Category Archives: Volunteering

How can I make a real difference in Nicaragua?

Today we are super excited to tell you how a couple clicks of your mouse and $100 can make a substantial long term impact on a child, family and entire community here in Nicaragua.

$100 = 1 child’s tuition for an entire year

It is often said youth are the future. This is especially true in Nicaragua. 

We are at a cross roads with this generation. Until recently a child could focus on the family trade. Fishing or farming often put education on the back burner.

In the new Nicaragua the workforce is changing. Focus is on English speaking tourism, skilled labour, entrepreneurship, technical abilities in IT and university educated professions.

Nicaragua has high unemployment rates and maintains stunning levels of under employment. We live in a reality where only the best and brightest are really able to flourish.

I know! I know!

– A class in session at Escuela Adelante: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (PHOTO CREDIT: Jessica Gildersleeve)


Program Destiny is a critical first step in helping San Juan del Sur youth ages 6 – 12 on the journey to a different Nicaragua.

It is a two year supplementary ESL (English as a Second Language) program that is taught through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based learning.

Students of Program Destiny get exposure to university laboratories, organic farming operations and health servicesThey also regularly engage in Skype sessions with students in the United States who are studying Spanish.

Escuela Adelante students are not just taking a step forward for themselves, they are helping their family and community move ahead.


Tuition for Program Destiny is just $20 USD per month per student.

The parents of these students believe in the effectiveness and necessity for this education and therefore are happy to pay the $20 per month fee.

$20 may not seem like much, but jobs in Nicaragua are scarce. The majority of individuals that are actually employed are earning $200 (or less) per month.

While Nicaraguan families aspire to provide a better life for their children, many simply can’t afford any additional monthly expense beyond that of which they pay for food and shelter.

For this reason Escuela Adelante sets aside 20% of its enrolment capacity for families that just can’t manage to pay full tuition.

Escuela Adelante does not receive funding from government or non-government organizations. Funding comes primarily from student tuition.

Although they get support from Bring It Volleyball Tours (who generously provide the school’s workbooks) and local businesses AURIC clothing and Chicabrava women’s surf camp (who help cover some of the operational expenses) they still need help to fund these scholarships.

Escuela Adelante has successfully secured a matching grant for all scholarship fund donations received through this appeal!  This means a $100 donation, combined with the $100 match, actually pays for one student’s tuition for an entire year.

If our In Nica Now readers can raise $1650 we can fully fund the scholarship program for the 2015/2016 school year.

With the upcoming semester starting on September 16th time is of the essence.

We would love to have 17 people step forward and fund a student for the whole year, but we know $100 is a lot to ask.

No donation is too big or too small!  Every single dollar will help us reach our end goal and we sincerely appreciate any help you can give.

Donate now & make a meaningful, lasting impact on a child, family and community in San Juan del Sur!

On behalf of the students and staff at Escuela Adelante we thank you in advance for your kind support!

Level 3 Graduation Ceremony

– Program Destiny Level 3 Graduation Ceremony

Please note:  All donors who are either living in San Juan or plan to be visiting are invited to meet with co-founder and school director, Jaime Hunter. She can show you first hand what you’ve helped make possible.

To learn more about Escuela Adelante you can check out their Facebook page or visit their website at

Update: Saving Dogs in San Juan del Sur

I am happy to announce that as of today — thanks to the support of many generous donors — we have now collected just under $1400 USD in donations!

100% of funds received is being used to pay for vaccines, parasite medication and flea and tick treatments for these dogs that so desperately need it.

We now have vaccination clinics scheduled for June 6, 13, 20, 27 and July 11 in areas both North and South of town where our volunteer veterinarians have determined the need is greatest.

Our goal is to treat 100 dogs at each clinic.

Huge thanks to each and every one of you that has contributed to this cause and helped to improve animal welfare in San Juan del Sur!

We are stoked to be able to help so many dogs, but with additional support we can do even more.

If you haven’t already donated and wish to do so just CLICK HERE TO DONATE now!

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in any volunteer projects, so when I heard about an opportunity to join forces with some individuals who were interested in working together to improve animal welfare in our community, I was all over it.

With only two meetings under our belt our group definitely didn’t feel ready to move forward with our first project, but when we heard about a serious outbreak of canine distemper in a community just 15 minutes south of San Juan del Sur we knew we had to do something.

With the help of a couple generous donors in our community we were able to purchase enough vaccines to get the dogs of El Carizal started on the treatment course they needed to fight this potentially fatal disease.


Our local vet Faran Dometz worked with El Carizal resident Carlos to spread the word that help was coming.

On Saturday, May 23rd we set up shop on the side of the road across from the huge mango tree that marks the entrance of El Carizal. 

Our “clinic” consisted of three plastic tables and a few chairs.

Dog owners young and old lined up to register, then waited patiently for their number be called and their dogs to be seen.

Our volunteer veterinarians treated a total 52 dogs on Saturday. They administered distemper vaccines and medicine to treat parasites. They also also applied flea and tick treatment to each and every dog.

El Carizal Vaccination Clinic

– El Carizal Vaccination Clinic: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


Unfortunately one vaccine is not enough to provide immunity to this disease. 

In three weeks we will head back to community of El Carizal for round two of treatment.

It is our hope that we can contain this outbreak and stop the spread of this serious disease — but we definitely can’t do it on our own.

The wholesale cost of 1 distemper vaccine is just $3 USD. 

Save a Dog in San Juan del Sur

With $156 USD we can purchase the vaccines needed for treatment on June 13th.

If you have a few dollars to spare and want to help save a dog in San Juan del Sur we’d be grateful  — for any donation — no matter how big or small. 

Just click on the image above to DONATE now!


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