El Jardin de la Vida is an educational center focused on helping people learn to live a more sustainable life. We are passionate about natural building, gardening, and slow food. If you are interested in learning more about how you can slow down in your life, work more with your hands and find time to appreciate all you have, come visit us. We are happy to welcome you as a guest, as a student or as a volunteer. ​

Located on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua we provide an authentic experience in a remote tropical location. Experience the magic of twin volcanoes rising from Central America's largest lake. Our project is located 2.5 km outside of Balgue in a community called Punta Gorda. If you're looking to immerse yourself in nature and rural living, this is the place for you. We have a beautiful garden that attracts thousands of butterflies and young fruit trees spread along throughout the property, as well as a privileged lake access just across the road.  ​

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Free / Work-Trade

Bamboo Dormitory

Minimum stay: 180 nightsMaximum capacity: 8 people
Food included
Garden Coordinator- This a hands on position ideal for someone looking for more experience working in a Permaculture inspired environment. Your duties will include maintaining our vegetable garden. This will involve working closely with the founders, the volunteer coordinator and local workers. Our goal is to increase production, focus on food preservation and create a surplus to sell at our local farmers market in Santa Cruz. The ideal candidate will have a Permaculture Design Certificate and experience working in a tropical environment. Intermediate Spanish is required.
We have several long term coordinator positions available for qualified individuals who are looking to contribute a their skills to our project. These are work exchange positions where you receive three lovingly crafted meals a day and accommodation in exchange a minimum six month commitment of your time. Qualified candidates should hold a degree, speak fluent English and Intermediate Spanish.

Bamboo Dormitory

Minimum stay: 14 nightsMaximum capacity: 8 people
Food included
We welcome interns for as few as two weeks though we do give preference to people looking for longer stays. As an intern with us you will help with the day to day activities at our educational center. You will work closely with our Nicaraguan staff to help maintain the structures and the grounds. In addition to this we rely on our interns to help prepare for upcoming workshops. We provide an opportunity to learn a variety of natural building techniques, from scratch cooking, the maintenance of a veggie garden and how to live a more sustainable and fulfilling life.
As an intern you will stay in our open-air bamboo dormitory and receive three mindfully crafted home cooked meals a day. You also have access to use our kayaks and Stand Up Paddleboards. With a two-week commitment you are welcome to attend a three day workshop for no additional cost if it coincides with your stay with us. If you stay a month or longer you are welcome to participate in our more extensive workshops.

Key Stats.

Year founded


Size of project site

0.75 hectares

Languages spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

People on site

2 - 20

Dry season

November to May

Wet season

May to November

Living Conditions.


  • shared rooms
  • private room

Omnivore Food

  • restaurant on site


  • fast: streaming video

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