Global Builders - Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the largest country on the Central American isthmus. Because of its wide-ranging ecosystems, it's considered a biodiversity hotspot and a popular destination for eco-tourists.
Despite it being a popular place to visit, there is a great need for housing as many families live in slums or wooden shacks. There is a government program called Habitar (not to be confused with Habitat) that helps Nicaraguan families move into decent housing, but families must earn at least $200 a month to qualify, and too few do. With your help and the help of locals, we're bridging that gap. As of June 2015, after just a few short years we have already partnered with over 50 families in new houses or major home improvements.

Getting involved
There are several ways that you can get involved. Donate to support this specific partner. Volunteer on one of our Nicaragua Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below. Or join a trip as a virtual volunteer, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip. We make that fun -- see virtual volunteering explained here.

Home sponsorship cost: $4,000
Home repair average cost: $1,500

Learn the Basics - Area Info

Spanish (Official) 97.5%, Miskito 1.7%, Other .8%          
Age Structure:
0-14 years 30%, 15-64 years 65.2%, 65+ 4.7%
6,169,269 (2014 est.)
Life Expectancy: 72.45 years (Male 70.32, Female 74.68)
Tropical - Day Avg. 86, Night Avg. 72; Rainy Season: May-October
Cordoba  $1USD = C$25
Literacy Rate:
67.5% (Male 67.2%, Female 67.8 %)
Ehnic Groups:
Mestizo 69%, White 17%, Black 9%, Amerindian 5%
Roman Catholic 58.5%, Protestant 23.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses .9%,   Other  1.7%, None 15.7%

Community members of a small fishing village called Las Peñitas, which is just outside of Leon, invited the first Fuller Center Covenant Partner in Nicaragua to begin work in their town to address the enormous housing need. They have similarly reached out to other organizations to help meet other community needs such as schools and clean water.

Las Peñitas is a coastal village where many of the inhabitants are fisherman. It is also an indigenous village -- somewhat comparable to a reservation in the United States -- with their own elected council. It is a beautiful part of the country where the people are very friendly and welcoming.

However, it is a study of contrasts. Smiling children laugh and play during the day and lay their heads to rest in flimsy, unsafe shacks at night. Fisherman and workers struggle mightily to feed and house thier families, yet offer you food and even the shirts off their back. You'll love helping these hard-working people who not only help themselves but are just as eager to help others.

About volunteering in Nicaragua
Each trip to Nicaragua will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers - typically 8-20 total - who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips last 1-2 weeks and include sightseeing in this Central American nation of mountains and beautiful Pacific coastal beaches.

Pricing - What's Included

Trip Length: 7-14 days (price varies depending on length)
Materials Provided:

-In-depth Guidebook outlining what to expect
-Pre-trip safety training
-Fundraising guide
-Option to create online fundraising page
-T-shirt and hat
Trip Support: Yes - from trip leader and Global Builders staff
Clean Drinking Water: Yes    
Food: Yes - 3 meals a day are provided
Transportation: Yes - to and from the airport and work-site
Lodging Accommodations: 
Meaningful Work:             Yes - led and coordinated by dedicated Nicaraguans
Travel Medical Insurance: Yes
R&R Opportunities: We'll assist you in setting up sightseeing and cultural opportunities

Upcoming Trips

Click on the leader's name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click Join to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a "Full" trip? Complete your registration here. Or learn about sending funds to support local labor by joining as a virtual participant.

City Team Leaders Dates of Trip Cost Status
Las Peñitas Frederick Church of the Brethren November 7-15, 2015    Full
Las Peñitas Liz Bellantoni November 14-21, 2015 $860 Join
Las Peñitas 10 Years, 10 Homes Nov. 28 - Dec. 5, 2015 $970 Join
Las Peñitas
Serve Beyond Cincinnati December 12-19, 2015   Full
Las Peñitas UCLA December 12-19, 2015   Full
Las Peñitas First Presbyterian Hammond January 2-9, 2016 $860 Join
Las Peñitas Kelly Mullane February 13-20, 2016 $950 Join
Las Peñitas NC State University - CSLEPS March 5-12, 2016   Full
Las Peñitas City of God March 12-19, 2016   Full
Las Peñitas NC State Alumni May 1-8, 2016   Full
Las Peñitas First Church of Christ, Congregational July 9-16, 2016   Full
Las Peñitas Ray Fowell Nov. 26-Dec. 10, 2016 $1740 Join


More Info - Learn more about what a trip is like

Typical Day

Sample Schedule:
7:00 a.m. - Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - Begin building at work site
12 p.m. - Lunch
1 p.m.-4 p.m. - Continue building
4 p.m. - Evening free for dinner and relaxation

(Exact schedules can be discussed and set depending on the team's preferences and length of stay.)

Type of work

We are building both new homes and making repairs to existing homes. New homes will be built with concrete blocks and will typically be 300-400 square feet. Work will typically involve helping the masons and carpenters. At times there will be painting, and any other work related to a particular build. We will provide necessary tools, but as with most build sites, it never hurts to bring a few small hand tools with you.

Food and Lodging

The food and lodging options for Nicaragua will vary depending on the size of the group. If you would like more information regarding the various options please feel free to contact us at


A small bus will be rented to transport the group throughout each day. The distance from the hotel to each worksite will vary, but on average it is about 10 minutes.

Rest, Relaxation, and Sightseeing

Nicaragua is a beautiful, warm country with much to do. We expect each group to spend at least a day seeing the sites - or more if the group desires.


Most seven day trips will cost between $800-950. Two-week trips will cost more, ranging between $1,100 and $1,300. More precise budgets are custom and are developed for each trip.

The trip fee includes food, lodging, all in-country transportation, emergency medical and evacuation insurance, and a donation to the project.

Next Steps

As trips with openings become available, we post them at the top of this page. To apply to join their trip, simply click "Join" next to the trip of your choice. To request more information or be put in touch with the team leader, click the "Request more information" button at the top.

If you're an experienced traveler or team leader, or if you have a group of your own (church, school, etc.), Propose a Trip to let us know what you might like to do!

Trip Preparation

Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links - Preparing For Your Trip!

What happens after the trip?
Even after you return, your trip can have a sustained impact on both you and the community in which you served! Learn how on our Country Champions page.

Learn more
See pictures of the homes and previous Nicaragua trips 2015 | 2015 - NC State | 2013 - 2014
View the video below to catch a glimpse of what a week in Nicaragua is like: