Volunteer Nicaragua
Internships - Spanish - Experiential Learning Programs in Nicaraguahttp://www.nicaraguainternships.com
Academic Internship Program
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» Where can you work?
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» Academic Internship Program
Research and work in your field of study

A supervised, rigorous academic internship program designed for University Students seeking hands –on experience in their major while immersing themselves in Spanish and the culture of Nicaragua. Internship and Independent Study credit available for most programs. Interns work in many fields including human rights, public health/pre-med, gender studies, economics, social work, psycology, law, and politics.

Who can intern with Viva Nicaragua?

This program is open to all individuals who want to apply their skills and knowledge to and learn from development and social justice projects . Earn credit, gain experience, immerse yourself in a new culture, and help make a difference.



• Spanish
Some, but not all, placements require a certain level of Spanish proficiency. We recommend at least one-year of college Spanish for most internship placements.
The amount of Spanish you have is an important factor in the internship placement process. However, those with limited Spanish should not be discouraged.
We will work with you to find the best internship for your Spanish level. Participants may elect to enroll in our Internship + Spanish Program which allows interns to study Spanish while working.

• While the internships are not paid, they are serious work commitments.Interns must be prepared to commit to a full-time work schedule in accordance with the work hours of the host organization .
• Interns must be at least 18 years old. (or be accompanied by an adult or have parental consent).

While these are unpaid internships, you are required to maintain a certain level of professional etiquette. Be on time (even when others in the organization are not), dress appropriately, and let your supervisor know if you are ill and unable to work. Taking time off to travel is not accepted. You must fulfill your entire contracted work commitment. If you decide to end your project early,you will not be reimbursed.

All interns must keep a journal and submit a final written report of their experience and summary of their work.

Throughout the internship, Viva Nicaragua! staff evaluates the work and effort of the intern. If the intern is not fulfilling his/her work agreement, he/she may be dismissed without reimbursement.

• The only additional requirement is that you are an independent and motivated individual, dedicated to making a difference!


Where do interns work?

We work with you to match your interests and skills with the needs and objectives of social and environmental organizations in urban and rural areas in southwest of Nicaragua. We collaborate with organizations and companies working in many fields including (but not limited to):

• Public health - Work in a public clinic or community. Shadow and gain hands on experience with health professionals and patients and educate individuals to become advocates for their own health. Medical internships are excellent for pre-med students and this experience can help students get into medical school or Public Health programs.

• Human rights – Participate directly in our campaigns that focus on women’s and children’s rights. Perfect for law students or Gender Studies majors – but open to all individuals interested in human rights.

• Gender and Machismo- educating all of society about gender roles and stereotypes to help eliminate discrimination based upon sex and resulting physical, psychological, sexual, and economic violence. Projects include women’s health, reproductive health education and family planning. Law, health, gender studies, psychology, and social work majors

• Elementary Education – Work at a local public school, tutor children who are behind in their studies, work with the library project, or teach in our community computer lab.

• Youth and adolescents – Work directly with high risk youth in communities or in youth centers to help provide healthy alternatives to gangs, drugs, and alcohol. Psychology and Social Work majors or anyone with experience working with high-risk youth enjoy these projects.

• Ecotourism – Help promote community tourism projects in order to protect the environment and contribute to the local economy.

• Art, theater, dance, and photography – Apply your creative and artistic skills to therapy programs or teaching in communities or centers. Perfect for art and art therapy students.

• Environmental education – Collaborate with the Ministry of the Environment to protect lake Nicaragua and participate in tree planting projects. Teach in schools about the importance of protecting the environment, proper waste disposal, beach clean- up projects, and school gardens.

Sports, psychology, community development, social justice, gender studies, law, web design, law, school gardens, translation services, and other internships often open up. Send us your application and we will consult with collaborating institutions to place you in an internship that matches your skills.

*We also provide methodological and logistical support for students conducting pre-and post- graduate research projects.

Nicaragua Medical Intern



Program dates and duration

We accept interns throughout the year.
Please note that many of our collaborating organizations are closed from December 15 – January 15th to observe religious holidays.
Placements are limited during this time

We require a minimum time commitment of four weeks. Some placements require a longer commitment. Individuals who are unable to make this commitment but would still like to volunteer should consider our short-term volunteer program.


Is Academic Credit available?

Most interns are able to obtain independent study credit for the Internship Program. Talk to your college advisor before arrival. Viva Nicaragua! will assist by providing project descriptions and mid-term and final evaluations.
Learn more.


Housing and Accomodation

Interns stay with carefully screened and experienced local families. All interns have their own room and we only allow one intern per family. Family stays are the best way to integrate into the culture and immerse yourself in the language. Three meals a day and laundry service are included.

Homestay Nicaragua


Placement Fees and Services

Viva Nicaragua! is committed to providing enriching educational experiences and to supporting social justice and human rights in Nicaragua. When you intern with us, you not only gain valuable experience, but also support development efforts with your time and knowledge and provide much needed resources for development projects.*
Lodging and all meals with local families are included in your placement fee. Homestays are not only a more affordable option, but allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and language. In addition, many families love to host students and invite them as part of the family, and hosting students is a major source of income for many families.

Placement fees include the following:

• Internship placement services and a work plan that is approved by the host organization and intern.
• Lodging with 3 meals a day. Payment to families – an important source of income.
• Pre - and post - arrival advising.
• Assistance obtaining academic credit.
• City tour and orientation.
• Monitoring and evaluation throughout the internship. Weekly meetings with your program coordinator and assistance whenever needed to develop and carry out your project.
• Airport pick-up and drop off.
• An on-site coordinator available for any need that may arise.
• 24 – hour assistance for any reason.
• Stipend for materials/supplies.
• Seed grants for approved project proposals .
• Lectures and activities (with 5 or more students).
• Readings and other materials that will help you with your project.
• Final evaluations and/or letters of recommendation (needed for credit and useful when applying for employment, research opportunities, or continued education.)
• Re-entry adjustment information.
• A doctor with a fully equipped clinic (laboratory, x-rays) available for any
medical need (medical expenses and insurance NOT included).
• Donation to the internship site.

