I have been fortunate to be involved with FNE International since 2017 as a medical student volunteer, both clinically and while conducting public health research. Michael Cipoletti and the entirety of the organization are incredibly responsive to the needs of the local Nicaraguan population that they serve. What truly sets them apart from other non-profits is their commitment to longitudinal care for the people of Nicaragua. Their collaboration with Nicaraguan physicians allows medical volunteers to make a lasting impact and encourages stability in the local healthcare infrastructure. I am looking forward to continuing to work with them in the future!
As part of BlueLab Nicaragua, a student organization at the University of Michigan, we partnered with FNE this summer to conduct a needs assessment on potential future projects in Nicaragua. FNE is truly a impactful organization dedicated to serving the needs of the community and forming meaningful relationships. Its work in transforming housing, healthcare access, and almost every imaginable area is done hand in hand with local residents. FNE was extremely hospital to us during our three week stay and we learned more about the history and culture of Nicaragua than we could have imagined.
FNEI partnered with our university to provide service trips to both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. These trips have enabled us to engage in meaningful cultural experiences and local interactions, to see various healthcare facilities, to visit grade schools, to build clean burning stoves, and to fundraise for a new school to be built . Although these were just some of the opportunities, I can say that the relationships that were formed and our overall experiences have, for many of us, further strengthened a genuine desire to continue along this path. Thanks, FNEI! We are grateful.
FNE International is an incredible organization. I’ve been on two trips with the program! The work they do and the impact they make on people’s lives in life changing and eye opening. In March 2018 my school went to Nicaragua and in March 2019 we were the first FNE trip to the Dominican Republic. From seeing the culture differences, the medicine, housing, schooling, and inspiration is honestly amazing. The team at FNE International are a gift to this world offering time, love, compassion, and committing their life to bettering the lives of others.
I traveled with FNE International in March of this year to the Dominican Republic and had an incredible time. This organization made the transition into a new country seamless. I was welcomed into the community along with my fellow travelers, where we learned about the culture and got to create connections with the children at a local primary school, as well as residents of a nursing home. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with FNE International and highly suggest that anyone thinking of taking part in their next voyage, do so!
I am constantly impressed with the dedication of this group to the populations they serve. I have worked with FNE for over 2 years now and am amazed by the breadth and depth of projects they undertake. Every member of FNE would go above and beyond to help any individual or family in the areas they work.
I have been involved with FNE since the beginning. It is a great organization that partners with communities and individuals to support sustainable projects and initiatives around health, housing and education. The work is impactful and traveling with them is a wonderful experience!
I was introduced to FNE International by my daughter and son. They engaged in house building trips on separate occasions. My daughter was on the first trip and came back with an enthusiasm for travel and service that surpassed anything I had seen. Her experience learning from Michael and his staff has been life-enhancing. Subsequently, my son went and had the same experience of seeing the impact that service can have on all involved. I have now traveled with FNE International on three occasions and have been so impressed that I have joined the Board. I am looking forward to being part of the change that will occur in advancing education, healthcare and infrastructure!
FNE International is an organization that does effective and meaningful work in Latin America. While working with them for the past 1.5 years in both Nicaragua and Peru, I haven been consistently inspired by their dedication to striving for sustainable solutions within underserved populations through their commitment to collaborating with the local community. This approach is impactful, and long term. The people of FNE are passionate and devoted to their cause, and working with them has truly changed my career and personal goals!
I volunteered in Peru for 6 weeks with FNE International. My experience was better and went beyond on what I had expected. I was supported with everything constantly and did not feel I was just left alone in the unknown to me country. Michael, my main point of contact, was always available with support, suggestions and help on just about anything. I think if you are looking for a true volunteer experience and want to stay away from the trap of volunteer tourism, this nonprofit is definitely worth connecting with.
FNEI (Facilitating, Networking, Empowering International) is a not-for-profit social development organization that has ongoing projects in Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. Since 2013 I have been involved as a volunteer and contributor for FNE's project's in Nicaragua. The activity in Nicaragua is centered in (but not limited to) Chacraseca, a rural community outside Leon. FNE builds houses for impoverished working families, provides educational opportunities that add to what the local public school is already giving, and has a doctor on staff to serve patients in remote areas beyond the reach of the national health system. FNE built a community library in Chacraseca and dramatically upgraded the local medical clinic. A major focus of FNE is to hire as many local folks as possible to do its work, thereby boosting employment in the community. FNE works collaboratively with local associations who know the community better than any foreigner could.
