FAQ (frequently ask question)
When do we accept volunteers?
From December 1st until the beginning of June for CDEP and all Year except March, April, Mai, and June for Sos Nicaragua.
Is there a minimum commitment to the project?
There is no minimum commitment but to benefit from the volunteer rate (food plan), you have to pay for a full week or month upon arrival. Guests are welcome to participate in the free hands-on natural building course whenever they want.
Which natural building technique will I learn?
Depending on the current project, we use a wide range of techniques like cob, light straw, heavy straw, round wood carpentry, natural plaster, earthen floor, and thatch roof. We also teach natural building design and will introduce solar energy this year. We are always looking for new ways of building so if you have experience in this domain, we are open to exchange or create a workshop to value your knowledge.
What does meals look like?
- For breakfast: We serve oatmeal, cereals, local fruit, nuts, coconuts, chia seeds, fresh cacao nibs, honey, tea and coffee, etc. Sometimes we add toast or pancake.
- For lunch: Most of the time we make a big salad with fresh vegetables from the market, bread, tortilla, rice, beans, etc
- For dinner: We take the time to cook a feast! It can be vegetable pasta with tomato or pesto sauce, a good vegetable curry on top of local rice with roasted almond, a potato chowder with vegetables and rosemary, bean burritos or a vegetarian burger ... Sky is the limit!
What does a typical day look like?
- 6:30. wake up call
- 7:00. Yoga/meditation
- 8:00. Breakfast time
- 8:45-9:00. Communal work
- 9:00-12:00. Natural building
- Noon. Ocean swim (optional)
- 12:30 Lunchtime.
- 1:00-sunset. Free time (volleyball at 4:30 and workshops when available)
- right after sunset- community cooking and dinner time.
- After Diner. Free time (stargazing, Bonfire, Movie night, games, Dance or Ceremonies when available)
How much notice should I give you before my arrival/departure?
We ask for a 3 days notice or recall before your arrival or leaving date. We do this to calculate the right amount of food for the community. However, if you are unable to give us a 3 days notice, drop us a line and we will accommodate you.
What should I bring?
We provide everything you need for construction so apart from your items and your camping equipment (if you camp) the only things we would suggest you should bring is a yoga mat if available, a headlamp and a small solar panel to recharge your devices (we do have some but quantities are limited). If you don’t have a mattress, pillow, or bed sheets you can buy it in Leòn for around $35 all together. If you don’t have a tent, you can buy one also in Maxi Pali Leòn for around $35 or a mosquito net for $10 in one of the markets.
How do I get there?
Click here to see the directions and map
How does it work for money?
If you come by plane, we suggest you bring a bit of USD to pay the immigration ($15 They do not accept any other device).
To avoid paying twice the change rate, we would suggest you get the rest of your money directly from a cash machine in Nicaragua. To avoid any problems, let your bank know where you are going before you leave.
Do not bring Euros or Canadian $, the change rate is really bad.
The local device is Cordoba. 1 USD is worth more or less 30 Cordobas.
All of the prices mentioned earlier are in USD.
For the expenses at the lodge, you can pay us in USD or Cordobas (cash only) with the change rate of the moment. There is no ATM in Poneloya so make sure you get enough money from Leòn to pay your bill before you leave.
For a trip to Nicaragua or as a guest we would suggest a budget of $30/day. As a volunteer $10-15/day is sufficient to eat 3 meals/day, camp on the land and enjoy a cold beer or a Kombucha at sunset.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more details.
We are looking forward to meet you and share with you this amazing experience!