Nicaragua 's poverty and social experimentation have always attracted altruistic groups and individual volunteers. Shortly after 1979, hordes of “Sandalistas” poured in from around the world to participate in the Sandinista revolution. They picked coffee, taught in schools, wrote poetry and editorials of solidarity, put themselves in the line of fire, and protested in front of the U.S. Embassy.
Today, internacionalistas come as part of service brigades, government programs, religous missions, academic trips, or independently. Organizations (both faith-based and secular) work throughout the country to assist with construction, education, translation, agriculture, and general solidarity.
Check www.volunteerabroad.com  for the most updated listing of available assignments or inquire about opportunities with the following organizations:
Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org ) is active building homes throughout Nicaragua. American Jewish World Service (www.ajws.org ) runs the Jewish Volunteer Corps, providing support for professionals looking to volunteer in Nicaragua and other countries—to practice the Hebrew commandment “to heal the world.”
And if your social circle wants to participate in a Nicaraguan work trip, Bridges to Community (U.S. tel. 914/923-2200, www.bridgestocommunity.org ) will help plan a trip, find a project, and facilitate logistics to connect you with small Nicaraguan communities where your communication, construction, and environmental skills will be put to good use.
Seeds of Learning (www.seedsoflearning.org ) is a group based in El Salvador, Ciudad Dario, Nicaragua and northern California; they accept groups of 13 or more to volunteer with a community, help construct a school, and share in Nicaraguan culture; your fee covers living expenses and building materials.
The Integral Program Educating with Love and Tenderness (PIEAT, tel. 505/8638-4080, eddycard [at] yahoo [dot] com or dyoung_pieat [at] yahoo [dot] com) is associated with the Americas Association for the Care of Children and is based in Jalapa, Nicaragua. PIEAT is a volunteer association which brings education to primary caregivers (parents, teachers, nurses, therapists) about health, hygiene, education, child development, alternatives to domestic violence, along with 44 other themes. The association hosts delegations or individual travelers in Nicaragua and offers service-learning and Spanish language opportunities.