FNE (Facilitating, Networking, empowering) International was originally called Friends New England International. FNE, based in Boston, does development work primarily in Nicaragua but also in Peru and the Dominican Republic. I first visited FNE's projects in Chacraseca, Nicaragua in 2013. This was an exploratory trip to see if I and my church would want to get involved with their work. I've been going back at least once a year ever since. FNE builds homes for destitute families, promotes women's independence by ensuring that all FNE homes are in name of the wife only, promotes education by supplementing the resources of the Ministry of Education at several rural schools (including by building new schools), has built a library for the community and now has a mobile library to get resources to more remote areas, and provides instruction in English as a foreign language. A newer initiative is to hire a medical doctor to visit homes in the remotest parts of Chacraseca and linking these remote families with the national health system. All of this work is done in close collaboration with local folks on the ground who understand the community and its needs. Because of the current political strife in the country, FNE is in need of more funds as operations shift from foreign volunteers to local hires. My wife and I are monthly sustainers and our connection with FNE is a source of tremendous joy to both of us.
Works with the most underserved and needy in rural Nicaragua. Always treats the people with dignity and respect. A good program that serves the needs and wants of the community- not just what the gringos think the people want.
Also the director of the program is a lot of fun to work with. Planned all kinds of activities while we were there- pottery, bee farm, volcano boarding etc
This is an extraordinary organization. They work with community members to empower families and they work with US participants to educate and allow students and adults to contribute and understand. They are always respectful and well organized.
FNE International is a wonderful organization that works within communities in Nicaragua to support and empower the people who live there in building homes, getting an education and learning new skills.
While living for three years in Nicaragua I had the opportunity to work with FNE International and get to know so many wonderful volunteers and workers with the organization. The director, Michael, is a powerhouse with one hand on his phone and the other reaching out to help all those around him. FNEI has truly impacted the lives of families with donations and volunteer brigades attending to water projects, education, medical clinics, and house/school building projects and student scholarships. Most importantly, FNEI continues to train, employ, and sponsor local Nicaraguans - from contractors to school staff, from cooks to medical translators. Their work adds to education and employment in the community.
I volunteered with the librarians in Biblioteca Ricarado Streb, a library FNEI built in the community of Chacraseca. Traditionally, Nicaraguan libraries have been intimidating to enter. But FNEI has helped stock, train, and continue to aid this library and its' staff with homework help, English classes, events, music programs, and computer. While there, we even sponsored a ballet performance, held movie showings, and carried books by backpack to a nearby school book fair!
In 2016, I helped coordinate a group of high school students on their trip to Leon, and it was so exciting to see the high school group spend a few days with local students, practicing English , building recycle/bottle trash cans, and making bracelets under the tutelage of the librarians and teachers of Chacraseca. I hope to continue working with FNEI in the future and recommend individuals and groups visit Nicaragua and participate in FNEI group projects. I have seen, first hand, how book donations and $ donations really do go to Nicaraguan families and communities.
I volunteered with FNE in Nicaragua for a month and have remained involved with the organization at my college since. The organization is really well run, and the director Michael Cipoletti is an amazing individual with a lot of passion for Nicaragua and the people. The cultural sensitivity FNE displays is an important component of their success, and the amount of education they provide about tradition and cultural dynamics was an important factor to the success of the trip for my group. Overall, FNE is a great organization that works alongside international communities, providing important services and aid and an eye-opening experience to the volunteers and anyone else they work with.
My name is Aaron and I am one of the many interpreter that serve with this amazing organization, FNE International is extraordinary in what is done in the communities and people in many ways they serve, they not only serve but empower people to become better and able to help their communities and families. I have been a witness of the incredible work they do throug the different groups they bring to help the most needy people. Great job done by the board of directors, leaders and the crew servir along side this non profit organization. It is my honor to be able to serve with such an incredible group of human beings.
I've travelled to Nicaragua with FNE-I three times now as a medical interpreter and working in the Puestas de Salud is so fulfilling, and makes it clear the work FNE-I is doing is needed, and appreciated. The funds raised are clearly being put to good use, and the projects being worked on are creating a positive and lasting impact.
