In the Non-Profit-Organisation Puentes de Esperanza you get the opportunity to support various social- and environmental projects in the north of Nicaragua. We will have a look at how you can contribute as a traveler, intern or volunteer …
Puentes de Esperanza – Improving the education and income situation in Jiquilillo (Nicaragua)
Kids-Activities, computer training, English classes (teaching assistants), Surflessons, Capacity Building (Tourism), among others
Spanish and/or English, minimum stay: 1 month
Costs for accommodation and meals have to be paid by yourself
Best for beginners and intermediate surfers
Jiquilillo, in the northwest of Nicaragua
NEWS JUNE 2018: because of the current political & social crisis in Nicaragua and its problems & dangers (violent encounters, supply shortfalls, increased criminality) it is currently advised not to travel to Nicargua. Puentes de Esperanza unfortunately has to stay closed (for volunteers & visitors) until the situation calms down. If you want to support the organisation anyhow or especially because of the current crisis, you could help to finance kids some scholarships and make a donation! We really hope that things will get better soon and will keep you up to date!
THE ORGANISATION & THEIR MISSION
In the small village of Jiquillio, located in the northwest of Nicaragua, you can find the hostel Rancho Esperanza (if you haven´t read our blog entry on Rancho Esperanza, we really want to recommend it to you at this point). Since it opened in 2004, the American owner Nate and his team dedicated various great projects to the local community and environment. Over time they decided to found a Non-Profit-Organization to manage the different activities – Puentes de Esperanza was born. The NPO supports local kids through sponsorship programmes and afternoon classes/activities and offers educational programmes to adults to better their income situation (e.g. English classes or capacity building in tourism).
VOLUNTEERING & INTERNSHIP
Both travelers and interns have various options to support Puentes de Esperanza during their stay. In the Kids Club you can help out with activities like reading, making crafts or doing scientific experiments with the local kids. If you are an English teacher, your will be needed for English classes (for children or adults) at Puentes de Espeanza or to assist in the public school. In the Surf Club volunteers teach kids how to ride waves (among other activities), so in their future they can provide surf lessons to guests and generate income in this growing sector of tourism. Computer Literacy Classes or Tourism Training and Capacity Building workshops are other wonderful projects which provide a socio-economic benefit to the community. If volunteers prefer the Creative Art or Green Project (more related to Rancho Esperanza itself) they can also get active in those initatives.
REQUIREMENTS & COSTS
The only requirement for volunteering or internships is a minimum stay of one month and for some projects two, three or six months. The costs for your accommodation and meals have to be paid by yourself. Not only recommendable but in some cases a must are also some Spanish (and English) skills to facilitate communication with the locals.
SURFING & OFFERS
Located in tropical climate and with off-shore wind almost all year round Nicaragua is nearly 365 days a year a surfer’s paradise. The conditions in Jiquillio are ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers and as spots are uncrowded, they offer waves for everyone. Surfboards, -classes and boat trips can be rented and organized at Rancho Esperanza – more information you can find on our blog entry.
LOCATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
The Surfhostel Rancho Esperanza and therefore also the organization Puentes de Esperanza is located on the pacific coast in the North of Nicaragua, close to Honduras and El Salvador. You can reach the small fishing town of Jiquilillo either from Managua (the capital of Nicaragua) or El Salvador.
Jiquillio is located in a remote area, that means that you won´t find supermarkets or fancy restaurants or bars around, however you get to know better the life of the people there. If we want to contribute to a sustainable tourism, it also means being open minded and respectful towards the locals, not showing valuables or behaving as the “rich, know-it-all” tourist but rethinking our own culturual imprint and needs.
As mentioned before, you can find more details about the accommodation, the surroundings and different activities in our blog entry on Rancho Esperanza. For further information we can recommend you the two websites of the Surfhostel and its social project.
Have you already had experience with this organization? If yes, we would love to read your comment about your statement on Puentes de Esperanza.