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Hospitals in Leon

Internships and Volunteering Possible
Electives and internships for medical and nursing students, and volunteer assignments for healthcare professionals are possible at the public hospital "HEODRA" in León and at the private hospitals "AMOCSA" at various locations in Nicaragua. Final year medical rotations are also possible at HEODRA.

Public hospital "HEODRA"

The state hospital HEODRA ("Hospital Escuela Oscar Rosales Arguello Danillo") is the largest hospital of Nicaragua and has 440 beds and 1,000 employees (including approximately 300 physicians and 350 nurses). Departments of the hospital in León include paediatrics, gynaecology, surgery, pathology, radiography, anaesthesia, orthopaedics, ontology, plastic surgery and psychiatry.
HEODRA is connected to the medical faculty of the University of León. For this reason, final year rotations are possible here. Due to international exchange programs, foreign doctors are regularly active in the hospital.
The hospital receives around 20,000 patients per year from the whole Northwest of Nicaragua. Many patients are poor and benefit from the free treatment at the public hospital.
Within the scope of the hospital is the provision of medical services at the rural regions. Following a fixed plan, physicians of the hospital travel to El Sause, which is located around 100 km outside of León, to offer medical services in the countryside. Further, there are smaller medical units located at many locations in rural Nicaragua, with a permanent staff of around 5-6 physicians each. Elective students, interns and volunteers can also participate at these outreach programs.
The most common diseases treated at the hospitals are respiratory tract diseases, caused by dust and smoke in the people's homes. Typically, Nicaraguans cook inside of their houses on an open fire. The second most common diseases are cardiovascular diseases caused by a lack of movement, greasy nutrition, obesity, alcohol and smoking. A further problem is the high fertility rate of Nicaraguan women. One third of all babies born are of very young mothers; in rural areas a woman has an average of 6 children. The reasons for this situation are lack of education, broken families and the machismo culture.
Clinical electives, internships and final year rotations are possible. with a minimum duration of 3 weeks. Students should send us their CV/resume in Spanish, a letter of recommendation from their university's dean, pro-dean or professor on the university's letter head with signature, and a letter of motivation which describes in detail what the student wishes to learn during his or her elective/internship/final year rotation. Medical students should bring a white coat and blue or green scrubs. Nursing students should wear white scrubs.
Medical and nursing volunteers are always needed; they should have intermediate Spanish language skills. The minimum duration of stay is 3 months; specialists (experienced physicians) can also stay for a shorter duration.

Private hospital AMOCSA

AMOCSA ("Asistencia Médica de Occidente S.A.") is the private hospital that probably offers the highest medical standard of León. Besides AMOCSA in León, in western Nicaragua, there are 2 further locations with larger AMOCSA hospitals and several small outpatient clinics. They primarily target patients that can afford better medical care than that which is offered by public hospitals.
At the moment, AMOCSA León is in a process of transformation, as step by step the old buildings are being demolished and replaced by new ones. Two new buildings have already been completed; another one is currently under construction. In total, there are 4 buildings of AMOCSA located in one street in the city centre of León.
One of the new buildings hosts the emergency care unit, the laboratory, outpatients' clinic, and 3 intensive care units. The other one offers inpatients' wards with a total of 61 beds, pediatrics, gynecology/obstetrics, orthopedics, and a pharmacy. The maternity and physiotherapy wards have recently moved to a completely new building.
In León the hospital has 170 employees. Particularly in the afternoon, the outpatient's department is very busy, as the private health care insurances require the hospitals not to have any patients waiting for more than 2 hours.
AMOCSA has contracts with the social security of Nicaragua so that the staff of companies that insure their employees and employees' family members through the National social security are treated at AMOCSA. This contributes to a total client base of around 60,000 people. Furthermore, AMOCSA specialises in work health. Health checks are carried out for individuals seeking new employment, and those needing recurring health checkups, as well as special tests including hearing tests and eyesight tests. AMOCSA also performs test of health conditions at work places, for instance measuring levels of noise.
We offer courses for electives and internships in all departments at AMOCSA.
Volunteers from the medical and nursing subject areas are always needed. Intermediate skills of Spanish language are expected.
There are three shifts at the hospital. Shift 1 is from 7.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m., shift 2 is from 2.00 9.00 p.m. and shift 3 from 9.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m.
Info Box
Location: León, Nicaragua
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 3 Weeks
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: Intermediate Spanish
Room with Host Family, Shared Accommodation
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: General Physician, Specialist, Nurse
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant studies or experience
Further Contribution To Project: HEODRA: none; AMOCSA: 187 USD per month
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant experience
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?