I am an Ph.D.-level agricultural economist who has designed and managed country-level programs across the African continent, now working in Central America. In terms of impact, I am thoroughly impressed with FNE International's achievements during its 20+ years of work. The organization understands that long-term change and personal empowerment happens 'person by person' and takes 'year after year' commitment. If more development organizations across the world had this approach (listening, collaboration, sharing responsibility, personal investment, long-term perspective), we would see less "development-aid dependence" that plagues social and economic development efforts.
Working with Michael and FNEI was a phenomenal experience. I ran a 240 mile ultramarathon to benefit FNEI and it was nothing but a positive experience. Michael himself even came out to the race and ran 18 of those miles with me.
Their team is very responsive and works very hard to benefit the people of Nicaragua. They are hands on and in the field as much as they can be. If you are considering working with FNEI, I can't recommend them highly enough. They are committed to their work and are a pleasure to work with. They know what they are doing and have a genuine love for helping people in Nicaragua who need their help. Pick up the phone and call them and see for yourself.
Ever since I became an Occupational therapist, I wanted to travel to another country to help an underserved population. FNE International helped me realize my dream without a substantial time or financial commitment. Earlier this year, I joined a group of expressive art therapy graduate students to a small school for children with autism and other challenges.
Our trip was impeccably organized from start to finished and dedicated and compassionate FNE mentors accompanied us throughout the week to provide guidance and support whenever it was needed and made sure we had fun along the way.
My experience in Nicaragua safely immersed me in the culture and gave me a rare glimpse of how natives lived and worked. Everyone we encountered opened their hearts and homes to us and were extremely appreciative of our contributions. I was humbled by their generosity and ability to live such rich, fulfilling lives with so little.
By the end the week, I had an entirely different perspective of the world around me and enabled me to grow both personally and professionally. The trip was the perfect blend of work and play and the ideal opportunity for any student or professional looking to volunteer internationally. I enjoyed it so much that I’m heading to Peru in December for another FNE adventure.
As a higher education administrator with extensive engagement with charitable organization in the United States and abroad, I enthusiastically and without reservation recommend FNE International as a benefactor of charitable gifts and volunteer support. In March 2018, FNE International welcomed our group of health science undergraduates to learn more about the healthcare system and Nicaraguan culture through interactions with healthcare officials, observations of practitioners with patients, service learning opportunities, and exciting recreation and leisure activities. Each aspect of our expedition was seamlessly organized with high-touch support from their Executive Director. Students lives were meaningfully impacted, and post-expedition feedback showed that this trip allowed students space to reflect on their career aspirations and examine their privileges and world views. We will are committed to our partnership with FNE International and the communities they support through their healthcare, housing, and education programs.
As a pediatric nurse, I traveled to Nicaragua this past January, where I got to witness firsthand, the awesome impact FNE has on patients, communities, staff, and volunteers! Having traveled with other healthcare professionals, It was truly refreshing to see the relationship-based care provided for a diverse population of pediatric patients, with various chronic conditions. I got the opportunity to learn quite a bit about the people of Nicaragua, the culture, and the the healthcare structure. It was a great privilege to have worked with some of the incredible members of the FNE International team. I’m grateful to have had the experience, and I look forward to participating in another trip soon!
My volunteer trip with FNE was one of the most inspiring and rewarding experiences of my life. Every day I was blown away at how intertwined the organization was with the town of Chacraseca and the surrounding community. The strength of the personable relationships and the level of respect between FNE and the community was unlike that of any organization I had ever been a part of. As a volunteer, FNE always ensured I was happy, well accommodated, directly engaged with the people I was serving, and working on activities in which I was truly interested in. I had the opportunity to work with members of the community to help teach English classes, build houses, paint a community mural, build stoves, work on a farm, and shadow local physicians. I was also exposed to multiple amazing local businesses and able to explore the beauty of Nicaragua. Not only did I leave the trip feeling as though I had helped make a positive difference, but I also left with many amazing relationships with the people of Chacraseca that I will cherish forever.
The Tugaoen family (23 of us) joined together to help build 2 homes in Nicaragua through FNE International. The fund to pay for the homes was raised through TMMF. FNE was organized and also took into account the different ages of our group. The youngest being age 8 and the majority in their teens. The house building, dorm-like living quarters and communal dining was challenging at times but a great bonding experience overall. The excursions scheduled were fun and at the same time provided great opportunities to learn about Nicaragua and its culture. Michael Cipoletti, our main FNE contact, was very helpful and was present in many of our activities. Our trip was truly a memorable one for the family and we hope to go back for more missions.
