On rolling hills of picturesque farmland, our home in Jinotepe, Nicaragua is called Casa Padre Wasson. Over 150 children live in the sixteen family style homes, complete with a porches, courtyards and cement pathways throughout. An additional 175 students are supported through a scholarship program or live in student homes in the capital, Managua. Opening in 1994, NPH Nicaragua became the third NPH home in Central America.
The volunteer program at NPH Nicaragua needs people who want to contribute in the effort to create a great life for children of NPH. We want the volunteers to dedicate their time and service to help the NPH community function. Our volunteer program offers a wide range of unique experiences. The volunteers have the ability to experience a new culture, grow as a person, and in many cases learn a new language.
NPH Nicaragua can have up to nine volunteers at a time and accepts new volunteers in January and July. We require a 13-month commitment which incudes a period for orientation and any job training to prepare the volunteer for the rigors of the year. All volunteers must be at least 22 years old. Most of the volunteer positions at NPH Nicaragua require a university education. Knowledge of Spanish is essential for the integration of the volunteer and the performance of their work. NPH Nicaragua does not require fluency to be a volunteer, but we ask the volunteer to have an intermediate level of Spanish. If the volunteer does not have an intermediate level of Spanish, then the volunteer will need to take a course in Spanish. We can recommend language schools to help improve their Spanish before starting the service.
Currently we do not accept married couples that would like to volunteer together and unfortunately we do not have housing for volunteer families.
NPH Nicaragua is a medium sized NPH home located at Km 59.5 of the Pan American Highway South, between Jinotepe and Nandaime. Casa Padre Wasson is located in the municipality of Santa Teresa (Carazo), in a rural setting. The rural setting provides volunteers with many unique benefits. The house is located in a rustic farming area of Nicaragua and there are some local stores that can provide sodas and other items nearby. Volunteers routinely take a bus from the house to Jinotepe, which usually takes 30 minutes, for other necessities.
At the moment, volunteers do not have a specific house. Volunteers live in a house that was originally built for pequeñas (girls who live in NPH Nicaragua), but has since been adapted to house volunteers. NPH volunteers should expect to live in close proximity to children of NPH. The volunteer house has three bedrooms, a bathroom in every room, two laundry rooms, a living room and a kitchen. Volunteers will share a room with another volunteer or volunteers. The room assignments vary based on the male to female ratio. Currently, the women volunteers occupy the larger rooms. While the males occupy the smaller room.
In addition to their job, each volunteer is assigned a "home" where he or she will help caregivers (known as “tias” and “tios” at the home). The role of volunteers in the homes is to be supportive, conduct activities with the children, help with homework, and many other activities. NPH Nicaragua does not ask its volunteers to replace or perform the same functions as the main caregivers. Volunteers are also expected to participate in general home activities, events and holidays.
Some of the qualities we expect of volunteers in NPH Nicaragua are flexibility, patience, positivity, creativity and cooperation. If you enjoy the experience, the program will bring out the best in you. You will get to develop and share your talents. Everyday will be a new challenge and prepare for the unexpected, especially for those who work directly with children. You will live moments of great emotional intensity, days of extreme happiness and days of confusion or sadness. Your year of service will be a combination of every emotion possible. However, if you give everything you have, you will receive more than you can imagine.