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Mike Cobb of ECI Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Volunteering in Nicaragua is easy. There are faith-based organizations, NGO’s, private efforts, and clubs like Rotary in Nicaragua as well. Depending on your skill set and desire, finding a place to volunteer in Nicaragua is a wonderful first step toward plugging in and making new friends as well.
David Smith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Condimentos del Carrizal, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingNicaragua is still a very poor country and there are numerous opportunities to contribute—medically, sponsoring, education, veterinary, animals, schooling, English teaching or helping with English; so many opportunities to help and contribute.  Nobody would have a problem leveraging their own skills.
 
I was involved in helping get started a women’s cooperative for making jams, jellies, and preserves called Condimentos del Carirzal that’s done so well that now they don’t need us.  It was sponsored by the Rotary Club. We have a Rotary club now in San Juan del Sur that made connections with other Rotary clubs elsewhere in the world and in North America predominantly. Through Rotary there are a number of projects they sponsored.  I was involved in getting one going with the Rotary club in Guelph South (where I used to live in Canada) that was superbly supportive and raised money to help these ladies get going with their business. They haven’t needed any help for the last 2 or 3 years and they’re making gourmet jams and selling them to tourists. They’re doing very, very well. It’s a huge success that most people in San Juan are aware of. The ladies there are lifting themselves out of poverty and helping to put their kids through higher education. It’s a great story. There are lots of opportunities for that kind of thing. 
 
That group of wonderful people in Guelph raised US $15,000 to support the construction of the ladies’ kitchen. The ladies got to the point where they were really good and consistent with their recipes.  They received help from Marilyn Rootham in Guelph, of Rootham’s Gourmet Preserves. She was excellent. She came down to Nicaragua and taught these ladies how to make gourmet jams and jellies. Marilyn Rootham sells product all across Canada and into the US.  She was supremely helpful along with the Guelph staff.  After 5 years of support they raised I think $12,500 and we added a bit more, which was enough money to build them an industrial kitchen with the equipment and supplies to get them the health certificate they needed from the ministry so that they can continue to grow and export their jams and jellies. They’re doing really, really well.  
 
(Condimentos del Carrizal, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.) 
Marissa Gabrielle Lolk of Jireh Dental Care – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Operation Smile, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are a lot of opportunities for volunteer and charity work in Nicaragua. For example, there is Operation Smile. There is an organization for children with cancer. There is volunteer work at the hospitals. There is volunteering out in the rural communities. You can find it online. There is a website that we go to that lists volunteer programs in Nicaragua. There are NGOs and non-profit organizations that organize these programs and they tailor fit the programs based on the needs of the people.
 
For example, when they fill the quota for Operation Smile they don’t take volunteers unless the volunteer is a doctor. If you have a special skill set then they will open the doors a little more for you. Usually, if you don’t have that many skill sets or if you’re just a student then they fill quotas. So in looking for a volunteering opportunity through these non-profit organizations, you have to find one that you like, you have to find where your skillset it relevant, and you have to make sure that they haven’t filled their quotas yet.
 
There is our version of Habitat for Humanity here called Techo Para Mi Pais, which translates to “A Roof for my Country.” They build houses in different places. It could be in the city or out in the jungle and then someone is lucky enough to get the house.  
 
(Operation Smile on an American military ship visits Nicaragua, pictured.)
Eddy Marin-Ruiz of The Mortgage Store Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Eddy Marin-Ruiz teaching martial arts to neighborhood kids – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are plentiful opportunities for volunteer work in Nicaragua. There are so many opportunities and so many blessings that my family has experienced.
 
A year and a half ago, we had no plans to move to Nicaragua with my whole family, but since moving here there were plenty of opportunities where we have been able to serve the communities as well as the Lord. My daughters, who are 9, 12, and 13 year old, serve at the orphanage 3 days a week. My wife and I have attended prison ministries. We shared the Word in some of the jails in Nicaragua, which I could not fathom, but it’s happened. There are people who live in the city trash dumps here and we know a lot of people who have served there and, personally, we go in the trash dumps and play with the kids, talk to the families, get resources, food, and clothes. 
 
