Highlights from Nicaragua

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For those of you who may not know, I was very fortunate enough to participate in a couple undergraduate service trips abroad to Nicaragua in 2012 and 2013. Approximately a few weeks ago now, I found out that the organization is reuniting alumni to participate in a reunion service trip in May 2017! I can’t believe it will have been four years by the time I will return to this beautiful country. In light of this recent news, I’ve decided to reminisce and compile some of my favorite places and moments of my experiences in this underrated tropical paradise.

  1. Zip-lining in Managua
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I will never pass up a good time zipping through the trees!

If you are an adventure seeker like me, you will go out of your way to book an adrenaline rush at least once during your trip! This particular zip-line is perfect for beginners looking to ease into the activity. With three zip-line courses, you have the option to zip-line upside down as well as “superman” across a small lake, making it more memorable than the average zip-line tour!

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2. Boat tour in Granada

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Our sweet ride for a few hours

There is nothing more relaxing than spending time on water! This Las Isletas boat tour included lunch at one of the many islands on the lake and was a great way to watch for monkeys!

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This little guy was trying to meet up with us!

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3. Tour of the Revolutionary Plaza and National Museum (Managua)

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While I’m no history buff (history has always been my worst subject), I’ve always been interested in learning some of the basic history of the country I’m traveling to. No trip to Managua would be complete without exploring both the plaza and the museum.

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One of many interesting art pieces in the museum

4. Exploring Volcano Masaya

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I ain’t afraid of no volcanoes!

Volcanoes are quite prevalent in Nicaragua. There is even a sport that consists of boarding (or maybe surfing is the proper term?) down these volcanoes! Volcano Masaya was particularly my favorite to explore. It is Nicaragua’s first and largest national park, and one of 78 protected areas of Nicaragua.

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Looking out below while on top of the volcano

5. Organic farming, sustainability, and reforestation work in La Paz

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Living off the land is an essential way of life in La Paz

Now here is where I get into some of the actual service projects that I participated in both my first and second trips to Nicaragua, which were definitely some of my favorite moments in the country. These projects include planting lime trees, creating bio-gas pits, and gray water filtration systems for local homes.

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I was so proud to plant this lime tree with my host grandpa

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Bio-gas pit system that turns manure into a healthy fuel for cooking

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Beginning works of a gray water filtration system

6. Home/building repair work in Managua

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Working hard? Or hardly working when you’re having fun!

Many families in Managua live in homes with flimsy tin roofs and walls. Many barrios or neighborhoods also do not include any community centers for residents to come together as a community. The “Mujeres en Accion” (or “Women in Action”) Center (featured above) provides a place for women in the neighborhood to come together with their families in a safe setting.

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Helping to create a more stable roof

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We made a great team!

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Leaving our mark

7. Beach time at the Pacific Ocean

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And of course, no trip to a tropical climate country would be complete without some time well-spent in the sun and ocean! Coming from New England, it was quite refreshing to dip in ocean water that isn’t below 60 degrees F! A great way to unwind and relax.

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He is a well-known performer! The “Michael Jackson” of Nicaragua

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If you couldn’t tell, I enjoy horseback riding on the beach!

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