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Workgroups

Bring a Workgroup to El Porvenir!

Does the Honduras Child Alliance need student workgroups, family & friend workgroups, professional workgroups, large workgroups, or small workgroups?

Yes! Honduras Child Alliance provides educational enrichment and healthy living programs in the seaside community of El Porvenir, Atlantida, Honduras, and has operated there since 2009. our community is welcoming and safe, but it is under-resourced and there is much work that can be done to improve access to education, healthcare, and quality of life in general. For that reason, although long-term volunteers (6 weeks to 12 mos) provide staff for the educational programs, shorter term (1-4 weeks) workgroups are always needed for special projects and events.

 

Where exactly is El Porvenir?

El Porvenir is a friendly beach-front 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.

You will enter Honduras via the international airport in San Pedro Sula (SAP) and then will travel by mini-bus, public bus, or local flight to La Ceiba. Your HCA ‘liaison’ is happy to provide assistance on how to best arrange group transport from San Pedro Sula to El Porvenir.

 

What are the visa requirements?

Volunteers from the United States, European Union, Canada, Australia, India, Israel, and several more countries do not need an advance visa. The main requirement is that there be at least 6 months remaining on your passport and that you can show proof of onward travel. You will receive a 90-day tourist visa when you enter Honduras. There is no fee for this visa.

 

How do workgroups impact the community?

The most important aspect of your work is that it actually fulfills an otherwise unmet need in developing the HCA classrooms, providing healthcare, improving facilities at the public schools, or for a family in need. At Honduras Child Alliance, workgroups always have natural opportunities to connect with the local children and adults, even outside of volunteering. Group meals are regularly hosted in the homes of our neighbors, and sometimes our volunteers are housed in the guest house/hotel owned by a local family. This helps to support the local economy, as well as give volunteers a more connected experience within the country. As your group becomes part of the community, even for just a week, you will find that in addition to your tangible project, you will also build genuine connections to the people who live in this hard-working and vibrant town. 

 

What type of projects will work-groups do?

Volunteers from all over the world have supported the Honduras Child Alliance programs. Recent groups have included a team of dentists and hygienists who provide annual oral care to elementary and ‘colegio’ (high school) students, Rotaract-affiliated university students who constructed an outdoor classroom, university groups who built latrine style shower and toilet facilities with local families, visiting artists who developed an art / literacy project for one week, EMTs who have added training for our local firefighters, and medical students who facilitated free health screenings and a health fair. Groups have also built playground equipment and an incinerator at the elementary schools, an ‘earthbench’ made from all-recycled materials for the fire station, organized a shoe distribution with Soles4Souls, and more.

The Honduras Child Alliance offers several options for workgroup projects, including:

    • Construction projects such as additions, improvements, and maintenance for the HCA classrooms, building outdoor classrooms, trash incinerators to keep children from breathing smoke, playground equipment for local schools, building ‘baños’ or home improvement with families in need, sustainable building, or facilities upgrades, and more.

    • Art projects such as murals and mosaics with local young people.

    • Medical and Dental groups to provide examinations and care that would otherwise not be available.

    • Specialized training in specific areas, such as environmentally sustainable building techniques, computer science or English immersion.

    • Professional development for local teachers and EMTs

    • ...and much more! Honduras Child Alliance is open to hearing your ideas so please let us know more about your interests and skills.

What is the process for deciding on a project?

To ensure that your group is doing a project that is well suited and that you feel prepared for the trip, HCA looks forward to collaborating and planning with your team! This includes an ongoing liaison (typically HCA director or manager) to answer questions and support the group leader(s), and an all-group video-meeting a few weeks prior to your arrival.

Each project is customizable based on the size, skills, and passions of your group and the current needs of our classrooms and community. In collaboration with our management team, workgroups are encouraged to choose a main project, but also a secondary goal if they so wish. For example, a workgroup could plan to primarily build baños but also curate an art project with local children during their stay.

What does HCA provide?

  • Accommodations for up to 15 people. Accommodations will be single/double beds with shared bathrooms.

    • Housing includes showers and flush toilets, wifi, and purified water.

    • HCA is committed to providing a clean, comfortable, and secure living arrangement for your volunteers and will work with you in advance to prepare participants for what to expect.

  • Three meals a day! Housing includes a small kitchen area with breakfast foods stocked for self-prep. Each day, lunch & dinner will be provided at local restaurants or at the homes of Honduran community members.

    • We are able to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets with notice. Please also let us know about any allergies.

  • An on-site “point-person/host” to specifically handle preparations, materials and supplies, supervision at the work-site, and any other needs of the group.

  • HCA will help arrange your transport to El Porvenir and is happy to share referrals as to transportation, tourism, etc.

Is it possible to take Spanish lessons?

If individuals in your group are interested in one-to-one conversational Spanish instruction, sign up for our ‘Study-Buddies’ program! Volunteers sign up for a 50-minute  session with a Honduran partner from our PEP-Adultos or ‘Ayudante’ programs. Based on the areas you specify as your focus, your Honduran tutor will work with you to practice conversational Spanish. Each session costs just 100 HNL (about $4.25 USD), of which 50 HNL goes directly to your Study Buddy partner, while the other 50 HNL goes toward scholarships that help our students graduate high school!

Is there anything fun to do in the area?

For sure! We appreciate that you’re coming to work, but Honduras is a beautiful country and you’re encouraged to take some time to enjoy at least some of what it has to offer. El Porvenir is located next to the Caribbean Sea,  with the mountains of the Pico Bonito National Park just to the south. There are many options for recreational group outings during your visit. A few possibilities include:

Rio Zacate Waterfall: This large and pristine waterfall is about 15 minutes from the volunteer houses. We travel thru the pineapple fields and into the mountains just south of El Porvenir.

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge: About 15 minutes west of El Porvenir in the neighboring town of La Union, the Cuero and Salado rivers form a lagoon as they meet the sea. Guests first board a small train that rides through the pineapple fields for about 20 minutes. They then arrive at a nature preserve and board small boats with electric motors. The Honduran guides will point out monkeys, parrots, crocodiles, an occasional manatee and much more.

Villas Pico Bonito / Rio Cangrejal: Offers an infinity pool and lunch with beautiful views.  This is a great place to relax and have a vacation day!

Cayos Cochinos: Make it a day-trip to visit these almost untouched islands off the north coast. Visit Garifuna fishing villages, snorkel in sparkling clear water, and maybe even see a pink boa if you hike in the jungle!

Rafting and Zipline / Rio Cangrejal (just east of Ceiba): If you’re looking for an adrenaline activity, this is it!

Villa Helen’s / Sambo Creek: Swimming pool, restaurant, and beautiful beach. A great option for a relaxed beach day!

Dinner in La Ceiba: There are several delicious restaurants in La Ceiba and so it’s typical that we schedule a celebration dinner at the end of your visit.

In addition to scheduled excursions, remember that our community fronts on the Caribbean Sea. Head to the beach after work, buy a fresh fruit ‘licuado’ (smoothie) from a local market, or jump into a fútbol game in the town square!

Are you interested in staying longer? 

The volunteering community within HCA is equally as fulfilling. Individual volunteers often stay for 3, 6, or 12 months while many shorter-term workgroups return annually.  Our volunteers come from all over the world and from many different backgrounds. A welcoming and inclusive environment is central to our core values at HCA.  Please check our VOLUNTEERING page for more info!