Explore a unique culture amid incredible scenes of nature
Gain a rich introduction to the culture, history, language, and environment of Nicaragua. After orienting yourself to new surroundings and getting acquainted with your team of college-aged peers, set off to explore the distinctive culture of this fiercely proud nation. Engage with its warm, welcoming residents everywhere we go, and work on your Spanish speaking skills. After completing orientations, we venture out on a cultural tour of the city of León, led by an expert guide. Look beyond its bustling plazas and touristy cathedrals and see the entirety of Nicaraguan culture through the eyes of a local. Prior to commencing our field studies in earnest, we make our way to the Maribios volcano chain, where smoking peaks and lush rainforest present an awe-inspiring panorama.
Take your growing knowledge of STEM skills and put them to good use
Make your way to Granada, where horse drawn carriages trot past the city’s iconic canary yellow Catedral. Upon arrival, we team up with an international NGO and conduct site visits that demonstrate key engineering innovations in action. Learn not only the ‘what’ of STEM skills, but also the 'how’s' and 'why’s' that explain the role of science in solving global health and development challenges. In less than a week, we begin to think like true engineers — identifying problems, testing solutions and analyzing outcomes. A key area of focus for this segment is on water filtration and sanitation. Your work here will demonstrate how scientists and engineers apply theoretical ideas in real scenarios. Days are spent conducting scientific experiments and visiting regional community projects with plenty of time left over to explore Nicaraguan culture. Eat sustainably harvested chocolate and learn about the journey from bean to chocolate bar. Or, witness how one of Nicaragua’s chief exports is grown during a visit to a nearby coffee farm.
Escape to the heart of Lake Nicaragua
A week of intensive scientific and technological study gives way to well-earned relaxing in Lake Nicaragua. Settle into beach life on a small, secluded island and explore the flora and fauna of this exotic region. Listen for howler monkey in the palm trees just off the beach. Then, look for native wildlife, including like toucans, boa constrictors, monkeys, jaguars, sloths, manatees and sea turtles. We leave, restored and ready for the important work that lies ahead.
Improve life for rural communities, women's groups, children and the elderly
In the sleepy Pacific surf town of San Juan del Sur, there is little time to rest. Here, we partner with a local organization to help teach rural communities how to build and implement new technologies. Learn how applied technology can revolutionize health access. Witness how desalinization solutions transform entire communities. With the help of community leaders, hone your growing engineering skills as you learn to build clean water filters that, ultimately, help reduce disease. Not to mention, clean cook stoves that minimize the risks of smoke inhalation. With each community we visit, we are faced with technological or design challenges that are increasingly difficult to solve yet within the purview of our skillset and imaginations.
You, as lead engineer
For this last academic segment, forge ahead with your original design to build and integrate a technological solution that will improve daily life. Assemble a team of your peers and instructors, and interface with community leaders and experts to turn concept into innovation. Mornings are spent testing, assessing, and tinkering with your project, while afternoons are reserved for team-building activities and cultural awareness: cooking classes, kayaking lessons, island exploration and community interactions, in English and Spanish, of course.
Celebrate successes with an eye toward your next big challenge
As with any Broadreach academic expedition and field study, it isn’t just the impact of what you leave behind, but also what you take away. Leave Nicaragua with the know-how to apply technology, design, and engineering skills to address real-world problems in the developing world, and apply that same thinking to address issues back home in your community. With just a few days left and the prospect of saying goodbye to new friends and colleagues, we find time soak up one last bit of Nicaraguan sun, sand and surf on Playa Gigante, prior to heading home.