Work and Travel in Honduras
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN HONDURAS FOR TRAVELLERS
Honduras is a classic stop on the Central American backpacking route. However, rather than whizzing by Honduras, consider work in Honduras and make a difference. Honduras is the most dangerous country in Central America and most backpackers don’t stay for long. However, once you get to know the country you’ll find that many of the stereotypes of Honduras are simply wrong.
Our travel guide to Honduras is going to show you everything you need to know about working and travelling in this country.
1. Develop Poorer Communities in Honduras
Honduras still hasn’t recovered from Hurricane Mitch at the end of the last century. With billions of dollars in damage, this country doesn’t have the resources to help all its people.
But you can help develop communities by working with the most vulnerable in society. The most common volunteering opportunities in Honduras include: working with the elderly, the disabled, and in orphanages.
If you’re more qualified, you may even be able to work with victims of gang violence.
2. Improve Healthcare Levels in Honduras
Honduras is one of those countries where the healthier you are the richer you are. This direct connection to income level means many Hondurans just don’t have access to good healthcare.
As you travel in Honduras you could work in clinics and hospitals. Aid doctors and nurses as they treat the injured and sick.
Backpackers with qualifications may even be able to aid in administering medicines and even assisting in medical procedures.
3. Teach English in Honduras
The main language of Honduras is Spanish, but young people want to learn English and improve their prospects. There are English language schools all over the country, including in the rural areas and even in the jungles.
The sparse population of the country means that there are so many rural areas that don’t have access to educational resources. Native English speakers are always in demand to help teach children the basics of the language.
You don’t usually need any qualifications to work in these schools, but you will have more options if you possess at least a TEFL qualification.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR HONDURAS
Honduras has a liberal visa policy. It’s part of the C4 agreement, which means that anyone who can enter Guatemala, El Salvador, or Nicaragua can also enter Honduras without the need to apply for a separate visa. However, it does mean that you can ordinarily only stay in all four countries for 90 days total, so plan your work and travel in Honduras around that.
You should also be aware of the fact that many countries’ citizens may have a Schengen or a US visa but still won’t be able to enter Honduras if they normally need a visa. This policy mainly applies to African countries.
All North Americans, UK citizens, European Union (EU) citizens, the Japanese, South Koreans, Australians, and Kiwis can enter Honduras for 90 days without applying for a visa, although in practice they will only give you 30 days unless you pay an extra fee. For more info click here. This same policy also applies to Russians and South Africans.
Chinese citizens, on the other hand, must apply for a visa to enter Honduras in advance.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN HONDURAS
Spring is a good time to work in Honduras as the weather is pleasant and it’s outside of the rainy season. That means it’s an excellent time to indulge in conservation projects.
There are a number of categories within the conservation field. You could work to defend marine life on the coast of Honduras and around the Bay Islands. Alternatively, you could aid in jungle conservation. It’s true that many gangs use the jungles to hide their criminal activities, but this is far from the reality across the whole country.
You may also want to consider going into the rural areas. Educational and community development projects are popular in the rural areas during spring.
The summer season is when the official rainy season starts in the inland areas, particularly around the lakes of the country. There’s something of a break in August, but we recommend avoiding travel in the inland areas in summer.
The best place to be is on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. You can find work on the Bay Islands in conservation.
Another option may be to work in the capital of Tegucigalpa. Working with a charity to help the people who live in the poorer parts of the city could be an option. San Pedro Sula is another city you could work in, even if it’s more dangerous.
The autumn is when the rainy season on the coastline starts. Look for volunteering opportunities in Honduras in the inland areas. Jungle conservation is one option if you want to work in the more rural areas.
Other than that, work and travel in Honduras in autumn is largely confined to the major cities. Look back at the previous section for more information on this.
Winter, again, is a continuation of the rainy season and is by far the worst time to travel in Honduras. The rainy season is present in both the inland areas and on the coastline.
The only real volunteering opportunities in Honduras at this time of year involve working in the cities. You may be able to work in orphanages or in care homes, but there are few options elsewhere.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN HONDURAS
Be aware that Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in North America. Gang violence is common and you should take extra care when you work in Honduras.
There’s no hostility towards foreigners who’re volunteering, but there’s still the undercurrent of crime you have to be aware of. Your project manager will be able to advise you on the precautions you should take during your stay here.
You’ll generally have an easier time working in the countryside. The two major cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula have high crime rates and you should take extra care here.
Do you have what it takes to work and travel in Honduras?