Background Information for Medical Placements/Electives Abroad

The following text tries to provide background information about the medical systems in the different countries and tries to classify the medical institutions where we arrange placements within these system, in order to assist you finding the right option for your elective, final year rotation, internship or medical volunteer work.
Contact us and we are happy to assist you!
In Tanzania we can arrange placements for medical elective students, interns of nursing and therapies, pre-medical students and professional volunteers into a wide range of public and private medical institutions.
The public health system in Tanzania has a referral system: Someone who needs treatment usually first attends a small medical dispensary. Dispensaries are in all parts of towns and cities such as Moshi, Dar-es-Salaam etc. and in many villages, treating all common things such as small injuries, infectious diseases, Malaria, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.; also they often do deliveries.
There are public and private dispensaries. The public dispensaries are usually very simple in terms of equipment and facilities. In villages and outskirts of cities, they often they don't even stock elementary medicines and can only offer very basic medical services. The private dispensaries are often very similar to the public ones, but sometimes they are of higher standard in terms of facilities, equipment and services offered.
Any state-approved nurse can open a private dispensary. Dispensaries are usually run by a nurse or by a "medical officer" who is something between a nurse and a physician; some might employ further nurses, medical officers and laboratory technicians. The nurses and medical officers at the dispensaries can prescribe and use all standard medicines. There is typically no real physician who has studied medicine for 4-5 years. If it is a requirement from the university that for an elective/medical internship a proper physician is needed as a supervisor, this is not possible at a dispensary. For volunteers who have professional skills such as nurses, therapists and physicians, dispensaries are very good places to volunteer at, as through their skills they can support the local staff a lot and work like a regular team member, including stitching wounds and treating patients, assisting with deliveries, even without supervision if they are sufficiently qualified. Also internships for pre-medical students are possible at dispensaries.
Examples for such dispensaries where we can arrange placements are Hosiana Clinic and Dorcas Laboratory in Moshi. In Zanzibar, placements at dispensaries are usually not possible, as the Health Ministry doesn't allow so for foreigners.
The number of patients at dispensaries might fluctuate a lot during the year. Usually during the rainy season (March to June and November) there are more infectious diseases and more cases of malaria.
If a patient needs something of higher specialization that cannot be done at a dispensary or which is beyond the competence of the nurse or medical officer, he or she is referred to a Regional Hospital such as Mawenzi Regional Hospital in Moshi.
Patients however can also go directly to a Regional Hospital. Particularly people living in the cities near a regional hospital often prefer to go directly to the hospital and skip the dispensary, as they expect better service at the hospital.
Regional hospitals usually have many, many patients and elective students and professional volunteers have the chance to see many cases, often in very late stages of diseases.
