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Friends of Batahola Volunteers (FOBV) is searching for volunteers to accompany the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte for two years beginning in the summer of 2015!

Our program brings two young people from the US to live live in community and work in the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte (CCBN) in Managua, Nicaragua. Volunteers accompany the CCBN in its mission to empower individuals, especially women and youth, for social transformation through holistic education and artistic formation.

What is the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte?

The Centro Cultural Batahola Norte (CCBN) was founded in 1983 by Sister Margie Navarro and Fr. Ángel Torrellas during the Contra War in Nicaragua.  The CCBN offers certified technical courses, arts programs, violence prevention programs, scholarships, and a community library. Over 1,000 students enroll in 20 courses every year.

Our Mission:

Friends of Batahola Volunteers is a program that brings two young people from the U.S. to live and work in Nicaragua for two years. Volunteers seek to accompany the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte in its mission of empowering women and youth for social transformation. Volunteers dedicate themselves to the development of their spirituality and social consciousness through their community life.

Our Values:

Accompaniment: Batahola Volunteers strive to live and work in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people by opening themselves to listening, learning, and sharing with community members.

Social Justice: As collaborators with the CCBN, Batahola Volunteers become a part of the action-reflection cycle that leads to social change.  We support the CCBN’s initiatives of women and youth empowerment, while endeavoring to lead a simple, sustainable lifestyle.

Spirituality: Batahola Volunteers seek to share and explore spirituality together and with the larger community through participating in local faith gatherings, self-led reflection, and retreats.

What do we do?

Batahola Volunteers co-teach the adult English class and respond directly to other needs expressed by the CCBN, according to the individual volunteer’s skills and interests.

Some of the projects Sam and Andrea are involved in include:

- Taking part in the continuing formation of the 2-year volunteer program

- Updating this blog and writing articles to keep friends and supporters in the U.S. updated on current events in Nicaragua, the Center, and our experiences as volunteer

- Facilitating an art class for adolescents in a violence-prevention program, in an outreach project of the CCBN

- Facilitating formation workshops for scholarship students

- Coordinating youth trips to a local farm school

- Participant in the CCBN’s “revolving fund” administrative team

- Leading bi-monthly Taize-style reflection spaces for staff

- Leading monthly creative workshops for kids

- Orienting short-term volunteers and translating for delegations to the CCBN

- Being involved in community activities and classes, including orchestra, movie nights, weekly Mass, etc.

Who supports us?

Friends of Batahola Volunteers is supported by two organizations: Volunteer Missionary Movement and Friends of Batahola.

Volunteer Missionary Movement is an ecumenical Christian nonprofit organization that provides volunteers with:

 - Medical and life insurance, including 3 months of medical insurance after completion of service

- Monthly stipend

- Pre-departure orientation

- Visa expenses

- Spanish language training

- Annual retreats with other volunteers in Central America

- Re-entry stipend upon completion of service

Friends of Batahola, a not-for-profit organization that provides resources for the growth and sustenance of the Cultural Center Batahola Norte, also supports volunteers, paying rent for the volunteer house (located adjacent to the CCBN) and helping volunteers with various program costs.

Who We Are Looking For:

Two highly motivated young people committed to learning about and participating in social change for two years in Nicaragua!

Friends of Batahola Volunteers (FOBV) welcomes women and men of all ethnic origins, gender, economic status, and sexual orientations.

Applicants should:

- Be age 21 or older

- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

- Be willing to live in two-person intentional community

- Be in good physical and psychological health

- Have no dependents

Batahola volunteers also have:

- Experience of at least 3 consecutive months living abroad, with a strong preference for those with experience in Latin America.

- Actively connected to a Christian community and in accordance with the values of Volunteer Missionary Movement and the CCBN

- At least intermediate proficiency in Spanish

The Centro Cultural Batahola Norte is an exciting and dynamic work environment. We encourage applications from candidates who can work well independently as well as collaboratively, are flexible, and have a strong commitment to social justice and their own personal growth.

How to Apply:

Send a letter of interest and your résumé to bataholavolunteers@gmail.com. Feel free to e-mail us with any questions throughout the process!

After reviewing these documents we’ll send you an application.

Follow-up Skype or phone interviews will be conducted in English and Spanish with eligible candidates.

We will be receiving applications until February 28th, 2013.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Paz,

Andrea & Samuel, November 2012

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Recent Posts

Tremors, Kittens and Mountains: Semana Santa 2014

Semana Santa in Nicaragua is like a combination of Easter and Spring break in the U.S. Most people who work got vacation from Thursday through Sunday, but for us here at the Center we got the whole week off. Semana Santa is a prime time for tourism since many people head to beaches, lakes or rivers with their families. And after living in Managua in the dry heat of April I understand why people seek out some water. Semana Santa is typically one of the hottest weeks of the year, and to prove it you see many people putting up inflatable pools on their front porch to bear the heat. For some who don’t like the beach or can’t afford it, this is the best alternative, and Erika and I will attest to that! One day our neighbor Doña Amanda invited us to come test their pool out so we spent the afternoon relaxing in the cool water and enjoying Semana Santa Batahola style.

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Unfortunately this year instead of heading to the beach or visiting family, most people were forced to stay at home and camp out on their patios waiting for an earthquake. After a 6.2 magnitude earthquake originating in Lake Managua on Thursday April 10th, over 1,000 aftershocks followed which slowly died off only to build up in intensity again on Sunday. Managua sits on 16 fault lines and is also surrounded by various volcanos which makes it susceptible to destruction. These tremors put Managua on Red Alert, the maximum precaution for earthquakes, especially after news that the same fault line was activated that set off the earthquake of ’72 which killed over 10,000 people and destroyed most of the city, some of which has still not been rebuilt. Rightfully so, many people wanted to be near their families and taking all precautions necessary to stay safe. Luckily no damage was done at our house or the Center, but we were left feeling a bit shaken both physically and emotionally. And as you can see we camped out on our porch a few nights with an emergency bag packed and the door left open. Even though it was kind of fun sleeping outside, it’s safe to say that the majority of Managua hasn’t gotten much sleep in the last week.

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The very same night of the excitement and stress of the tremors we woke up to another suprise…kittens! Our cat Lola, who we adopted after she had been abandoned on the doorstep of another volunteer house, got pregnant besides our best intentions to get her fixed. But none the less we now are grandmothers to four new baby kittens. Two have yet to be claimed, so give us a shout out if you’re interested!

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To close our our Semana Santas Erika and I both got away to the Northern mountains for some time with friends in nature and away from hot and stressful Managua. Erika made her way to San Nicolas to visit our fellow volunteers Sara and David where she attests that they fed her very well (as usual), had an easter egg hunt with some of the children from the community, swam in a secret pool and attended Easter mass. She also arrived back in Mangua with some intricate braids which were done by the soon to be professional Sara Rich.

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I on the other hand made my way to Bosawas, a nature reserve located near the city of Matagalpa. Despite taking a full day of traveling to arrive after a series of events including busing, hitch hiking, a flat tire, more attempted hitch hiking and finally a taxi, it was definitely worth it. The reserve has 35 natural waterfalls and many other natural water springs which provide clean water to over 27,000 people. We camped out, hiked, swam in cold waterfalls, ate wonderful campo food and learned more about the organizations that work on the reserve. If you want to see more photos check out my Flickr at the bottom of the page.

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Abrazos,

Kelsey

 

Resources:

http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2014/04/11/ambito/190519-terremoto-alerta-roja

http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/04/14/panic-in-nicaragua-as-tremors-continue

 

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