Dancin Around The World has been volunteering in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua for the past month at Hotel El Pacifico. Last year I was in Nicaragua in November, and after leaving the country I knew in my heart that I would be back again. I absolutely love being in Nicaragua. I am completely drawn to the food, the people, the culture, and the landscapes. There’s just something about this country that calls to me!
In order to travel and stay in one place long term, without spending a lot of money, I headed to workaway to find an opportunity.
For those of you who do not know, workaway is a website that backpackers/travelers use to find volunteering positions around the world at hostels, hotels, farms, vineyards, etc. You can create an account here. All you have to do is sign-up, pay the fee for one year ($29 for a single person, $39 for a couple or two friends), and create a profile and description about yourself and what you offer. Once you have signed up, you can start contacting business based on countries, cities, and/or type of work. The general gist in each location is that you will be required to work a certain number of hours per day (4-6 depending on which opportunity you get) and in return you are provided a bed, and if you are lucky food as well. Each business will list exactly what they offer and the amount of work that is required of you within the description.
When searching for an opportunity in Nicaragua, I knew I wanted to be right by the ocean and so I focused on San Juan Del Sur. Since I had already been to this city, I knew there would be ample amount of things to do, I already knew my way around, and it’s a beach town. It’s been on my bucket list for sometime now to work in a beach town, so I was super stoked when an opportunity came up! I applied for about five positions in the San Juan area by sending an e-mail about how I could help their business and what I had to offer. I received two rejections because they were already full, two did not reply at all, and one offered me a position. When I sent the e-mail to each business, I told them about all of the things that I could offer their business and why they should choose me. If you are looking for positions, I highly recommend making yourself stand out as best you can! For example, I mentioned that I had over five years of customer service, I speak fluent Spanish, and I have experience in organizing events and teaching latin dances. If you speak the language of the country you are looking for an opportunity in, it helps a ton!
El Pacifico Hotel is where Dancin Around The World has been volunteering for the past month. It is a hotel with twelve rooms, a pool, bar, and a view of El Cristo at all times. There are usually around six volunteers at a time and duties include checking clients in and out, making breakfast in the morning, washing dishes, chatting with clients, and tending bar. The deal with this hotel is pretty sweet because there is minimum cleaning required. In return for volunteering five hours a day for six days a week, you receive a bed and groceries to cook each week. When you’re traveling, the highest expenses are accommodation and food, so having these things covered saves so much money. More funds for cerveza and shuttles to the beaches!
My time at El Pacífico has been one of my fonder traveling moments and a place that truly started to feel like a home. The other volunteers became a little family to me as we would share our day with each other, cook and eat meals together, share rum on the beach, and enjoyed spending time together. I feel so blessed to have met so many great people, shared so many wonderful memories, and was able to be in a great town for the month of December without having to pay a ton of money! I truly am going to miss this place.
If you are looking for a way to travel for free than workaway is the best way to do it! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions on the experience or how you can do it too!