I've volunteered with and fundraised for FNE International for 4 years now. This nonprofit has a very special place in my heart! After seeing for my own eyes how donations and volunteers have a direct impact on the communities that FNE International assists and supports, I can confidently recommend this organization to others who are looking for a great cause to support or get involved with. I can't wait to see them continue to grow and further carry out their mission!
I went to Nicaragua in the spring of 2014 with FNE and it was an inspiring and life changing experience. Michael is an awesome leader and I have no idea how he balances everything that he does. I am going back again this upcoming spring and could not be more excited. The staff and everyone along the way made us feel comfortable and welcomed. Even though I blindly went into this trip, I came out knowing so much more about what we THINK people in need need, and what they actually need. Michael taught us about how it's important to be knowledgeable about a place before you walk into it and try to "fix" it, a lesson I needed to learn.
After volunteering with FNEI for four consecutive years in Nicaragua and Peru, I can say these trips have been some of the greatest and most memorable experiences of my life so far. I've been able to help build houses, work in special needs schools, help out in medical clinics, all while working alongside other volunteers as well as locals. You build a very personal connection to the area and the work on these trips. Michael Cipoletti is one of my favorite people on the planet. The man works non-stop to help other people, and I feel lucky to know him and to have been involved in this work, even if I only played a small part.
I consider my time spent with FNE International in Nicaragua (three trips so far) to be the greatest experience of my life. On these trips I was immersed in the culture of the area, and met families and people in need and saw their problems in person. Working on the sustainable housing projects I was able to learn about plausible solutions to the many problems that communities in developing nations face, and by the end of the trip I began to see the difference my group's work was making, and there is no greater reward than that. I was 15 when I went alone on my first trip, and since then I have brought my father and my best friend along with me in the following two years. I plan on going on as many FNE trips as I can, and I would recommend it to anyone.
I am a high school Spanish teacher and advisor of our school's Interact Club. When I became involved with them four years ago, I asked members what their goals were for Interact. At the top of the list was an international service trip. I had the incredible good fortune of organizing our first trip with Travis, a former student of mine, who'd known Michael and become an FNEI board member. We're planning our fourth trip now for February, and my students and I are all eagerly anticipating it. I can't say enough about my admiration for FNEI, for its talented and dedicated staff, for the dignity and respect it shows to families in need, and for its profound dedication to empowering people to improve their lives, not through a hand-out but rather a hand-up. The compassion and empathy that my students have learned from service weeks in Chacraseca could not be learned in any classroom, and will remain with them for many years. I'm grateful and in awe of FNEI -- an amazing organization.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I believe all who work for an NGO should or must live their life through this quote. Having been involved with FNE International for the past three years has led me to witness how this NGO does just that in everything that they do. The staff is compassionate, selfless, dedicated, and most importantly puts love in their everyday work. I believe by serving the people FNE International as a whole have been able to find their true-self and what they are meant to do.
I spent about a month working with FNE in Nicaragua and it was an amazing experience. Since this organization has being working in the area for so long, they truly understand the needs of the community and how to best service them. I always felt like we were doing something useful and meaningful. I also really appreciated how much the directors focused on explaining the important history of the area. Everything we did was placed into the social and historical context of the area, allowing us to better understand our role as volunteers and our impact on the community. Additionally, I felt like FNE took the time to get to know their volunteers in order to best utilize their individual skill sets. I really appreciated this, because it allowed me to make a valuable contribution that was unique to my abilities. When I decided to volunteer with FNE, I did not know exactly what to expect, but my experience far exceeded any expectations. FNE is such a far reaching and diverse organization, there were so many projects and unique experiences that I got to be a part of. I would definitely volunteer for this organization again and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a diverse and fulfilling volunteer experience.
