Arts Unchained: Nicaragua Trip


Partnered with FNEI - January 2017

Looking for a way to give back to a community in need?

Arts Unchained has a unique opportunity to build a sensory garden for Niño Feliz, a school for children with special needs located in the city of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. A sensory garden is a garden environment that is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. This stimulation occurs courtesy of plants and the use of materials that engage one’s senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound.

This school provides education to children with a variety of diagnoses which includes but is not limited to children with Down’s Syndrome, severe physical disabilities, the hearing impaired, and the visually impaired. Arts Unchained has been visiting this school once or twice a year since 2012, providing therapeutic art experiences for the students, as well as educational tools and techniques for the teachers and parents.

What will you be doing?

Unlike previous trips where we worked primarily with the students, parents, and teachers at Nino Feliz and Aldeas SOS, the main goal of this trip is to build the sensory garden at Nino Feliz. I plan to work with the participants going on this trip to design and implement experientials that will involve the students in the creation and building aspects of some of the sensory garden stations.

Where will we be staying?

During most of the trip we will be staying in a small community outside of Leon called Chacresreca. Depending on recreational plans we might also be staying in a hostel part of the time.

Will there be recreational activities?

Of course! We make sure to organize some cultural excursions to explore the country as well as some time for relaxation, reflection, and self-care.

How much does the trip cost?

The total amount of $1400 will include your airfare, lodging, food, transportation, and all activities. $100 of that amount will go directly towards the building of the sensory garden. The only things not included in this price are any souvenirs, alcohol, or anything else extra that you wish to buy. The $10 entrance fee into the country is also not included.


Elizabeth Youngs has been involved in these international art therapy trips since Kelvin Ramirez lead the first one to Nicaragua in 2012. Since then we have grown into a small non-profit organization partnered with FNE International. Arts Unchained also offers annual trips to the Dominican Republic lead by my colleagues and friends, Deb Brass and Monica Duque. Our organization is affiliated with Lesley University, The College of New Rochelle, Pratt, and Marymount Manhattan College. We hope to continue to expand our affiliations to other colleges and universities in the future.
Nino Feliz

Special Needs School in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua

FNE International

Our sponsoring NGO that is doing a lot of amazing projects in Nicaragua. Check them out!

Go Fund Me

A site where you can create a page to fundraise and then post it on social media.