Latin America and Caribbean Featured Program: Honduras
Honduras is a small country in Central America with a population of approximately 7.3 million. The climate is tropical to subtropical, depending on the elevation. Mountainous areas are slightly cooler, and warmer weather occurs along the narrow coastal plains.
First-time travelers to Honduras are amazed by the local hospitality and the strong cultural heritage based on ethnic diversity. The slow pace, natural beauty and low-profile tourism is particularly appealing to international volunteers.
Spanish, Amerindian dialects (Mayan, Tol, Tawaka, Miskito) and Garifuna.
Honduras is one of the poorest and least-developed countries in Latin America, with nearly two-thirds of Hondurans living in poverty. Before 1998, Honduras showed moderate economic growth as a result of government reforms. Nevertheless, after losing US$3 billion due to Hurricane Mitch, Hondura’s economy is still in the process of recovery. The agriculture sector—responsible for most exports—was affected the most. Mitch also caused more than 6,000 deaths and left 8,085 missing and 75,000 homeless.
After the Hurricane Mitch tragedy, the housing deficit percentage increased from 63.1 percent in March 1998 to 65.9 percent in March 1999, representing a loss of 165,000 houses. According to reports published in 1999, 66 percent of the houses in Honduras are considered deficient.
Many substandard Honduran houses are made of cardboard and plastic, with four to ten people living in a single room. Due to poor sanitary conditions, cases of diarrhea and dysentery, among other diseases, are very common.
Habitat for Humanity’s work in Honduras began in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Cortés in the Yure River valley in 1988. As evidence of its growth, there are now regional offices reaching more than 50 communities.
The houses consist of two bedrooms, a living/dining room, a kitchen with a breakfast counter and a toilet. The walls are made of concrete block reinforced with steel, and the roof is made of corrugated aluminum-zinc sheets. The houses feature shutter windows and polished concrete floors.
Families are offered two house models, one measuring 48 square meters and the other 36 square meters. The first model has been used for almost 14 years, and the second was recently introduced with great success, as it allows Habitat to reach families with even lower incomes.
Habitat Honduras received its first Global Village team in 1994 and since then has served as host to thousands of individuals from across the globe. Learn more about Habitat Honduras at Habitat’s Honduras country profile page or http://www.gvhonduras.com.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will help with house improvements, finish/conclusions, repairs and additions and expansions. A technical advisor and a supervisor will guide volunteers through the construction process. They will explain the construction system used in Honduras and provide written construction goals each day. Tools and emergency and evacuation plans will be given to every team member. There will be designated resting zones with drinkable water, as well as portable bathrooms with water and soap for the volunteers to use.
La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Aguan, Santa Rosa de Copan, Siguatepeque, Tegucigalpa, Puerto Lempira.
Teams must fly into San Pedro Sula, with the exception of the teams that will be working at Tegucigalpa. Flights from the United States typically arrive in the morning or early afternoon.
Hotels are simple and basic and typically located near the project site. Rooms sleep two to four people and include a private bathroom, although bathrooms are occasionally shared. All facilities are screened by HFH staff to ensure they are safe, clean and well-maintained.
Special housing needs (private rooms, air conditioning, first-floor rooms, etc.) can usually be arranged, though may result in additional fees.
Both long distance and daily transport to and from the hotel is typically a 15-person private van with a hired driver.
Food and water
Lunch: Served on the work site, lunch is usually lighter than breakfast and dinner. Sandwiches, fresh fruit and fruit drinks are staples for the midday meal
Dinner: Typically rice, beans, white corn tortillas, plantains, salad and a meat dish prepared in a variety of ways throughout the week.
Dinner is served in the hotel or a local restaurant.
Snacks: Each day, a morning and afternoon snack of fresh fruit, cookies and juice will be provided for the team.
Water: Tap water is not sanitary to drink in Honduras. Purified bottled water and bottled juices will be provided throughout the day. Some hotels also provide safe bottled water or use purification systems for tap water. Fruit juices sold on the street should be avoided unless made fresh directly before purchase.
Hosting structure and services
Host coordinators are bilingual and can be contacted through phone or e-mail. They are committed to respond within five days of being contacted by Global Village specialists or team leaders. A Habitat staff member will accompany each team for the entire week while in the country.
A mobile phone will be provided to the team leader upon arrival.
Once volunteers arrive, the national office will transport them to the affiliate, where they will be given a small welcome by the local community. Before the trip ends, the team will also participate in a farewell activity, in which they will be given a souvenir and a certificate of thanks. Habitat for Humanity Honduras will follow up with annual e-mails and brochures to all participants, as well as photos and written testimonies of the partner families that worked with the team.
Standard itinerary (9 days)
Day 1 (Arrival day, typically Saturday): Greeted at airport by Habitat Honduras staff; transported to housing accommodations; orientation.
Day 2 (Sunday): Optional church service; additional transportation depending on project location; free day in the community.
Day 3–7 (Workdays, Monday–Friday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8a.m.–4p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner of typical Honduran food; time for team activities. Special events throughout the week: cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as traditional dance, agricultural and architectural tours, typical food preparation, etc.; walking tour of host city; farewell ceremony.
Day 8 (Saturday): Cultural activity day trip; travel to departure city or in-transit location; free time and closing activities; final team dinner.
Day 9 Final day (Sunday): Departure day.
Starting at US$1,495
View the standard budget.
Mid-January to mid-December
Note: The months of February and March are high tourist season; teams wishing to travel during this time must reserve the calendar at least six to eight months in advance.
Volunteer Engagement specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact the regional Volunteer Engagement Specialist.
Please note: proposals for LAC trips should be submitted no less than six and no more than nine months prior to departure. Due to the LAC area’s hosting capacity and volume, this timeline ensures our team can best support you in the Global Village trip planning process.