A Typical Day

Travel Program

ViviendasLeon’s travel programs are for student/faculty groups, grades 7-12, and family/faculty groups for families traveling with children ages 7-14. Both programs offer a unique community service opportunity and international travel experience, and are tailored to the specific needs of a school’s curriculum whether it is intensive language learning, cultural exchange, Latin American history, international development or the environment.

The family travel program is particularly meaningful for parents who want to introduce their children to the developing world in a safe and educational environment, and build an awareness of different cultures and the challenges of development at an early age.

The cornerstone of the trip is daily work alongside community members on authentic development projects. Projects vary depending on the age of travelers and include participation in art education projects, building construction and re-forestation projects. VL staff in the U.S. work with school faculty and parents to develop the specific itinerary and curriculum for the trip well in advance to make the best use of the learning opportunities found in our program and in Nicaragua.

A Typical Day

7:00 am: Breakfast at home with host families

8:00 am: Depart for downtown Leon, tour historic and cultural sites

11:30 am: Lunch in Leon

12:30 pm: Depart for the rural community

1:00 pm: Arrive in the rural community, participate on various development projects

5:00 pm: Return to Leon for swimming, relaxation time

7:00 pm: Dinner with host families

8:00 pm: After dinner speakers on various topics, or reflection time

Every program itinerary and curriculum is developed for each school partner. Schools choose from a variety of projects that best suit their school’s values and areas of interest. There is a range of excursions and activities targeted at exploring the rich cultural and historical qualities of Nicaragua that complement the basic daily schedule.

Projects

  • Agro-forestry project: Designed to provide agricultural training, food security and reforestation, students learn about various trees and agricultural products while participating in nursery construction, tree and seed germination, transplanting and planting, as well as local farming practices in small gardens.
  • After school soccer and tutoring program.
  • Construction projects including the Goyena Community Center and Low Cost Housing
  • Madre Tierra Arts Center after school arts education
  • Small business development project
  • Public health program (2014)

Activities

  • Leon tours of historic and cultural places
  • Relax on Poneloya beach near Leon
  • Cultural festivals (see annual calendar)
  • Cooking activities in home stays
  • Guest lecturers on Nicaraguan culture, economy and history
  • Hiking and sand boarding down the Cerro Negro Volcano
  • Sports camps and after school sports sessions
  • Spanish instruction classes in Leon or in Miraflor
  • Hiking tours of Miraflor National Park
  • Guided tours of forest habitats and night amphibian tours in Miraflor