Volunteer Project Manager

Altagracia, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
Housing, wifi, and travel insurance provided
Apr 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018
Job Level
Entry level
Employment Type
Temporary / Seasonal, Volunteer
Salary Type

Volunteer position with housing provided on a tropical island: Seeking individual or couple to manage a conservation and education project on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.

The Organization:
Guias Unidos is a project of Earth Island Institute, a fiscal sponsor for environmental projects. Our mission is to inspire community-based, conservation-minded tourism by unifying local and international expertise and resources. We are working on community education, guide training, and conservation projects across Ometepe Island. Guías Unidos is a new project run by a couple of National Park Rangers in the USA. During our off season in the winter, we partner with tour guides and educators in Nicaragua, running a volunteer program for seasonal rangers. During the summer months we work in the USA and need help running the Nicaragua program. For more information, visit www.guiasunidos.org.

The Location:
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Ometepe Island abounds with natural resources currently threatened by development and poverty. The local community is eager to engage in conservation and environmental education. Our office and Resource Center is in Altagracia, a central transportation hub for the island. Known as Nicaragua’s “Oasis of Peace,” Ometepe offers cloud-forest-capped volcanoes, petroglyphs, tropical dry hardwood forests, freshwater beaches, crystal clear mineral springs, and it’s just a few hours by bus and ferry to the Pacific Ocean and Costa Rica.  

The Position:
Volunteer manager(s) will operate the Resource Center’s library and help with project needs while caretaking for the house and yard. There are opportunities to work on conservation and education projects with our local group of tour guides, including the possibility of developing your own project. We are looking for someone who is reliable and can work independently. Two people may share the work, but must cover the organization’s cost of insuring and administering an additional person ($160/month/person). You must cover your own travel and personal expenses.

  • Desired time frame is May-September of 2018 with flexibility depending on availability, but you should be able to stay at least 2.5 months. The standard, 3-month tourist visa can be renewed for a longer stay.
  • Housing at the resource center includes an office area with WIFI, bathroom, kitchen with gas stove and refrigerator, a separately-keyed bedroom, and bountiful garden for you to care for and use.
  • Food is very affordable. Staples such as tomatoes, onions, and dry rice and beans all cost around $0.50 per pound. The garden supplies specialty foods (herbs, fruits, and healthy greens) with room to grow your own crops. Restaurants and markets are located just blocks away from the resource center. A full meal with drink is typically $2-$3 at a local eatery, and $4-$7 at a restaurant.  
  • We provide international health and evacuation insurance that will augment your existing health insurance policy (You must have your own primary health insurance coverage).
  • It’s a great way to get experience in ecotourism, to improve your Spanish fluency, to connect with people around the world, and to develop your own project management experience.

Project responsibilities:

  • Keeping the Resource Center staffed on a set schedule, 3 days per week
  • Providing accurate and courteous information to local and international visitors
  • Performing maintenance around the Center and garden
  • Managing finances
  • Communicating with partner organizations
  • Organizing work parties and educational programs
  • Independently responding to needs and emergencies as they arise
  • Communicating via phone and internet with project directors


  • Conversational fluency in Spanish and English
  • Reliable, self-directed worker(s)
  • Basic computer and office software experience

Desired skills/experience – any of these would be a plus!

  • International living experience or cultural understanding
  • Student, or holding a degree in relevant field
  • Solid knowledge of natural sciences, such as birding/botany/zoology/geology/volcanology
  • Outdoor/environmental education experience
  • GIS/mapping experience
  • Nonprofit management/Grant writing/fundraising experience
  • First responder certification (certified to train others is a plus)
  • Trail crew/trail maintenance experience
  • Experience in interpretation/guiding
  • Gardening/permaculture/agriculture experience
  • Construction or “handyman” skills

Send cover letter, resume, and references to Kate Zylland at guiasunidosnicaragua@gmail.com. Please put “Nicaragua volunteer project manager application” in the subject line. Please include the dates you are available.