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Volunteer Q & A’s

A Day in the Life of our HCA volunteers


Where exactly is El Porvenir?

El Porvenir is a friendly beachfront town in the department of Atlantida, just 20 minutes west of the lively city of La Ceiba. The sea is just to our north and the pineapple fields and mountains are directly to the south.

 

Where will I live?

Honduras Child Alliance has two volunteer houses in the ‘El Centro’ part of town. They are super close to local markets and the beach and an easy walk to each of our three classroom locations. Both houses have complete kitchens, bathrooms with showers, electricity and wifi. They are clean, comfortable and secure.

VH1-exteriorBeach House

What is the cost for housing?

Housing is $42 USD per week for the first 6 weeks and then drops to $35 per week after that. If you’re staying 6 mos.+, we can reduce it a little more. WiFi access is available for $2 USD per week. Your ‘rent’ is used to provide purified water, propane for the stoves, water for bathing, electricity, maintenance, weekly housekeeping and more! It is a minimal amount, but it is essential to keep our volunteer houses operating.

Is it possible to reduce my rent?

If you’re staying for at least 16 weeks, let’s talk about one of our intern positions. We typically need a ‘Healthy Snacks Ambassador’ to manage our snack program, a ‘Tech Wizard’ to manage the computers and Kindles, and a ‘Facilities Coordinator’ to help care for the classrooms and houses. Your rent can be reduced in exchange for being the ‘on the ground’ coordinator for these items.  For those who can stay for 12 months or more, we encourage you to apply as an ‘Outreach Manager’ to promote HCA in the local community and online, or as ‘Project Manager’ to oversee the operations of the programs. The managers receive free housing, wifi, phone, and a weekly food stipend. The Outreach Manager and Project Manager must have at least an intermediate ability in Spanish. Note that these positions fill up fast so plan in advance if you’re interested.

How many volunteers will be with me at Honduras Child Alliance?

Generally there will be 8-14 volunteers in-country at any time and they work in small groups at 3 locations in the community. You will never be sent to work on your own. Our HCA project manager lives in one house and our assistant manager lives at the other so there is a support person at each house to answer any questions you may have.

Is El Porvenir a safe place to live?

Mo w:kids on beach

Beach time after classes!

Our community is welcoming, friendly and a lot of fun! The volunteers walk to and from the projects, local markets, the fùtbol field and the beach every day with no problems. Our houses are quite secure and we have good relationships with our neighbors. With that said, the safety and security of our volunteers is always a top priority and so your initial orientation will cover this in detail and you will be given a full tour of our community.

What is the age of the volunteers?

HCA has welcomed volunteers from the age of 18 and up (and a few teens accompanied by older family members). We prefer volunteers be 20+ but good hearted folks of any age are welcome to apply!

What language is spoken in the volunteer house?

Our volunteers come from all over the world and so English is the most common language spoken within the house. However, we live right in the community and so as soon as you’re out the door you will be immersed in Spanish. No worries – – there are plenty of opportunities to learn and practice Spanish!

Is HCA a religious organization?

Honduras Child Alliance welcomes volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds and is not a faith-based organization. We seek volunteers with open minds and open hearts and we believe that our diversity is our greatest strength! We welcome volunteers from all faiths, nationalities and walks of life to join together to help lift children out of poverty.

Will I need to take public transportation to get to the classrooms?

No. Volunteers easily walk to any of our three class locations with the longest walk being about 15 minutes and the shortest being literally next door to the volunteer house. There are 3 wheeled taxis called tuk-tuks that will take you anywhere in El Porvenir for 10 Lempira (about 45 cents) but we tend to only use these if we’re out at night. If you’d like to go to La Ceiba to shop, the public bus stops right in front of one of our houses and costs 17 Lempira (about 70 cents) each way. A taxi to La Ceiba is about 100 Lempira ($4.60) for one person but less if you share.

How much should I expect to pay for food?

dinner at maura'sMost volunteers report that they are able to eat very comfortably for 600 HNL (about $27 USD) each week, with some people spending far less. The local markets are called ‘pulperias’ and are well stocked with inexpensive, locally grown fruits and veggies. We have a mini-super two doors away from one of our volunteer houses that carries eggs, cheese, bread, rice and items like that. The close by city of La Ceiba has 6 supermarkets. These are somewhat more expensive than shopping in El Porvenir but have a greater selection of products. There are three beachfront restaurants in El Porvenir that offer delicious ‘plato economicos’ , a large plate of rice & beans, plantains, coleslaw and your choice of fish, chicken or meat for about 60 HNL – – – yes, that is less than $2.50 USD!

Are there any other costs?

Once accepted to the program, there is a one time “confirmation donation” of $160 USD. This donation is used toward materials, supplies and administration of the volunteer program.  In addition, the program fee directly supports the Honduran community by paying the stipend and some of the education costs of two of our staff members, our housekeeper, the man who mows the lawn, the woman who cooks some of our Healthy Snacks, and more. Funds are also used to purchase needed supplies from the local markets. This donation and your housing fees are the only items paid to HCA.

Okay, I filled out my application. What happens next?

We will contact you to send additional info and arrange a skype interview as soon as we receive your application. We look forward to speaking with you and are happy to answer any questions you may have!