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Sustainable Development and Wild Nature Conservation in NICARAGUA

Contact us for special backpacker prices for Spanish courses and volunteering.

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Planting trees in reforestation areas is one of the Eco-Warrior environmental volunteer activities in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Jen Moran.

Save the world, one tree at a time

With every new volunteer, Nicaragua is a better place! The GAIA Eco-Warrior Environmental Volunteer Program provides opportunities for volunteers to give back to the environment and protect wild nature. The biological research station "Estación Biológica" operated by GAIA in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve regularly receives volunteers who work on a variety of projects, some of which we outline below. The emphasis of our volunteer activities is on service. We think that all people have some skills and capacity to be used in the service of others, and that all can learn by doing. Several opportunities for volunteering are offered at Estación Biológica.

Volunteers at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo are encouraged to bring binoculars and an appropriate bird guide for their own use. Some volunteers may be interested in participation in the fish monitoring project, and they should contact us directly for conditions and costs of participation. We especially encourage scientists, students, and enthusiasts of nature to aid in monitoring and our various wildlife research projects.

The Volunteer Experience in Laguna de Apoyo

Volunteering with GAIA involves a five-day per week work schedule. Each volunteer may perform a combination of activities during his or her stay. Volunteers are generally accepted for participation from two weeks to up to several months, depending upon their interests and qualifications. Volunteers receive quarters and all meals (great food!) as part of the volunteer experience. There is a minimum 1-week commitment. Volunteers have the choice of a small, multibed dormitory cabin near the lake or private room with shared bath.

Eco-Warrior Environmental Volunteers may help with any of several different projects. Among them include activities related to all the different aspects of natural forest restoration; wild animal care; logistical help and maintenance on the grounds; monitoring of wildlife populations; even greeting and food preparation1


GAia Eco-Warrior volunteers and forest rangers participate in the liberation of a wild Keel-billed Toucan back into the wild, after having been rescued from the pet trade and rehabilitated. Photo Gordon Evans.

All our projects and activities at GAIA contribute in one way or another to the development of a strong, environmentally conscious rural community and the protection of the wild natural resources in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, and throughout Nicaragua.

Register as an Eco-Warrior Environmental Volunteer Early for Discounted Prices

Last-minute arrangements are always welcome. Call, write or just come by to become an Eco-Warrior environmental volunteer with GAIA. For those who plan ahead, additional discounts are available with advance reservation. With at least one week advance reservation which you can make with a small deposit via paypal, you can make your stay more economical and help us with our assignment of resources according to the schedule of available volunteers. For those looking for economical volunteering assignments, we offer Backpackers Special prices for stay in coed dorms, including all meals and of course, the soothing water of Laguna de Apoyo awaiting for when the workday is done.

Follow GAIA on the web

We invite you to visit all the pages in our website, to learn about what we do. We keep current information on all our activities and interests for your benefit. There are more than one hundred pages in our website, categorized according to our major themes of enviromental conservation, scientific research on the environment, and education for sustainable development. Those topics and many others can be followed by links on the left and right sidebars. If you cannot visit us in person, we hope to provide you with relevant, accurate information about the environment and development in general and specifically in the areas where GAIA works. You can help us keep nature wild in Nicaragua, by volunteering your time with us or making a small donation to support our projects in wild nature conservation. We are slowly adding pages in Spanish to bring the message better to those who don't read English. Please consider even a small donation which will help us care for the environment better in Nicaragua.

Click here to contact us for more information on volunteering in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

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GAIA worked with the local community and the government and people of Japan to build the rural school "Héroes y Mártires de Xiloá" a completely new school for a marginalized, rural community on the edge of Laguna de Xiloá. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.


Nicaragua Spanish Schools
The chancho cichlid, Amphilophus chancho, is one of the fish species endemic to Laguna de Apoyo, discovered by scientists working in a GAIA project. This species is easily seen while diving in Laguna de Apoyo. Join us in a study of this endemic fish species. Photo Ad Konings.


Nicaragua Spanish Schools
GAIA experts support wildlife studies important to the economy of Nicaragua, such as the impacts of windmills on wildlife. A major wind farm in Rivas is located along an important bird migration corridor. Photo Pablo Somarriba.


Nicaragua Spanish Schools
Spanish classes in Laguna de Apoyo are often held under the shade of huge trees with monkeys looking down. Apoyo Spanish School is the oldest of the intensive Nicaragua Spanish schools. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.


Apoyo Spanish School
A tour of students of Apoyo Spanish School to Catarina, with the lake and Granada in view. Photo Belén Camino.


Nicaragua Spanish school
San Juan de Oriente, on the edge of Apoyo crater, is the most important center of artisan ceramic pottery in Nicaragua. GAIA supports natural resource conservation in the region which is vital to the livelihoods throughout the area. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.


Nicaragua Spanish school
Scientific SCUBA diving in Laguna de Apoyo. GAIA provides logistical and scientific support for studies of ecosystems in Nicaragua such as freshwater lakes and rivers, and tropical forests. We arrange, coordinate, and support internships and scientific partnerships throughout Nicaragua. Photo Topi Lehtonen.


Nicaragua Spanish school
GAIA organizes birdwatching tours in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, as well as in Managua and throughout Nicaragua. Go birdwatching with us and enjoy nature at its finest. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.


Nicaragua Spanish school
Eco-Warrior Volunteers at GAIA support forest restoration activities, from seed collection and processing through care for trees in reforestation areas years after their planting. Photo Jen Moran.


Nicaragua Spanish school
GAIA scientists supported the development of the Environmental and Social Impact Statement for the proposed Nicaragua Grand Interoceanic Canal, with field work and biodiversity analysis.