7-14-15  |  Volunteers

8 Ways You Know You’re a Volunteer in Nicaragua

BY: Lauren Fusek

Lauren is a 2015 Georgetown University Summer Intern with Fabretto in Nicaragua.

1.You feel like you spend half of your time waiting

Nicaraguans undoubtedly have a very unique way of life. Compared to the rush and hustle of work in the United States, people in Nicaragua tend to take life at a very slooooow pace. Whether it’s waiting for a taxi, or waiting for your food, be sure to add on an extra 30 min to 1 hour for everything. After a few days, you get so accustomed to “Nica-time,” you barely even notice the lateness anymore.


2. No matter how long you’ve been here, you’re still awe-struck by the views

There is just something so mesmerizing about the views in an under-developed country. Because there are fewer resources to exploit the land and nature, everything seems to be so pristine and untouched. There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t stared out my taxi window and gaped at the beautiful mountains and lakes. It’s almost like taking a trip back in time before industrialization.  





3. Rice and beans have become your 7 food groups

And you never get tired of eating it.




4. You’ve been able to experience some of the coolest adventures of your life as if it’s an everyday activity

Volcano boarding, zip lining, beach hostels, cliff jumping, monkeys in the streets, what else is new? Seriously, the amount of activities here seems endless. There’s never a point where you want to say ‘I feel like I’ve done everything, I’ll just stay in this weekend.’ No time to rest, there is so much to explore! 



5.You have a perpetual fear of driving

You’re not in Nicaragua, if you haven’t feared for your life in a car at least once. The drivers are absolutely crazy! It really doesn’t seem as if anyone likes to follow traffic laws. People walk in the streets and vendors come up to your car while waiting at stoplights trying to sell you food. It seriously seems if they were an inch closer, you might have run them over. Another huge fear factor is the type of transportation you’ll find yourself riding in. The crowded buses are an experience in it of itself, as well as the caponera (also known as moto-taxis.)  Not to mention, stray dogs like to run in the streets as well!


6.You’re constantly sweating

Since it’s part of the culture to wear pants every day, the 90 degree weather is relentless! Because most of the day you spend sweating as if you just worked out at the gym 5 hours straight, walking into an air-conditioned room is one of the most luxurious feelings.



7.You couldn’t smile any bigger when a room full of children calls you a ‘Gringo’

There’s nothing cuter than Nicaraguan children. They are so bubbly and full of life, especially at school surrounded by their friends. Walking into this environment can be a little intimidating at first, but the second they swarm around you and endearingly call you a ‘gringo,’ you know how happy they are to spend time with you.



8.You’re so exhausted by the end of the day, but wouldn’t trade it for the world

By the time you’re ready to head back home, you’re probably covered in a caked on layer of dirt, scrapes, and sweat. All you want to do is sleep for the next two weeks straight. But nevertheless, you wake up the next morning to do it all over again. Not because you have to, but because you couldn’t imagine yourself doing anything else. Nothing has ever made you feel more fulfilled than volunteering in Nicaragua.  


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