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 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!


Andrea & Samuel, November 2012

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Rain causes tragic mudslide last night in Managua

18 de mayo

Last night, it started to rain pretty heavily around 7pm in Managua. While I was at a friend’s house, safe and dry save for a small crack in the ceiling, a few blocks away the neighborhood 8 de mayo was completely unaware of what would soon happen. The neighborhood is a poorer neighborhood in Managua, separated from the neighboring gated residence Lomas de Valle by a large cement retaining wall. With all of the rain, the wall collapsed and fell onto 3 houses in the 8 de mayo neighborhood, burying alive the families inside. Rescue workers labored all night and we able to save 2 children, while another 9 people (between ages 2 and 50) died.

Some say that the families were told the area was unsafe and to leave, but those families obviously did not have the resources to just pick up and move. The father of the 2 rescued girls says that he went to the city to complain once before, because he saw that he the wall was beginning to fall apart.

Whatever the situation was, this was a horrible tragedy that could have been prevented. When awful things happen like this, it gives me a terrible sense of helplessness. Why did this happen? Why were these families living in an unsafe area? It makes me want to call my loved ones and be grateful, BUT more than that it makes me pretty angry and upset that these families weren’t protected. HOW can we work to prevent this from happening again? At least for the moment, we can be sure that all Managuan residents have their eyes and ears on the government, waiting and demanding for something to change.

Until then, please say a prayer for the nine people who lost their lives last night.


-Erika C.

photo credit to the newspaper el nuevo diario.

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