Regional hospitals are used by patients who are of average income, or poorer parts of the population, if they feel so sick that they don't have any other option. A lot of time often passes between having been at a dispensary and going to the Regional Hospital, during which the patient’s medical condition can get worse, because poor patients usually have to collect the money to cover costs for the treatment from relatives, neighbours, churches and other sources, which can take days to weeks. The costs for a consultation by a doctor at a regional hospital might be around 5,000-7,000 TSH (around 2.50-3 €/3.30-4 USD), plus costs for medicines which might be typically between 2,000 and 10,000 TSH (1-5 €/1.30-6.50 USD). Major surgery and having to stay as an inpatient might cost around 100,000-200,000 TSH (50-100 €/65-130 USD). An average monthly household income is around 90 €/120 USD (for a whole family), but around 65% of Tanzanian households only have 30 €/40 USD or less per month. Patients usually don't seek medical treatment for minor reasons; nobody goes for prevention.
Regional Hospitals have various common departments; you can read the list of available departments at Mawenzi Regional Hospital and other hospitals on our website. Work at the regional hospitals is often tough, as doctors have to treat many patients who have serious medical conditions within a very short time. Therefore they often don't have a lot of time to give lengthy explanations to elective students. Students usually assist the doctors and nurses with tasks such as stitching wounds, changing dressings, assisting during the consultation, attending doctors during the ward round etc, always under supervision. There is qualified staff who can sign and stamp forms about electives as required by universities.
Above the level of the Regional Hospitals there are very large and higher specialized hospitals which are called "Referral Hospital" such as Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam and Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, which are often attached to medical universities. Patients cannot go directly to a Referral Hospital, but they need a reference from a regional hospital first. Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar is a Referral Hospital where patients can go directly, but this is because on the small island of Zanzibar there are no Regional Hospitals.
The standard of the departments/wards within one hospital can vary very much (both at Regional and Referral Hospitals), some departments might have good equipment and might be in good condition, typically resulting from money provided by foreign development programs. For instance the HIV/AIDS and physiotherapy wards at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital Zanzibar are very modern, but the pediatric ward is very poor and needs renovation. At Mawenzi Regional Hospital they have recently renovated the main surgery theatre.
As the public medical system in Tanzania is not very satisfying, there are many private healthcare facilities.
Some are (compared to the public hospitals) expensive and provide better standard (either/or or all in terms of facilities, equipment, or time that a doctor provides to patients), attracting patients who have more money. SIIMA Hospital in Moshi is one of these. Others are funded by charitable organizations or churches (e.g. St. Joseph Hospital). They are of higher price level than the public hospitals to the general public, but might offer free services to particularly poor people in need (which are financed by the money paid by the "richer" patients). In terms of facilities and equipment they are usually better than most public hospitals (unless the public ones have a particular department or ward which got a lot of foreign money). Usually there are fewer patients at the private hospitals and therefore doctors/nurses have more time to give explanations to foreign students/interns.
When it comes to doctors, the same doctors work at the public and at the private hospitals. As the salaries are low, they need income from several employers and therefore work at 2-3 hospitals (usually one public and 1-2 private) at the same time.
The Regional Hospitals and Referral Hospitals of Tanzania are usually accredited by all international medical universities for elective placements. Final year medical rotations are possible at Muhumbili Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam and Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, which are teaching hospitals of medical universities.
The public health care system of Ghana has three reference levels.

