Your experience as a volunteer in a Nicaraguan community depends on the work you are doing, the community that you work with, and the commitment and creativity you bring to the project.
- Do the best work that you can.
- Live with and promote solidarity, respecting the culture and context of the host community.
- Learn as much as you can.
- Take on the responsibility of designing your work in dialogue with the community.
- Apply your creativity to your experience.
- Maintain contact and solidarity with the community after your departure.
- Act as a member of ATRAVES, promoting the mission, values and image of the Association, in good conduct and respect to the community.
We work with you to determine what these expectations will mean in practice. Most often our volunteers work 5 days a week, typically on a Nicaraguan workday from 8:00-5:00, with a 1-2 hour break for lunch. Many travel on the weekends, and experience the rich variety and beauty Nicaragua offers. Many take Spanish lessons, which ATRAVES can arrange, or refer you to.
ATRAVES is committed to ensuring that volunteer work is meaningful, appropriate, and effective at producing its intended outcomes. Before you arrive, we develop Working Papers for you, which state the desired outcomes of your work, and our ideas for how you can get there. During the orientation period, we adjust these in a conversational process with you, and develop a Personal Mission Statement. Once you begin, we meet with you regularly, you talk frequently with - and work alongside - leaders and members of your host community, and you adapt your work. ATRAVES is available throughout to resolve any conflict that arises. We require periodic self-evaluation on your part to help you grow as a volunteer, and we help you to find ways to sustain your work and connection after you leave.
To begin planning your volunteer experience with ATRAVES, read on »