Questions about volunteer life . . .

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Where 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 Caribbean Sea is to the north and the pineapple fields and mountains of the Pico Bonito National Park are directly to the south.

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  • Is there housing for volunteers?

    Honduras Child Alliance has two volunteer houses in the ‘Centro’ section 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 electricity, wifi, complete kitchens, and bathrooms with showers. They are clean, comfortable, and secure.

  • What is the cost to live at the volunteer houses?

    Housing costs $42 USD per week for the first 6 weeks and then drops to $35 per week after that. WiFi is available for $3 USD per week. Your ‘rent’ provides purified water, propane for cooking, electricity, maintenance, weekly housekeeping, and more! It is a minimal amount, but it is essential to keep our houses operating.

  • Is it possible to reduce my rent?

    Yes, sometimes. If you’re staying for at least 6 months, let’s talk about one of our intern positions. We typically need a Nutrition Intern to manage our Healthy Snack program, a ‘Tech Wizard’ to maintain the computers, and a specialist to plan and schedule Social Media. 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 a Program or Development Manager. The managers receive free housing, wifi, a local sim card for their phone, and a weekly food stipend. The Development Manager and Program Manager need to have at least an intermediate ability in Spanish. These positions fill up fast so plan in advance if you’re interested.

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

    Generally, there will be 8-10 international volunteers and 6-8 local ‘ayudantes’ (interns) at any time. We work in blended teams at 3 locations in the community. You will never be sent to work on your own. The HCA Program Manager and Development Manager live at the volunteer houses, so there is a support person at each house.

  • What languages are spoken in the volunteer house?

    HCA volunteers come from all over the world and so English is the most common language within the houses. You'll almost certainly hear some French and German as well. 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!

  • What is the age of the volunteers?

    HCA has welcomed volunteers from 18 to 80 but most are in their 20's and early 30's. We prefer volunteers to be at least 20+ but good-hearted folks of any age are welcome to apply!

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  • Is El Porvenir a safe place to live?

    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.

  • 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! At HCA, volunteers from many nationalities and walks of life join together to help children access opportunities to allow them to live free of poverty.

  • How will I get to the classrooms?

    Volunteers easily walk to any of our three class locations with the longest walk being about 15 minutes and the shortest being just a few steps from the volunteer houses. If needed, there are 3-wheeled moto-taxis that will take you anywhere in El Porvenir for 15 Lempira (about 60 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 ($4.00 USD) for one person but less if you share.

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  • How much should I expect to pay for food?

    Most volunteers report that they are able to eat very comfortably for 650 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 65 HNL – – – yes, that is less than $2.50 USD! (Vegan and vegetarian plates are also available at the local restaurants.)

  • I'm vegetarian/vegan. Will that be difficult for me?

    The Honduras Child Alliance volunteer houses have complete kitchens where you can store your food and prepare your own meals. Vegetarianism and veganism are not familiar concepts to many people in Central America but the local diet has many inexpensive and healthy items. Beans, rice, plantains, and tortillas are found almost everywhere, along with lots of fresh fruit. Vegetables are certainly available but are not served in restaurants in the quantities you may be used to. In El Porvenir however, many previous HCA volunteers have been vegetarians or vegans, so our local restaurants are accustomed to preparing plates to accommodate their choices. Be prepared to do some friendly explaining and watch out for hidden ingredients such as lard, and you'll be fine!

  • Can I drink the water?

    Our tap water comes from the mountains and is fine for bathing and washing dishes. However, we do not recommend that you drink, cook, or brush your teeth with tap water and so purified water is available at both volunteer houses.

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  • Do pineapples grow on trees?

    Pineapples do not grow on a tree. They grow cradled within a leafy plant almost year-round. One pineapple is a result of numerous individual fruit-bearing flowers that conjoin into one single fruit.

  • 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. Your program fee directly supports the Honduran community by helping to pay a maintenance person and housekeeper for the volunteer houses, the person who mows the lawn, the people who cook some of our Healthy Snacks, the stipends of some of our Honduran staff members, 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.

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Are there fun things to do on the weekend?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Cayos Cochinos

Make it a day-trip or spend the weekend visiting 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!

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Rafting and Zipline / Rio Cangrejal

(Just east of La Ceiba): If you're looking for an adrenaline activity, this is it!

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Villa Helen's / Sambo Creek

Swimming pool, restaurant, and beautiful beach. A great option for a relaxed beach day!

I'm interested! How far in advance should I apply?

We make plans for our education-team and for volunteer housing many months in advance. Our schedule is generally flexible but we recommend that you apply early since spots fill quickly.

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

As soon as we receive your application, we will contact you by email to provide additional info and to arrange a video interview. We look forward to speaking with you and are happy to answer any questions you may have!