Last summer I volunteered for blueEnergy, a non-profit in Bluefields, Nicaragua that works to bring clean water, renewable energy, and sanitation solutions to the most impoverished and isolated communities on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.
Bluefields is the largest city on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. I was nervous about the trip because my family and a few friends had told me the coast was an extremely dangerous place. When I got to Bluefields however, I experienced culture shock, I found the city to be completely different than any other part of Nicaragua I had been too, Bluefields was AWESOME, specially the night life! The atmosphere was relaxing, people were warm and friendly, reggae music could be heard everywhere, and the market was bustling with the catch from the sea and boats coming and leaving to the communities. It truly felt like I had stepped into the melting pot of old exploration days, Rama, Miskito, Garifuna, and Mestizo’s filled the old pirate city, plus a few of the blueEnergy volunteers that came from all over the world.
The city is to a certain degree isolated from the rest of the country, there are no direct roads that connect the two coasts and the main mode of transportation are taxis (within the city) and pangas (small boats overfilled with people and cargo) to navigate the bay, rivers and streams that connect the surrounding communities.
Bluefields and the whole coast is plagued with problems, it has no central water system, no sewage system, electricity comes and goes (if you’re lucky enough to even have it) and the government forgets the region exists except during elections season.
BlueEnergy works to alleviate some of these problems by providing bio-sand water filters to families, building community wells, installing solar panels in isolated homes in the middle of the bush, and working to educate the community on health issues. They also provide students from all over the world the opportunity to learn and be agents of change in communities. I enjoyed every second I was there despite the numerous challenges of daily floods, being eaten daily by a healthy population of mosquitos, and adjusting to life without basic commodities.
I honestly had a blast in Bluefields and met the most amazing group of locals and volunteers at blueEnergy. I can’t wait to return! To learn more about blueEnergy and the work they are doing visit them at
And to learn about the coast, read funny adventure stories and even plan a trip to the beautiful Corn Islands, visit my friend Casey’s blog