The Peace Project is more than just a hostel nestled in the treetops of Laguna de Apoyo. All the proceeds help fund this amazing project and staying 2 nights here, I simply had to find out more about what my money was funding.
Education, environment and community are key here with education being the forefront of this NGO. Each ‘donation’ pays dividends to the local community. For the last few years they have been working with impoverished schools above the rim of the crater. Their scholarship program allows children here the opportunity to go to school. Just $300 a year on a sponsorship program allows a local professor to come here twice a week, and at present they are supporting 15 kids.
In the area of La Laguna, many children want a sponsorship. In private school children have to reach 80% of the grade to get onto the next year at school. For those who can’t afford private school, The Peace Project provides English, IT and art classes and is open for community help offering homework and tutoring 2-5 Monday to Friday.
Part of their mission is to become more sustainable and environmental and they organise field trips to the nearby cities of Leon and Granada. Every two years they organise the butterfly survey to help track species populations, as well as the fish which live in the lake. They’ve even held bat conferences.
They run so many projects such as first aid courses with Nicaraguan firemen and the National Park Science giving talks to the community. Shorter term projects include raking up dead leaves and diving in Hieloa.
What I love about this project is that they have thought of everything their community needs. Realising that the nearest doctor is one hour’s walk, they started a medical project with free consultations from two local doctors, making medical care more accessible to the local people. They give the locals food, offer them a place to sleep twice a month.
As Bernardo showed me around the project. a fourteen year old boy turned up called Jose. He had a wound that he came to get cleaned. Bernardo told me that Jose’s dad left him when he was younger and he now helps look after his two younger brothers who’s dad died. Next year Jose is hoping to get a scholarship. Hearing Jose’s story made me realise how important their work was within the community.
The Peace Project offers volunteering opportunities with the opportunity of at least 2/3 weeks working with the children. Volunteers have to be passionate about something that they can teach but you do need to know some Spanish. They are always on the look out for volunteers to support their projects. Click on the website to find out more.
All food here is organic from the organic garden which Bernardo happily showed me around.
You can buy various arts and crafts here with print designs created by Spartacus who started the art facility. The Peace Project also make their own paper made from Saber trees on the property. There really is enough here to keep you occupied during your stay and for those who want to learn diving, they offer PADI dive certifications with all the profits supporting the NGO.
If you are planning a trip to Laguna de Apoyo, please consider staying here. Not only is it right near the lake and offers free kayaks but you can feel good knowing that your money is helping someone just like Jose.