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Volunteering in Honduras

A Country in Need that Also Suits Every Travel Taste

Volunteer work with children in Honduras

Working with children in Honduras is popular among volunteers.

Why Honduras?

Honduras is a destination that was previously overlooked by visitors to Central America. The popular destinations of Costa Rica, Belize, and Guatemala left Honduras as a gateway country for travelers in transit. In recent years that has changed. Honduras is revealing itself as a beautiful country with something to suit every travel taste, with sites of historical significance, traditional tribes, "paradise" islands offering diving and coral reefs, rustic islands providing a snapshot of communities untouched by tourism, modernizing cities, and Caribbean subcultures. Of course, as in every almost every Latin American country, Honduras has its problems. Perhaps more than most. (See the U.S. government travel warnings before deciding if you wish to go.) More than half of the population lives below the poverty line, there has been political instability and worse, and as a result there is crime, poor education systems, health problems, and sometimes a mass exodus of its citizens out of the country. This is the terrible truth, but is also the reason why a travel experience to Honduras can be so much more rewarding. Volunteers are desperately needed across the country-for teaching, community work, medical work, and conservation.

Teaching in Honduras

There are a number of volunteer opportunities for teaching in Honduras. It is possible to either go via one of the larger organizations, or to approach various schools directly. Larger organizations tend to be much more expensive, but generally provide excellent in-country support. By approaching a school directly however, you are ensuring that the minimal money that you spend is going directly towards covering your own costs and towards the needs of the school and your students. Various schools and organizations offer different packages and the price of the volunteering placement differs accordingly. Although placements are on a voluntary basis, there are often opportunities to tutor English in your free time to earn some extra money. Schools frequently require a minimum commitment of time from volunteers, which is ideally one full school year, in order to provide the best continuity and therefore learning environment for pupils. However, volunteering in Honduras is very flexible — schools are desperate for volunteers, so if you wish to stay for a longer or shorter time, you will nearly always be able to organize this.

Schools and Placements in Honduras

Bilingual Education for Central America (BECA)
BECA send volunteers to a bilingual school in Cofradia, North-West Honduras, to teach English at Summer Camp.
Placement duration: 1-4 weeks
Requirements: Experience of working with children preferred
Cost: See application forms. Assistance is available with statement of need.
Included: Food, accommodation, orientation and in-country support
Age restrictions: None
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Resume and written application

Cofradia’s Bilingual School
This bilingual primary school, based in Cofradia in North-West Honduras requires volunteers to teach English to disadvantaged children in the local community.
Placement duration: 3 months to 2 years
Requirements: Some teaching experience or experience of working with children
Cost: No fee but volunteers must pay for flights
Included: Food, accommodation, phone and internet use, household expenses, and free luxury bus tickets
Age restrictions: 20-50
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Resume, written application, phone interview and letter of reference.

Olancho Aid Foundation
This foundation has a number of schools in the Olancho region, and is looking for volunteers to teach primary and secondary education, as well as Special Needs education. The foundation is part of the Catholic Church but welcomes volunteers of other religious affiliations.
Placement duration: 10 months
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, ability to communicate well in Spanish and some previous teaching experience is useful but not mandatory
Cost: No fee but volunteers must pay for flights
Included: Accommodation, food, personal expenses and airport pick-up and drop-off
Age restrictions: 20-50
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Resume, written application, 3 letters of reference and standard medical report.

Our Little Roses Ministries
This school needs volunteers to teach abused and abandoned girls all subjects in English. The school is based in San Pedro Sula.
Placement duration: Flexible
Requirements: College graduate
Cost: No fee but volunteers must pay for flights
Included: Food, accommodation, medical care, internet use and laundry facilities
Age restrictions: Over 21
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Resume, written application, face-to-face interview and letter of reference.

World Gospel Outreach
With a number of schools in Tegucigalpa, this missionary group is looking for volunteers to teach children aged 3 to 17. Volunteers teach all subjects in English and must have an interest in following a spiritually-based curriculum.
Placement duration: Minimum 1 year, 2 years preferred
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, education major and some Spanish are useful but not mandatory
Cost: No fee but volunteers must pay for flights
Included: Accommodation
Age restrictions: None
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Written application, telephone interview, letter of reference and in-person interview where possible.

Community Volunteer Work in Honduras

As with teaching in Honduras there are many volunteering opportunities either via larger organizations or independent groups within the country. Needs within Honduras for volunteers are often to work with orphans and street children, building houses, community buildings, and environmental projects.

AFS Intercultural Programs
This organization places volunteers in communities across Honduras to undertake community service, concentrating on peace and justice. Actual roles depend on different needs at the time, but may include helping street children or developing training programs with human rights workers.
Placement duration: 6 months
Requirements: No experience required
Included: Food, accommodation, international travel, language instruction, medical insurance, in-country support and emergency evacuation
Age restrictions: Over 18
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Resume, written application, letters of reference, medical examination and face-to-face interview.

Honduras Spanish School
This organization needs volunteers to teach children English and computer skills. This volunteer placement is combined with a one-to-one Spanish immersion course and is based in La Ceiba on the Caribbean coast.
Placement duration: 1 week to 6 months
Requirements: No experience required
Included: Food, accommodation, airport pick-up and 20-hours per week
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Age restrictions: None
Application: Resume, written application and phone interview.

International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE)
As a non-profit youth-exchange organization, there are community service schemes across Honduras that require volunteers. Roles include volunteering with street children by educating them on the streets, volunteering with mentally disabled people and running workshops for them, organizing health talks about sexual education and volunteering in shelters in vulnerable communities.
Placement duration: 6 or 12 months
Requirements: No experience required
Included: Food, accommodation, International travel, language instruction, medical and third-party insurance, in-country support, visa costs and basic living costs
Age restrictions: 18-30
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: In-person interview.

Un Mundo
Un Mundo facilitates grassroots projects in rural communities and volunteer opportunities involve working on projects to improve access to healthcare, education, and livable wages. Exact roles vary depending on requirements at the time, but may include health care workers and on-site facilitators.
Placement duration: Minimum 1 year
Requirements: Fluent in Spanish and good communicator. Healthcare roles require proof of qualification in the medical field
Included: Food and accommodation
Open to: Citizens worldwide
Application: Written application and phone interview.

United Planet
This organization sends volunteers to locations across Honduras to work in environmental education, women’s issues, to work with the elderly or with children with cancer.
Placement duration: 4 – 16 weeks
Requirements: High school diploma and some projects require knowledge of Spanish
Included: Food and accommodation
Open to: US and Canadian citizens
Application: Written application and face-to-face interview.

Practical Tips for Volunteers
  • If food is not included in your volunteering package, you can expect to spend up to $25 a week on food.
  • Remember to budget for the $25 exit fee payable at the airport when leave country.
  • Only the main roads and boulevards in Honduras have names. For anywhere else, the locals refer to by describing the location, e.g. "the red house 100 meters down the road from the white church."
  • Always haggle for taxi fares. Most trips in the towns and cities should not cost more than 50 lempiras. Also make it clear that the price you agree is the total price and not per person, and taxi drivers have been known to change the agreement when you arrive at your destination.
  • There are a lot of fast food chains in Honduras. Typical food is much cheaper and tastier. Look out for signs for "Pulperias" — these are small cafes or even a hole in the wall where they cook a typical dish each day, served with tortillas. You can get a meal for between 20 and 40 lempiras.
Related Topics
Volunteer in Central America
Volunteer in Honduras

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