Volunteer Positions Below:
Nicaragua is home to some of Central America's youngest and most active volcanoes. We use these natural wonders to attract tourists seeking to go on adventurous hikes while supporting children in the Western Hemisphere's second poorest nation. It's simple - tourists come join us on awesome hikes (led by passionate and fun volunteer guides) and all the proceeds go to support local organizations doing amazing work with kids.
Our hiking project was founded in 1995 as a means of self-sustainable, grassroots fundraising for the functioning of Asociación Escuela de Calle with the overall aim of combating the unfortunate reality of children living and working on the streets of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The idea of this was simple: raise money from tourists and use all of it to help the Guatemalans that need them most, namely, street children and other at-risk youth. From these humble beginnings, it grew to become the biggest trekking operator in Xela and possibly all of Guatemala. As interest in the treks expanded over the years, so did this project's ability to help Quetzaltenango’s street children, and in 1999 they also opened the Hogar Abierto, a dormitory that continues to act as an immediate crisis center and (in many cases) permanent home for troubled youth who lack families that can cover their basic needs.
Considering the success of the hiking project in Xela, three guides set out from Guatemala in 2004 to expand the organization to other countries in Central America and decided to settle in León, Nicaragua due to its proximity to the Maribios volcanic range. Instead of creating their own social project, the guides decided to seek a pre-existing, well established organization for which to raise money. They found many groups helping children and eventually chose Asociación Las Tías, an independent organization established by local merchant women to prevent and rehabilitate drug addictions among disadvantaged youth in León.
As time continued, the popularity and profits increased, and the directors realized they could use surplus earnings to benefit other local organizations. We now donate profits to five projects in León. In addition to contributing monthly donations to these projects, guides also have the opportunity to spend time with the projects we support, for example with the mobile school.
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
We are almost always looking for people to come and support our trekking team! The proceeds of our hikes form the main source of funding for our programs, so guides are obviously crucial to the success of our organization. As a volunteer guide, you should be expected to:
- Hike three to four days per week, and take care of the preparation and cleanup of each hike.
- Enjoy interacting with tourists, sharing the beauty of Nicaragua with them.
- Work a couple office shifts per week (selling hikes and signing people up).
- Help with promotions and special events (Raffles, Trivia Nights, and other events you can create yourself!)
- Spend time working with the kids served by the five projects that we support
- Be enthusiastic!
You take tourists to awesome volcanoes, and handle all trip preparations, clean-up, and expense reports. Depending on the time of year and number of volunteers you can expect to hike three to four days per week. All overnight hikes have a minimum of two guides to share the responsibility. You get 10 vacation days during a 3-month stay.
Requirements for being a volunteer guide:
Be in good physical condition
Have hiking experience
Be a sociable person
Have or learn some Spanish
Have a valid first aid certification (if you are already travelling and do not have this, we can arrange on-site training)
Be able to commit for minimum three months
We are also often looking for volunteers to help with marketing / promotion, our website and so on - if you are not available for 3 months and interested in this, please also contact us to discuss possible opportunities!
As a guide you receive all expenses and food on the hikes, accommodation is available in the organisation's house for $85 a month. There are 14 beds maximum available. We don't offer accommodation for free, because this would divert much needed funding from the projects we support. But still we try to support you, for example volunteers do receive tips which are then pooled to cook dinners, drink a beer etc...
Every week there is also a one hour private Spanish lesson included.
Leon is one the oldest cities in Central America. It has a unique colonial style with a lot of cultural events and activities. In your free time you can explore many of the other beautiful parts of Nicaragua. Leon is full of young university students and offers many opportunities for young foreigners to integrate in the local social scene. There a lot of bars, restaurants and live music.
Life in Nicaragua is inexpensive compared to other countries in Central America. The estimated costs of living as of August 2017 are:
Rent for one month: US $80 – $160 (very dependent on standard of accommodation / location)
Food expenses for one month: US $150 – $200
Bus to Managua (90 minutes): US $2
Night life in León:
Beer: US$ 1 (30 Cord.)
Cuba Libre: US$ 1.75 (55 Cord.)
Night Club Entrance: US$ 2 (60 Cord.)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
max 25 hours - 8 ( you won't work 8 hours every day, but the hikes are overnight and you have to be responsible with the tourists at these times)
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.