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Nicaragua Spanish School

Sustainable Development and Wild Nature Conservation in NICARAGUA


Contact us for special backpacker prices for Spanish courses and volunteering.


Research, Conservation, Education

 

Nicaragua Spanish Schools
Join us in protecting wild nature in Nicaragua, helping rural communities and enjoying the beauty of Laguna de Apoyo and beyond! Photo Jessica López.

Protecting the environment in a rapidly changing world is an especially difficult challenge in Nicaragua, a small country with great economic needs and very poor levels of infrastructure and human capital. The GAIA program supports sustainable economic development in Nicaragua through scientific research, conservation of wild natural resources, sustainable tourism, and environmental education. Nicaragua Spanish Schools, a GAIA program training volunteers and professionals in the Spanish language and culture of Nicaragua, is the longest-running Nicaragua Spanish school, with courses offered in Laguna de Apoyo and in Managua. GAIA scientists participated in numerous projects in environmental issues in Nicaragua, such as technical assistance to the recently published environmental and social impact assessment for the Nicaragua Canal.


Office and Apoyo Spanish School at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo


The GAIA program is active throughout Nicaragua. Our office is located at Estación Biológicain Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua, where we operate the Biological Research Station and Hostel, conduct a number of research and conservation projects throughout Nicaragua, and provide Spanish language instruction to volunteers and professionals at Apoyo Spanish School. We also offer opportunities for volunteering in biology, natural resource management, education, and community organization areas. You are invited to visit us on the shore of Laguna de Apoyo. Contact us by email, or by telephone 011-505-8882-3992.


Conservation Science Research


GAIA has conducted or supported dozens of studies on the environment in Nicaragua. From rapid ecological assessments of natural areas, to detailed studies on taxonomy, GAIA has been particularly successful in generating new information to enable informed responses to the environmental challenges Nicaragua faces today. GAIA has participated in the discovery of several new species of fish, and first records of dozens of bird species in Nicaragua.


Conservation Science in Practice


Knowledge about the environment is not sufficient to resolve the majority of conflicts between nature and people in contemporary Nicaragua. GAIA works with local communities and the government to find and facilitate solutions to environmental issues such as deforestation, wild animal rescue, and community-based policy implementation. GAIA organized the local communities for the development of the management plan for the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, which was accepted and made official after five years of negotiations. Gaia organizes local landowners in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve to reforest areas with long-term agreements for sustainable forest restoration. GAIA also works with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to conduct forest restoration activities in other locations such as the Masaya Volcano National Park.


Education for Sustainable Development


GAIA promotes training of teachers in the local community and provides high-quality employment opportunities to Spanish teachers who, in turn, work with visiting professionals, students, and tourists. Many of the teachers we have trained work with us at Apoyo Spanish School and Managua Spanish School, although GAIA has also trained the teachers of most of the other Nicaragua Spanish Schools. We also promote education in other ways such as legal representation of education centers. GAIA also provides learning resources on the environment through the local scientific journal Revista Estudios Ambientales.


Saving the forest, one tree at a time


We invite you to visit all the pages in our website. We keep current information on all our activities and interests for your benefit. There are more than one hundred web pages, categorized according to our major themes of enviromental conservation, scientific research on the environment, and education for sustainable development. Those topics and many others can be followed by links on the left and right sidebars. If you cannot visit us in person, we hope to provide you with relevant, accurate information about the environment and development in general and specifically in the areas where GAIA works. You can help us keep nature wild in Nicaragua, by volunteering your time with us or making a small donation to support our projects in wild nature conservation. We are slowly adding pages in Spanish to bring the message better to those who don't read English. Please consider even a small donation which will help us care for the environment better in Nicaragua.


Visiting Laguna de Apoyo on a Budget


As a service to visitors who want to give back to Mother Nature, GAIA offers lodging in Laguna de Apoyo at the lowest prices in the area. Stay in our dormitory at seven dollars per night, and help us keep Laguna de Apoyo wild! Private rooms are also available, please inquire for availability because they often sell out. By staying with us, you can contribute to the efforts of Estación Biológica to protect the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

Nicaragua Spanish School


Volunteer and learn Spanish with the GAIA Program at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve in Nicaragua.


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Nicaragua Spanish Schools
GAIA worked with the local community and the government and people of Japan to build the rural school "Héroes y Mártires de Xiloá" a completely new school for a marginalized, rural community on the edge of Laguna de Xiloá. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

 

Nicaragua Spanish Schools
The chancho cichlid, Amphilophus chancho, is one of the fish species endemic to Laguna de Apoyo, discovered by scientists working in a GAIA project. This species is easily seen while diving in Laguna de Apoyo. Join us in a study of this endemic fish species. Photo Ad Konings.

 

Nicaragua Spanish Schools
GAIA experts support wildlife studies important to the economy of Nicaragua, such as the impacts of windmills on wildlife. A major wind farm in Rivas is located along an important bird migration corridor. Photo Pablo Somarriba.

 

Nicaragua Spanish Schools
Spanish classes in Laguna de Apoyo are often held under the shade of huge trees with monkeys looking down. Apoyo Spanish School, the oldest of the intensive Nicaragua Spanish schools, is located in a natural area with wildlife easily seen. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

 

Apoyo Spanish School
A tour of students of Apoyo Spanish School to Catarina, with the lake and Granada in view. Photo Belén Camino.

 

Nicaragua Spanish school
San Juan de Oriente, on the edge of Apoyo crater, is the most important production center of artisan ceramic pottery in Nicaragua. GAIA supports natural resource conservation in the region which is vital to the livelihoods throughout the area. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

 

Nicaragua Spanish school
Scientific SCUBA diving in Laguna de Apoyo. GAIA provides logistical and scientific support for studies of ecosystems in Nicaragua such as freshwater lakes and rivers, and tropical forests. We arrange, coordinate, and support internships and scientific partnerships throughout Nicaragua. Photo Topi Lehtonen.

 

Nicaragua Spanish school
GAIA organizes birdwatching tours in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, as well as in Managua and throughout Nicaragua. Go birdwatching with us and enjoy nature at its finest. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

 

Nicaragua Spanish school
GAIA scientists supported the development of the Environmental and Social Impact Statement for the proposed Nicaragua Grand Interoceanic Canal, with field work and biodiversity analysis.