Can’t find what you’re looking for? Email us your questions at volunteer@barrioplantaproject.org. 

Ready to Apply? Click Here 



Do I need a tourist visa to enter Nicaragua?

If you are from the USA, Canada, or an EU country, you don’t need a tourist visa. Upon arrival, and after paying a $10 USD visa fee, you will receive a stamp in your passport for a 90 day tourist visa. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, you will need to make a border run to Costa Rica (40 minutes away) to receive a new tourist visa.



Do I need any vaccinations?


How many students go to Barrio Planta Project?

There is a health clinic in the centre of San Juan del Sur called Centro de Salud that can address minor medical problems.There are also plenty of pharmacies around town that sell medications and first aid products, most available without a prescription. For more serious issues there is a hospital in Rivas an hour away but we recommend Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas in Managua. It is frequented by foreigners and is a modern, state of the art facility that provides excellent medical care. A staff member will always be available to accompany our volunteers to any medical facility.



What medical facilities are accessible to volunteers?

We do not. We just require full payment at least two weeks prior to your arrival.

Yes! APC Spanish School is located is the same building as BPP, and homestays are always within the community, making it very convenient for our volunteers.



Are the Spanish school and homestay within walking distance to BPP?

This calendar is tentative as we occasionally need to shuffle dates around to accommodate our students’ public school schedule.
During school breaks where there are no classes or volunteer placements; our participants may travel to other areas of Nicaragua and if applicable, Spanish classes will be optional for those dates. There is much to see in Nicaragua and we are always available to assist long-term volunteers with their vacation planning.



Do you have a school calendar?


What is the weather like in San Juan del Sur?

  • Travelers cheques
  • Extra cosmetics or toiletries – many of the shops here carry a variety of products; however, they may be a different brand than you use at home
  • Adapters for your electronics. The voltage is the same as the USA and Canada (120 volts, 60 Hz AC)
  • Mosquito nets are not needed in San Juan del Sur
  • You don’t need sheets if you are staying with a host family



Items you won’t need include:


        Apart from clothing and personal items, is there anything else I should bring with me?

  • Insect repellent with at least 30% DEET
  • A photocopy of your passport that should be kept separate from the original. It’s also a good idea to email a copy to yourself
  • Debit or credit card. The ATMs in San Juan del Sur dispense both American dollars and Nicaragua Cordobas
  • Flashlight, as the power goes out occasionally, usually for just a short period of time
  • Bath and beach towels
  • If you need to use a particular brand of cosmetics or toiletries, you should bring them from home as you may not find the same brand here
  • Tennis shoes/sneakers and socks (if you like to hike)
  • Travel-size toiletries if you will be going away for a weekend
  • One outfit that can be worn to a special event or dinner
  • Umbrella if you will be here during the rainy season (May – November)


Basically, plan for the heat, sun, beach, tropical downpours, dirt roads, kids, Spanish and fun!

About our Cultural Exchange Program 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Yes, we recommend you get the necessary vaccinations listed on the Center for Disease Control Website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/nicaragua. Additional up to date travel info and tips can be found on the US Embassy site: http://nicaragua.usembassy.gov/traveling_in_nicaragua.html. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions/concerns specific to the San Juan del Sur region, or your travel plans and experience.


We certainly do! Below you will find our current list of needs:


  • Whiteboard markers and erasers
  • Whiteboard cleaning spray
  • Printer Ink (HP 950/951)
  • A4 White paper for printing or art projects
  • Computer Mice & Mouse Pads (4)
  • Wooden Puzzles for pre-school
  • Water color paints
  • Tempera paints
  • Children's paintbrushes
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • A projector machine
  • Laminating sheets


I want to bring some gifts or supplies with me to donate to the school. Do you have a wish list?

We have about 80 students 8–17 years old and about 30 children 4–7 years old.



Do you require a deposit to save my spot?

Volunteers stay in their own private room with a private bathroom. Linens are included and sometimes a bath towel.  Showers have cold, running water (which can be refreshing as the weather is so hot). A typical home has a kitchen, living room, bathroom and multiple bedrooms. There may be other tourists in the house, and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and requests for families without children.



What can I expect in terms of living conditions in the home-stay?

The dry season is from December – April and the rainy season is from May – November.

  • January – February: sunny, windy, and dry. Long-sleeves are worn at night
  • March – April : dry and not too windy, but it is very, very HOT and sunny
  • May – September: humid and rainy with occasional torrential downpours (it never perpetually pours)
  • October: VERY rainy
  • November – December: the sun is always out and it’s still warm from the rainy season, but it starts to get cooler at night