We are glad that you are interested in serving with UrbanTrekkers! Here you will find more information about life in Copán Ruinas and the volunteer experience with UrbanPromise Honduras. Volunteers will primarily serve as an assistant to the UrbanTrekkers Program Director. You will work alongside the Director in the development of curriculum, planning trips and expeditions, buying supplies, communicating with youth and helping to run after school programs and trips (biking, gardening, hiking, etc.)
Your days will vary in their activity, connecting with staff and youth, planning, and assisting with communications. There is also the opportunity to lead biking or gardening groups depending on interest and ability. Volunteers generally put in 3-4 hours before lunch and 4-5 hours after lunch. Along with your work in the after-school program you will have many opportunities to continue building relationships with youth and their families. Examples might include having dinner with families, taking youth out for coffee, joining in our weekly Youth Night, and youth discussion groups.
Volunteers are also able to use the morning time for Spanish classes in the case that more Spanish instruction is needed. If your Spanish competency is minimal then it is advisable to take Spanish classes during your stay. UPH can help arrange Spanish classes through Guacamaya Spanish Language School.
1. What is the mission and vision of UrbanPromise Honduras (UPH)?
Mission: to be an outdoor, hands-on, up-close learning and mentoring program to help the youth of Honduras engage the world as servant-leaders with the heart and mind of Christ.
Vision: We believe that education will open the doors of opportunity for our youth, and our hope is to help students know how to use that education to impact their world. We believe education is about motivation- stimulating and awakening the child-like curiosity that is part of our very human nature. Our programs are designed to generate high interest among UrbanPromise youth so that they are motivated to learn from the experience and carry that motivation into all aspects of their life- academic, relational, and spiritual.
3. What is the connection between UrbanTrekkers and UrbanPromise Honduras (UPH)?
UrbanTrekkers is one of the several after school programs offered through UPH. Other programs include vacation camps, year-long after school camps, and the Youth Leadership Program. We work closely with all other areas of UPH, many of our youth overlapping with several UPH programs throughout the year.
3. Can I volunteer with other programs within UPH besides just UrbanTrekkers?
Volunteers will have the chance to work closely with the Youth Leadership Program, but are encouraged to choose whether to volunteer in the camps or with UrbanTrekkers, as time constraints make it difficult to work with both programs. If you are interested in volunteering with the after school camps, click here.
4. Is my time flexible? – Will I be able to spend time away from work, traveling, visiting friends, etc.?
No, your time does not allow for much flexibility. We essentially view our volunteers as unpaid staff. Therefore we ask that our volunteers work the same full-time hours as staff and receive the same vacation days as staff. Obviously we do not want our volunteers to burnout just as we do not want staff to burnout, so with proper communication we can make necessary adjustments.
5. What fees do I pay as a volunteer? What will I receive?
There is $25 one time application fee/donation. This will cover monthly “coffee & convo” volunteer meetings, orientation and materials, free internet and celebration dinners with UPH staff. At UPH, volunteers become part of the team. There is no “us” and “them” in reference to staff and volunteers. We all serve alongside each other, working, planning and moving in the direction of our common vision. Volunteering with UrbanPromise Honduras for an extended period of time can be a great opportunity for gap year students or anyone seeking personal development in a cross-cultural setting. The personal development of our volunteer team is extremely important.
6. How much does it cost to live in Copán Ruinas?
Living styles vary so I can discuss the specifics of costs with you further. For a rough estimate, depending on how lavish or frugal the lifestyle, you will spend between $100-300 on food/month and $150-250 on accommodation/month.
7. Can UPH assist me in finding accommodation?
Yes, UPH will assist in finding your accommodation. Before your arrival we will connect with you and secure accommodation based on your preferences and budget. Volunteers will have the option of individual apartments, hotel or home stays.
8. What level of Spanish does the volunteer need to have before arriving?
We accept volunteers of all Spanish levels. That being said, our programs are all directed in Spanish. Therefore if your Spanish is beginner or low-level then your attitude must be one of learning, failing and overcoming challenges. The first month with such language barriers will be very difficult but we have hosted long-term volunteers who began with no Spanish experience but were conversational after 4-8 weeks. If your Spanish competency is minimal then is advisable to take Spanish classes during your stay. UPH can help arrange Spanish classes through Guacamaya Spanish Language School.
9. What is the minimum time commitment for volunteers?
Volunteers must make a commitment of at least 4 weeks. The longer your stay, the more you will feel part of the UPH team and will be able to nurture and build deep relationships with the children and families in the community.
10. Do I need a specific skill set to work with UrbanTrekkers?
You must love God, love youth, and have a servant’s heart.
9. Are there age limitations?
10. What is the application process?
Contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and forward me your résumé/CV. After connecting with you and receiving your résumé and answering initial questions then I will forward you the Volunteer application. Upon successful review of your application plus successful reference and background checks you would receive acceptance to become part of the UrbanTrekkers & UPH team as unpaid staff! I will be in contact with you throughout this application process in hopes of making it as smooth and simple as possible. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.