The smallest facilities that provide medical first aid (Tertiary Level) are the so-called CHPS (Community Health Compounds), health centers and small hospitals. These facilities perform only outpatient treatment and are usually run by nurses. Each facility is aimed at a population density of about 20,000 people.
At Secondary Level are the district hospitals, which are aimed at a population density of about 100,000-200,000 people. The bed capacity is usually not more than 100 beds.
These have at least one operating theater and a laboratory and usually offer better medical care than institutions on the tertiary level.
The highest level (primary level) are Metropolitan Hospital, Regional Hospital and Municipal Hospital. They are located in cities whose population exceeds 200,000 people and have a correspondingly larger bed capacity. In addition to several operating rooms and relatively good technical equipment, there are general practitioners and specialists in various disciplines to treat patients.
The primary level hospitals and many private hospitals such as the University Hospital in Cape Coast are of high standards in terms of facilities, management and expertise. Secondary and Tertiary institutions are often underfunded.
In Morocco we arrange elective placements at private clinics which are of higher standard, often coming close to Western/European standard in terms of facilities, equipment and professional level of the staff. We currently don’t work with public hospitals, as they are very bureaucratic.
The private hospitals are expensive for many local people, but they often collect funds for people who are in need, allowing them to provide cheap or free treatments. 
At these hospitals, medical students/interns should have no problem to get accreditation for elective placements by international medical universities or nursing schools.
Professional volunteers (nurses, therapists and physicians) can volunteer at church-run charitable dispensaries such as the one by the Franciscan Brothers of the White Cross in Tangier, which are typically managed by a nurse, providing free basic medical services to the poorest parts of population. As there is no medical supervision, elective placements are not possible at such dispensaries.
In India, we work with private hospitals of higher standard, for the same reasons as in Morocco. The standard of equipment, facilities and qualification of the doctors are comparable to Europe/North America/Australia. They offer a wide range of departments with high specialization.
At these hospitals, medical students/interns shouldn't have any problems to get accreditation for elective placements by international medical universities or nursing schools.
Professional volunteers (nurses, therapists and physicians) can volunteer at charitable hospitals which are funded by charitable organizations, but also at medical outreach programs run by several NGOs in slum areas.
In Nicaragua we can offer placements at the public hospital HEODRA and private hospial AMOCSA in León.
The standard of the public HEODRA hospital is low in terms of equipment and facilities, comparable to Tanzania. Also the situations that many patients have difficulties in raising the funds needed for their medical treatment, that they often only seek for medical services at a late stage of their disease, and the working conditions at the hospitals are very similar to as described in the text about Tanzania. Professional volunteers are very much needed at the public hospitals.
HEODRA as a large teaching hospital of León medical university should be fully accredited by all foreign medical universities and nursing schools for electives, internships and final year rotations.
The standard of the AMOCSA private hospital in terms of facilities and equipment is better than HEODRA. There are less patients and fees are higher. The doctors have more time for each patient. HEODRA is bigger and has a larger variety of highly specified departments; students will have the chance to see more patients than with AMOCSA. 
Also, the same doctors work at HEODRA and AMOCSA. To make a living, they additionally even work at further private hospitals or run their own consultancies.
The standard at the public hospitals of Bolivia can fluctuate a lot. While some private hospitals are chronically underfunded, others such as the hospitals of the VIEDMA Health Park where we arrange electives, internship and volunteering options often can offer a standard that comes close to the one of European/North American/Australian hospitals. They have a wide variety of specialization and departments.
A problem that regularly recurs is that the funds for the salaries of staff and to pay for medicines is not provided, resulting in shortages of medical services.
Similar to the what has been described before about Tanzania and Nicaragua, many people cannot afford the treatments at the public hospitals. They only attend medical institutions when their disease is in an advanced stage and in absolute emergencies.
Arco Iris is a charitable private hospital in La Paz of very high standard. Relatively rich people pay high fees for their treatment which is of one of the highest standards available in the country, and the money is used to provide free treatment to poor people, particularly street children and children from the poorest classes of society. 40% are paying patients and 60% are not paying.
Volunteer placements for healthcare professionals and elective placements/internships for students are possible at all of these hospitals. The hospitals of the VIEDMA Health Park in Cochabamba as large teaching hospitals of medical universities should be fully accredited by all foreign medical universities and nursing schools for electives, internships and final year rotations.
The medical system of Mongolia is of high standards. There is medical faculty at the University of Ulaanbaatar, also many doctors have studied in Russia or China or even have higher qualifications. There is no teaching hospital at the Mongolia university, so final year rotations are probably not possible. Mongolian medical students do electives with you in various medical institutions.
The health care system in Mongolia is organized as a tripartite reference system where patients first seek a "Family Health Center", which is a general physician's office. From there, the patient, if necessary, is referred to the district health centers, the second stage of the reference system, where there are more general medical facilities with more medical equipment (e.g. X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy) and where general surgical procedures are performed. In such district health centers, about 12 physicians and 60 nurses are available to patients. Both family health centers and district health centers only treat outpatients. In these facilities, electives and internships are available from the 1st year.
The third stage in the Mongolian reference system are specialized clinics. There are no major hospitals in Mongolia, which have many specialisations, but instead clinics that are each limited to a field of study. These include hospitalization. For an elective or a nursing internship in these clinics, you should be at least in the 3rd year of study.

