Teach in Honduras with BECA

Video and Photos

Out and about in the village
Out and about in the village
Harvesting coffee with a friend and parent of the school
Harvesting coffee with a friend and parent of the school
BECA Family
BECA Family
Best Friends
Best Friends
The kids are cuter - but this is a pretty great benefit.
The kids are cuter - but this is a pretty great benefit.
Dia del Niño.
Dia del Niño.
Library time.
Library time.
First day of school.
First day of school.

About

Each year we assemble a team of committed volunteer teachers who want to dedicate themselves to the difficult but rewarding work that we do in Honduras. We seek enthusiastic, curious, diverse, and thoughtful volunteers. For every application, we consider the applicant's volunteer service, international engagement, teaching experience, and academic record.

As a volunteer with BECA, we aim to provide you with a challenging, transformative experience that gives an in-depth understanding of grassroots international development, underserved Central American communities, bilingual teaching strategies, and community capacity building techniques. As a result, you will develop the skills and responsibilities to be an effective teacher, communicator, and leader.

Highlights
  • 6-week Intensive Summer Teacher Training
  • Ongoing Professional Development
  • 3-week Home stays and ways to get involved in the community outside of the classroom
  • No Spanish required
  • No teaching certificate required

Questions & Answers

I’d say that it would be good to have money saved if you’d like to travel on school breaks. The stipend is enough to live day to day, but making the most of living in Central America will require a bit of savings.

Reviews

97%
based on 22 reviews
  • Benefits 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Facilities 8.8
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 22
Default avatar
Pat
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Great Opportunity for Personal and Professional Growth

I could talk about my time with BECA for ages. I taught third grade during the 2015-16 school year, and with a background in something other than education, I found teaching students, especially that young, to be challenging. But it resulted in so many new skills, abilities I didn't know I had, and incredible professional growth that helped me get the job I have today.

My year in Honduras contributed greatly to the person I am today. Although I took Spanish for 8 years in middle and high school (and even some college), I didn't consider myself a Spanish speaker until I went to Honduras and met my students' families. Now, I work in a totally unrelated field, but I used skills I learned or improved upon every day. Every one of your future employers will look at the time you completed volunteering with BECA as an extremely positive asset, regardless of whichever industry you end up in.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just go with it! Be flexible. Teaching ELLs is challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. You'll be frustrated at times, especially if you don't have an education background (like me!) but when it comes down to it, these students (and the community) greatly appreciate you being there to teach them, they understand the sacrifice you're making, and just being there to speak English to them, every day, all week, contributes greatly to their growth as English speakers and increases their future opportunities.

Also, this may be one of very few chances you'll have to visit Central America, so make the most of it.
Default avatar
Jocelyn
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Rewarding Challenge!

If you're considering volunteering with BECA, you should know you are signing up for an extremely rewarding challenge. My experience with BECA could easily be classified as a rewarding challenge. There are certain aspects of teaching in rural Honduras that will force you to be flexible and stretch yourself, your thinking and your creativity. There are numerous ways in which being a BECA teacher made me a better teacher. Being a BECA teacher forced me to take culturally responsive teaching into consideration at all moments (both in/out of the classroom). I learned the versatile art of "making it work" in terms of limited materials. I exercised my flexibility and problem-solving skills. The students enrolled at the BECA schools undoubtably made all of the challenges 110% worth it! In some ways, having limited resources urged me to be creative and really take a critical look at my own pedagogy. There is a strong emphasis on learning as the purpose of school and this emphasis is evident at every BECA school campus.

Though there are a number of challenges that come being being a BECA teacher the work was INCREDIBLY rewarding. When it was hot and sweaty, my students reminded me why I loved being their teacher. If you're used to teaching in a compressive US-based public/private school, a BECA school will be very different in a number of ways. That being said, that difference is not inherently bad. BECA has a substantial summer training session to prepare teachers to be successful in the classroom, so having that proper experience is not essential.

I like to say that I did more learning than teaching during my time as a BECA teacher. As a BECA teacher, I re-examined my own values as an educator especially related to equity in education and seeing the power of student efficacy and success. It was always clear to me that everything we, as teachers, did was for the benefit of the students and we were always pushing forward and rooting for our students. I was constantly pushing myself to be the best teacher I could be. If you are somebody who cares deeply about the potential for student growth and success, a BECA school is a place for you.

