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.

Other activities Kelsey and Erika are involved in include:

– Updating this blog and the Center’s Facebook page, taking pictures and writing articles to keep friends and supporters in the U.S. updated on current events in Nicaragua, the Center, and our experiences as volunteers

-Accompanying weekly women’s focus groups with a psychologist from the Center

-Participating and offering logistical support in the Youth Violence Prevention Network

– Leading bi-monthly Tai Chi sessions and other self-care activities for staff

-Organizing educational activities about environmental sustainability with kids and adolescents

-Interviewing over 200 scholarship students each year (January-April) and making student profiles to send to donors through Project Education

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

-Participating in Friday morning volunteer reflection/meditation

– Being involved in community activities and classes, including Latin rhythms dance class, monthly community forums on violence prevention, 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, 2015.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Kelsey & Erika, November 2014

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Countdown to the New Volunteers Begins!

With only 6 weeks left here at the Center, we have been busily preparing for the arrival of the 5th generation of Batahola Volunteers! They will arrive in August for Spanish school and a few weeks of orientation with us here at the Center. We thought we’d give you a little information so that you can get to know them!


Clare is a 24 year old from Vashon Island, Washington. She studied Law, Societies and Justice at the University of Washington. After graduating, she spent a year serving as a Jesuit Volunteer at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Eastern Washington. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new places, reading, listening to music, going for hikes, and playing ukulele. Her friends describe her as a friendly, open, passionate, caring, and a good listener. Clare first travelled to Nicaragua on a summer exchange in high school, and is very excited to return to work at the Centro Cutlural Batahola Norte! She is looking forward to participating in the Center’s violence prevention initiatives and expanding her understanding of popular education through teaching English classes. She can’t wait to eat some more fried plantains and Gallo pinto and to get to know the surrounding community when she arrives.


Natasha is from Arlington Heights, Illinois. She just graduated from Marquette University where she studied International Affairs with a focus in International Economic Relations and Spanish. She spent a semester studying abroad in Santiago, Chile and has also taken weeklong trips through a program called Applied Global Business Learning to the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. She has experience working with women in leadership and microfinance and some of her main interests are immigration, economic development as well as women’s rights and empowerment. She also volunteered for a summer teaching English as an Empowering Latinos Mentor. Natasha played the flute and sang in the choir in high school and she has continued singing in her church choir. Her friends describe her as extroverted, funny and expressive. Her hobbies are doing yoga, dancing, Zumba, listening to music and spending time with friends. In the future she would like to work in non-profit fundraising, but for now she’s excited to meet everyone at the Center and jump right into life in Batahola.

We want to welcome Clare and Natasha to the Batahola friends, so if you want to drop them a line during their time of transition I’m sure they would appreciate it. You can contact Clare at and Natasha at

Bienvenidas chicas! We’re excited to see you in two and a half weeks!

-Kelsey & Erika

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