Accommodation in León

In León you can choose between two standards of accommodation:
mostpopular transparent
Most popular! - The choice of the majority of our participants. In the university city of León, these are host families that rent out room.

comfortplustext transp
Comfort+ - For those who expect a higher standard: Hotel accommodation.


Host Family and Shared Accommodation:

Accommodation is with families or individuals who rent their homes of anything between two and five rooms for volunteers, interns and travelers from all over the world, as well as to Nicaraguan students. The result is a mix of family and shared life, wherein one or the other may predominate. This form of housing is characteristic of the Nicaraguan city of León, the reason being that many inhabitants of the city, especially in the city center, live in large colonial houses; but the families have become smaller and rooms are free. León is a student city, and it has long been common place that you sublet.
The rooms are usually equipped with a bed, a table and chair, as well as a storage space for clothes. In some houses, the rooms have a private bathroom and in the others, the bathroom is shared with the owners, other foreign visitors or Nicaraguan students.
You get your own key and can decide how closely or otherwise you want to live with families. Bed linen is provided and the room is cleaned weekly. It is not permitted to have overnight guests in the rooms.
For an extra charge, there is wifi internet and the kitchen can be used. You can also decide whether you want to eat with the family. Breakfast costs 2.50 USD, lunch and dinner 3.50 USD and 3 USD. Please see below, the example of the menu in Spanish.
Sample diet of host families:
These are alternatives that are selected by the family.
1. Gallo pinto, queso o maduro frito, Jugo, café con leche, leche o café.
2. Huevo con jamón, pan, Jugo, café con leche, leche o café.
3. Huevos revueltos, pan, Jugo, café con leche, leche o café.
4. Frutas de tres variedades, (sandìa, banano, melòn, papaya, dependiento de la temporada), acompañado de un jugo o café.
5. Panqueques, servidos con syrup y margarina, Jugo, café con leche, leche o café.

1. Indio Viejo. (Platillo tìpico Nicaraguense, preparado de maíz y carne desmenuzada, acompañado con plátano cocido), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
2. Beafteak de Cerdo o Res, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
3. Vigorón o Chancho con Yuca (Platillo típico Nicaraguense, preparado con carne de cerdo adobada, yuca cocida y ensalada), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
4. Chopsue o Chow Ming (Carne de pollo desmenuzada, camarones, mortadela, carne de cerdo, verduras, churritos cantones, acompañado con pan), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
5. Arroz relleno (arroz con carne de pollo, mortadela, zanahoria, chiltoma, cebolla, petupuas, acompañado con pan), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).   
6. Espagueti a la bolognesa (Spaguetti cocido, acompañado con salsa ragú, bolitas de carne molina, queso rallado), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
7. Chuleta de Pescado empanizada, arroz, tostones, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
8. Chuleta de Pollo a la Plancha, arroz, papas fritas, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
9. Tortitas de Carne molida, con tomates fritos, arroz, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
10. Pollo frito, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
11. Pollo con verduras, arroz, y tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
12. Guiso de pipian, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
13. Guiso de papas, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
14. Carne de res con verduras, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
15. Sopa de Res, Sopa de Gallina con albóndigas, Sopa de Frijoles con huevo.
16. Carne asada, ensalada, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
17. Fajitas de pollo y cerdo, arroz, ensalada, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
18. Chorizo de cerdo, fritos a la cazuela, arroz, frijoles, tortilla, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
1. Repochetas (2 Repochetas), (tortilla frita con queso fundido, ensalada u crema), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
2. Tacos de Pollo o Cerdo (2 Tacos), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
3. Gallo pinto con crema, queso, tortilla o pan, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
4. Huevos enteros, con tomates fritos, arroz, frijoles, tortilla o pan, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
5. Hamburguesa, con papas fritas, con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
6. Sandwich de queso amarillo, jamòn prensado, lechuga, tomate, cebolla, mayonesa, mostaza, salsa de tomate, margarina), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
7. Hot Dog (2 hot dogs), con su respectiva bebida (jugo natural o soda).
8. Nacatamal de Cerdo o Pollo (Comida Típica Nicaragüense), con su respectiva bebida (café negro o soda).