What would you improve about this program?
BECA has had some shifts in leadership and some procedural revision regarding response to crisis situations. That being said, these changes have vastly improved the volunteer experience for BECA. BECA is clearly trying to grow and consistently improve their volunteers' experience. The current leadership is incredibly receptive and reactive to feedback.
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Working With BECA Communities Changed My Life

I taught with BECA for two years right after graduating from undergrad. Everyone I met from the support team in the US to the in-country staff and volunteers were incredible people. The best part of all was how close you become with the community members themselves. We’d hear the daily gossip from the licuado lady, stop for a coffee with families, play in the park with students, and enjoy all sorts of special holidays and events, which of course wouldn’t be complete without fireworks and lots of baleadas. During my two years in Honduras I not only learned a lot about la cultura catracha and teaching, but I learned a lot about myself. I know it sounds cliche, but my two years with BECA changed my life. Without a doubt I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t of committed to volunteering with BECA.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Honduras is a magical place and I experienced things I never would have imagined. Piling into “chicken buses” to go the beach, bouncing in pickup trucks up to the mountains, visiting ancient Mayan ruins, enjoying baleadas with families. The list goes on, but I think the most surprising moment was the outpouring of friendship, caring, and gratitude that came from my students and their families. They truly cherished every opportunity they had to support their children and the volunteers who were giving them a brighter future. I have never experienced such a community since.
Amelia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Staying for a 2nd year!

I was placed at ADJ this year and have chosen to stay a 2nd year! BECA's bilingual immersion program has completely shifted my views on the value of education, opportunity, and access. I've loved working in the BECA program at the ADJ location and have enjoyed my times visiting the other two schools. My time here has been an cross-cultural experience, a time of personal and professional growth, and a blast getting to know the most fun, amazing kids! I've enjoyed it so much, and I can't wait to grow another year here.

Madaline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BECA! BECA! BECA!

I volunteered with BECA for 3 summers, 2009-2011, and had the best experience! I enjoyed what I was able to do and learn so much that I returned as a year-long volunteer for the 2014-2015 school year. I was a first-grade teacher at Amigos de Jesus and have since been back to visit several times. BECA changed my life in so many ways. It gave me a lot of focus and helped me to find my calling. I was also really pushed to learn more about myself and the world. Since ending my time as a volunteer the organization has continued to support me. I have received recommendations from several members of the BECA community that I am convinced helped me to get into different graduate programs as well as job offers. This is an organization whose mission is worth supporting. It will be one of the hardest years of your life but it will be worth it in the end.

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Liana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Grassroots in action.

Be prepared for a life that is a far cry from the hyper-convenient, digital pace many of us come from. We are talking long, hot, dusty days spent on concrete floors in a classroom full of students whose lives most likely look far different from your own childhood. If you are willing to devote yourself to this year, the BECA team (and sizable alumni community) will do absolutely everything they can to equip you with the education and resources you need to serve those kids to the best of your ability.

This is not your average US NGO working in Latin America. The schools are run by the local Honduran community and forged by the relentless support of students' parents. If you are invited to work with BECA, you are joining a project that hundreds of volunteers before you have poured their hearts and minds into and the that the local communities have supported since its inception. We as volunteers are given the immense responsibility and privilege of continuing an over decade long project of offering an affordable bilingual education to Honduran youth in rural villages. We are talking some of the most intense, rewarding work on the planet. Go for it!

What would you improve about this program?
I was impressed with the program 5 years ago when I volunteered, and since then I have watched it only improve. Teachers now receive an even more comprehensive training than when I participated including a social justice component that is aimed at really contextualizing volunteers with the reality in which they will be living and working.

Even through this last election cycle which has proven to be an exceptionally politically tumultuous time, I have been thoroughly impressed with BECA's level of transparent communication and overall response. Having had direct correspondence with a teacher on the ground this year through an alumni teacher-mentor program, I know that the volunteers have felt very supported by BECA even as the political climate presented huge uncertainties.
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Elena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Opportunity to Volunteer for a Truly Community-led Organization

I was a teacher with BECA for two years. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have ever had, and I could not have asked for a better experience. If you are looking to work for an organization that is run by a great group of thoughtful, ethical, and passionate individuals, this is the place for you! I've met some of the most amazing people through this experience. Friends I will have for the rest of my life.

