So we’ve arrived all safe and sound and ready to tackle whatever the next 10 weeks throws our way.

To document our journey we have all considered the reasons we have for being here, what we hope to achieve and our first impressions of our new home, so we can look back in our final week to see how far we’ve come.


I applied for ICS because I wanted to experience a completely different way of life to my own and to get a first-hand experience of how international development works for communities. From my experience so far I know that this is exactly what I’m going to get!

I hope to be able to play a small part in a big project, which will benefit the community of El Pochote in the long-term. In particular, I hope that our complementary work with the school will help to spread the seed of change in terms of the way the children think about and care for their environment.

From everyone I have spoken to, from my host family to the Nicaraguan volunteers we are working with, the overwhelming impression that I get is that the community is incredibly proud of its culture and traditions, and that both younger and older generations are working together to make sure that they are passed on to the next.


I want to work for an NGO or organisation who helps struggling and impoverished communities all over the world and make a difference in any way that I can. I felt like I needed first-hand experience - to meet the kind of people I am going to dedicate myself to and live in the community and see what NGO’s like Progressio can achieve. 

I hope to make a small difference to the people of El Pochote. I want to inspire the local volunteers to continue being active citizens in their local community - to spread positivity about issues such as human rights and mental health so that they, and future generations, can feel empowered and try to change their situation for the better. 

I love it here! It’s so full of life, there is music absolutely everywhere and the people are an incredibly friendly and welcoming bunch. Despite having very little to give, everyone is incredibly giving and generous and so eager to hear about our lives back home in England. Family is clearly incredibly important – along with traditions and a rather impressive amount of festivals. Bring on the next 9 weeks! 


I’ve wanted to do ICS for a long time, and now I’ve finally finished university, I’m hoping to put my degree into good use. At university I studied international development policy, and I’m hoping to learn more about the relationship between International NGOs like Progressio, and their impact in communities in the Global South.

From my short experience in Masaya thus far, I have noticed women seem to play a vital role in the household. As a feminist, I am looking forward to playing an active role in our women’s rights complimentary activity in El Pochote.

The minute I arrived I felt right at home. I was born in Nigeria, and Masaya instantly gave me the same feeling when I land at Lagos airport. I LOVE IT HERE. You can’t go a day without hearing music blasting from someone’s house/car/ or mobile phone. There’s even a party bus that goes around blasting music around the community! In the first week we arrived in Nicaragua, there wasn’t a day we didn’t dance! 


I hope that my time with ICS will give me firsthand experience of a development project in a local community where I can see the real benefits of the work we are doing. I also hope to get an authentic experience living in a developing country and to gain a better idea of what type of projects are needed in the communities so I can use this knowledge when I start a career in the charity sector.

During my time in Nicaragua I want to see the progression of the Eco Latrine project and leave knowing that we have made a difference to the people of El Pochote. I also want to be able to work on recycling and the environment that was started in the previous cycle and continue to build a more eco friendly community to preserve the environment in the area.

My first impressions of Nicaragua was how welcoming everyone in the country is. We were welcomed into the community and I immediately felt part of our host family. The national volunteers were eager to talk to us despite the language barrier which has forced everyone to practice their Spanish however good or bad it is!

Written by ICS volunteers - Beth Bradshaw, Abiola Oyewumi, Lucy Burdett and Clem Parker