Many frequently asked questions involve living expenses. The fact of the matter is, it is much cheaper to live in Nicaragua, especially northern Nicaragua, than it is anywhere in the United States or Canada. A car wash, a movie ticket and a hearty meal all average about US$2, while manual labor and housekeeping services average from US$5-$7 a day, making daily life inexpensive and your quality of life, priceless.
In Nicaragua, health care is also very affordable. A 35 year-old male can buy a health insurance policy that will give him 80% coverage for almost everything from routine doctors visits to emergency surgery for only $450 a year. This is top-level health care in the Metropolitano Hospital in Managua where the quality of service and facilities are superior to many in the United States or Canada. Without health insurance a visit to a doctor at the same hospital will cost you $30 and a teeth cleaning will be about the same.
There is a leading Veterinary program at one of the Universities here in Leon. We have had a great experience with the care provided and the flexibility of services. Our Veterinarian makes house calls and will even drive out to remote locations for animal care.
Nicaragua has a very good private school system. In LeĂłn there are various English speaking high schools in which all classes are taught in English. The high schools and Universities of LeĂłn have produced some of the brightest scholars, lawyers and doctors in the Nicaragua and many have practiced and studied in the US and Canada as well. If you are thinking of moving to Northern Nicaragua, the education of your children should not be a concern.
In recent years the idea of â€śVoluntourismâ€ť has become quite popular. While everyone likes to relax while they are on vacation, it doesnâ€™t take much to help out in the local communities. Several nonprofits have sprouted up, one being â€śCommunidad Connectâ€ť in the San Juan del Sur area. Here foreigners are encouraged to get involved with the community by helping with infrastructure projects which could include the building of wells, improvement of roads, creation of water filtration systems etc. Parallel to these efforts volunteers are given Spanish classes. â€śVolunturismoâ€ť is a unique experience to learn about the culture and the language while helping those who are in need.
Here in the north, there are several ways to volunteer as well. One popular way is to volunteer through a tour company called Quetzal Trekkers (link). All proceeds of the tours go directly towards existing organizations that were geared towards helping children.
There are several other ways of volunteering like teaching English, teaching computer classes, helping with micro-finance groups or working with existing non-profit organizations.