OMETEPE BILINGUAL SCHOOL
Welcome to Ometepe Bilingual School!
Our current flagship project is the elementary school program at the Ometepe Bilingual School.
The overall motivation to start this project was fairly simple: to provide a strong education to local children through small class sizes, quality nutrition and community engagement while simultaneously reducing pollution of the natural biosphere reserve and Maderas National Park with the use of EcoBricks. The Ometepe Bilingual School is built almost solely from 1.5 lt plastic bottles packed full of inorganic waste. Everyone can get involved in cleaning up the rural Merida community and make a little money by making an EcoBrick and exchanging it for 60 cents at the Hacienda Merida. We at Hacienda Merida consider the education of Nicaragua's population of utmost importance. 40% of the hotel's profit goes directly toward the Ometepe Bilingual School that we have built here on the hotel property. Our goal is to improve the education in the rural community in which we operate. The Ometepe Bilingual School has grades kindergarten through 4th grade and plans to expand to 5th grade in 2018. By 2020 our goal is to be kindergarten through 6th. This affords them the possibility of a better future. We are fortunate enough to be recipients of laptops for each classroom through the "one laptop per children" initiative. These computer have basic math games, books and other materials crucial to the education of our students. Unfortunately, initiatives such as these simplifies the real deep-seated problems in countries like Nicaragua; discipline, attendance, and familial participation in the education process.
Want to work with kids in the shadow of a volcano on the largest island-in-a-lake in the world? Want to create opportunities for rural Nicaraguans in an increasingly global world? Come to Ometepe Bilingual School! Here the contributions of volunteers are vital in delivering a bilingual curriculum to our students.
Volunteers work approximately 30 hours per week in some combination of the following classes:
OBS Kindergarten, first, second and third grade students! Fourth grade coming in 2017!
As a volunteer, responsibilities will include assisting the classroom teacher in implementing activities and supporting student learning; leading the class in English language activities; and planning activities (for execution in Spanish or English) at the direction of the classroom teacher.
Depending on the needs of the school, other opportunities may exist. These include coming as a guest to adult English classes being taught by long-term volunteers; working on school-related administrative projects; assisting with non-school related projects (related to the Hacienda, recycling efforts, conservation education, fundraising, publicity and social media etc.).
Whatever your work assignment, you can look forward to a fun, rewarding experience at Ometepe Bilingual School. Furthermore, Ometepe is a beautiful place and you will find many great opportunities for recreation in your free time.
Average Daily Cost: $21.42
We offer volunteers a subsidized room and board package for $150 per week. This includes shared housing and 3 meals per day. You must pay separately for any extra menu items (e.g. smoothies, beers, snacks). Please see the accommodation description for more information. Our minimum volunteer commitment is 4 weeks. However, people who wish to volunteer for shorter amounts of time, or get involved in some way can do so by reading to children, playing with them or bringing materials for our class rooms, but are not offered the volunteer discount package.
For long-term volunteers (3+ months), we offer additionally discounted room and board packages.
If you require a private room, we offer a 20% discount on the current room rates (depending on availability) with a 30% discount on menu items.
Please reserve a room for the duration over your stay through the link below, either a dorm included in the 150$/week or a private room at an additional cost:
We can also arrange homestay housing with a local family.
The weekly fee ($150) includes a bed in the shared dorm, 3 meals per day, purified water, and wifi Internet access. Volunteers are housed in the dorms at Hacienda Merida. Any additional food items, such as smoothies, coffee and beer are not included. You will have a bunk bed in a shared room with a fan, a locker for your valuables, and a short walk outside to toilets and showers. Our menu is healthy and varied with many vegetarian and vegan options. Depending on demand, buffets are offered for breakfast and dinner. You can upgrade to a private room with bathroom for additional cost. We can also arrange homestay housing and meals with a local family, if you choose prefer.
Our closest international airport is in Managua, Nicaragua. Use ground transportation to reach Rivas/San Jorge. Flying into Liberia, Costa Rica is also an option. Once landing there, there are public buses that run from Liberia to the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua and then another bus runs from the border to Rivas/San Jorge.
From San Jorge, we recommend two options.
Option 1: Ferry from San Jorge to San Jose del Sur. Ferries depart daily at 9:30AM and 5:00PM. Once on the island, transfer to Merida via taxi (1h, approx. $30 US)
Option 2: Ferry from San Jorge to Moyogalpa. Ferries depart hourly from 7:00AM to 5:45PM. Then, taxi (1h30, approx. $35 US) or public bus (2h30, approx. $1.25). The public buses serving Merida depart Moyogalpa at 8:30AM, 2:30PM, and 4:30PM.
Hacienda Merida, Maderas Volcano
Ometepe, Rivas - Nicaragua