We accept volunteers year-round on a rolling basis for some positions, so you can apply at any time.
Our focus is on education at a very basic level. The majority of our volunteers work in the schools with young children. Nicaraguan schools have two sessions each day, half of the primary school students attend school in the morning, and the other half attends in the afternoon. Normal school volunteers work from 7:30 am till noon five days a week, and English teachers work from 12:30 pm – 4 pm five days a week. A team of volunteers will work in each school where we are helping, assisted by a local intern. For all positions, we prefer that volunteers have at least an intermediate level of Spanish. We work in four or five government run public schools in the poorest barrios of Granada. We work in the schools with the permission of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education.
Internships: We are happy to host internships in all positions and will complete any paperwork required by your college.
As a Kindergarten Assistant you work with pre-school aged children in the kindergarten classrooms. Together with the teacher, you encourage learning through games and crafts. This work is especially rewarding since the kids are extremely friendly and open-minded. This position is available from February to November. You should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish to be able to play and chat with the kids. Kindergarten assistants work in the mornings, Monday to Friday from 7.30 am till noon. Friday’s classes often end early.
GRADE 1 TUTOR/CLASSROOM ASSISTANT
As a Grade 1 Tutor you work with students in the classroom and help them with reading, writing, math, etc, and help them keep up with the work assigned by the teacher. The teacher may ask you to work one on one with students who need extra help. This position is available throughout the Nicaraguan school-year which starts in February and ends in November. You should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish in order to understand the problems the kids have and assist them. Grade 1 Tutor/Classroom assistants work in the mornings, Monday to Friday from 7.30 am till noon. Friday’s classes often end early.
PRIMARY SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER
As a Primary School English Teacher you teach English to primary school students in grades 4, 5 and 6. You will work in a team and teach in two schools per week, alternating each day. You will also have an ayudante with you who will help you with the students and teaching. English team volunteers work Monday through Thursday and do lesson planning on Friday mornings. Depending on which schools you would be working from 12.30 – 4pm or 1 – 4.30 pm. This position is available from February to November and requires an advanced or better level of English as well as a basic or better level of Spanish.
SUMMER SCHOOL TEACHER/ASSISTANT (DECEMBER AND JANUARY ONLY)
During December and January, La Esperanza runs a summer school program for the children living in the barrios (kindergarten and grade 1 level). During this time, volunteers and ayudantes (local interns) take full responsibility of creating, planning, and teaching lessons. For the summer school, we are able to accept volunteers for less than the normal minimum of four weeks. You should have a intermediate or better level of Spanish. We also run some special English courses during the vacation months of December and January.
HOUSE BUILDING/HOME IMPROVEMENTS VOLUNTEERS: (DECEMBER, JANUARY AND FEBRUARY)
No Spanish needed, and only a one week commitment (though you can of course stay longer). There is however a financial cost associated with this position. You need to be able to contribute $200 for each week you work to pay for building materials. We will form teams of individuals, $3000 builds a whole new house for a family in need. Work hard physically for a few hours each day, and you will have the pleasure of seeing a family´s dreams come true. (as an example 5 people would build a house in three weeks). In our photo gallery you will find pictures of before and after houses.
HANDYMAN (HANDYPERSON) JOB:
There are constantly repairs needed in the volunteer houses as well as in the schools. We have tools etc. on hand, and it is a great help when we have a volunteer willing to take on general handyman work. An ideal position for someone who wants to help and hasn’t yet mastered Spanish, or would rather help in a general way without necessarily working directly with the children.
COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION:
As a Communication and Promotion Assistant you help our Operations Director Pauline, a long-term volunteer, maintain and improve our online presence (Facebook, blog, website, etc.), and aid in developing the organization through volunteer and donor recruitment. This position is available throughout the year. We prefer a minimum time commitment of 8 weeks in order to get to know our operations and the way we work. An intermediate or better level of Spanish is useful, but it is not vital if you are a good communicator.
GRANT WRITING AND FUND RAISING:
Grant writing is a bit of a specialist task, but as our organization grows it is an area we may need help with. We don’t specifically ask people for money as part of our ethos, but it is good to be able to offer fund raising ideas to those who want to help, and work on possible ideas. We would need a four month or longer stay for this position. Spanish is not vital, but would be a great advantage.
PART-TIME VOLUNTEER (GRANADA RESIDENTS ONLY)
If you are living in Granada and have spare time each week, there are various ways in which you could work with us on a part-time basis. From teaching computers in the schools to taking children for dental visits, we would welcome your help.
You can volunteer long-distance with La Esperanza Granada by providing on-line help, such as translating documents, promoting the organization, updating volunteer listings, etc.
There is no limit to the numbers of volunteers we need for positions such as kindergarten assistants, grade 1 tutors/assistants, English teachers, vacation month teachers and assistants or house building volunteers.
If you didn’t see something that fits you in the outlines above, but think you have something to offer, just let us know, maybe we need you and just haven’t thought of it yet!
Besides your time commitment and a certain level of Spanish, the only major skill we require from our volunteers is a willingness to help others and to enjoy being part of the La Esperanza Granada team.