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 or in our learning centers 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. Our learning centers provide safe, clean learning environments for children outside of school hours. During the school year they are open all day and volunteers will work in teams, alongside local interns, covering either the morning or afternoon shift (both 4-5 hours). During the summer months, December and January, the learning centers will only be open during the afternoon.
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 university.
As a Kindergarten Assistant you work with pre-school aged children (typically ages 4-5) 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. Kindergarten assistants work in the mornings, Monday to Friday from 7.30 am till noon. Friday’s classes often end early. The minimum time commitment for this position is 6 weeks, and you should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish to be able to play and chat with the kids.
GRADE 1 TUTOR/CLASSROOM ASSISTANT
As a Grade 1 Tutor you work with students (typically ages 6-7) 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. Grade 1 Tutor/Classroom assistants work in the mornings, Monday to Friday from 7.30 am till noon. Friday’s classes often end early. The minimum time commitment for this position is 6 weeks, and you should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish in order to understand the problems the kids have and assist them.
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 a local intern 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. The minimum time commitment for this position is 6 weeks, and you should have 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 at all grade levels. During this time, volunteers and local interns take full responsibility of creating, planning, and teaching lessons. The minimum time commitment for this position is a minimum 2 weeks and you should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish in order to be able to fully engage with the kids.
LEARNING CENTER ASSISTANT
Our new learning centers provide safe, clean places where children can come to continue their learning in an informal environment during their free hours. They are stocked with resources not often found i the schools such as books to read, maths worksheets and manipulatives, craft supplies, spaces for drawing, coloring and writing, computers with educational games and much more. Volunteers work with local interns to aid the children in learning how to use the resources available to them. The objective is to create a fun, interactive and positive learning environment through crafts, games etc. The minimum time commitment for this position is 2 weeks, and you should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish in order to be able to fully engage with the kids. During the summer months, December and January, the learning centers will only be open during the afternoon (1pm – 5pm).
HIGH SCHOOL ASSISTANT
As a high school assistant you will provide additional support to students who are being sponsored through high school. You will help students revise and improve their English, help them maintain contact with their sponsors around the world, and promote our sponsorship program to potential donors (for example, through maintaining a Facebook page). This position is available throughout the Nicaraguan school-year which starts in February and ends in November. The minimum time commitment is 6 weeks, you should have an advanced or better level of English as well as an intermediate or better level of Spanish.
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. An intermediate or better level of Spanish is useful, but it is very important that you have a fluent level of English. We prefer a minimum time commitment of 8 weeks in order to get to know our operations and the way we work.
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. The minimum time commitment for this position is 8 weeks.
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, learning center assistants, or vacation month teachers and assistants.
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.