There are also some opportunities to volunteer in some of the smaller departments around Managua by building churches, schools, etc. Some friends of mine in the small departments help 4 ladies to get their cancer medical treatment, which is about a 2-hour drive from Managua to where they live. These people bring these ladies to Managua to receive treatment. They put them in a hotel and then drive them back the next day. There are just so many opportunities for ministering or volunteering here in Nicaragua. It’s incredible.
 
For me, it’s been wonderful watching my daughters and my son play with children that really have limited to no financial resources and just all of them being transparent because they are just children playing baseball. To me, it’s just been an unbelievable experience for my family and for me to witness that has just been tremendous. 
 
There are plenty of opportunities to serve in the US but Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Americas next to Haiti and it is the safest country in the Americas. That tells me two things: 
 
1. There is a huge need for serving, whether it is a feeding ministry or an orphanage or whatever it be.
 
2. It also tells me that there is an ethical standard amongst the poor that attracts me.
 
My wife and I are involved in feeding ministries. We go to parks and feed the homeless just like we do in the US. We are involved in different ways. Here in Nicaragua, it feels more personal. It feels like we are making more of an impact in this community than we were in the US. To my family and me, it feels more here like we can potentially change these kids’ lives.
 
A friend of ours is a full time missionary here in Nicaragua. She found a little girl at 3 years old, huddled up amongst stray dogs in an abandoned house. Her parents ran prostitution out of their home in the day and having little kids around the house is a bad for the prostitution business so they literally sent this girl out at 8 AM so she is not able to come home until about 8 PM. She is out to wander the streets until 8 PM at 3 years old. Our friend found this little girl, they talked to her parents, and this is little girl to fight for everything at 3 years old. They found a distant aunt that took her in but our friend spends Monday through Friday with her. Now, if you see her, she smiles, she shares, and when she sees a man, she wants you to hold her. She won’t let go of you. She wants to play with the kids. That is one life that you can literally multiply by serving here in Nicaragua.
 
I do a self-defense class on Saturdays at a community that is right outside the city dump and my target are young men who are 16 to 22 years old. These are young men that could change course in this country. I teach faith-based self-defense, which goes from being a victim to controlling your life through God and how we sometimes find ourselves in a choke hold and we feel that we lost. I teach them how to get out of that chokehold, and take a positive turn from that experience. I’ve done that and I’ve served that way. I had to build the influence in the lives of these young men to make a positive change and change what they would otherwise know because, in these cases, their parents aren’t being good role models.
 
(Eddy Marin-Ruiz teaching faith- based martial arts to neighborhood kids, pictured.)
Immanuel Zerger of Solentiname Tours - Discover Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Volunteer and charity work Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Nicaragua, there are business clubs that you can join and where you can volunteer. We have the Rotary and other types of clubs, so deciding which club to join all depends on what your interests are. You can participate in their activities for social work, like for reaching out to children who live on the streets, teaching English, or any other activities that will benefit the locals.
Darrell Bushnell – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are said to be 3,000 aide groups in Nicaragua and most of them will accept volunteers. A lot of them have requirements depending on what the group is doing. Some would require a volunteer who knows some Spanish, because the place where they volunteer is not in the city, but in the rural areas of Nicaragua.
 
I am involved with Puedo Leer, which is the first lending library here in Granada. We now have a couple of reading rooms. Our mission is simply to bring the joy of reading to the people of Nicaragua. One reason for the library is that there were not many books here, and another reason is that Nicaraguans just do not tend to read for pleasure very much.
 
I also work at the US Embassy with their culture center, which is trying to create interaction between the US and Nicaragua by sharing cultural affairs and activities.
Blue van Doorninck of Rancho Chilamate Horseback Adventures & Guest Ranch – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Charity work in Nicaragua picure of giving back – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingNicaragua is a significant destination for groups that coordinate volunteer programs that are usually school or church related. They come down with their matching t-shirts, having chosen a project prior to arrival here.
 
If you’re not part of one of these groups, there are several organizations in San Juan Del Sur that can coordinate projects for you in their area. One of them for example is Comunidad Connect.
 
In addition, a lot of expats will take them upon themselves to find pet projects that they feel will benefit maybe the family that lives next door, someone that works for them, or a school that they want to make better. There are opportunities around every corner of Nicaragua to give back. A lot of expats do volunteer work here. 

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