Image

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

Short Term Missions FAQs

How much will my trip cost?

Trip costs vary depending on factors such as airfare and the type of work your group will be doing. Team leaders provide this information during orientation so you know how much it will cost you to participate on a short term mission trip to Nicaragua. Typically, the trip cost includes airfare, lodging, meals, translators, and some insurance coverage.

What travel documents do I need to enter Nicaragua?

A valid passport is required to enter Nicaragua. If you do not currently have a passport, one must be obtained no later than your first training session. If you currently have a passport, it must be valid (not expired) within 6 months prior to the trip departure date.

For information on obtaining a passport, visit the US Department of State website.

You will also need $10.00 US in cash for a tourist card upon entrance to Nicaragua.

What vaccinations will I need to travel to Nicaragua?

No vaccinations are required for Nicaragua, however a current tetanus shot and anti-malaria medicine is recommended. Typhoid and Hepatitis vaccinations are also encouraged.

For more information about vaccinations for Central America, go to the Centers for Disease Control website here and navigate to information specific for Nicaragua.

What can I expect on my mission trip?

We have established a long-term relationship with three wonderful men of God, in and around Managua, Nicaragua. Each of these men serves as pastor of at least one church and as Administrator of a Christian School. One pastor’s ministry also includes administration of a children’s home.

Many of the Nicaragua trips are focused mainly on construction and or expansion of the schools, churches, nearby homes, or the children’s home. These trips present ministry opportunities other than construction, however. Additional ministry opportunities include, but are not limited to, children’s ministry, youth sports programs, and special needs programs. Your team leaders will work closely with the Nicaragua Resource Network to determine which activities best suit your group and where you will placed to serve.

Can you tell me a little about the setting, or culture of Nicaragua?

The people of Nicaragua have experienced natural disasters and war throughout most of their history. Yet they are resilient, friendly people, and their faith and joy in the Lord are apparent as we worship and minister together. Teams work in areas of extreme poverty where the needs are many. We continue to witness a true difference being made in lives as children are fed and educated – and we are given a true opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty which they have seen their whole lives.

Food and lodging accommodations for the teams are at La Quinta, which provides a comfortable setting for the briefing and de-briefing each day. Ground transportation is provided by vans and buses for our use. The weather is hot year-round. The people speak Spanish and translators on the leadership team will help you to communicate with the people you meet. Building of long-term friendships with families and sponsorship of children occur often and are encouraged.

What is the official language of Nicaragua?

The official language spoken in Nicaragua is Spanish.

What are the average temperatures of Nicaragua?

The area between the lakes and the Pacific Ocean is dry and has little precipitation. The temperatures vary between 81F and 90F in the rainy season from May to October, and between 86F and 95F in the dry season from November to April.

Can I use my hair dryer?

The electrical voltage of outlets in Nicaragua is 110V. But you may just be hot enough to pass on using the hair dryer.

Sponsorship FAQs

Is this a financial-only sponsorship?

Your minimum commitment is for financial support over a 12-month period. It is the hope of NRN that your sponsorship develops into a deeper relationship, that you would pray for your student, just as you would your own children. Pray for your student's salvation, for their physical and material needs to be met, for their success in school, and for the health and safety of their family members. Perhaps one day you will have the joy of meeting your student by visiting Nicaragua with one of the many NRN teams that go each year to serve.

What does my sponsorship provide for my student?

Your contributions will pay for a student’s uniforms, shoes, backpack, school supplies, tuition and books. NRN is a completely volunteer organization, you can be certain that every sponsorship dollar (100% of your donations) goes to benefit your student. NRN pays no salaries, rents no office space and has no overhead costs.

Does my sponsorship automatically renew after 12 months?

YES. We hope that the relationship that develops over the next year will inspire you to continue your support. Your sponsorship will continue until you notify us that you wish to discontinue. Alternately, if no payment is received, we will make your student available for sponsorship again, but not before we attempt to contact you and determine your wishes. If you need to change your status or contact information, please let your sponsorship coordinator know by email, as soon as possible. We cannot emphasize enough what your sponsorship means to the children and to us at NRN. NRN likens it to the way the heavens rejoice when a name is added to the book of life. You are a significant source of hope and encouragement to the children and their families.

