They let anyone volunteer, no matter the skill set. Chaotic but fun to volunteer with the kids in the community! That was the best part. Always seems to be staff office drama.
Originally interested in La Isla Foundation for it's commitment to public health in Nicaragua. I was disappointed in how the management interacts with volunteers and staff. It is unclear how time and money are managed.
Review from Guidestar
La Isla popped up on my radar when a good friend versed in Latin American politics recommended it. The Foundation is both super professional and very down to Earth. It's just as welcoming an environment as it is fast-paced and goal-oriented, and I think that makes a winning combination.
I first learned about La Isla through a local friend who worked there and said they did a good job and was a wonderfull place to be. So when I needed a break in my law studies I contacted them and offered my help. They were very proffesional, and I had two skype interviews, first with the head of law at the organisation, to review my abilities in the field, and then with the head of spanish to see if my spanish was good enough. And luckily they offered me an internship in the law department.
Most people at La Isla have experience in public health or similar, so the law department is really smal. But this only means you get a lot of responsability and lots of relevant work. So far my stay has been qute hectick, but such a great experience. Lots of interesting work, super friendly coworkers and quite a bit of fun in between all the work.
So far my stay has defenately lived up to my rather high expectations, and it is great to feel part of all the amazing work that goes on here.
I started an internship at La Isla Foundation in September and it has been a fantastic experience so far! Everyone on staff is super friendly, as are all my fellow interns and volunteers. La Isla Foundation does amazing work and it's inspiring to be a part of such an important organization. I was pretty unfamiliar with public health and human rights issues (I'm a grant writing intern), but everyone I've gotten a chance to work with has been great with explaining the ins and outs to me and I feel like I've gained an amazing education in the time I've been here so far. Another huge plus - I get to do actual work. It's not the kind of place where interns spend their time filing or going for coffee runs. This is a fantastic organization to intern for!
I originally came to La Isla in early 2013 to intern with the Legal Department on a field study for three months. I was going through a rough time at that time, but the people I met at LIF were so friendly that I was quickly able to create a strong supportive network. The work the organization does is inspiring, and you can still volunteer while taking Spanish classes or going on excursions in the region if that's what you are looking for. The ties I made at LIF were so strong that I was asked to join the Board of Directors later in the year. I have really enjoyed my time on the Board so far, helping with top-level planning and getting a big-picture view of the organization's future.
I first got to know La Isla Foundation a year and a half ago when I came to this organisation to fulfil my final requirements for my master degree in public health. It was such a powerful experience, and I knew that there was so much more interesting work that needed to be done in this field that I decided to come back to continue to work with this organisation.
It is a challenging job, but it is so exciting to be part of this fight to help to end the epidemic CKDu that affects poor agricultural workers in Nicaragua, and eventually will have its effects in many other countries in the world that experience similar problems. More and more informations becomes available about the cause of this devastating disease and more large international organisations are starting to pay attention to this epidemic. This strengthens my belief that this epidemic can be stopped, and that is what keeps me going, and keeps me here in Nicaragua working for this wonderful organisation with dedicated people to get this job done!
I volunteered with La Isla in their communications department, and lived in one of the private rooms upstairs. The La Isla staff was an incredible team: they listened to what I wanted to do and learn and gave me projects that were educational and enjoyable. The other volunteers were welcoming, and there were plenty of activities outside of work for us to do.
Volunteering as a Public Health Intern with La Isla Foundation for a month in Leon was an incredible experience. The staff is extremely motivated and welcoming. There is never a loss for something to do, whether it is doing work for the organization, taking a Salsa class or practicing your Spanish with one of La Isla's fantastic tutors. Finally, this organization taught me much more about the Nicaraguan culture than any textbook or traditional tour could have. I would strongly recommend volunteering with La Isla Foundation if you are staying in Leon.
They say that some things are such that words do not do them justice. Such is the case with my stay in Leon with La Isla Foundation. The following however, comes as close to how I feel as I can put into words.
There is no doubt in my mind that La Isla Foundation's "raison d'être" is among the noblest of human endeavors. And that is to exist solely to serve others.
In this instance that service is a race against time trying to find a cause and possible solution or cure to the health problem plaguing a small Nicaraguan community.
Young men, in the sugar cane industry, are dying at early ages from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). To say that this is devastating to the community should come as no surprise. Fortunately, La Isla has many dedicated volunteers who are attempting to eliminate this problem.
In addition, others are assisting by donating to the cause. There are several ways to do so. One can simply make a donation, or go there in person and experience a variety of activities suited to the adventurous soul. They include: learning Spanish and/or how to salsa; visiting Leon or other cities; visiting natural reserves or one of the several nearby volcanoes. Do these and assist La Isla and its worthy cause
In doing so, you will step into a world far different from our own. And be sure to savor the friendship of the volunteers, for such as these, saints are made.