Our program brings two young people from the US to live live in community and work in the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte (CCBN) in Managua, Nicaragua. Volunteers accompany the CCBN in its mission to empower individuals, especially women and youth, for social transformation through holistic education and artistic formation.
What is the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte?
The Centro Cultural Batahola Norte (CCBN) was founded in 1983 by Sister Margie Navarro and Fr. Ángel Torrellas during the Contra War in Nicaragua. The CCBN offers certified technical courses, arts programs, violence prevention programs, scholarships, and a community library. Over 1,000 students enroll in 20 courses every year.
Friends of Batahola Volunteers is a program that brings two young people from the U.S. to live and work in Nicaragua for two years. Volunteers seek to accompany the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte in its mission of empowering women and youth for social transformation. Volunteers dedicate themselves to the development of their spirituality and social consciousness through their community life.
Accompaniment: Batahola Volunteers strive to live and work in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people by opening themselves to listening, learning, and sharing with community members.
Social Justice: As collaborators with the CCBN, Batahola Volunteers become a part of the action-reflection cycle that leads to social change. We support the CCBN’s initiatives of women and youth empowerment, while aspiring to lead a simple, sustainable lifestyle.
Spirituality: Batahola Volunteers seek to share and explore spirituality together and with the larger community through participating in local faith gatherings, self-led reflection, and retreats.
What do we do?
Batahola Volunteers co-teach the adult English class and respond directly to other needs expressed by the CCBN, according to the individual volunteer’s skills and interests.
Other activities Kelsey and Erika are involved in include:
- Updating this blog and the Center’s Facebook page, taking pictures and writing articles to keep friends and supporters in the U.S. updated on current events in Nicaragua, the Center, and our experiences as volunteers
-Accompanying weekly women’s focus groups with a psychologist from the Center
-Participating and offering logistical support in the Youth Violence Prevention Network
- Leading bi-monthly Tai Chi sessions and other self-care activities for staff
-Organizing educational activities about environmental sustainability with kids and adolescents
-Interviewing over 200 scholarship students each year (January-April) and making student profiles to send to donors through Project Education
- Orienting short-term volunteers and translating for delegations to the CCBN
-Participating in Friday morning volunteer reflection/meditation- Being involved in community activities and classes, including Latin rhythms dance class, monthly community forums on violence prevention, weekly Mass, etc.
Living in Nicaragua
Friends of Batahola Volunteers is supported by the non-profit organization Volunteer Missionary Movement (VMM), an ecumenical Christian organization that provides volunteers with:
- Medical and life insurance, including 3 months of medical insurance after completion of service
- Monthly stipend
- Pre-departure orientation
- Visa expenses
- Spanish language training
- Annual retreats with other volunteers in Central America
- Re-entry stipend upon completion of service
Volunteers live in a house that belongs to the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte, and is located adjacent to the CCBN. Each volunteer has her/his own room. Rent and electricity are included in the program, and volunteers pay for other utilities from their stipend.
Who We Are Looking For:
Two highly motivated young people committed to learning about and participating in social change for two years in Nicaragua!
Friends of Batahola Volunteers (FOBV) welcomes women and men of all ethnic origins, gender, economic status, and sexual orientations.
- Be age 21 or older
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be willing to live in two-person intentional community
- Have no dependents
Batahola volunteers also have:
- Experience of at least 3 consecutive months living abroad, with a strong preference for those with experience in Latin America.
- Actively connected to a Christian community and in accordance with the values of VMM, our partnering organization
- At least intermediate proficiency in Spanish
The Centro Cultural Batahola Norte is an exciting and dynamic work environment. We encourage applications from candidates who can work well independently as well as collaboratively, are flexible, and have a strong commitment to social justice and their own personal growth.
How to Apply:
Send a letter of interest and your résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to e-mail us with any questions throughout the process!
After reviewing these documents we'll send you an application.