Our family adventure to Nicaragua with Global Family Travels was above and beyond what we expected – what an amazing country it is and so many fun things to do!
Homestay and Service Learning Adventure on Omtepe Island
After spending the night in Managua near the airport, our stay began with a lovely homestay with the Alvarez family on Omtepe Island, a beautiful, serene island that offers a little of everything that Nicaragua has to offer, from pre-Columbian history, two beautiful volcanos, hiking, horseback riding and beautiful beaches! We were greeted by Estella, our homestay host and the local project coordinator of Si a la Vida, and the Bainbridge Omtepe Island Association (BOSIA), two of the our NGO partners we will be working with on local community service projects.
Estella and her family live in the community of Teguizapa, near the beaches of Altagracia. We enjoyed delicious meals cooked by Estella and her mom and were fully immersed in the daily activities of Nicaraguan island life, which is hard work but overall very relaxing! Even the cows got to enjoy a cool sip in the lake!
The highlight of our time on Omtepe was delivering 25 pairs of soccer cleats to the boys of the community and playing soccer with them on the beach.
We brought one pair of girls’ soccer cleats and low and behold, they fit Estella’s neighbor, Karolina, perfectly! Not only was she a perfect fit for the cleats, but was also a perfect fit with our daughter, Arlene. Karolina and Arlene became quick friends .... We love seeing our kids make world friends!
While on the island, we also met with a local soccer pro to discuss the concept of putting together a cross-cultural soccer exchange, which will support the local boys and girls in developing soccer skills, as well as bring other young travelers to the island for some fun and learning together! Join our mailing list to learn more about further developments of this exchange.
Family Learning & Bonding Activities
What wonderful fun and learning experiences we had. From an Eco lodge stay near San Juan del Sur, where we saw lots of birds and monkeys, zip lining and hiking in the rain forest at Mombacho volcano, pottery making in Pueblos Blancos, touring the colonial city of Granada during Easter week, to a boat ride in the isletas, where we had a naughty monkey steal our whole bag of bread!
There were many engaging activities that our family participated in, but one of our kids’ favorites was making chocolate. We learned that as recently as a century and a half ago, villagers in outlying areas of Nicaragua still traded the cacao bean, the fatty seed that grows in a pod from the trunk of the cacao tree, as currency. Like true artisan chocolatiers, we got to roast, winnow and grind the cacao beans and make a liquid chocolate out of them with flavors of our choice, with the end product being delicious chocolate bars!
Although Nicaragua is considered the Western hemisphere’s second poorest country, we are grateful to have experienced its many riches... it is a colorful country filled with beautiful scenery, wonderful food, and most of all, spirited and generous people. For our family, it was the Nicaraguan people (and a few expats too) we met and befriended that really captured our hearts.
This was an unforgettable trip for our family to Nicaragua and we invite you and your family to join us your own family adventure to Nicaragua that we offer to this amazing country. We offer a group tour with 3-4 other families, or we can customize your own family tour at any time you like! For more information, see Global Family Travels’ Nicaraguan tours on our website, or email us.