Hotel in León

As Comfort+ accommodation we use a small hotel in the historic centre of León, which is run by the owners. Each of the 27 rooms has its own bathroom, cable television, free Wifi and wired LAN, a small fridge and free coffee. There are two shared kitchens that can be used. Breakfast can be offered at a small extra. The hotel is making use of solar energy and energy-saving measures.


I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
 wu servicepackage
1 Person
700 EUR 800 EUR 900 EUR 1000 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
  • Assistance with visa extension in Nicaragua or arrangement of visa (depending on duration of stay) and other official permits (if required), but not the official government fees for it/them
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Managua International Airport (MGA) on arrival and departure
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in León
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • 50 USD Contribution to your project
  • Local SIM Card with 250 C$ air time
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • Costs for 10 seedlings of indigenous trees that we plant on the slopes of Kilimanjaro

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Nicaragua (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
All Rates in US-Dollar!
Convert Currency
 Short-time stay
(1-31 Days)
Long-time stay
(32-365 Days)
(You pay proportionally per day)
WG / Gastfamilie
Room with host family
1 Person
(Single Room)
10 USD/Day
150 USD/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
6.50 USD/Day 100 USD/Month
Optional: Meals per person Breakfast: 2.50 USD, Lunch 3.50 USD, Dinner 3.50 USD Breakfast: 2.50 USD, Lunch 3.50 USD, Dinner 3.50 USD
Optional: WiFi Internet   1 USD/Day 20 USD/Month
Optional: Use of kitchen (incl. cooking gas)   1 USD/Day 20 USD/Month
Hotel incl. Breakfast
1 Person
(Single Room)
 16 USD/Day with Fan
30 USD/Day with AC
 360 USD/Month with Fan
700 USD/Month with AC
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
 13 USD p.p./Day with Fan
18 USD p.p./Day with AC
 180 USD p.p./Month with Fan
350 USD p.p./Month with AC
For incomplete months you will pay the exact amount proportionally per day.
In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates.

Overview of other costs:

  • Visa 10 USD on arrival at the airport for most nationals for a maximum of 90 days. Any extra month 20 USD. If you stay for more than 180 days, you need to leave Nicaragua and go to Costa Rica. When returning to Nicaragua, you get an additional 90 days for 10 USD.
  • If meals are not included: around 70-150 EUR /100-180 USD)/month
  • Small local expenses (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month


How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer, credit card or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR / 250 USD when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.

Learning Spanish in León!

Learning Spanish in NicaraguaLearning Spanish is always helpful, and you can choose the intensity of your lessons. We recommend, however, a maximum of 10 hours per week. These are individual lessons with a teacher. Sometimes, students of similar knowledge levels can take lessons together. The cost of lessons does not vary according o the number of participants though.
The cost for Spanish lessons: 1 Student 8 EUR
Check "Language Training Required" in the registration form and specify the number of hours desired (minimum 20 hours).

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.

Check out our video on León !

