Villa Esperanza (Hope Village) is located in Managua, Nicaragua and is a residential community for girls whose families worked and lived in the local trash dump or have been rescued from other dangerous situations. Villa Esperanza provides education, a safe place to call home, vocational training, and emotional and spiritual support to the girls living at the program.
While in Nicaragua, there are many opportunities to serve based on the needs of the community and the unique gifts and talents within a team! In the past there have been opportunities for the team to serve in the following ways:
- Painting a local school and/or repairing equipment.
- Sharing team member testimonies in high-school-age classrooms.
- Serving at a local feeding program.
- Planning and leading a simple VBS with games (“evangicube,” teach an interactive children’s worship song, or simple crafts).
- Participating in a workday at the Villa (maintenance, cleaning, and/or painting).
Serving in the Community
Our location staff in Managua is well connected with local schools and communities, which provides rich opportunities for ministry. A typical team will work with the principal at a local school and meet the teachers and students of various grades. Team members are welcomed into their classrooms to share an optional VBS story to younger grades, and/or testimonies to high-school-aged students. For example, team members have acted out a brief Bible story and shared the Gospel with students. While serving in a community or school, there are usually maintenance and cleaning projects for the team where they can invite locals to join in the work, allowing them to take ownership of improving their school/community. Simple sports and games are always a wonderful way to get to know the children in the schools as well!
Time with the Villa Girls
Throughout the week, there are opportunities to spend time with the girls living at Villa Esperanza in the evenings and after church on Sunday. Time with the girls allows team members to form lasting relationships through sharing their stories and testimonies, and bonding through worship, games, sports, and/or crafts. Be creative and try to remember what sort of crafts or games you liked to play when you were a teenager!
Staying at the Villa
There are eight guest houses that sleep a total of 48 people in bunk-bed-style beds. There will also be a Facilitator joining your team and staying in one of the rooms with you. The Facilitator acts as a bridge between the team, host ministry, and field staff, and has been trained through Forward Edge International to serve alongside the Group Leader and team members. The photo slider below gives you a look at the outside of one of the houses at the Villa, as well as the sleeping accommodations. Each room has its own bathroom with a toilet, shower, and sink. Team members will also be provided with sheets and towels that are frequently changed by our staff working at the Villa.
Meals at Villa Esperanza are prepared by Nicaraguan women in an on-site kitchen; they provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are westernized and often include a mix of bread, beans, rice, meat, fruit, vegetables, and/or a juice. Lunch is often a sandwich with various sides that are brought to the site for team members and staff. The Rancho is the main area, or our version of a living room; this is where the team shares meals, spends time with the girls, and has morning devotionals and nightly debriefs.
We have multiple, licensed, Nicaraguan vehicles and drivers that provide transportation to various ministry sites while serving with Forward Edge International. Included in the slider below is a photo of two of our vans used to transport teams.
I hope this blog has provided you with a clearer picture of what it looks like to serve at Villa Esperanza. We are grateful for the past, current, and future teams investing in the communities of Nicaragua!