Also, the kids. I haven't even mentioned how cute and ornery and magical these children are. Getting to know the students and their families was my favorite part of the two years I spent at San Jeronimo Bilingual School and Amigos.

BECA provides teachers with resources, training, and continued support, and although there will be days that push you, you will emerge with a greater understanding of how to work with a dynamic team to become a better educator and a better community member!

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Derek
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best and most challenging 3 years of my life!

I went to Honduras with BECA to teach middle school math for the 2012-13 school year but I ended up staying for 2 more years. The school was very much connected to the Honduran community and I made lasting connections with my students and their families. Teaching was the hardest thing I had ever done (after 5 years of working as a mechanical engineer) and at first I thought I wouldn't make it. However, with great support from BECA and loving students I ended up thriving in ways I never imagined. I learned how to do more with less, overcome all types of obstacles, and work as a member of a very diverse team. If you volunteer with BECA, you will do amazing work that will leave a lasting impact on your students but my guess is it will be you how learns and changes the most.

Lara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A challenging, rewarding and very worthwhile experience!!!

When I arrived in Honduras after graduating college in 2012 to volunteer with BECA I had no idea what kind of experience I was in for. I didn't speak any Spanish, I had never taught second graders and I had never even traveled anywhere south of the U.S. let alone Honduras. However that leap of faith positively effects my life, now 6 years later, almost every day.

BECA does an excellent job training and supporting teachers and administrators so that they can provide quality English education to existing, locally owned and operated, schools in Honduras. This model stands out from other NGO's in that it is community driven, sustainable, and provides a desired service (access to free/very low-cost English teaching from trained, high-quality teachers).

As a second grade teacher, and then an elementary resource (special-ed) teacher, I was inspired to pursue further training and education in bilingual/second language education and teaching. After BECA, I got my masters in Applied Linguistics and am now a researcher and PhD candidate in Linguistics. I also travel back to Honduras every summer to provide support to the summer training program for new teachers. I certainly credit BECA to inspiring and supporting these achievements. Not to mention all the amazing friends I made (Hondurans, Americans, Canadians, Irish and British all included!) many of whom play a significant and daily role in my life. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants a challenging but rewarding experience!

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

Best job I've ever had! I miss it so much :)

After college I was looking to go back abroad and immerse myself in a responsible, intercultural experience. I found out about BECA through a friend and was lucky enough to join their team as a Kindergarten teacher. I also worked as their online media manager. Working for BECA was an eye-opening, fun experience and the most rewarding job I have had so far. I worked with other amazing volunteers, school partners and community members, whom were all dedicated to helping BECA carry out it's mission. You will make friends for life!

My experience at BECA changed my life. I mean that sincerely. I no longer work in the non-profit industry (I'm a graphic designer at a creative agency) but employers are still impressed with the work I did with BECA. I've been able to apply the skills and knowledge I gained to different positions in the entertainment and creative industries. Working for this organization will make an impact on your personal life and on your career. I encourage everyone to check out this organization and the incredible work they are doing down in Honduras!

What would you improve about this program?
No improvements needed to the program. I think BECA could do a better job marketing itself as it's not well know but is certainly a little gem in the oversaturated world of international non-profits :)
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Tanya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Probably the Most Formative Experience of my Life

I decided to join BECA in 2014, a year after I graduated from college, starting as the Middle School English Teacher, and can confidently say it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was certainly challenging, but so rewarding in so many ways - the relationships with the students and the families, the close friendships with the other teachers, and the incredible amount of learning and growth you experience professionally, socially, and emotionally. I stayed a second year as the Upper School Resource Teacher, which was also the right choice - it was perfect to have a year where I already felt at home in the community and could focus on my teaching and the students. Even two years after leaving Honduras, I'm still in contact with my students and their families, still best friends with many of the other program members I worked with, and still involved with BECA today. I cannot stress enough how significant this program was to me, and cannot recommend it enough for anyone who is committed to working hard and open to a lot of humbling learning experiences. (I would also mention the practical benefits of improving Spanish-speaking ability, travel around Central America, and delicious, delicious food).