I keep hearing about gifts. Where and when do I send them?

You are not obligated to send any gifts to your sponsored student, but you may do so as often as you wish. Since most of our students live in areas without street names or house numbers, and since there is no postal system to these residential areas, anything you send will be hand delivered by NRN volunteers. There are numerous NRN teams and volunteers traveling to Nicaragua throughout the year. You may send gifts and letters at any time to:

Nicaragua Resource Network
16162 Carey Road
Westfield, IN 46074

Please make sure your card/letter/gift is clearly marked with the FULL NAME of the student you sponsor as well as the name of the school he/she attends. Volunteers will process the incoming mail and deliver it to the next NRN missionary group traveling to Nicaragua from the U.S, and that group will carry it in their luggage; NRN volunteers in Nicaragua will personally deliver all items to the children. For these reasons, please keep in mind that if you intend to send a birthday card, or a gift for a specific occasion (Christmas, graduation, etc), that you should plan well in advance. A good rule of thumb is to mail it to NRN eight weeks in advance of the time you hope for it to be received.

What can I send?

Cards, letters, photos, small amounts of cash (up to $20, which goes a long way in Nicaragua), toiletries such as shampoo, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, hard candy (no chocolate – it melts!) and age-appropriate gifts. For school-age children, arts and crafts supplies, games that do not require English skill or batteries, Spanish-language children's books, hair accessories and nail polish. Older students may prefer Spanish-language books or Bible, jewelry or watch, school supplies such as calculators, memory sticks/flash drives to use on the computers at school, and similar items. As you get to know your student through letters, you can provide for more specific needs: clothing, shoes, specific requests for birthday gifts, etc. Most of the children really want to know about their sponsor's family, school, work, church, home, and all of the usual details you share with someone you're getting to know. They love to have photos of you and your family, and will display them prominently in their homes.

Please be sensitive in the details that you share when you write, or with the photos that you send, taking into consideration that these are children who live in poverty, with daily uncertainty about whether or not there will be food at home, whether their parents will have work or not, etc. Please place as little emphasis as possible on material possessions.

What if I don't know Spanish?

If you do not have someone to translate your letter from English to Spanish, NRN will be glad to do it; please do not seal the envelope containing the letter to be translated, and one of our volunteers will translate the letter before it is delivered. You can also expect to have letters that your student sends to you translated to English before you receive them.

We do NOT recommend the use of online translating services; we have seen disastrous results when folks have opted to translate online. We hope to avoid major misunderstandings by having accurate translations of all communication between students and sponsors.

Will my student write back?

There is no guarantee that you will receive mail from your sponsored child, especially if they are younger. NRN does not require or force students to write letters, but most students do respond to overtures from their sponsors. Very few of the students have any English language ability, so most likely they will write in Spanish (we will provide a translation.) You can request in your letters that someone in the family help your student to write back, but keep in mind that many of our families are illiterate or only able to write at an elementary level; they may be hesitant or self-conscious or have no paper or have a host of other reasons not to write. Letters written by students (or their family members) come back in a similar fashion as those that go to Nicaragua, so expect long delays in intervals between correspondences.

I don't know my student's birth date or grade in school. How can I find out?

Usually when you sign up to sponsor a student, you will be provided with that student’s full name, grade in school, and birth date (if the school has it.) There are some children in Nicaragua that do not even have birth certificates, so sometimes it takes time to establish the child’s date of birth for our records. If you have a specific question, please email the contact person (volunteer) that serves the school your student attends, and they will make every effort to get the information that you need. Questions that require a response from Nicaragua will naturally take longer to answer.

Do the schools in Nicaragua have the same schedule as schools in the USA?

NO. The Nicaraguan school year begins the first of February; semester break is the end of June, and the school year ends the first week of December. There are graduations at that time for both primary and secondary school students. Primary school consists of preschool through sixth grade; there is no middle school or junior high. Secondary school takes 5 years to complete. The students have “summer break” from early December through the end of January.