It’s becoming increasingly popular for people from the U.S. to go abroad and volunteer. It’s like a combination of a vacation and work. A lot of people enjoy the chance to give back, while also traveling and seeing the world.
When you take a volunteer trip, you can also get a real feel for the people and the culture of your destination. That’s not something that necessarily happens when you go on a typical vacation. If you go on vacation in most cases, you probably won’t leave your resort. Your destination can seem like anywhere else on the planet.
There’s a sense of authenticity that a lot of people appreciate about volunteer trips abroad.
One destination that garners a lot of attention is Honduras. Honduras is in Central America, and as many volunteer opportunities there are, there is also stunning natural beauty.
The following are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning a Honduran volunteer trip.
Money and Finances
A lot of people don’t necessarily think about the cost of volunteering abroad. Many programs do have fees associated with them, but there are some free options available. The free options still tend to require participants pay for their food and other living costs.
Even if you are able to find a free program, you’ll have to think about the fees you may have to pay while you’re gone, such as local travel fare, food, credits for your cell phone, and unforeseen costs.
It’s important to estimate what you might need before you leave, but if you do find yourself in an unexpected situation, companies like Remitly make it easy for your family back home to send emergency funds.
Find a Program That Aligns With Your Values
It’s really important to dedicate the necessary time to find the right volunteer program for you. Along with differences in cost, there are many other differences to consider as well.
You need to do your research regarding the values, and the mission of an organization before you start volunteering.
You should also learn what their overall approach to volunteering is, and make sure that you’re not surprised by anything when you get there.
Just one example of an option for volunteering in Honduras is working with children. There are volunteer-run schools across the country, and volunteers can work teaching or tutoring students.
As you’re narrowing down your options and choosing a program, really think about what your skills are. You want to bring true value to the organization you volunteer with and to the local people, so try to focus on your strengths as you plan your trip.
If you want to save money and do a DIY volunteer trip, meaning you go it on your own, there are some things to think about first. You probably won’t have a hard time finding an organization needing your help, but you do need to make sure you’re thinking about safety and also including the costs of things like accommodations.
One of the benefits of volunteering in Honduras is that you get the chance to not only participate in the program you choose but also see the natural beauty of the country. There are rain forests, beaches, and there’s plenty of reminders of Mayan history to explore.
Just as the landscape and people vary so much between Latin American countries, so do the Visa requirements. Most of the Latin American countries will provide you with a tourist visa when you get to the airport.
Some are free, and some have fees. You should make sure that you look up the latest laws and regulations for Honduras specifically before you embark on your trip because things change quickly regarding Visa requirements.
There are not only logistical concerns to think about when planning to volunteer abroad. You’re also going to have to think about the local culture. When you’re going on a vacation and staying in a resort, you can dress and behave exactly as you do at home.
When you’re going to be working and living in local communities, that might not be the case.
You’ll want to make sure you pack appropriately. Do some research on local cultural standards for the destination where you’re going. You’ll want to think about the local culture not only as you’re packing, but make sure that you make learning about it a top priority while you’re at your destination.
Finally, you’ll, of course, need to make sure you think about your health before setting off on your trip. For example, you will need to visit a doctor before you leave to determine which vaccinations you’ll need, and you’ll have to think about things like bringing enough of any prescription medications you rely on.