I traveled to Nicaragua in the summer of 2010 with the UF in Nicaragua program. For six weeks, we visited three NGOs and participated in the grassroots projects these organizations were involved with. It was an amazing opportunity; one that more and more young people are seeking.
During this trip, one nongovernmental organization’s (NGO) director cited an old adage, ”the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” It is the intention of this site to provide U.S. Americans with information not only on volunteering and development opportunities in Nicaragua, but also to paint a realistic portrait of what volunteering and development entail.
The Global Volunteer Explosion
In the 21st century the Internet has played an increasing role in information dissemination; that, in combination with more accessible international travel, has created a global village. Options to help the world’s economically poor are no longer limited to watching infomercials with Sally Struthers and subsequently stroking a check.
According to idealist.org director Erin Barnhart, U.S. citizens “are seeing things in real time and saying ‘I want to help.’”
Individual participation in development has gone mainstream, evidenced, for example, by CNN Travel’s entire category dedicated to “humanitarian travel.”
Below, the University of Florida in Nicaragua Brigade shares their experience in words and pictures.