We’re coming to the end of our third week here in El Bramadero and you may be wondering what we’ve been up to since we arrived. Now that we’ve acclimatised and settled into our daily routines we thought it was about time we talk you through a typical day in the life of a Progressio volunteer. 

6:00am (or in some cases much earlier) - It’s a very early start to the day with the cockerels waking us up at the crack of dawn. Once the chickens have set off the dogs and pigs, there’s a whole chorus of animal noises. If we’re lucky enough not to be awoken by the animals, the sounds of our host family chopping wood, making tortilla’s and the neighbour’s early morning party music will be sure to get us up instead. Or if we’re particularly unfortunate we might be woken up at some ungodly hour by the sound of pigs being castrated outside the bedroom door. In short there’s very little chance of having a lie in here.

6:20am - Inspect any new mosquito bites. 

6:30am - Take a trip to the latrine while batting any stray flies away and hope that our stomachs aren’t playing up. 

7:00am - After a ‘refreshing’ bucket shower we’re definitely feeling more awake and ready for the first hearty meal of the day, probably consisting of Nicaragua’s famous delicacy ‘gallo pinto’ (rice and beans).

8:00am - Walk the 30-minute uphill struggle to Daraylí, the next village, which is sure to get our blood flowing and sweat glands working. 

9:00am - Next we get our brains in gear for some serious Spanish lessons. 

10:30am - Once we feel like we can’t take in any more new lingo, we don our boots and bandanas, because it’s time to get down and dirty and begin constructing eco-stoves.

12:00pm - Lunch can’t come soon enough. 

13:00pm - Then it’s on to an afternoon of planning and preparing events and activities, cleaning the local park and river or working on the vegetable patch. 

15:30pm - Take a break with a fun workshop. Zumba and limbo anyone?

17:00pm - After a hard day’s work it’s back down the hill and time to tuck into, you can guess it, gallo pinto, tortilla and if we’re lucky maybe some fried plantain. 

19:00pm - If we’ve got enough energy after all of that there’s always a pile of washing that needs some serious finger scrubbing to get clean.

19:30pm - There’s just about time for cards, a bit of yoga to stretch out our weary muscles, or we take the opportunity to relax in the hammocks.

21:00pm - It’s time to cover ourselves in insect repellent to try and prevent those pesky mosquitoes from biting us to shreds overnight and to inspect our rooms for any unwanted animal guests. There’s nothing worse than killing a huge spider just before bed only for hundreds of tiny spiders to burst out of it on impact and to still be finding baby spiders days later. 

21:30pm - We hit the hay pretty early to get our much needed beauty sleep and then it’s time to wake up and do it all again…

Written by ICS volunteer Rachel Cole