Discover AMIGOS is a two-week facilitator-led group trip to Nicaragua for students ages 13-15. Participants get an introduction to global leadership by learning about Nicaraguan culture, getting hands-on conservation experience at a sea turtle estuary, spending a weekend with a host family, and collaborating on a community project. This summer’s participants sent updates from the field, which are compiled here!

Camille:
We safely and happily arrived last night in Managua with a pizza dinner. We’re now traveling to Leon and are excited for what awaits us in this amazing country.

Kai:
Today we woke up to another hot and humid yet relaxing day in Nicaragua. We ate a fantastic breakfast at our hostel in Chinandega, and then we got on the bus to head to Padre Ramos. We then took a colorful boat to Casa Carey where we will be staying for a few days. We really enjoyed the breeze on the boat. We have learned a lot about different things. We discussed turtle species and international development success and failures. We are having the best time!

sea turtle conservation Nicaragua

Olivia:
Today we woke up early to go on boat and to try to net turtles so that they can be tagged, weighed, measured, and freed from barnacles. We found two out of four that hadn’t been tagged later in the day. We all broke off into the smaller groups and cleaned up the coast. Our goal was to fill 20 bags altogether with plastic bags, bottles, food wrappers, and other trash from the beach.

Ahil:
Today on this beautiful Sunday morning we woke up to the sound of birds chirping. We came down the wooden steps into the amazing-smelling breakfast area. We had an amazing breakfast that consisted of pancakes and eggs. Hours later we got ready for a big project getting our feet muddy to plant some trees. After planting a bunch of trees we swam in the beautiful ocean. We had a great time! We ended our day with a fire and marshmallows with a beautiful view of lightning! It was a beautiful eventful day to celebrate my birthday!

Natalie:
Today was our last day at Padre Ramos. We woke up early at 4:30 to watch the sunrise. While the sun rose, we took a boat to hike a large hill to a beautiful view point. While there, we learned about the mangroves. Later that day, we did our laundry and returned to Chinandega to spend a restful night at the hotel. We had an amazing, eventful day and are looking very forward to the days ahead!

Sam:
Today we had a breakfast of toast and rice with ham. We then went to community and in our communities we first had a tour. Then we had lunch, and after that we went to the schools and had lessons with the kids. When we got back we had rice, beans, and beef. Afterward, we planned lessons for the kids about nutrition.

Anna:
Today we all went to our communities. We first worked on our murals with the amazing help of our muralist. We painted and shaded with different colors. There were some local kids there that that we had many conversations with. Our Spanish is improving! A few of the girls on the community did a beautiful job of braiding our hair. We had a delicious lunch that consisted of some plantains that we thoroughly enjoyed. We then went to the school and taught the children about pollution and trash in the environment. We went around the school and picked up trash with them. We had a lot of fun and the kids loved it. We then went back to a hostel and had the opportunity to call our parents which was nice because I got to speak to my mom and dad. Tomorrow we are going back to our communities and spending two nights with our host families which we are very excited for.

Michaela:
Hi! I’m part of the La Blosa community. Today we got up early to pack for the homestays. We had an amazing pancake breakfast and then we headed to the Agua Potable office to lead a campamento on gender stereotypes. We told young boys and girls that they can be whatever they want when they grow up. We met our host families, who welcomed us with big hugs. Chloe and I spent the rest of the evening playing games with her host family’s grandchildren. They were also sweet and excited to meet us. We had plantains, rice, and beans for dinner. We went to bed when the sun set at 8:30.

Sabine:
Today we all woke up at five in the house of our host families. At my house we ate eggs, gallo pinto (black beans and rice), plantains, and cheese. At around seven we went to the communal space and painted the finishing touches on the mural. Before it started to rain, we went to Dona Clara’s house to eat lunch. After a meal, we participated in a campamento that our friends Cynthia and Raul led about abuse in their community. After the lesson, we played baseball, threw the frisbee, and watched a traditional Nicaraguan dance. For dinner, we ate gallo pinto with our host families and Jell-O for dessert. Before it got dark we played frisbee with our host brothers.

Marcella:
Today was a bittersweet day as we left community and headed to Leon. We had a farewell party and a happy birthday party for Chloe! The kids had tons of fun with the piñata and picking up trash. Not so much the trash, but the kids didn’t mind- especially because it tied right to our lesson on pollution. Although the party was fun, I almost cried saying goodbye to all the amazing kids we had spent our last week getting to know. But it was time to get to Leon! Once we got there, we ate lunch at a cool looking restaurant where we ate some really good quesadillas. After that we got to a hostel, but we won’t stay long since the trip is almost over! Tomorrow we head to Managua, but I don’t want to focus on the departure. Instead, tonight I will think about the refreshing shaved ice Natosha and I shared. It was delicious, by the way!

Andres:
Hi there from Leon. Today we woke up had an amazing breakfast and then headed into Leon. There was a beautiful white cathedral and lots of cool items for souvenirs, so I purchased a few. We then had a really nice lunch and then headed out on a 3 hour bus ride. We arrived to this beautiful lake where we swam and kayaked. We had a yummy dinner then finished an activity and headed to bed! Looking forward to swimming again in the morning!

If you’re interested in learning more about Discover AMIGOS or participating next summer, here’s some more information about the program!

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