Spanish, Surf & Service

A learning adventure introducing participants to sustainable development and new cultures. Students learn Spanish and surfing while working with local villages to improve health, education and nutrition.

After landing in Managua we’ll head to the pacific coast of Nicaragua, almost to the Costa Rica border, to the town of San Juan del Sur where we’ll spend 7 days surfing multiple breaks and beaches, learning Spanish and working with local communities to improve health, nutrition and education in the outlying rural communities. Instead of a hostel or hotel, we’ll stay with local families enjoying their warm hospitality and further immerse ourselves in the community and the Spanish language.

“The surfing was great! I’ve been to places where the local surfers are hostile and territorial, but not in San Juan. Everyone was relaxed and friendly and there were plenty of waves for everyone.”

Each morning we’ll greet the warm sun and ocean breeze with a surf session on one of San Juan del Sur’s many world-renowned surf breaks. The diversity of these breaks, their glass-like waves and the company of our local guides and instructors make this surf experience a classic for beginners and advanced surfers alike.

Following our surf session and a delicious lunch in our local homestay, we’ll sit down with our own individual native-speaking Spanish instructor for a couple of hours of relaxed guided Spanish conversation. For both beginner and advanced students, this immersion approach to language learning will quickly and gently build your communication skills with the locals.

I learned by really being there and being with the family, working with them and eating their food and cooking their food. It’s really different than reading about it in a text book Leah – Boulder, CO

With a few days of Spanish instruction and practice with our host families under our belts, we’ll accompany local development organization to some remote impoverished villages to participate in projects to improve health, nutrition and education in these marginalized areas.

With three days left in the trip we’ll head back towards Managua arriving at Laguna de Apoyo. Two days of swimming and kayaking around the lake coupled with a visit to a nearby school and health clinic for disadvantaged communities will round out our journey in Nicaragua and send us home more wise of the world and knowing we’ve made a lasting change for the communities we’ve encountered.


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.


June 9th – June 22nd

July 21st – August 3rd

July 28th – August 10th


Trip Highlights

  • 25+ hours of community service
  • One-on-One Spanish Language Training
  • Surfing on Five World Class Breaks
  • Sustainable Development Projects
  • Kayak the mangroves on the Island of Ometepe
  • Zip-lining the Mombacho Cloud Forest
  • Wildlife Encounters with Tropical Birds, Endemic Salamanders and Howler and White- Faced Capuchin Monkeys
  • Tuition $2500*

    Enroll Now!

    *excludes airfare