Nicaragua as a travel destination is unfortunately not as known as its neighbour Costa Rica, but it is a fascinating destination with many advantages.
It has Central America’s largest variety of landscapes and natural diversity. The largest natural parks with a unique fauna and flora are to be found in Nicaragua, forming the region’s “green lung”. Besides active volcanoes, big lakes and rivers, tropical rain forest and scarcely populated landscapes that with their horses, cattle and small artisanal gold mines make one think of the “Wild West”, there are Caribbean islands with paradise beaches. The cities of León and Granada are of Spanish-colonial flair with historical cathedrals, colonial mansions and Spanish-style plazas. The combination of Spanish-colonial and Indian heritage is visible in architecture, traditions and daily life.
The prices are relatively low and everything needed for life is easily available. Nicaragua has been politically stable for more than 20 years and is one of the safest countries of Latin America.
But besides this, it is particularly the charm, the inviting character and hospitality of the Nicaraguans who call themselves 'Nicas', which make this country so special and adorable.
Several airlines fly from the US and Europe to the capital Managua, either directly or with transfers.
Languages spoken are Spanish in the whole country and English at the Caribbean coast.
We offer Spanish language course (individual and group lessons), either as the sole reason for your stay in Nicaragua or in combination with volunteering/internships.
At the moment, we focus on the city of León for our volunteering/internship options.
León (175,000 inhabitants) is an old Spanish colonial city, located at a distance of around 90 km from the capital Managua with its international airport. The attractive beaches of the Pacific coast are only 15 km away and are easily and inexpensively reachable by public bus.
The city has a special atmosphere which makes one think of its wealthy past. For a long time, the university city has been the country's intellectual hub. Particularly during the university terms, the city if full of young people and has a vivid student life. Tourism is not yet developed a lot, but is constantly growing.
Problems of the country that participants will meet during their volunteering or internship placement are the lack of development, poverty, high unemployment and insufficient educational, medical and social systems, particularly in the rural areas. Many rural Nicas are migrating to the cities or leaving the country altogether. Around 20% of all Nicaraguans are living outside their own country.
Accommodation in León
Accommodation in León is with a host family or sharing a house with other foreign interns/volunteers/language students.
In León there are numerous bars and night clubs; almost every night one can find live music somewhere. There are cinemas and a theater. At the House of Culture one can take dance, music, drawing, ballet and taekwondo lessons. The Nicas love fitness; there is a gym at almost every street.
The beaches of the Pacific coast (Poneloya und Las Peñitas) are only 15-20 km away. It is possible to surf. Around León there are ranches where you can do horseback riding. There are several small towns around León where you can visit colonial or Indian ruins and see local handcraft production sites. Within the distance of a day trip you can visit natural parks with crater lakes or mangrove lagoons where boat trips are possible and where you can see many birds and alligators.
Hiking to the top of the volcanoes Momotombo, Momotombito and Cerro Negro is an exciting thing to do. On Cerro Negro you can slide down the ashes sitting or standing on a board (“Ashboarding”).
Throughout the year there are many festivals which often have religious reasons.