Ometepe Bilingual School

see info below

Course Details


June 30 to July 17, 2018

18 Days

Departure City

Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport

Estimated tuition: $3645 – $3845 *
Estimated airfare: $750 *
* important details here

The costs and description for this course will be finalized by November 1, 2017

SStS partners with the Ometepe Bilingual School to build an eco-friendly classroom and deliver high-quality language instruction.
The SStS Nicaragua course primarily occurs in the small village of Merida on the scenic island of Ometepe.

Nicaragua is a nation of awe-inspiring natural beauty. It is also the second poorest nation in the western hemisphere where only 50% of children finish 5th grade. Amidst these difficult conditions, SStS’s non-profit partner, the Ometepe Bilingual School, aims to harness the natural splendor of this area to fulfill the need for higher quality bilingual education. Students will begin their Nicaraguan experience by spending a day in the colonial city of Granada in order to explore the rich history and culture of this nation. Then, they will travel to Ometepe to begin their project work. Because of its unique volcanic geography and ecological diversity, this island has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This designation has led more tourists to begin visiting the island. Despite the increased economic opportunities that tourism has created, access to quality education is still limited in this region. The Ometepe Bilingual School intends to change this reality.

While in Merida, the SStS group will support two different service projects. First, they will work with local skilled laborers and parent volunteers to construct a new classroom utilizing eco-bricks made from 6,000 plastic bottles that would have otherwise ended up in local landfills or Lake Nicaragua. SStS students will also use their English fluency to support language instruction at the school. Working in groups, SStS students will design and deliver engaging English lessons to elementary students. In addition, SStS students will participate in community events and walk the local students to and from school each day to get to know their families. While on Ometepe, the group will also have the opportunity to kayak in Lake Nicaragua, hike to a waterfall, and explore remote beaches. In this striking and unique island setting, the students will have ample opportunities to reflect upon what they have learned about global citizenship.

Course Elements

The course elements are based on a rating from 1 to 5, 1 being the least rigorous, 5 being the most rigorous.


The SStS students will spend time creating and delivering interactive lessons at the elementary school in addition to constructing a new classroom for the Ometepe Bilingual School that utilizes recycled plastic bottles.


Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (30 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and create presentations in small groups.


Because a majority of the course occurs in a rural agricultural village with few cars, the students will primarily walk or bike to visit sites near Merida. The group will also have the opportunity to explore various sites on the volcanic island of Ometepe on a couple lengthy day hikes.

Living Conditions60%

While at the rural project site, the students will live in simple dorm rooms at the Hacienda Merida, a hostel that uses its profits to support the school. While in Granada and Managua, they will also stay in hostels.

On the Move40%

After arriving in Managua, the group will drive for about an hour to Granada. After a couple days in Granada, they will travel several hours by van and boat to the island of Ometepe. Finally, they will return by boat and van to Managua on the final day of the course.


Students will spend two weeks at Hacienda Merida. Although students do not stay with individual families, opportunities exist each day to interact with the children at the school, their families, and the Nicaragua staff at the Hacienda.


After spending the first two days of the course in the small colonial city of Granada, the group will spend a majority of their time in Merida, a rural farming and fishing village on Ometepe, a sparsely populated island in Lake Nicaragua.

Element Descriptions


Day 1

Depart from Dallas, begin group orientation, evening in Rivas

Day 2

Travel to Ometepe, introduction to the project, Hacienda Merida, and the Ometepe Bilingual School

Day 3

Begin project work, visit students’ homes, kayak trip to Monkey Island

Days 4 - 7

Teaching and construction work with afternoon activities and cultural experiences

Day 8

Morning project work and afternoon community softball game

Day 9

Hikes in Charco Verde and Pena Inculta biological reserves, visit natural springs and Santo Domingo Beach

Days 10 - 14

Teaching and construction work with afternoon activities and cultural experiences

Day 15

Finish project work, cultural presentations by local teenagers, farewell dinner and celebration

Day 16

Closing activities and reflections, begin debrief

Day 17

Finish debrief, travel to Managua

Day 18

Return to Dalllas


: In Three Phases


the 5 Lenses Curriculum

Prior to departure, students are guided by their course instructors through a series of interactive, online lessons. Organized by SStS’s Five Lenses Curriculum, these activities (30 minutes per week) allow students to directly engage with other members of
the group.


partnering with ngos

The majority of the days at each site are spent engaged in meaningful service work with our NGO (non-governmental organization) partner. Days not dedicated to project work are spent immersed in intriguing cultural activities.


post travel advocacy

During the next school year, students educate others by advocating for our NGO partner through public presentations to the community at large and/or younger, school-based audiences.

Travel Journal

During the travel phase of each SStS course, students spend time reflecting about the learning that occurs through their immersion and service experiences. These posts capture the impact of our programs on individual students. Explore the posts below to learn about the SStS Nicaragua program from the important viewpoint of our students.

Explore Nicaragua

Important Details

Cost Information

Estimated tuition (students from members of the Global Schools Coalition): $3645
Estimated tuition (students not from members of the Global Schools Coalition): $3845
Estimated airfare: $750

SStS is in search of curious, compassionate, globally-minded students. Thus, we will do all that we can financially to support students who require assistance. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please indicate this on the application.

Please note, tuition does not include airfare and immunizations.
Tuition costs are all inclusive with the exception of personal expenditures (e.g. souvenirs).
Airfare and medical evacuation insurance are purchased as a group. The cost of this insurance is included in the tuition.
Talbot Travel Agency provides travel services for SStS, working personally with us to find the least expensive group fares. As a result, it is not possible to use airline miles or credit card benefits for the international flights. However, these can be used to purchase tickets to the gateway city.

Travel Expectations
Please note that we expect all participants to travel together, adhering to the identical itinerary. We will depart the United States as a group from a gateway city. Exemptions may be made for international students. Additionally, travel in the developing world inevitably includes “the unexpected” (e.g. weather disruptions, transportation strikes, etc.). SStS will adjust the itinerary accordingly, making the best of uncontrollable situations. Due to the unknown variables in international travel, participants are asked not to make travel plans or to enroll in programs that start immediately after their return. SStS is not responsible for expenses incurred due to missed flights if the group is delayed in their return.

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