Should be 6 stars, as I cannot tell you of all the incredible Projects/Work FNE Int has done in our communities surrounding the greater Leon, Nicaragua region and BEYOND, including our beach community of Las Penitas. The founder/Director Michael Cipoletti has brought to my tiny resort a multitude of Volunteers for a little R&R after sometimes spending the past week or two in some desolate rural areas bringing sometimes running water to those who never had it. The FNE Int. Volunteers have NEVER given me a thumbs down concerning their experience with helping this 2nd poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere (Haiti being #1) build houses, hospitals, schools, clinics where there were none. One said "I dug, he dug, we dug and dug and then there was water, and wow, a well was built". RNE Int has been around since my wife and I started our little ocean front resort, Playa Roca Beach Hotel see: playaroca.com, in 2005, with just a few volunteers from Michael's school days to a expanding network of young students (normally college age) and professionals (Doctors and other health professionals i.e. physical therapists, etc) ranging in the hundreds throughout the year. With FNE Int's experience they've created a learning environment for young people to learn to reach out to those without and to professionals an opportunity to share their unique skills in remote areas that never get, the medical care that they offer, from life saving vaccinations they need to performing or teaching surgical procedures to Nicaraguan patients and doctors.
I am so proud to be an American when FNE Int is showing American values that aren't from the government but by it's own citizen's desire to help our 3rd world Nicaraguan families. Not just talking good will or giving money that who knows where it goes to these Volunteers actually out there in the communities getting downright dirty with them, sleeping and eating where they do, and with FNE Int's leadership share the smiles and gratitude when they see a house built with their help where there was only a shanty. THAT is what helps, helping them help themselves and as a offshoot teaching our Volunteers the value of giving when it's rewards aren't measured in dollars and cents, but by the heart and building of character. You don't have to be an American to Volunteer, but it's spirit of good will is the ticket to join in. From Nicaragua to reaching out to other countries in need i.e. Peru, FNE Int has established itself as a bonafide gift to humanity.
FNE does wonderful work. My husband has worked with Michael in many countries providing sustainable public health initiatives. Although my husband passed away last year his legacy lives on through the great work of FNE International. I will continue to support this great nonprofit as their work is incredibly important for sustaining the work they do. I cant express the amount of gratitude the people of these undeveloped countries appreciate the skills and the long lasting effect they have on promoting public health initiatives.
My name is Yuri Benjamin and have been an intern with FNE for a month and half now, and could not have asked for anything more. With the Board of Directors being heavy-hearted people, you really can make the most out of your experience here. As someone who wants to join FNE's team, or simply an onlooker, this organization has truly worked miracles. From building houses, to overlooking a medical clinic, medical home visits, to teaching kids music, arts and crafts, how to read, etc. We build stoves for the community who are less fortunate to have a sustainable method of cooking their food. My personal favorite is how FNE brings many groups a year down to Nicaragua to help in a vast array of specialties; we have PT's, surgical groups, engineering students, med students, YOU NAME IT! I have been blessed to have been apart of this incredible organization and look forward to the eight more months I have left.
I love volunteering with FNE! I volunteered with FNE in 2015 when I traveled to Nicaragua and again in 2016 to Peru as a PA student. I was able to help provide direct clinical services to patients with limited access to health care. FNE facilitated intensive learning and reflection, with time for fun and exploring. The trips were easy and fun to plan and I always felt safe while traveling and abroad. I met so many incredible people, including my fellow PAs, local providers, FNE leadership and most importantly, the local community. I returned from each trip feeling humbled and inspired- wanting to find new ways to improve disadvantaged groups abroad as well as in my local community. The service work inspired me to learn Spanish and get directly involved with communities I care about. I am especially proud to work with a organization who strives for sustainable change and puts an emphasis on empowering communities. I look forward to volunteering for FNE for the rest of my life as I believe their approach to global change is as authentic and impactful as they come.
FNE is not just another nonprofit that you support. It becomes part of your life. I have had the privilege of attending 3 trips to Chacraseca, Nicaragua, with FNE. The respect for FNE is evident immediately upon entering Chacraseca. FNE is an organization that works along side the community in solidarity, helping the community achieve what it identifies as their goals. Community members set the agenda and are the dominant presence of FNE. The three words - facilitate, network, empower - could not do a better job of embodying what this organization is founded upon. FNE will be a part of the rest of my life because I have seen first hand what an amazing program this is and how even more amazing the people are.
FNE has a true heart for serving the underprivileged. I had the opportunity to work alongside other FNE members in Chacraseca, Nicaragua this past summer where I engaged in community service work. It was an amazing experience to work alongside locals in Chacraseca whom the work would benefit. One of the things I love about FNE is that it places an emphasis on empowering people opposed to simply helping them. It fosters a sense of family that transcends continents and cultural differences.
