Here’s how our plans are shaping up so far. Now is the time to decide and make your deposit/commitment to go:
Our visit is being organized by CEPAD (http://www.cepad.org.ni/), the Protestant Church Council of Nicaragua, dedicated to working with poor communities in situations of risk, promoting justice, peace and equitable solidarity, in order to improve the lives of Nicaraguans.
We have 6 or 7 youth planning to go. We can take more. We have 3 adults interested, but room for more there too.
Airfare: currently about $600.
$720 for room, board and all transportation for the 8 days, all organized by CEPAD:
~ pick-up from the airport, and taken to their Center in Managua, for 2 days introduction to Nicaragua, its history and culture and current political and economic situation.
~ travel to mission site, usually in the mountains in the north, in some economic development project in a poorer, rural village. During this time, we would be living with families in a village. They participants stay together, so that there are 2 or 3 of our folks staying together with a family.
~ upon returning towards Managua, we would have a day of sightseeing: the volcano and market at Masaya, and the colonial town of Granada and Lake Nicaragua.
At end of trip, we are going to add-on of 2 day “relaxation” (then returning July 4): e
through a visit to the Island of Ometepe, formed of 2 volcanoes in Lake Nicaragua and hike up the southernmost Volcano covered in tropical rainforest, with the echoes of the monkeys screeching at each other, and down into the crater at the top …at the end, by ropes to the lagoon at the top, called “Ojo de Dios (the eye of God)… imagine Jurassic Park,.(Michael has to figure out an exact cost, but thinks we could do the add-on for $100. per person.)
Communications: Being busy and then in a rural setting, we may not be easy to reach. We will make sure all the participants e-mail home news of our safe arrival. Where there is cell service, Michael will have a cell phone and that can be reached or can call to the U.S. in an emergency.
Medical precautions: Check with your healthcare provider. Michael has known doctors who say for a short visit, no special treatment was necessary; He have also known doctors who want their patients to take an anti-malarial drug and a typhoid vaccine prior to leaving. Otherwise, your immunizations should all be current (tetanus is the one that usually needs to be renewed).
It is also wise to get a prescription filled for and bring along Cipro as well as over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications.
Passports: U.S. citizens do not need a visa prior to entering Nicaragua. There is a $5. admission charge. Anyone traveling on another nation’s passport, we will need to check. Marjorie reports that to travel, one’s passport has to expire longer than 6 month after the date of the trip.
Payment: We need to begin receiving half payment for CEPAD ($360) as deposits/commitments to going.
We also need to make our flight reservations; Marjorie has been watching airfares and we expect that we will make reservations in March.
The remainder of the money will be due shortly before we leave for Nicaragua, let’s say in early June.
If you need further information, or have more questions, please speak to Michael.