Philippa from Germany completed a 9-month internship in the kindergarten, "Los Ositos" in León, Nicaragua. In this video, she takes us through the city of León. We also meet the Spanish teacher Aura Cristina and our (former) supervisor, Ninoska.

León - Colonial City in Nicaragua

León (175,000 inhabitants) is an old Spanish colonial city, located at a distance of around 90 km from the capital Managua and the international airport. The attractive beaches of the Pacific coast are only 15 km away and are easily and inexpensively accessible 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 is full of young people and has a vivid student life. Tourism is not yet developed much, but is constantly growing.
Problems of the country that participants will face 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 migrate to the cities or leave the country altogether. Around 20% of all Nicaraguans live outside their own country.

Coordinator in León

Our coordinator in León is Katherine from Nicaragua and Stefanie from Austria.

Recreational Activities in León

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. In 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.
Throughout the year, there are many festivals which are often religious.
On a multi-day trip, you can see the less explored paradise, "Corn Island", on the English Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.

Getting To León

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You book your flight to the airport of Managua (MGA). Also compare airfares to popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean and southern United States (e.g. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Las Vegas, Panama, Santo Domingo, Cancún), from where you can book a cheap flight at or to Managua. From Managua airport you will be picked up and brought to Leon.
In the case of other locations in Nicaragua, we give you detailed information about travel. In most cases, you take a bus from Managua Airport and then you are picked up from the bus station near your place of work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from the Managua airport even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course, you can do this - most of our participants do so. However, when the travel destination is too far away, it may not be possible over a weekend; these, we would recommend you keep for before the projects begins or after the completion. You could even plan these out during holidays (e.g. Semana Santa). We will notify you of the destinations and the recommended time to visit.
Is it safe to travel in Nicaragua alone as a single female traveller?
There is no problem travelling alone, if you keep in mind certain safety rules that are applicable to almost any other location. We will advise you on the same.
Is Nicaragua not one of the most dangerous countries in the world?
No. In the Americas, including North, Central and South America, Nicaragua has the lowest crime rates after Canada. There are, of course, poverty related crimes, such as pick pocketing and robbery using knife threats. You should therefore, avoid stepping out alone at night, travel in small groups, avoid deserted areas and carrying valuables with you.
Some neighbouring countries of Nicaragua, especially Honduras, can be dangerous, and we do not recommend that you travel there.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Nicaragua?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Leon, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so. In addition, there are also many tourists on the road, whom you can easily meet at bars, shops, etc.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info - PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
In León, you live with host families. Since León is a university town, it has a long tradition of families providing rooms for young people on rent. The houses are all in the historic city of León. Usually they have a patio, which you can reach via a lockable door from the street. From there, you usually have a separate entrance to your room from where the family lives. The families generally, have 1-4 such rooms, where often more of our participants or Nicaraguan students live. You can decide how much interaction you want with the family. You can find more details in the tab "Accommodation".
How free or bound am I in my accommodation with the host family?
In general, your room has a private entrance from the patio and you have two keys, both for patio as well as for your room. You can choose to live largely independent of the family, if that is your preference; yet, the families look forward to interacting with you and you practise the language with them. However, it is not allowed that without the consent of the host family, you invite non-World Unite! participants to visit or stay there.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
Yes, wifi internet is provided to you at a monthly extra charge.
How can I do my laundry?
In León, there are many laundromats. These are very cheap and wash with large and modern washing machines. You can bring a big bag of laundry in the morning and get them washed and ironed by that afternoon.
Can I cook in the accommodation ?
Yes, the families allow the use of the kitchen, but may charge a small monthly fee for additional consumption of electricity and gas. The families also offer meals for you, if you want to eat with them. This, you can decide when you arrive. Details are in the tab "Accommodation".
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Yes, this is possible.
What language skills do I need?
For most projects, basic knowledge of Spanish is expected. For some projects, English will suffice, and others require a solid knowledge of Spanish. This is stated in the info-boxes of the respective projects.

Our Partners

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