Delegations

“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.” ― Jean Vanier

SosteNica facilitates volunteer trips and partners with other organizations to provide service experiences in Nicaragua.  Consistent with our mission, trips focus on the delivery of services that are not readily available in country and seek to create, not displace, local employment.  These travel experiences offer participants the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to communities in Nicaragua while experiencing the local culture and environment and learning about the history of this fascinating country.  Trips also include time visiting various points of interest in northern Nicaragua including the magnificent colonial city of León, active volcanoes, and beautiful beaches.  The duration of travel varies depending on the interests of the group, but a minimum of 7 days is strongly recommended.  If you are interested in organizing a delegation, or learning more about delegation opportunities, please contact us at info@sostenica.org.

SosteNica delegations fall within three broad categories described below.

Public Health

Public health delegations are typically comprised of students currently pursuing a degree in public health, sometimes supported by staff or professionals.  The core program involves the building of vented, high-efficiency cook stoves in homes in and around Nagarote.  It is typical in Nicaragua for families to cook over indoor, open, wood-fueled fires, which cause both adverse health effects and forest degradation through the removal of excess firewood.  Delegates also engage with SosteNica’s efforts to monitor indoor air quality and gather data on drinking water quality.  Trips include visits with Nicaraguan health care professionals to understand the country’s health care system and key concerns.  A day at a local watershed to assess the environmental impacts of overharvesting and counter-act these impacts through tree plantings is also offered.  Other specific interest can also be accommodated through SosteNica’s relationships with local healthcare facilities, universities, and NGOs.

[include link to Arcadia video and picture from the delegation trip]

Veterinary

SosteNica is currently developing a program around veterinary services needed by small farmers in Nicaragua.  Through a partnership with UNAN (La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua), SosteNica provides limited veterinary services to these farmers now.  But much more assistance is required.  In Nicaragua, very few farmers can afford veterinary care for their animals which often include cows, horses, pigs and chickens, not to mention the omnipresent dogs and cats. 

It is expected that veterinary delegations could provide a number of services to farmers, depending on the experience and interest of the delegation members.  Similar to public health delegations, trip members might include current students, instructors, and/or professionals.  Activities could include the following:

  • Review and assessment of farm animal nutrition and development of affordable plans for improvement
  • Minor surgeries including sterilization and correction of trauma
  • Innoculations
  • Diagnoses of infections and parasitic diseases and other conditions

An important component of these trips will be the interaction among veterinary professionals from the host and visiting countries.   It is hoped that this exchange of expertise will strengthen knowledge for all participants and contribute to innovations in all areas of animal husbandry.

Family

SosteNica also supports delegations of family members interested in the possibility of service work while in Nicaragua and upon their return home.  Targeted to families with teenage children, these trips offer the previously mentioned combination of Nicaraguan history, culture, and adventure along with exposure to the service work typically performed by public health and veterinary delegations.  Additional service projects oriented to gardening, beekeeping, education, and the arts also can be arranged through SosteNica staff and NGO partnerships.  Most importantly, these trips offer participants the opportunity to design and develop a long-term project that can be implemented after the return home, with assistance from SosteNica. Examples include fundraising campaigns for partner schools, on-line language instruction, and programs to educate home country citizens about Nicaragua and Latin America.  Extended travel in Nicaragua including Granada, Ometepe, San Juan del Sur, Rio San Juan, the Caribbean coast, and the Corn Islands can be arranged through our travel partners.