worth the money especially if you fundraise part of it!
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A journey of a lifetime

This trip not only took me on a journey of enlightenment, but it also led me to my people. I got to connect and network with such genuine, good hearted individuals and that was an absolute blessing. Immersing myself into the community that we visited and appreciating their way of life made a wonderful impact on me and altered my outlook on life. Point blank, my trip changed my life, in the best possible way. With GIVE, you’ll travel the world sustainably while giving back to this beautiful planet, go on exciting adventures and excursions, and meet your people. This not something you will regret partaking in, buy it is something you will regret not doing. Nicaragua is now my home away from home. Spending my days teaching the local children English, and my night in a hammock under the start surrounded by my new family was one of the best things I have ever experienced. Not to mention, sand boarding down an active volcano is pretty gnarly too!

Default avatar
Hailey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Understanding a world other than your own: GIVE volunteers Nicaragua SCUBA program

It's difficult to put my experience with GIVE into words. I never thought I could learn so much about myself and the ocean in one trip. The staff, the dive shop, the island and the people were so incredible during this experience. You can tell when you are on a give trip that it is about more than just running a volunteer trip but they genuinely take the time to get to know every single volunteer. Reef conservation was amazing. After learning so much about the ocean and it's mysterious ways, we actually got to build an artificial reef! I made so many friends and truly felt like I was making an impact. I have always loved the ocean unconditionally but when I learned how much it needed protection, it made my love even deeper. After my GIVE scuba trip, I not only had my certificate in open water diving but I also had motivations to live more sustainably to help make a positive impact on the oceans and reefs. 10/10 would recommend Scuba diving with GIVE!!!
It is also safe and a good starting point for new divers!

Default avatar
Andrea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The trip of a lifetime

Everyone that knows me knows how much I was truly impacted by my GIVE trips. After spending a month in SE Asia with GIVE, I immediately came back and signed up for another trip, this time to Nicaragua. Nica was everything I could’ve imagined and more. Our first week was spent in Jiquilillo right on the beach where the staff was so friendly and accommodating (not to mention had the cutest dogs). We spent our days on the worksite mixing concrete for the school kitchen we were helping build with the locals, and spent our evenings releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean while enjoying the most incredible sunsets you have ever seen. The best thing about GIVE is how interconnected the volunteers and the locals are and how conscious they are about what the community needs and empowering them to achieve their highest success. We then traveled from Jiquilillo to Little Corn Island where we were offered the chance to learn how to scuba dive, learn about climate change through first hand experiences, and help teach kids in the reading room. To this day Little Corn Island is one of my most favorite places I have ever traveled to, and I am positive my experience would not have been the same had I not gone with GIVE. I met so many amazing people on my trips, from my guides, to the locals, to my fellow volunteers, who have become life long friends. I can’t recommend this trip and GIVE enough!

Default avatar
Holly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience well worth your time

It might sound corny to say that my time with GIVE has changed my life, but it truly has. GIVE is always very conscious of the needs and desires of the community that they are working in. During my time in Nicaragua, we traveled to Jiquilillo where we helped a nearby local community to construct a kitchen for their local school. During the day we would travel to the construction site where we would mix and pour concrete all while laughing along with the locals. In the evenings we would work alongside a local sea turtle hatchery to release baby sea turtles into the ocean and help give them the best chance. After our time in Jiquilillo, we traveled to Little Corn Island where those participating in the Scuba program would remain for the next few weeks. While I didn't participate in the Scuba program, my time on Little Corn was magical, spending the days learning about environmental threats to the island and helping to teach in Ms. Wendy's Reading Room.

Traveling with GIVE is unlike anything else. It's a truly immersive experience where you learn about other people's ways of life and connect with them. It's opened my eyes to the lifestyles of people far different from myself. Traveling this way has given me many lessons I will carry for the rest of my life and too many great new friends to count! Don't miss out on an amazing opportunity like this, it will change your life.

Drew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nica 2014

This was my first trip with GIVE as well as my first trip outside of the United States. At first, I was a little cautious about traveling by myself, but the minute I landed, met the other volunteers and guides, I felt at home. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, I never got homesick. I will say, I was originally intrigued by this trip with the desire to sandboard down a volcano, but that was just a bonus from what I took away from the entire trip.

We had the chance to help out with their first project, the bottle school in Jiquilillo. I then traveled to Little Corn Island where I spent the next couple weeks with the SCUBA program. Although, I did not participate in scuba diving, I worked on a project with GIVE, portraying the collection of data from past groups, to visually represent the work the past GIVE volunteers have done. You could actually see the growth of the marine life around the corals and reefs. Truly gratifying to be a part of this organization. (Spoiler: it inspired me to go on another GIVE trip.) This trip really allowed me to step out of my comfort zone.

Interviews

Staff Interviews

About GIVE Volunteers

GIVE is an established leader in sustainable volunteer and adventure travel offering meaningful trips in Nepal, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. We are dedicated to inspiring growth, empowering global citizens, and igniting...