Overall packing tips– Pack light! You can wash clothes out and heavy luggage is a burden. Please bring modest clothes-we are among communities that are not comfortable with revealing clothes. We will be in weather that is quite hot and in the mountains it is less hot, never cold. Bring fibers that breathe, dry easily, are lightweight and you aren’t too attached to in case they are torn, stained, etc.
- Semi-professional dresses or skirts/blouses for the clinic and schools. No bare shoulders, no low cut, off the shoulder, tube tops or short dresses for women. Most women wear short sleeves in a professional setting, not tank or halter tops.
- Light weight pants and tops for working. Long sleeves/pants protect from the sun during the day and mosquitoes by night.
- Quick dry clothes and underwear
- Work clothes, garden gloves
- Shorts- please leave super short shorts at home. No shorts are worn in clinics or schools. Ripped or torn clothes aren’t appropriate.
- Underwear and sleep wear (quick dry so you can wash mid-trip)
- Shoes- Sturdy tennis shoes for sports and working, sturdy water type sandals for walking and beach, close toed shoes for schools/clinics. Bring a pair of shoes that can get very dirty that you don’t mind leaving behind.
- Flip-flops for showers
- Clothes for yoga and games/sports with children
- Lightweight athletic like clothes are good for night protection from mosquitos
- Swimsuit/Active swim top for surfing (not string bikinis)
- Light weight water proof jacket
- Beach wrap (sarong) or swim suit cover if desired (beach towels not needed)
- Bandanas (great to protect from sun and as a needed extra cloth)
Health, hygiene and safety- all items are considered important
- Sunglasses and hat for sun protection (both are a must)
- Umbrella for rain and sun protection
- Sunscreen- a must
- Insect repellent, you’ll need DEET
- Antibiotics for travelers’ diarrhea, get a prescription and carry in original container
- Personal medications- carry in container and bring copy of the prescription, includes over the counter medicine you might need. Be prepared with Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Imodium (anti-diarrhea), Pepto Bismal, etc.
- Hand sanitizer and/or hand wipes, toilet paper roll
- Personal hygiene- bio- degradable soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. (tampons can be hard to find)
- First Aid items- antibiotic ointment, Band-Aids, gauze, etc.
- Simple wallet, not flashy or bulky
- Money belt
- Water bottle
- Backpack, duffle bag, or moderate-sized suitcase- not all airlines check a free bag
- Drawstring bag- good for traveling and markets
- Carry-on luggage
- All valuables- money, credit card, passport, identification, immunization booklet, insurance card, etc.
- Complete set of clothes and essential personal care items like medication- shirt, pants, underwear in case of lost luggage
- Liquids limited to 3 oz. per item
- Notepad and journal (one for class and if desired, a personal one)- paperback book for pleasure reading
- Sheet sack for sleeping- not required, some find useful
- Drawstring bag- to keep on you during the day
- Flashlight and rechargeable batteries with battery charger
- Spanish dictionary-small practical one
- Snacks- three meals a day provided. Examples- energy/protein bars, trail mix, nuts, Gatorade like packets for water. You are not allowed to bring fruit/perishable food. Avoid sweet snacks, they will attract insects, there are already a lot of insects 🙂
- Playing cards, pocket sized games for game time with the group and youth.
- Before you go- download important apps on your phone- Spanish dictionary, compass, health information, etc.
- Clothes line (small cord) to dry clothes
Documents & Money
- Airline ticket
- ATM card
- Visa or MasterCard
- Photocopies of all the above documents
- Cash- small US bills that are crisp, not torn. Bring at least $150 and more if you plan to surf, ride horses, etc.
- Insurance card
- List of contacts in Nicaragua and list of emergency contacts in the US
- Three copies of all documents- store one copy in your suitcase, one for your trip leader and keep original copies on your person at all times
- There are safes for locking up valuables in most of the places we stay
Host Gifts & Supplies– We will provide guidance on bringing host gifts and supplies during orientation. It is always appreciated to bring soccer cleats (used children and adult sizes), balls (soccer, baseball, tennis) and bats. We try to keep this to a minimum and purchase needed items in country as much as possible.
What to leave at home
- All alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs- no exceptions at any time.
- Any weapons, sharp objects
- Expensive, highly sentimental items
- Personal computer- I will bring tablets to access internet as needed for projects
- High heels/club style clothes- we are in mostly remote, rural areas
- Heavy clothes- you only need a very light weight jacket, or heavier shirt
- Your friends/family/loves- you will have time to connect, to check in. Spending excessive contact time with people back home will disrupt the experience for you and for others.