FAQs

Check out some of our frequently asked questions below.  If you have any additional questions that are not answered, please feel free to contact SchoolBOX on our Contact Us page.

SchoolBOX is not a travel company so we will not be able to directly help you make plans for your extended time in Nicaragua. We will be more than happy to point you in the right direction and can give you recommendations on websites that can help you plan your time. 

Yes you can certainly arrive in Nicaragua early or stay longer after your trip. The additional time will be at your own organizing and expense. If you are arriving early or staying late please let our Volunteer Coordinator know so we can plan to pick you up or drop you off at a central location.

Our volunteers are not required to speak Spanish to participate in a SchoolBOX volunteer trip. If you know a few Spanish phrases or words and want to practice that is fantastic. In not, have no fear. We provide all groups with tour guides and translators for the entirety of the volunteer trip so you will always have someone to help you with conversations, instructions, questions and purchases.

When it comes to volunteering, the more you give the more you get. Your fundraising will go towards your community project or a SchoolBOX program in that community. Fundraising before your trip will give you so much more appreciation for the work you will do when you are there and you get excited for what you are doing. You can know that you helped make it possible. The fundraising you do is tax deductible.

Working in the community you will have many opportunities to interact with various community members. Getting to know the community is one of the most important aspects of the volunteer program. Whether you are playing with kids, or working alongside community members, the community is an integral part of the school construction project.

Flights to Managua typically fly through Miami, Houston and Atlanta. The main Airlines are American Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Copa, Delta and United. It is best to plan to arrive in the late afternoon or evening on the day that your trip begins and leave Managua in the morning on the day that your trip ends.

Your $1500 USD trip fee includes you food, water, transportation, tour guides and accommodation for the duration of your trip. We make sure you have three meals a day since you will be very busy and need the energy. Purified water will be available at all times so you do not get dehydrated from the heat.  All of the in-country transportation is provided so you never have to worry about how to get from A to B. Our tour guides and translators are with the group at all times to help you communicate with community members, the construction team or anyone else you might need to speak Spanish to. And finally, clean, safe and reliable hotels are also covered in the trip fee. We plan for double occupancy in hotel rooms.

SchoolBOX uses registered hotels that are clean, safe and have reliable staff. If you are registered for a future group ask your SchoolBOX’s Volunteer Coordinator for a link to the hotel that your group will be staying at.  At most hotels SchoolBOX uses there is internet for you to contact your family and friends.

If SchoolBOX cancels your trip for any reason, we will return your trip fees to you including the ‘non-refundable deposit’ or find you an alternative date to reschedule your trip. This is a rare occurrence and is usually related to health or safety risks. Make sure you know about the cancellation, refund and rescheduling policy of the airline you book with.

If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, please notify SchoolBOX by emailing volunteer@schoolbox.ca. SchoolBOX will not be able to refund your ‘$400 non-refundable deposit’. Depending on the circumstances, a refund for the remaining payment of $900 will be done on a discretionary basis. It is up to the volunteer to re-book/ cancel flights accordingly.

The two easiest ways to donate are:

1 – Mailing a cheque to our main mailing address (SchoolBOX, Mill St. PO Box 201, Almonte, Ontario, Canada, K0A 1A0) and on the memo line indicate your name and trip dates.

2 – Donate online (http://schoolbox.ca/donate.htm) and indicate your name and trip dates in the message/instructions section.

In both cases, we will count the donations as part of your fundraising, and issue the individuals tax receipts.

You are welcome to fundraise to offset your trip costs. You must be transparent with donors about where their money will go. Donations to offset the $1300 trip fee are not eligible for a tax receipt.

No, each volunteer is responsible for booking their own flight. The trip cost includes your in-country transportation, meals and accommodations. Flights should cost around or less than $900 if travelling from Canada. Once you book your flight please send a copy of your itinerary to our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@schoolbox.ca.

For more information on pre-volunteer trip preparation, check out our Pre-Departure Manual (LINK).

Visit our online registration form (LINK) or contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@schoobox.ca. Once you are registered send your $400 USD deposit to the address below. Please clearly indicate your name and trip dates with your deposit in USD.

SchoolBOX c/o Treasurer

Mill St.
PO Box 201
Almonte, Ontario,
Canada, K0A 1A0

Your average build day will begin with breakfast to make sure you are well fed for the busy day ahead. Once you arrive at the worksite tasks for the day will be assigned and explained. As you work you are encouraged to take water breaks and of course a few play breaks as well to interact with the kids. Then you will have lunch in the community before you finish up the tasks for the day. After all the work is done you can have a friendly game of soccer or kickball with kids and community members.

For more details about an average day on a SchoolBOX volunteer trip check out our Sample Itinerary (LINK).

A SchoolBOX International Volunteer Trip is a unique experience that takes you to Nicaragua for 10 days to participate in the construction of a school. You are there to not only help build a school, but to learn from community members, to inspire students, to make new friends and have a cross-cultural experience.

A SchoolBOX International Volunteer is a fantastic way to get involved both abroad and with a community in Canada.

SchoolBOX strives to be as effective and transparent as possible in our fundraising.  We rely heavily on our friends, supporters, Board of Directors and volunteers to raise the funds we need to ‘Make Education Possible.’

Come see the impact you are making.  We provide opportunities to come to Nicaragua to meet the kids, teachers and communities we are empowering together (schoolbox.ca/volunteer).

      We do NOT:

  1. Use 3rd party fundraisers

  2. Employ people go door to door asking for donations

  3. Use direct mail campaigns to solicit new donors

  4. Employ telemarketers to fundraise

  5. Pay for TV time or television commercials to fundraise

  6. Employ people to solicit donations on street corners

SchoolBOX depends on a grassroots community of supporters in Canada, the United States and around the world to raise funds for our programs.  Most of our funding comes from individual communities that fundraise for specific projects or initiatives.

For example:  Friends and family of Brett B. Crawford, an amazing young woman who passed away tragically at the age of 19, have come together to fund the construction of 3 schools in Brett’s memory.  Close to 1000 children have access to functioning schools thanks to their amazing efforts.

Yes.  If you file taxes in Canada your donation is tax deductible.  Tax receipts will be provided for donations above $20.

US residents can donate to SchoolBOX through our partner organization that is a 501 (c)(3).  Please contact michelle@schoolbox.ca for details

YES.  Our Registered Canadian Charity # is 83870 1324 RR0001

81% goes to direct programs

8% goes to administration

11% goes to fundraising

Over 2500 individuals, schools, companies and organizations have financially supported SchoolBOX

Thousands of volunteers have given generously of their time in Canada and Nicaragua to help SchoolBOX.  350+ international volunteers have travelled to Nicaragua to help us build schools.