I went to Honduras with Volunteering Solutions. I travelled in August, 2012. All of the arrangements were clear and concise, with easy to follow directions. I went to work at a special education center with children with disabilities. I spent two weeks at the school, situated in La Ceiba. The organization's contact person in Honduras, and his family, were so helpful. And, the host family was like being with people from my own family. I think the best way to see real people is how they treat someone who gets sick (don't eat fruit from street vendors). I became very ill. My contact family and my host family cared for me like I was part of their family. The medical care was first class and the treatment was fast and effective.
The school where I had my volunteer placement was a delight. The staff was helpful to me and fantastic with the children. I never heard an angry word or saw a child pulled or dragged. The teacher with whom I worked has marvelous skills and extreme patience. My impression in one word, gentle. Gentle teaching raises the respect level between adult and child and is most effective in teaching concepts and skills, especially when a teacher is working with children with disabilities.
Honduras is not a financially wealthy country. Its people, however, display wealth in other ways, they are helpful, warm, and gracious with strangers.
This was a novel experience for me. I think that the success of the experience begins with the people at Volunteering Solutions. Their contact in Honduras, and his family, display the best there is to offer as a contact in Honduras, or in any country. The host family with whom I was placed was gracious, warm, and caring. And the placement in the school allowed me to work with really caring educators.
Finally, when I encountered delays because of hurricane Isaac, American Airlines stepped in to give me great assistance with my reservations.
Honduras? I am returning with my wife later this month to celebrate her birthday. I also want her to meet the warm people of Honduras with whom I interacted. Volunteering? I hope to return next year to repeat my experience.
If you plan to volunteer, then Volunteering Solutions is an excellent option. If you are unsure about a country, then consider Honduras. The organizational structure for volunteers is extremely supportive and Honduras has a vast variety of options, from tropical rain forest, Mayan ruins, and working as I did with schools and agencies.