I am a New Yorker by birth and Hispanic by heritage and have lived and traveled to many locations around the world and destiny has brought me to Nicaragua, where I have been trying to organically reforest approximately 60 hecters for the past 5 years.
It has been a frustrating but most humbling and satisfying project, nature has taught me that it works on its own time table but with patience and love...will provide us its bounty!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
I want to be able to bring individuals to help educate the community in a score of things, such as hygiene, food (diet) planning, women sexual issues (family planning), the danger and physiological damage to the human body for contaminating the water sources and using pesticides so close to living areas, environmental protection issues (garbage removal methods). Also, trying to emphasis the importance of keeping children in school (many don't attend), etc.
Now concerning working on the farm, it really is not a requisite for you to do so, since there are many other areas in which you can assist, matter of fact, you can plan your own ideas and present them to me, and we can work on them together for the benefit of the community. I leave that option up to you; all I ask is that you be professional, since you would be an extension of the farm and the program. I am very laid back and want the farm to have as much exposure as possible, so at this time, I am really leaving it up to the volunteers to choose what they want to do while at the farm, though, work does begin around 06:00 and ends around 14:00 for the employees, I do not expect you to work those hours, but if you want to feel part of the program, you should consider doing your activities around those hours.
It would be great to get someone to lead a home building project with tires or other recycables. Also, need anyone that can lead the community with setting up a portable water system or can help out testing our drinking sources.
Living quarters are simple one-room wooden cottages, some with bunk-beds. Latrines are still used here (bring tissue). All cabins are located within site of nature and our daily work.
As most of Nicaragua (or more) this community is in a poor area and in need of anyone with energy to demonstrate that they are not totally forgotten and that there is an interest for them to move forward, I believe that one person can make a difference, unfortunately, I have been too busy with hands-on physical work to do more in the education area.
San Antonio de Upa is approximately 1,200 meters above sea level and is still quite green! There is a river on the farm and you can take wonderful walks through the areas and hike as much as you please, if you like, you can invite friends to visit and spend the day with you, in order to help you brainstorm about the countless needs of the community.
The "community" which is contiguous with the finca is a hamlet, with approximately 100 families and a lot of children. Also, there is an hacienda Buenas Esperanza, which has a large population at coffee-picking time. Matagalpa the city is approximately 40 kilometers away and you can take a bus (1 hour and a half walk) in the morning (05:45) and catch it back in the afternoon (13:15).
Rainy season (winter) begins around late May and lasts till around December, if you do not like getting wet, this is not a good time for you to visit Nicaragua or Central America for that matter! It’s not really cold up here, but you may want to bring a jacket or sweater.
As for after- hours, people here normally, sit around the radio and talk...and talk...and talk or play cards or board-games. It gets dark fairly early and I suggest that you bring a good book or make friends (will be very easy to do), in order to spend time at people's homes discussing whatever your preferred topics may be. There is a volleyball set to play and if you like, you can bring a board game. Also, if the energy is up and running I will be able to bring up a TV and Video player (last one, blew up...long story!).
We are not secluded and most of the workers live in the community, which is only a few hundred feet away. There is cell phone signal and you can communicate from specific areas on the farm (high areas). The cottages use either solar panels or kerosene lamps, depending on which one you stay in.
So…I do hope you decide to visit Nicaragua and that you come and stay with us, for as long as you like, since we would love to have you share whatever inspirations, strengths or farm or environmental formation you may have.
Please keep in mind when you decide to come that this is an extremely poor area with a lot of needs and that the farm is still a working progress.
Be well and take your time deciding,
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two