FNE International does great work- sustaining global health initiatives and giving back to the local people. Mike works tirelessly to help others engage in the vision of contributing to global health. Whether Nicaragua or Peru or other countries FNE is delivering hope and sustained tools for the people of their country.
Volunteering with FNE was an amazing eye-opening experience. During our trip to Peru, we provided medical care to extremely remote communities that have very limited access to healthcare. We were able to care for people of all ages who were in need of well visits and sick visits. I look forward to joining FNE again in the future!
FNE's approach to international development is the most sustainable model I have been fortunate to be a part of. By directly integrating itself into the community, FNE is in a unique position to truly understand the multifaceted issues facing those it serves. As opposed to operating for Nicaraguans, FNE is able to work with Nicaraguans. This distinction allows FNE to act as a stable support upon which the community is able to develop its own strength and take ownership in the betterment of their situation. FNE’s approach, written in its very foundation (Facilitate, Network, Empower), is a true recipe for lasting change. Furthermore, following the many trips it provides, those who work through FNE are themselves transformed for the better. In a coordinated effort rooted in solidarity, FNE has made a profound impact on countless lives and will continue to do so.
Personally, I have been involved with projects related to healthcare access in both Nicaragua and Peru. I believe in the work FNE is doing and will continue to support FNE and look forward to working with them for the rest of my life.
I have been volunteering with FNE International for two years and have seen the great work that they are impacting in peoples lives in Nicaragua, and other Latin countries . I recommend that you volunteer, meet the people, and experience the culture. You will be transformed and will appreciate your life by being a service to those who are less fortunate than you.
FNE has been involved in housing, health and welfare, educational, and agricultural projects that have changed the lives of both the recipients and the volunteers. Donations go towards securing necessary resources and are always appreciated - but donating your time to help communities and families are a blessing for all involved.
As the president of a small local Non-profit assocaition, I have been partnering with FNE International (FNEI) in Sacred Valley, Cusco - Perú for the past 5 years. FNEI has been doing a great work, bringing medical and surgical missions to serve the poorest and isolated villages of the área. Also, FNEI is currently supporting our permanent local activities and projects to improve health and education as a basis for empowering people to achieve social and human development. This joint work has served to support and improve the coverage and quality of health care services provided by the local networks of the Minsitry of Health too.
As a volunteer, past board member and current Nicaraguan resident it is without reservation that I strongly support the work of FNE International. I get to see their impact on the quality of life of local Nicaraguans everyday. In addition I am always encouraged to see non-profits who funds go to local project and not administration.
This organization's mission to empower individuals in rural communities of Nicaragua is an incredible cause. We saw first hand the progress that's been made in the Chacraseca community as a result of the efforts of this group. We were fortunate enough to spend a little over a month in Nicaragua living within the community and help with several of their projects for housing and education.
I have been working with FNE for two years. I have been a part of the medical FNE group, going to remote communities and providing healthcare to a population that has very limited access to medical care. We have had the opportunity to provide well-child visits, sick adult and child visits, route health screening, along with making a variety of medications and vitamins available. In addition to providing medical care, FNE has provided the opportunity to immerse yourself into the culture, food and history of central and south american countries. I would highly recommend any mission with FNE!
FNE provides a genuine experience that immerses you into a rural village. The people of Chacraseca, Nicaragua envelop you in an unmatched compassion until the initial cultural shock is replaced by a connection to and understanding of the families and their village. Within a single trip, you will see the change you make for a family and the happiness you bring to the children. As soon as I returned from my first trip, I began planning my return trip with friends I felt compelled to share my experience with. I have since returned twice with groups of friends. I would highly recommend FNE to anyone looking for a genuine experience to step out of their comfort zones.
If I need a smile I think about working or having fun on one of my3 trips to Nicaragua with FNE International. For me it's at teaching trip where I get to learn about Nica culture and the country and feeling helpful and appreciated . This trip and the people who run it continue to amaze and inspire me. Visiting families building consulting with teachers live volcanoes lagunas celebrating former projects birthday celebration shopping. Over the top. I can't wait to go back.
