||TRAVEL TO LEARN
SPANISH – ECOADVENTURE – HEALTH
on Mombacho Volcano
near Playa Roca
and run by educators
| TRIP DETAILS
Included: Accommodations, 3 Meals/ Day, Transportation,
Spanish Classes, Volunteer Activities, Entrance/Excursion Fees, Trips, Laundry Service
Not included: Round Trip Airfare, International
Travel/Medical Insurance, Passport Fees, Airport Tax
THE PROGRAM | FAQs | Itinerary | Partners | Why
NicaVenturaHS offers an all-inclusive
international learning experience providing eco-adventure and historical
tours, an authentic Spanish language and cultural immersion program,
volunteer opportunities and diversity training, created and run by certified public school teachers.
While schools attempt to prepare students for a "global economy" on
a local campus, students who Travel To Learn get first hand
language-rich experiences through meaningful activities which give
them a sense of accomplishment and positive self-worth. While students are immersed in the Spanish language and Latin American culture,
they will learn about history and geography, social and economic justice
issues, environmental issues and experience the power of helping others
through service. Created by experienced teachers, this program fosters
a learning environment at all times.
If you would like to receive an application packet, please contact Travel to Learn.
A Travel to Learn experience is unique for many reasons.
- We are experienced
K-12 teachers who understand the relevance of international
travel and how it relates to becoming globally-minded.
- We have developed
the Four Areas of Focus (see below) and incorporate
them into all of our programs in order to maximize the educational
have extensive educational travel experience with students, including programs in Arizona, Montana, Canada, Mexico and Nicaragua.
- We have led
diversity trainings for large groups of students, teachers and
counselors in an outdoor retreat setting.
- Our adult to student ratio is 1 to 5 or better and we take no more than 10 students per trip.
- Our full itinerary focuses on language immersion, cultural/historical tours, and making connections with local Nicaraguans.
- Our Program Leaders and Chaperones are fluent Spanish
- Students are under Program Leader and Chaperone supervision 24 hours a day.
- Students who Travel To Learn have fun,
life-changing experiences and become motivated to continue their
quest for knowledge as they go on to college.
THE FOUR AREAS OF FOCUS
Students participate in a 6-hour training
prior to their travel abroad. This training covers social justice and
prejudice issues to help participants deal with their own internalized
biases. Listening strategies, team-building and other interpersonal skills
will be developed, enhancing the travel experience.
It is important to offer activities that keep in mind
the fragile environment while giving participants an opportunity to
learn how to experience it naturally. It is for this reason that we
participate only in eco-adventures and collaborate with official Nicarguan eco-tourist
companies and give participants plenty of opportunities to learn about the incredible ecosystem.
It is widely known that the best way to learn a language is
to experience it. Formal Spanish class sizes range from one to four students per instructor. The Program Leaders and Chaperones
are fully bilingual and support Spanish immersion/instruction throughout the entire trip.
Tour Guides are Spanish speakers as well, allowing students
to practice their Spanish in an immersion setting. Students are supported 24-hours a day with Spanish language and encouraged to use it whenever possible.
Volunteer work gives students something to be proud of
as well as an opportunity to connect with locals on a more personal
Universities understand the value of volunteer work and look for applicants
who have given time in service of others. Additionally, volunteer work allows
participants to develop relationships with locals and this can sometimes
be on the most rewarding experiences of a trip. We work closely with Casa Xalteva to guide us to meaningful projects. Typically this involves working with children. Every trip is different and your Program Leader will share with you the opportunities available on your trip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can participate?
school student can participate as long as he/she is 15 years old by
the first day of the trip. Travel To Learn will
accept participants regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion,
income, or national origin and has no affiliation with any branch of
government, political party, or interest group.
I'm a teacher. Can I take my students?
Yes, you can take your students. Our proram is based on your enthusiasm and the ability to attract quality students. Contact Carlos for details.
I'm a teacher. How can I chaperone?
In order to become a Trip Chaperon you must be fluent in both English and Spanish. Chaperones receive stipends and can also get their trips payed for.
Why do volunteer work?
of life in Nicaragua is considerably lower than in the United States.
In fact, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
Participating in volunteer work is an opportunity to help others less
fortunate and it gives volunteers a feeling of pride. Volunteer work
isn't a new concept but the idea is starting to reach more people.
In fact, volunteer
vacations are becoming more popular
as evidenced by this news clip.
Do I have to speak Spanish to go on this trip?
not you have taken Spanish, you can participate in the program. However,
having previously taken Spanish will increase your access to Nicaraguans
and their culture. Remember, language is inseparable from culture so
the more Spanish you know, the more you will get out of your experience.
Who is going to teach me Spanish?
Instructors: We collaborate with Casa
Xalteva, a language
school located in Granada. The average class size at Casa Xalteva is
between 2-4 students and it is leveled. Before going to Nicaragua you
will take a Spanish exam so that we can place you in the proper level.
The instructors are all native Spanish speakers from Nicaragua so they will be able to share
their knowledge with you. Another reason we chose to collaborate with
Casa Xalteva is because they house children whose families
can't take care of them. Travel To Learn tries to support local agencies
and businesses, especially if they are working to help the underprivileged. Each trip is unique but there are usually opportunities to create relationships with some of the students living at Casa Xalteva.