What would you improve about this program?
Less of an improvement than a heads up - this program requires a lot of hard work, a lot of commitment, and an open mind. The year-long commitment, working and living with a small group, and the demands of teaching can be taxing. The benefits will be more than worth it, but it is not a suitable program for someone looking for something temporary or slightly more lax.
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Joe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Chance to Serve

When I finished my time in the military, I wanted to continue serving in another form, and I found it with BECA. I signed on for one year as a 2nd grade teacher, stayed for another year to teach the same kids in 3rd grade, and stayed again for a third year as the school administrator. I became so immersed in seeing my kids learn and grow each day, and becoming part of a community set on developing education together to overcome the challenges brought by generational poverty, inequality and natural disaster. The longer I stayed, the harder it became for me to leave. No matter how challenging the work was, watching my kids mature into the future leaders of Honduras, and seeing the pride their families felt for them, made it always worth it.

Since returning to the USA, I continue to work in education and look back on my years with BECA as some of the best of my life. This is so much more than a quick voluntourism or mission trip that merely shows you something new. This is a chance to perform real service that truly changes the future of a community and an entire country.

If you want to serve, work for BECA.

Alyssa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the Best Decisions I've Made

As a senior in college, I knew I wanted to spend a year pursuing post-graduate service, and I found myself struggling to decide between several different programs. I ultimately chose BECA based on the opportunities I would receive as a classroom teacher and as a member of a Honduran community as well as the impact I could leave through my work. I could not be happier with the decision.

I spent the 2013-2014 school year as a kindergarten teacher and loved my experience so much that I returned to spend first grade with my students the following year. I fell in love with the energetic students, dedicated families, and passionate culture of Honduras. I learned so much as a teacher with BECA and formed strong relationships that are still with me even several years after leaving.

Since returning to the States, I have continued working in bilingual and ELL education. I have gone back to visit Honduras every year and cherish the unique connections I made there.

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Timothy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BECA, Honduras 2009 -- 2011

Dear Friends,
I still remember stumbling upon BECA at a job fair during my second semester as a senior in college. I was feeling bleak about the end of my years in Boston, and unsure about what was coming next. I did know that I wanted to travel, to develop my language skills, to be challenged, and to learn about myself and others. In the 2 years (and recent trips back to Honduras) these expectations were met and more.
Now, as a teacher in Bilingual Kindergarten teacher Oakland, I rely on my BECA foundation every day. It prepared me to be flexible and adapt, to work hard (and have fun) to celebrate the joys of learning, to value multiple languages, to embrace our differences, and to build bridges in today's world.
My BECA family is still very much part of my life. I am contact with former students, my host family, and with other BECA alumni. It is hard to express in words how much my 2 years with BECA/Honduras impacted my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

What would you improve about this program?
This program (as in life) is what you make it. If you work hard, respect yourself, respect your community, keep an open mind, and challenge yourself-- the possibilities are endless.
Default avatar
Benjamin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program for teaching experience and social impact

I taught second grade with BECA. As someone without previous teaching experience, they provided in-depth support, mentorship, and professional development. Since I completed my time with BECA, I have been able to use this lead-teaching experience to secure other jobs in education and youth development. BECA is making a substantial impact in their communities and gives each volunteer a meaningful teaching experience.

Location

Location:
Honduras
Currency:
Honduran Lempira
Weather:
Jan-Mar
86 F / 57 F
Apr-Jun
88 F / 63 F
Jul-Sep
90 F / 64 F
Oct-Dec
86 F / 59 F
Airports:
Ramón Villeda Morales International
( SAP )
Toncontín International
( TGU )
Juan Manuel Gálvez International
( RTB )

From the incredible temperature of the Caribbean to the Mayan ruins, there is always something to keep you occupied in Honduras. No matter where you end up in Honduras, there is always lush greenery to explore and pinchos to eat, all at an unrivaled price.

Interviews

Staff Interviews

About Bilingual Education for Central America

BECA is a 501(c)3 organization that recruits, trains, and supports English-speaking volunteer teachers to staff a network of community-run bilingual schools in Honduras that serve low-income communities. We exist to promote cultural exchange and...