Items not included in the cost: Meals and laundry if not living with a host family, cell phone rental, passport and/or visa fees, weekend travel expenses, return transport to airport, any accrued medical expenses, and departure taxes.
Why pay to intern?

Internship Only

4 weeks $1485
6 weeks $1785
8 weeks $2085
10 weeks $2385
12 weeks $2685

Internship + Spanish
Study Spanish for one month (32 hours total) while interning.

4 weeks $1765
6 weeks $2065
8 weeks $2365
10 weeks $2665
12 weeks $2965

Upon acceptance to the program, applicants must submit a $200 non-refundable deposit with their signed program application. Deposits are applied to the total placement fee, which is due upon arrival.

Placement fees have allowed us to provide medical services in communities, provide medical supplies for clinics, paint clinics and schools, start small-businesses, build a library and community center, provide reproductive education for youth and women, create two kids-clubs, educate and support women victims of family violence, support local families and our community staff members - and many, many other projects. Thanks to our interns – our development work is sustainable and able to reach many communities.


Application Process

1) Download and submit your application to apply@nicaraguainternships.org
2) Submit your resume and two original or scanned copies of recommendation letters.
3) After receiving your application material, we will send you a confirmation letter and begin the application review process.
4) Upon careful review of your application, we will notify you if you have been placed. You are not officially accepted into the program until you receive a placement confirmation letter. This process usually takes one week to ten days.
5) If accepted, you will then receive a placement confirmation and letter and an invoice for the program deposit.
6) Mail a signed copy of your application along with your deposit to:
Viva Nicaragua!
P.O. Box 210
Granada, Nicaragua
Central America
7) There will be no refunds after the program has begun. In the event of a personal emergency, we will review the situation and may issue a partial refund.
8) Complete payment is due on or before your program start date.








Questions? Contact us!


“The support was great! Whenever I had a question or a problem I felt very comfortable asking for help or advice from Carrie and Marion.” – Jessica, Public Health/Nursing, 2011

“This program allows you to see the context of the people you are serving and really see social justice issues as multifaceted and interrelated while making tangible contributions to the community.” – Cristina, 2011

“Viva Nicaragua is a great opportunity to view the reality of the world. ...At the end of the day, you learn so much more on your own and you feel like you YOURSELF, have made a difference. “ – Mary , 2011

“It (my homestay) was amazing! Martha (my homestay mom) made the effort to sit down and talk with me…and the entire family made the effort to make me feel comfortable”. – Jessica McFadden, 2011

Nicaragua Internships
The opportunities are endless and you are really given the freedom to bring all of your skills, abilities, life experiences, etc. and creatively contribute them to your project  A beautiful and unique opportunity.
Morea Steinhauer
- July 2009

Voluneering NicaraguaIt (the program) is such a life changing experience.  You learn a lot about what you are capable of achieving, your ability to adapt to different cultures and environments and potential career opportunities.  Living, even for just a short time, in a developing country places a whole new perspective on the world and the conditions that many people live in everyday.  It really is an amazing learning opportunity and overall a fantastic experience.
Kathlyn Parr
- Summer 2009

Volunteer NicaraguaIt is great because you receive a cultural experience with a built in network of peers going through the same things and your work is tailored to meet your interests.
Graham Robertson
-Summer 2009

Volunteering in nicaragua!
"I received more than enough support from Carrie.  Whenever I needed any assistance or help, she was always there with resources and helpful ideas.  It is actually amazing how much she devotes to the program.  Her time, life, mental and physical health, are at the disposal of Viva! Nicaragua interns.
Trista Budzynski,
- July 2008

Nicaragua Internships
“Most mornings we work on micro loans for youth; in the afternoons we plan workshops, visit neighborhoods, or do random errands.  At night, we teach English classes in the outskirts of the city.  Our classrooms are dirt roads between houses.  Students drag out plastic chairs and we teach as dogs run by…After class we often gather in a circle and they tell us myths and legends, or we play games in the road.  Since many kids can’t read or write in Spanish, our teaching style has become increasingly more creative.”
Viva Nicaragua!  Interns,
- July 2008

Viva Nicaragua!
Working with a Nicaraguan NGO, I accomplished more than I ever would have been able to back home. My college leveled skills were greatly
appreciated and I was quickly given responsibilities and respect. I proudly watched my individual work have a direct affect on the people of the local communities. I even had someone stop me on the street to thank me for volunteering in Nicaragua.
Greg Contente,
- August, 2007

Volunteer Nicaragua
“Yesterday  we piled in a jeep and drove down the packed sand beach of Lake Nicaragua, past coconut trees and wooden boats to spend  the day in a remote village providing health care, armed with only a  stethoscope, bathroom scale, and duffel bag full of cough medicine and antibiotics.” 
Viva Nicaragua! 
- Intern, June 2007

Carrie also has cooperative relationships with many Nicaraguans running charitable efforts in the area of Granada and often works closely with them in providing opportunities for students.  Many of these are women running cooperatives, orphanages, clinics, and food programs and are remarkable people.  We very much admire Carrie's approach, in that she works hand-in-hand with the Nicaraguans' efforts to help themselves and each other, and doesn't "overrun" their efforts with her own.


Carrie is approachable, careful, thoughtful and professional in all her dealings with students and those in the community; she is well-respected there.


It’s a wonderful program for anyone who is looking to be creative, independent, and integrate into a community and society.



Nicaragua Volunteer