It can be tricky choosing which ILP country you want to volunteer in but after reading a bit about how Nicaragua stole this world traveler’s heart, that decision might be a little easier to make.
There are a few tough things about an ILP semester. You end up loving the kids so much that your last day of saying “goodbye” is heart-wrenching … plus, choosing a country in the first place can be a bit difficult too. We’ve got programs in so many rad places (so sorry for making it a tough choice).
Ready to fall in love with a class of cuties and live abroad for a semester? Even if you’re not sure which country you want, you’re ready to apply.
You can get a glimpse at all the ILP countries here, but we’re ready to talk a bit more about a semester in Nicaragua by chatting with Abi M. who was lucky enough to be the first ILP Head Teacher in Nicaragua; here’s what she had to say.
ILP has programs in a few different countries — what drew you to choosing Nicaragua?
“I’ve been on the ILP program a few times and had applied to be a head teacher. ILP contacted me and asked if I'd go to either Costa Rica or Nicaragua.” (Side note — We had just opened up volunteer programs in both of those countries and we're looking for head teachers to start off our first semesters there).
“I was really excited and didn't care which place because I love doing these semesters. So I didn't choose Nicaragua, it chose me in a way and I'm so happy that is where I was assigned to go.”
How is Nicaragua different than other countries?
“They are in my opinion completely different — Nica's (the people of Nicaragua) are so happy and giving. They hang out outside their house at night and talk to everybody. The city is beautiful and there is a ton to do there. I love how chill and happy the vibes are in Granada.”
Pst: Abi’s pretty much been all over the world so saying that Nicaragua is her very favorite means a lot — she’s done ILP semesters in countries like Thailand, China, Ukraine and now Nicaragua, but she’s visited tons more.
What things surprised and impressed you most about this country?
“How happy, loving, genuine and willing to help the people are.” — Abi actually spent her birthday in Nicaragua and her students and the other school staff could not have thrown a better birthday celebration for her. The school and her ILP group had decorated the classroom with streamers and all rushed up to give her the biggest birthday group hug after singing to her. The people you work with and the people in Nicaragua are so loving and so happy.
What were your favorite parts about living there?
“The kids. The weather. The positive vibes. My group opened the school in Granada and it was an amazing experience. Seeing the joy and eagerness to learn English from the kids and native teachers makes you feel like what your doing is helping and blessing their lives. But at the same time they were blessing my life in so many ways.”
Get a little more info about the humanitarian program in Nicaragua here.
Ready to dive right in and spend a semester in Nicaragua? There are even some gems that Abi didn’t mention, like the fact that your vacation time can be spent in the coolest places in Nicaragua, and in countries like Costa Rica, Mexico, islands in the Caribbean and even places like Peru. Um, yes please?
Here’s a breakdown of the program in Nicaragua but if you already have your heart set on living in the tropical and colorful city of Granada, all while surrounded by some of the cutest kids around, you better come apply to Nicaragua: