Project Wave of Optimism Voluntourism Programs
Are you interested in more meaningful travel opportunities? Project WOO feels fortunate to be a leader in the sustainable tourism movement! Project WOO believes that we, as traveling surfers, have the responsibility to give back to the rural coastal communities that we explore. Such exploration often paves the road for future tourism development. By volunteering, we are able to lead by example and positively contribute to the coastal communities that we visit. Immersing yourself into community life and engaging in community-identified projects, allows you to make a direct, positive, and sustainable impact. As ambassadors of foreign cultures, we have the ability to bridge communities through cultural exchange. In areas like Gigante where tourism is rapidly growing, such cultural interaction creates an understanding that is fundamental to the community’s growth, as tourism-related development continues to grow.
Summer Volunteer Group at the end of a 'work' day
Project WOO’s background in sustainable community development has laid the perfect foundation for all levels of volunteer participation. We work with each individual volunteer according to his or her interests and skill sets. Project WOO addresses the community’s needs with the volunteer’s interests. As such, we are able to facilitate the most rewarding and impactful volunteer experience for villagers and participants alike in a meaningful and sustainable way. Through Project WOO's holistic approach to development (please see About WOO and Why We Are Different), WOO has helped the community of Gigante identify, design, and implement various community-driven development projects. These projects serve as the platform for our volunteer programs.
WOO accommodates individuals, groups, couples, brigades, traveling circuses, etc…
Local youth getting involved!
We offer various levels of involvement depending on duration of stay and level of commitment. Each volunteer will be supported day to day by WOO Volunteer staff. WOO staff will facilitate volunteer service projects, support homestay program (see below), and be available 24/7 for all volunteer needs.
Escuela Big Foot Spanish Language School offers an opportunity to learn Spanish by the sea. WOO has discounted Spanish classes available to all volunteers. See rates below under ‘costs’. Project WOO’s Voluntourism Program not only supports WOO’s mission to bridge communities through cultural exchange, but also supports WOO’s on-going development efforts in Gigante.
The Community Immersion Experience
Cost: $200/week (2 week minimum) This program is the ultimate Volunteer experience WOO has to offer. The Community Immersion Program provides an authentic cultural experience created for those seeking to immerse themselves into an authentic coastal Nicaraguan community. The program focuses on cultural immersion and community identified service projects. For a detailed list of such projects, click Volunteer Projects . For complete immersion, WOO highly recommends living with a local family. You can find details on our homestay program below.
The Community Immersion Experience includes:
- WOO in-country staff support throughout your entire program
- Materials and resources needed for service projects
- Support for WOO’s ongoing development efforts in Gigante
- Professional Spanish instruction at Escuela Big Foot (additional cost)
- Discounted surfboard rentals from WOO’s personal 30-board quiver
$100/week additional (2 weeks minimum required with homestay)WOO strongly believes that cultural interactions such as a homestay experience provide an invaluable opportunity for two worlds to gain a better understanding of each other. Such cultural perceptive plays a fundamental role in an environment such as Gigante where tourism is reshaping the face of the village. Project WOO offers authentic homestay opportunities which often prove to be the most impactful piece of our Volunteer Program. In order to interact on a more intimate level with your homestay family, Project WOO will provide you with daily activities to deepen your relationship, such as:
- Learning to cook an authentic Nicaraguan dish with your host family, or cook a traditional meal from your country over open fire
- Participating in daily work duties such as milking a cow, hand washing your laundry at the local well, repairing fishing nets with local fisherman, etc…
- Investigating and documenting your homestay experience through a photo essay or short documentary
The Homestay Experience includes:
- Breakfast and dinner with homestay family
- Basic living amenities with private room
Just passing through? We have volunteer opportunities for you too! Follow this link for Momentary Volunteer Activities.
local Gigante residents making their morning commute
Fundraising for your Adventure
Project WOO recognizes the commitment you are undertaking by signing up to Volunteer with WOO. We also acknowledge the challenge of ‘paying to volunteer’. Therefore, we urge our volunteers to fundraise. Fundraising is an excellent way to excite pre-departure involvement. Share your upcoming adventure with friends and family and solicit their support to help send you on a worthy adventure. We’ll even help set you up with your very own fundraising page on our website! And remember, your contributions as volunteers directly fund the projects we have dedicated our time and energy to for the past six years. All donations are 100% tax-deductible. Project WOO is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit in the US. We can also arrange the following services:
- Transportation to and from the airport in Managua, $80 o/w in Taxi
- Boat trips (surfing/fishing)
- Yoga classes
- Sewing Classes
- Horseback riding
- Sea kayaking
- Rock Repelling
- And much more!