You must also decide to practice your Spanish outside of class. Most
tours will be in Spanish and most artisans working in the market place
don't speak English so you'll have to immerse yourself. Participants
who practice their Spanish, regardless of fluency, learn more from
the locals and get more from their travel experience.
Program Guides and Chaperones: Each Guide and Chaperone speaks
Spanish and they will support you as you use your Spanish throughout
the trip. Of course, they are also available to fall back on if you
need to use English.
Where will I sleep?
you will stay at a hostel or hotel in town. Accomodations are modest but hostels are chosen for their cleanliness, comfort, and safety. You may share a room with other students in your group and you may have a private double. It is not uncommon to have shared facitlities. Rooms have fans, sheets, towels, etc. Males and females will be in separate living
contains 7% of the world's bio diversity and the second largest rainforest
in the Americas. Close to 20% of the country's territory is protected
as national parks or biological reserves. The country is mostly famous
for its landscapes, flora and fauna, culture, beaches and of course,
its lakes and volcanoes. According to the Ministry of Tourism of Nicaragua,
the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua is the preferred spot for tourists.
It is also home to the second largest lake in Latin America. Other
main tourist attractions near Granada are the city of Masaya, the volcano
island of Ometepe and Mombacho Volcano. It is in this colonial town
of Granada that participants will spend their first week receiving
the majority of their Spanish classes.
local slang for Nicaraguans) are wonderful people. They are very welcoming,
very proud of their culture and very willing to share cultural views
Is Nicaragua safe?
is safe. Statistics show that it is safer than Washington DC or Costa
Click here for safety information
in your child
International travel programs may seem expensive. I challenge you to find other educational programs that place such an emphasis on languge immersion, diversity training, volunteer work, and ecotourism. Then, I challenge you to find one with the prices we offer for a 15 day trip.
Think about the
things that many people already spend money on and consider the value
of these items compared to an experience that will change your child's
Cell Phone = $500/year
Shoes = $120
Laptop = $500-100
lasts two years
last 2 years
lasts 3 years
A Travel to Learn Experience = Priceless and lasts a Lifetime!
Granada (Days 1-8)
This week will be spent in Granada,
located next to Cocibolca Lake, the second
largest lake in Latin America consisting of 300 small islands or isletas.
Volunteer work will be scheduled for each trip idividually as opportunities constantly change. Group reflections are a time for studenst to process their experiences, share concerns, and talk about what they have learned. There will be time put aside so that students can get help on their Spanish homework as well.
Monday - Friday: 8am-Noon, Formal Spanish classes at Casa Xalteva
Ometepe Island (Day
is located on Lake Cocibolca just off the mainland port of
San Jorge and it's home to two volcanoes, Concepción
and Madera. We will stay in a hostel next to Charco Verde,
a natural reserve, take a guided hike around the lagoon,
learn about the organic farming and sustainable patricides
taking place here. Charco Verde continues to be a leader in
sustainable practices, giving us a first-hand opportunity to
learn about how this is accomplished on an island.
Juan del Sur, Pacific Coast (Days 11-13)
San Juan del Sur is a perfect place to complete your 14-day
excursion. Right on the ocean, San Juan del Sur boasts some of the
best surfing around.
Mornings: Informal Spanish Instruction by Program Leader and Chaperone
Local Trips: Boat Ride of Tropical Coastline, Majagual Surf Beach, Swim, Boogie Board
Granada (Day 13-16)
The group returns to Granada to do our volunteer work and to spend the day on our own private island with a pool, kayaks, chef, and a private boat tour of the isletas (islands on Lago Cocibolca).
The Program | FAQs | Itinerary | PARTNERS
Travel To Learn collaborates with organizations
that protect the natural environment through tourism or sustainable
building and that keep in mind community resources by hiring local
labor and by giving back to the it.
Spanish Language School is a program of Fundación Casa Xalteva, a non-profit
educational and charitable foundation chartered by the Nicaraguan Ministry
of Education. In addition to providing high-quality Spanish instruction,
our purpose is to promote international and intercultural awareness and cooperation
among all peoples. Our Spanish Language School in Granada Nicaragua welcomes
students of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Working with Nicaraguans
from a variety of backgrounds, we hope to share awareness of the Spanish language
and the rich culture of Nicaragua with people from North America, Europe, Asia,
and other parts of the world. Through our volunteer social service programs we
hope also to contribute something back to help improve the lives of our Nicaraguan
hosts. The foundation also raises funds for a variety of programs to help alleviate
the poverty in Nicaragua, including social services for children.
Spanish language school is an independent center with no formal political or
religious affiliations. However, we operate with a set of values that forms our
approach to teaching and learning. These values include a respect for all individuals
and cultures; an environmentally-sound development and grassroots democracy;
support for peace and social justice; and a strong belief in the spiritual
dimension of human existence and harmony with the natural world.
takes its name from one of the groups of indigenous people
who inhabited the shores of Lake Nicaragua before the Spanish conquest.