In 1998, Hurricane Mitch laid waste to Honduras, inflicting billions of dollars worth of damage and killing nearly 5,600 people. Ever since then, the country has recovered very gradually. The government has diversified the goods it exports but such decisions have brought incremental change. There is still a huge income disparity and the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Central America. Volunteers have the potential to make a huge change in Honduras.Photo Credits: nan palmero.
Development homes for orphans, disabled individuals, and teen mothers are always seeking help. Volunteers can teach kids in preschool to grade 3, work with local food banks, or help rehabilitate women scarred from abuse.
The level of ones health in Honduras is directly tied to income level. Malnutrition and poor sanitation contribute to widespread sickness. Volunteers can work in hospitals or clinics to administer drugs and assist various medical procedures.
Ever wonder what it’s like to teach English in a jungle-engulfed school as a teacher’s assistant? All Access Volunteers is just one organization of many that has such a program. Education (e.g. literacy rates) are strong in some areas. However, the country’s population is sparsely populated. The more remote communities have little access to proper educational resources.
NGOs/Non-Profit/Volunteer History: NGOs are very active in Honduras. From organizations focusing on bilingualism to economic integration with neighboring countries to iguana research, you will not be hard pressed to find an NGO whose goal’s align with yours. Visit here for a complete list of NGOs in Honduras.
How Volunteering in Honduras Will Help Your Future: Volunteering in Honduras will not only expose you to a rich culture in which your Spanish will greatly improve but also to organizations with which you could continue working after graduation.
Questions to Ask: Which areas are most dangerous and should thus be avoided? What are some local customs? Will I be working with community members or other volunteers, foreign or domestic?
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Honduras
Your safety depends on how much common sense you use. Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula have experienced high crime rates. Don’t go out at night either by yourself or with a group. If you have the option of taxing a taxi or walking back from your volunteer site, it’s probably best to take the former.
While Dengue fever is more prevalent in rural areas, malaria has popped up both in rural and urban environments. Always prepare for the worst (yes, that includes crazy monkeys and annoying mosquitoes).