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Olancho Aid Foundation

About

The Olancho Aid Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit, faith-based organization that empowers Honduran youth to transform themselves, their communities and their country through education. From special needs to bilingual classrooms, our team of international volunteers and Hondurans are dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing an environment that stimulates intellectual and spiritual growth and fosters independent thinking.

Website
olanchoaid.org

Reviews

Default avatar
Megan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Love OAF!

I loved volunteering for the Olancho Aid Foundation. I was in Juticalpa for two years, and it quickly became a second home. The people are fantastic, and the opportunity really is one of the best out there. I know they've made some changes with requirements and benefits, but when I volunteered, they paid a wage you could live on and save with. In addition, you did not have to have teaching experience. Though being in the classroom was "sink or swim" and could be overwhelming, I learned a lot and my experiences have greatly contributed to my current career.

Overall, I loved Juticalpa. It's a small, quaint town, and people like having teachers from the US (Notice I don't say "American"--Central Americans are also "Americans"). Before volunteering, I had never been to Honduras before (or Central America), and I was concerned about safety. I can say honestly that I always felt very, very safe. We were trained well and provided with cell phones. I knew that if I ever called or texted someone from the Foundation, they'd be right there with anything I needed. Regardless, Honduras always felt safe to me, whether we were walking around Juticalpa, backpacking to Lake Yajoa, or taking the chicken bus to Trujillo.

I’ll be honest that I made a lot of mistakes while volunteering, so I’ll offer the following advice: Keep in mind that this experience is ultimately what you make it, that it will be stressful and overwhelming at times, and that you need to be sure you are taking care of yourself. No matter how well the program looks out for its volunteers, diving into a new culture will always come with frustrations, anxieties, and home-sickness. Do your research and come prepared and plan to maintain your health (both mentally and physically). Do not come with pre-conceived notions of what your experience will be like or what Instagram photos you will be able to upload. Come with a desire to work hard at what you are asked to do and be flexible to how things work in other cultures. You likely won’t understand why you are doing certain things, but you are one piece of a larger, well-established puzzle that works for Honduras (even if it’s not “how we do things in the US”).

Best of luck to those considering volunteering. If you choose OAF, you won't regret it!

Default avatar
Karen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Blessings Received

If you are looking at a website like this, then you must be considering some kind of volunteer work. I was inspired to look into something like this after I read a book by Katie Davis called "Kisses from Katie". When I retired from teaching in May of 2018, I needed to find a way to give back for all of the blessings I had received in my life. To pay it forward. But what I have found, in teaching Catholic Spirituality to high school students for the Olancho Aid Foundation, is that the blessings keep coming. There is joy in teaching and reaching young people, in the support that I receive as a volunteer, and in the gift of living among people from a new culture. If you are considering this for your future, come here to work with the Olancho Aid Foundation.
You will be blessed!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
When I retired from teaching in May of 2018, I needed to find a way to give back for all of the blessings I had received in my life. To pay it forward. But what I have found, in teaching Catholic Spirituality to high school students for the Olancho Aid Foundation, is that the blessings keep coming. There is joy in teaching and reaching young people, in the support that I receive as a volunteer, and in the gift of living among people from a new culture. If you are considering this for your future, come here to work with the Olancho Aid Foundation.
You will be blessed!
Default avatar
Kathleen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Olancho Aid Experience

I have been a volunteer with the Olancho Aid Foundation since September 2018, and I love it here! I was originally only supposed to stay until December, but I had such a great experience that I ended up extending my time here. I love teaching, learning about Honduran culture, hanging out with the locals, traveling on weekends, and learning Spanish. This has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life - but also one of the most rewarding! You don't have to be a teacher to apply for the program; Olancho Aid does a great job at placing volunteers in positions where their skills are needed most. In addition, they provide a great support system throughout the program, starting from the moment volunteers apply. If you are considering applying for the Olancho Aid Volunteer program - I say go for it! You won't regret it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make friends with the teachers! Some of my best memories are from my teacher friends.
Default avatar
J
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thankful for this experience!

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to volunteer with the Olancho Aid Foundation. I have learned so much from my peers and co-workers. I feel this experience has really prepared me for the future!

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