Do you want to combine your next surf trip with social responsibility? If yes, volunteering at WAVES for development in Nicaragua could be your next travel choice …
WAVES for development | Nicaragua – Community-based tourism
Various opportunities, depending on your interest and skills (e.g. teaching English or Maths, supporting the Center for Arts, or organizing environmental projects)
Language skills, online application only – costs available only on request and as a package (which includes most costs)
For all levels, everything provided, costs for surfing are included in the package
El Tránsito, Central Pacific Coast of Nicaragua
THE ORGANISATION & THEIR MISSION
WAVES for Development believes that surf travel should benefit the people and communities where it happens. Through community-based tourism and grassroots initiatives they empower community members. One program supported by WAVES in El Tránsito, Nicaragua, is the Center for Arts (ETCA), where a cooperative of women is creating fashionable goods and their self-sustainability is encouraged. Another project to get involved in is CREA (Create, Reinforce, Educate and Advance), which helps students to improve their university entrance exam rates through after school classes.*
The idea for WAVES originated on the beaches of northern Peru and expended within the years into an international organization with branches in Mexico and Nicaragua.
VOLUNTEERING & INTERNSHIP
Depending on your skills you can volunteer either in the Center for the Arts, teaching, empowering and encouraging the community through arts, crafts and other creative expressions; or you can involve yourself in the educational CREA-Program, by teaching math or improving the reading and writing skills of students.
Specific projects or programs can also be organized, based on the interests of volunteers and the needs of the community at the time of your visit. To give you some examples of other projects: English teaching, supporting the ‘Learning Garden’, the Medical Clinic, the ‘Paint the Town’ Project, Kid’s Sports Programs, environmental or wildlife education and beach clean ups.
REQUIREMENTS & COSTS
The packages include 5 star accommodation at SOLID (private bath, A/C, swimming pool, onsite yoga studio, gym, wifi etc.) as well as food and drinks and a beginner surf-lesson per week. Moreover it includes the transportation to/from the airport and to local surf spots, photographed surf session, excursions (for fishing, surfing, cities) and, like mostly, a contribution to local staff salaries.
SURFING & OFFERS
Nicaragua is a tropical offshore wind paradise. You will find waves for all levels, from world-class reef barrels to mellow beach breaks. When volunteering at WAVES you will get a guided surf lesson (the package includes one lesson per week) and transportation to local surf spots (all included) to make sure you are enjoying your surf adventure at the maximum.
LOCATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
El Tránsito is a small fishing village and home to four of the most consistent and uncrowded breaks in the Central Pacific region of Nicaragua. Besides the surf you can enjoy yoga, beautiful beaches, nature reserves with rainforests, volcanoes with sandboarding options or go on trips to surrounding colonial cities. And you will definitely fall in love with the sunsets there – don’t forget to bring your camera!
It’s easy to get to El Tránsito, as it takes you only one hour by taxi to reach Managua, the capital of Nicaragua (cheaper, slower and more environmental friendly options by bus are also available). The climate is year-round tropical and ensures warm water and air. Rainy season between May and November (strongest October, November) brings heavy rains (including flooded roads) and biggest swells. Bring a lot of mosquito spray with you and get the recommended vaccines before you go there.
Nicargua is a ‘developing’ country and not only for your own safety be conscious about which belongings you want to bring and how to take care of them, but also how to respect the local community, their incomes and how to contribute to a sustainable tourism and development of the country.
*We also want to write a blog post about both of the here mentioned organizations: the Center of the Arts (ETCA) and the educational programme CREA , so you can not only learn more about their great work but also decide if you want to visit or support them on an individual basis. Here you can find already more information about those two wonderful initatives: ETCA and CREA.