San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Jul 18-25, 2018
  • Trip Type:
  • Cats
  • Dogs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorld Vets has been working in the San Juan del Sur community since 2009. It is one of our oldest small animal projects and it has made both a significant and visible impact overtime. Our free veterinary services have not only improved general animal health but also helped curb pet overpopulation. On this project our team will provide spay/neuter, along with any other surgical OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprocedures deemed necessary on a case by case basis in addition to health consultations.

What’s included: Volunteer kit, World Vets scrub top, pre – trip planning and coordination (as per the project itinerary), accommodations for 7 nights, breakfast at accommodations, airport transfers per established times, SJDS dogground transportation related to clinic work, lunch on clinic work days, a group activity, full participation in project and all supplies.

What’s not included: Airfare, optional excursions, incidentals, travel and/or health insurance, World Vets membership fee, and anything not specifically outlined as included. Volunteers are responsible for obtaining any travel documentation required of them to enter/exit Nicaragua (i.e a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure, visa if applicable)

A few special notes:
  • The gloves provided on World Vets projects are made with latex. Volunteers who have a latex allergy will need to provide their own gloves for this project.
  • Pre veterinary students will not perform any surgical procedures, however they will be involved in all other clinical activities in the same capacity as veterinary students. Veterinary students can expect to assist with surgical procedures however they should not assume that this will be the main focus of their involvement during clinic.
  • Caps and masks are required to be worn by all surgeons as well as those assisting within the sterile field of the surgical patient. World Vets provides disposable caps and masks on field service projects, however, volunteers have the option of using their own surgical cap.
  • World Vets is able to accommodate vegetarians on this project. However, we will not be able to accommodate any specialty diets such vegan, kosher, and/or gluten free etc. Those who have strict dietary restrictions will need to bring their own supplements and/or snacks for the week.
  • World Vets is not able to provide medical advice. Volunteers are encouraged to consult with their family physician, nearest travel clinic and/or center for disease control regarding recommended immunizations and/or health precautions prior to the trip. Although not a requirement to participate on a World Vets project, it is recommended that volunteers be vaccinated for rabies.
  • We understand that sometimes unexpected things can happen to stop a volunteer being able to participate in a project. For that reason, we highly recommend that you obtain some form of insurance for your trip.  Affordable travelers insurance can be found here, which can also cover trip cancellation in some circumstances and covered reasons. You must read the policy wording to ensure the policy is a fit for your needs. World Vets project fees are non-refundable and non-transferable (to another person or to another project).  We encourage volunteers to make sure the dates of our projects do not conflict with any prior engagements before signing up.
  • Please read and make sure you understand World Vets Terms & Condition


Day 1 (July 18): Official Arrival Day

Arrive at Augusto C Sandino International Airport located in Managua. Airport Code: MGA. Up to two airport transfers will be provided (i.e. one for afternoon arrivals and another for evening arrivals), however we request that volunteers plan to arrive no later than 10:00 pm. Upon arrival, the team will transfer to San Juan del Sur (~2 hr drive), get settled into accommodations and have the rest of the day/evening to relax or explore.

Once you have your flight booked, please send your flight information (i.e. arrival/departure time, airline carrier, flight numbers) to We will require this information no later than June 18th, 2018.

Day 2 (July 19): Group Activity & Leisure

Today the morning is set aside for free time. In the afternoon the team will take part in a group activity – you will go on a mini boat excursion out on the water and catch the sunset when coming back to port/town. Whale, dolphin and/or turtle sightings are also possible during this activity.

Day 3 (July 20): Free/Leisure

Today is free for volunteers to explore the area, do some sightseeing and/or take part in a nearby excursion. World Vets does not have any activities planned for today, so volunteers will be responsible for making their own arrangements.

In the afternoon, the field service veterinarian and a few volunteers will go to the clinic site to set up and prep for clinic. In the evening, there will be a group meeting to go over details and the plan for providing veterinary services.

Day 4, 5 & 6 (July 21, 22 & 23): Field Clinic Work days

Hopefully you are well rested because for the next three days you will be operating a field condition sterilization/animal health campaign. The team will be picked up by 8:00 AM to be taken to the clinic location. Bring your scrub top, headlamp, water bottle and comfortable shoes and be ready to pitch in and help wherever needed to make the project a success. (Lunches provided at clinic site)

Day 7 (July 24): Free/Leisure

Take advantage of your last day to explore the area, do some sightseeing and/or take part in a nearby excursion. World Vets does not have any activities planned for today, so volunteers will be responsible for making their own arrangements.

Day 8 (July 25):Official Departure Day

Today is the official end date of the project and signifies departure. There may be two airport transfers provided (i.e. one for early morning departure* and another for late morning/mid afternoon departures) depending on the departure times of the majority.

*It is highly recommended that volunteers schedule their departure flight for late morning/early afternoon. If your flight leaves  a 6 am or 7 am, please know that you’d then need to depart San Juan del Sur around 2 am. 

For volunteers who wish to extend their stay, this is something that is not included in the project fee. Also, please know that if you stay past the official end date of the project, you will then be responsible for your return transportation to the airport.


World Vets team will stay in a vacation rental home located in the center of town and that is within walking distance of local shops, restaurants and beach. The property has WiFi, an outdoor pool and patio area, kitchen facilities, A/C in rooms and laundry service is also available. Accommodations will be shared.


General Packing List

*This packing list is geared towards our regular field service opportunities to tropical destinations


  • Shoes (Keen, Teva, tennis shoes, anything comfortable, preferably washable and w/ covered toes)
  • T-shirts/Short sleeved shirts
  • Shorts (shorts are ok for surgery)
  • Scrub Pants (optional)
  • World Vets scrub top
  • Swimsuit
  • Light Jacket or sweatshirt
  • Bandana/hat
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Headlamp (Highly recommended for vets and students, optional but recommended for others)
  • Camera (w/ extra batteries and memory card)
  • Daypack or tote
  • Travel Alarm
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  •  Shampoo
  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter meds (Tylenol, Imodium, cold meds etc)
  • Comb/brush
  • Soap
  • Band-Aids
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Beach Towel
  • Ear Plugs
  • Flip Flops/Shower shoes
  • Small travel flashlight
  • Laptop (most destinations have WiFi although not very reliable)

Air Mattress (If applicable)

The 10 Rules of Packing