I've been partnering with FNE International (FNEI) in San Claudio, Leon, Nicaragua for the past 5 years. FNEI has been working in this community and others within Nicaragua for well over a decade, and has drastically improved the lives of the community members through social programs, educational outreach, and construction projects that provide improvements to the local built environment. FNEI's staff members are the most selfless people I have ever encountered, ceaselessly dedicating their time and effort to improve the lives of the less fortunate.
I have been involved with FNE for the past 1.5 years and it has been an incredible experience. I first traveled to Nicaragua with FNE in March of 2015 with my PA program for medical service, and have returned four more times since then.
As an organization FNE does a remarkable job of engaging the local community in sustainable changes that meet their specific needs- it is the way they involve members of the community in all of their projects that makes them unique. They instill their core values in all of their volunteers, emphasizing the importance of working as a partner to the community and empowering its members.
Over a year of working with FNE international on five medical service trips both in Nicaragua and Cuzco, Peru (and certainly more to come) has taught me the importance of sustainability; not just in our medical service, but what we give to patients in our careers. This is demonstrated by FNE in their commitment to health education talks before every clinic and their consistent consultation with the local community's doctor to identify the areas of most need and what those needs specifically are. Our clinic weeks are filled with hundreds of patients who receive quality health care from licensed practitioners that includes prescriptions, diagnostic ultrasounds, pap smears, and most importantly opportunities for follow up and referrals to larger medical centers for treatment for chronic conditions. The work is long and hard, but the trips are organized to include cultural immersion and participation in housing and education projects.
I intend to continue work with FNE throughout my entire career as a healthcare professional- the organization does unique and incredible work. I highly recommend them to anyone with an interest in any type of global service- they are wonderful and offer a variety of projects to get involved with.
I have been working with FNEI since their inception (and with some members even earlier) and have been fortunate enough to be part of multiple projects the organization has undertaken in Nicaragua. The group is extremely passionate and dedicated to providing much needed help and services to communities worldwide, no matter the size of the project. I followed as FNEI coordinated a project to deliver clean water to multiple communities that involved funding from and the cooperation of international NGO's, the local municipal government, and the community members. At the same time I've been part of fundraising events for something as simple and direct as providing $500 for their school scholarship program, but because of it have seen the positive effects a good education can have on a town years later.
I could write a ten page paper on everything FNEI has done and still have more to say, but all-in-all I admire the strength and will of the group and its members in their relentless pursuit to provide long-lasting change. They focus on improving the quality of life for those in need not just with direct aid but through empowerment of the communities they help, often empowering the volunteers at the same time. I have been privileged to work with FNEI and know that I will continue to collaborate with them on future projects. If you have any interest in the organization and its projects, or have an idea of your own you think they could help with, I encourage you to contact them and see for yourself how great they are!
I have worked with FNE over the past 3 years and they never cease to amaze me! I traveled with FNE to Nicaragua during the spring of 2011 and have never been the same. The program truly inspires me to do better, and they have done an incredible job with educating the volunteers & including the community on every decision and project that they run. This is where I truly see the difference, in the participation of the community, in making a difference in the communities in which they serve.
I first heard about FNE International through my professor/academic adviser while pursuing an MPH in Global Health. In our Global Health classes, my professor regularly referred to FNE and the work it is doing in Nicaragua, Peru and Haiti. With such an endorsement, I knew I had to see it for myself. In the Fall of 2014, I took my first trip to Nicaragua with FNE. I am greatly impressed with the way that FNE engages with the local community. FNE's projects address many areas of need: improved housing, clean water, nutrition, agriculture, education, healthcare access and economic development. To do so, FNE relies on open communication with members of the community. Together, they assess needs and develop practical solutions. Through mutual trust and cooperation, FNE has been able to affect positive, sustainable change in the lives of many. Like many others, I have plans to continue working with FNE. Over the years, I have encountered many local and international organizations. I have yet to see another organization whose work is as effective or far-reaching as FNE International.
FNEI is a great organization that believes in a true partnership with the community to assess needs and develop realistic goals. I first became involved with FNEI in March of 2013 and have since remained a part of the organization in both short term and long term roles. They have a variety of projects which enable volunteers with a wide span of interests to become involved and are always open to constructive feedback and new ideas. FNEI is truly a nonprofit unlike any other I have ever encountered and is a wonderful organization to become involved with!
