Special Needs Education

Special Needs Education
Special Needs Education

This program invites you to help Casa-Nica and their community partner, the Melania Lacayo School of Special Education, with their work within Masaya. This is the only school in the city that provides special needs education for children with mental disabilities or who are deaf.

Teaching Assistance

The classrooms are organized by age (with five to 10 students per class) rather than by disability. If you have experience with special needs education, then your help is needed in the classroom to work with teachers, many of whom don’t have specialized training for working with and responding to the needs of students with a variety of mental disabilities.

Kitchen Assistance

If you don’t have experience with special needs education and support, then you’re invited to assist in the school’s kitchen, which provides a daily, free lunch for the students. Casa-Nica staff and volunteers have planted and currently maintain a garden that adds to the nutritional value of the school’s lunches, which traditionally consist of rice and beans.


You are also invited to work in the school’s garden, which provides additional nutritional supplements to the students’ and teachers’ meals each day. You can plant new fruits and vegetables, and maintain and harvest ones already in the garden.


This program is located in Masaya, Nicaragua, just outside of the country’s capital, Managua. The town itself is smaller and less touristy than Granada or San Juan Del Sur, and known for its markets, artisan workshops, and large indigenous population.


Flexible! Most projects last between two and six hours per day, either in the morning or afternoon. Schedules are outlined each Sunday, and you're welcome to add other volunteer projects to your schedule.


You’ll stay in the volunteer house, which includes shared bedrooms, communal areas, two courtyards, a shared kitchen, and laundry facilities. Click here to learn more about the volunteer house!

Cost Breakdown

This program may have a Reservation Fee, which is included in the total cost. Your Reservation Fee is due once you commit to the program, with the remaining Program Fee balance due 30 days before your arrival date.

1 week:     $296 Longer:     +$246 per week
1 month:     $850 Longer:     +$246 per week

Click here for full details about your program costs and how your Program Fee is used.

Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Note: All listed prices are in US Dollars.

How To Sign Up

Signing up is a three-step process:

  • Fill out an Inquiry Form. Please note: submissions must be made at least 4 weeks prior to your prospective start date.
  • A member of the Volunteer Global team will get in touch with you to confirm program availability for your chosen dates, and schedule an interview if needed.
  • Once your interview is complete, you will be notified to submit your Reservation Fee to reserve your program and schedule. Your final Program Fee is due at least 4 weeks prior to in-country arrival in order to reserve your placement.

Important Note

This is a pilot program. As part of our program development process, we ask our first groups of participating volunteers to provide additional feedback to assist us in ensuring the most rewarding experience possible in cooperation with Casa-Nica for their associated programs.

Registration must be completed at least one month prior to your program start date, so...let's get started!


  • 18 and older
  • Good health
    • Able to volunteer from three hours to a full day, depending on how many programs participating in.
    • Background in special needs education if working with children
    • Volunteers - Intermediate Spanish language required for Special Needs Education
    • Volunteers - Language skills not required for kitchen or garden programs
    • Volunteers - Willing to stay at least one month if working with the special needs education program
    • Volunteers - Willing to stay at least one week for gardening or kitchen programs
    • Interns - Intermediate Spanish language required
    • Interns - Willing to stay at least one month
Partner: Casa-Nica
Country: Nicaragua

Duration: 1 week or longer
Fee: From $296
Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Your Program Fee Covers:

  • Registration and pre-departure interview
  • Volunteer handbook (when available)
  • 24/7 U.S.-based staff support
  • In-country housing and certain amenities
  • Training and guidance from host group
  • Host program needs, such as tools or supplies for your project
  • Post-trip thank-you packet
  • Monthly newsletters

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, it does not cover your flight, passport/visa, vaccinations, transportation while in country, exit fees, meals, or personal expenses. Click here for full details about your program costs!