Nicaragua: Renewable Energies

As the only high school student-led solar panel installations in Nicaragua, our Renewable Energies trip will enable you to become an integral part of a project to bring electricity and renewable energy to a remote mountain village. Living with and sharing in the lives of the people that benefit form the project which further enrich your experience as you are fully immersed in the culture and the language and quickly become part of the family.

A 22-day journey much like the Health and Nutrition trip we will begin by spending two days at the crater lake of apoyo (locally know as Laguna de Apoyo) where we’ll get to know each other as a group while reveling in the wonder of this natural marvel. From Apoyo we’ll head to the northern part of the country near Jinotega and begin one-on-one language training* with native-speaking instructors while staying on a farm. After our morning classes, we will alternate days between working in nearby communities on sustainable health and nutrition projects and exploring the rich mountainsides and lakes of Jinotega. In the second part of the trip we’ll head to the village which is the site of our solar power project and join the community as family members for the week. We will live in their homes, share their meals and experience the wonders and the challenges of living in such a remote and undeveloped place.

“I am still in contact with my home-stay sister from the small mountainous village of La Pacaya… Our conversations are brief (the call usually cuts-out) but memorable, and humorously involve me trying to remember how to conjugate Spanish.”

The project will be carried out in cooperation with Suni Solar, a certified and local solar energy installer. The involvement of local entrepreneurs provides for accessible technical assistance and ensures the sustainability of the project. Lack of electricity in rural areas prevents people from having access to education and information. Electricity can create opportunities for young adults to become better educated, leading to better and more diverse employment opportunities. Electricity also increases access to information which helps local farmers better track the market prices of their crops and helps them decide the best time to get them to market

Leaving the village we’ll spend a day navigating the Somoto Canyon with our highly-trained and qualified local guides before we head south the the seaside town of San Juan del Sur. In San Juan del Sur we’ll enjoy the warm water and great waves while we learn to surf with some help from our local instructors along the expansive Pacific coast of Playa Hermosa. We’ll also join a local non-profit working in child development and elementary education and lend a hand in the local schools. Making our way back to Managua we’ll stop at the Mombacho Cloud Forest for an exhilarating canopy tour and zipline and then return to where we began the trip at Laguna de Apoyo. We’ll have one more day to soak in the awe and serenity of the place and discuss our experiences of the last three weeks before returning home the following day.


Service Immersion Language Adventure
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Project Snapshot: Reef protection and Lionfish Capture on Bay Islands, Honduras

Problem:The Lionfish is an invasive non-native species damaging the reef and reducing the population of the native species.

Solution:Work with local marine biologists to remove the lionfish from the area through capture and the training of natural predators.

Impact:Restores balance to the natural marine environment and protects the livelihood of the local people.

Project Snapshot: Solar Power

Problem:Lack of electricity.

Solution:Working cooperatively with local NGO’s and solar companies to install community level solar power for off-the-grid communities.

Impact:Green renewable energy provides electricity which creates access to education, modern construction, public information through radio and internet and improvements to water and sanitation.

Project Snapshot: Soil & Water Conservation

Problem:Deforestation and torrential rains compromise the integrity of farmlands and river beds and remove nutrients vital to a successful harvest.

Solution:On susceptible areas of farming parcels and ephemeral stream beds we use rocks and boulders to build low retaining walls and low head dams.

Impact:Retains important nutrients in the soil allowing for a more abundant and nutritious crop. In stream beds, it retains more water in the basin, allowing for improved water table levels, retention of the richest soils for horticulture and a consistent and cleaner source of domestic water.

Project Snapshot: Horticulture

Problem:Poor nutrition, lack of vegetables in diet, financial restrictions of traditional horticulture.

Solution:Through a simple and appropriate design using rope, rebar and anti-viral mesh, a small green house can be inexpensively constructed to enable families to supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Impact:In agrarian communities where rice and beans is the staple of the diet and sometimes its only ingredient, nutrition improves when it is supplemented with fresh, organic vegetables with little added work.  Click here to see the results from our greenhouse project.

Project Snapshot: Education

Problem:Poor education due to lack of infrastructure and proper government assistance.

Solution:Provide student-lead lessons in English and extra-curricular activities in the arts.

Impact:Exposes local students to native english speakers and allows for diversity in classroom activites and exposure to new ideas.

Project Snapshot: Eco-stoves

Problem:Existing ‘open flame’ adobe stoves use for cooking in the home lack ventilation and create smoke-related health issues.

Solution:Using local materials construct an eco-stove which burns more efficiently and ventilates smoke through the roof.

Impact:Reduces the amount of wood needed for cooking, reduces deforestation, reduces lung disease and other smoke-related diseases.



July 5th – July 26th


Trip Highlights

  • 80+ hours of community service
  • One-on-One Spanish Language Training
  • World Class Surfing on the Pacific
  • Swimming in an ancient crater lake
  • Provide electricity to a rural village through solar power
  • Waterfalls and Volcano Hikes
  • Zip-lining the Mombacho Cloud Forest
  • Wildlife encounters with tropical birds, sea turtles and Howler and White-Faced Capuchin Monkey
  • Tuition $4300*

    Enroll Now!

    *excludes airfare