I went to Nicaragua and worked with FNE in 2012 and 2014. In that two year gap mike and his amazing team accomplished many projects that were in the works when I went. They listen to the locals and what their needs are and do the best they can to make them happen. Not only that, but their overwhelming compassion for the beautiful people and families shos not only in what they have accomplished but the relationships they have made. FNE is a beautiful organization and I plan to work with them much more in the future.
I have lived overseas for most of my life until I attended college. However, once I got to college my international experiences came to a halt. I was so eager to travel that last spring break I was fortunate to partake in an alternative spring break trip to Nicaragua with FNE. I couldn't have had a better experience; it was educational yet memorable. I made some of my closets friends while on the trip and I stepped outside of my comfort zone in a multitude of ways. It also reassured my dream of doing international work once I graduate. It put all my frustration of sitting in the classroom worthwhile when I get to see my studies come into action because of my visit to Nicaragua with FNE. In addition, the passion all FNE employees, interns and volunteers have is contagious. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my spring break and it is all thanks to the program put together by FNE. To say I had an amazing time is an understatement, what speaks more is the fact I am planning to return this year and I can't wait!
I went to Nicaragua with FNE in July. It was life changing and just confirmed the path I want to take in my life. The experience was exhausting but well worth it. The natives are so welcoming and loving they make the experience even better. Seeing the needs of the people there really chance one's view on the American Lifestyle in USA. I strongly support and recommend FNE.
This August I went to Nicaragua with FNE to participate on a housing project, where we worked with a group to build a home for a family in Chacraseca. The experience was profound and life changing for me. On the trip, a small group of us had the opportunity to build a small and functional home for a family. Over the course of the week, we had the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the local families. I've never felt more welcome and connected to a group of perfect strangers. The people in Chacraseca were incredibly warm, full of positive energy, and made us feel completely at home.
Michael Cipoletti, FNE's president, was involved 100% of the time with us on these projects. He organized a perfectly balanced trip. Not only were we able to get a significant amount of work accomplished to leave a lasting impact, we had the opportunity to see Nicaragua and and do a number of exciting day trips. Simply put, this trip was a blast from start to finish.
After my experience in the community of Chacraseca, I'm looking forward to becoming more involved with FNE and return to work on as many projects as I can. Having the chance to work with FNE has been both rewarding and more fun than I could have imagined. I'd recommend these trips to anyone, in a heartbeat. I can't speak highly enough of my experience, and I can't wait to go back.
I had the opportunity to work with FNE and Michael Cipoletti in 2008-2009 through a club at my college. For the year, we worked towards raising enough money to build a house for a family and collected clothing, toys, school & medical supplies. In June 2009, our hard work was finally realized with a group trip to Nicaragua. We ended up raising enough money to take a family out of a house made of black plastic bags and into one made of brick. Helping build that house, meeting the family and seeing how grateful they were was something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I got to be a part of that because of FNE. I love following the progress they are making in Nicaragua and I hope maybe someday I can work with this wonderful organization again.
My life has changed because of the work I do in Nicaragua. FNE International has given me the opportunity to continue the work that I started in 2009--Tengo un Sueño is a program that focuses on the educational journey (kindergarten to college) of 29 dreamers. This 17 year commitment is made possible because of FNEI. If you want to change the lives of others and your own, volunteer for or donate to this organization. We make a difference one child at a time.
There's nothing like hands on experience with a charitable organization like FNE. Michael Cipoletti is amazing in leading this organization and in providing an unforgettable experience to its volunteers at a very reasonable cost for food, lodging and local transportation.
I came across the opportunity to building houses in Nicaragua with FNE through a dear friend. And through colleagues and friends, we helped raising money for the house building project. Along the journey we met a bunch of free spirited individuals to share this incredible experience.
Aside from the house building from the ground up (attempted to anyway :) ) we got to see many other projects FNE was involved in; building a library, clean water project, neighborhood first aid awareness training, learn about public health researches in an university, and give English lessons by interact with school children.
This volunteer opportunity was also an amazing cultural experience; sleep on a cot, wake up by rooster call and have breakfast made with simple fresh ingredients, play soccer with local kids, ride on the back of a pickup truck through a thunderstorm wearing ponchos, run down the steep face of a volcano, swim in a crater lake, chill at the beach on the Pacific and then dance in a local salsa club after.
It's volunteer tourism at its best. It infuses some meaning into our time off from the concrete jungle of a civilization most of us live in.