volunteer Nicaragua


Volunteer in Nicaragua

Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo FUNDECI/GAIA

With every new volunteer, Nicaragua is a better place! The biological research station "Estación Biológica" in Lake Apoyo Nature Reserve regularly receives volunteers who work on a variety of projects, some of which we outline below. The emphasis of our volunteer activities is on service. We think that all people have some skills and capacity to be used in the service of others, and that all can learn by doing. Several opportunities for volunteering are offered at Estación Biológica.

Volunteers at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo are encouraged to bring binoculars and an appropriate bird guide for their own use. Some volunteers may be interested in participation in the fish monitoring project, and they should contact us directly for conditions and costs of participation. We especially encourage scientists, students, and enthusiasts of nature to aid in monitoring and our various wildlife research projects.

Each volunteer at Estación Biológica is expected to have a working knowledge of Spanish. Apoyo Spanish School can provide Spanish classes for any potential volunteer before his/her assignment, if there is a need to improve language skill.

The Volunteer Experience

Volunteering involves a five-day per week work schedule. Each volunteer may perform a combination of activities during his or her stay. Volunteers are generally accepted for participation from two weeks to up to several months, depending upon their interests and qualifications. Volunteers receive quarters and all meals (great food!) as part of the volunteer experience. There is a minimum 1-week commitment. Volunteers have the choice of a small, multibed dormitory cabin near the lake or private room with shared bath.

Prices including unisex dorm accomodation and meals are as follows: One week-US120; Two weeks-$220; Four weeks-$350. Prices including private room with shared bathroom: One week-$140; Two weeks-$280; Four weeks-$440. All prices include great meals, and we can accomodate special dietary needs.

We also can make arrangements longer stays and for volunteer groups to perform projects in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Most short-term volunteers participate in more than one project as needs and scheduling fit.

Volunteer Projects at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo

Each volunteer may be assigned to a single, principal project, but will have the opportunity to contribute to a variety of projects while at Estacion Biologica. The projects are summarized in the pages below. Volunteers can participate in tree planting and tree nursery maintenance, wildlife studies and population monitoring, administration and maintenance, cultural and environmental education, and community organization areas. In addition to short-term volunteers, Estación Biológica welcomes interns wanting to conduct research and conservation projects in the area.

SCUBA diving is an option for volunteers and visitors to Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, as well. FUNDECI/GAIA conducts research and population monitoring of the fishes of Lake Apoyo, and you can help. Prices for volunteers to participate in the dive program are per dive, not including room and board. Biologists and conservation professionals with Advanced or Dive Master certification are invited to apply for internships.

Reforestation and Ecological Restoration Volunteer

Ecological Volunteer

Administration and Maintenance Volunteer

Environmental Education Volunteer


Environmental Program In Defense of Nature

Laguna de Apoyo

contact us

SCUBA Diving

Apoyo Spanish School and Volunteering

Volunteers Participate in Volcano Masaya Reforestation


volunteering Nicaragua

This baby squirrel was raised after falling from a tree. Today she has her own family in the trees above the research center at Estación Biológica. Thanks to volunteers and small donations for her care, she could return to the wild. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.



The environment of Laguna de Apoyo is natural and nearly unspoiled.



Volunteers and interns on an excursion in Masaya. Photo Leslie Eisenberg.


environmental volunteer

Seed collection is performed locally to promote the conservation of local genetic varieties for reforestation in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. We accept volunteer assignments for work in reforestation year round.



The forest inside the crater in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve contains dozens of reptile species. By volunteering with FUNDECI/GAIA, you can help protect their habitat.



Volunteers visit the Heroes y Martires de Xiloa School in Laguna de Xiloa, built by FUNDECI/GAIA for the poor children in Chiltepe Peninsula Nature Reserve. You can contribute to make the lives of poor, rural children more happy and productive by volunteering at FUNDECI/GAIA. With every volunteer, Nicaragua is a better place. Photo Belen Camino.



Many wildlife species inhabit Nicaragua. Staff and volunteers participate in field identification of the reptiles of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Volunteers and interns can work on fauna studies. Photo Kolby Kirk.

volunteer Nicaragua

Many species of snakes are common in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Lewis Honour.


This tiny snake, Tantilla armillata, was the first of its species to be found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Lewis Honour.