We are eager to host short-term mission groups and individuals… families, youth groups, community groups and so on. Additionally, we welcome volunteer interns who might be willing to work at Instituto Vidan Abundante in the La Moskitia region of Honduras. Internships can be as short as one month in duration, or as long as one year.
Currently, Reach Out Honduras volunteers are able to sleep and eat at the House of Hope Guest House.
If you find the Holy Spirit leading you to explore further, please read the information below …
Gracias a Dios is the eastern-most department of Honduras. Though it is the second largest department in the country making up about 15% of the land mass, it is sparsely populated, and contains extensive pine savannas, swamps, and rain forests.
In 2005, the estimated population of 76,278 only accounted for 1% of the total population of Honduras. The sparcity and ethnic make-up of the region result in it being undervalued and overlooked by Honduran society and government. This region is also known as ‘La Moskitia’ due to the indigenous Miskito people that inhabit it, even though the Miskito span an almost equal distance into bordering Nicaragua. Even with several key “municipalities,” La Moskitia is considered poor and remote even by Honduran standards. The standard of living, income, and access to healthcare is far lower than the national averages—all of which are already among the lowest in Central America.
In 2000, the World Health Organization ranked the Honduran health-care system at 131 (of 190) in the entire world – the lowest ranking of all Central American countries. With few exceptions, the government provides little or no health services in the La Moskitia region, leaving the vast majority of care to be supplied by charity and missionary organizations. The lack of infrastructure (roads) in the region makes health-care delivery virtually impossible without the use of aircraft.
Above information provided by Missionary Air Group – Honduras
To view some amazing photography of La Moskitia, visit Nanni Fontana’s site.
Puerto Lempira is the capital of the Gracias a Dios department in eastern Honduras. Though it does not have paved roads, it is the largest town in the La Moskitia region of Gracias a Dios. Puerto Lempira is located on the shores of the Caratasca Lagoon. The natural beauty of Puerto Lempira is awe-inspiring; the physical poverty of Puerto Lempira is humbling.
You will fly to Puerto Lempira on a 15 passenger plane and land on a dirt runway. The airplane trip is breath-taking!
1. Contact us! Let us know the approximate time frame you are considering for your visit, the size of your group and the types of work you prefer to complete.
2. Review the following:
Immunizations: No special immunizations are required to enter Honduras. However, the CDC recommends that Tetanus booster should be up to date. Additionally, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccine are recommended for healthcare teams. Please visit the CDC website for recommendations for traveling to Honduras. These recommendations can be costly depending upon your provider.
Dogs: Do not pet strange dogs. Less than 1% of dogs in Honduras receive rabies vaccine.
Medications: Bring prescription medications in their original container. Carry prescription medications in carry on luggage. Bring a copy of the prescription if possible. It is difficult to get some medications in Puerto Lempira but most medications can be obtained in La Ceiba.
Malaria prophylaxis: The rooms at House of Hope all have screens. Volunteers should bring repellant. The mosquitoes that carry malaria are most active at dawn and dusk. If your group plans to make a lot of visits to outlying villages then we recommend malaria prophylaxis. Check with your physician for malaria prevention medication. There is still no chloroquine resistant malaria in Honduras. Chloroquine is relatively inexpensive and available as a generic medication. In addition to anti-malarial medication, clothing may be treated with insect repellant permethrin spray that lasts through repeated washings.
Hydration: It is very important to stay hydrated in the tropics. Every team member should bring along a water bottle. We will provide purchased purified water during your stay at House of Hope. Some people also like to bring along something to flavor the water such as Crystal Light To Go or Green Tea To Go.
Sun exposure: It is much easier to get sunburn in the tropics than it is in the US. We suggest the use of hats, sunglasses with UV protection and sunscreen with SPF number of 30 or higher.
Conditions in Puerto Lempira:
Electricity: The electric service at the House of Hope has improved during the past year. We usually have electricity for some period of time every day but this is not guaranteed. The usual range now is 18-20 hours a day. The usual hours of electricity are 8-9 AM until 2-4 AM. Although at times we have gone almost one week without electricity, this has not happened to us recently. Bring a small flashlight and extra batteries; you may need it at night. A small battery operated fan may also be helpful.
Telephone: Cell phone service is available. We can make and receive phone calls from the US. If you bring your US cell phone, check with your carrier to make sure you have international services and the rates. There is an Honduran cell phone at our guest house, and this is the least expensive way to call the US. Honduran cell phones may be purchased in La Ceiba.
Noise: Some people have difficulty sleeping at House of Hope because of the noise of crying babies and children and also because of the noise from roosters and dogs. Light sleepers may want to bring earplugs.
Credit cards: Only 2 businesses in Puerto Lempira accept credit cards so you should not plan on using credit cards in Puerto Lempira. Credit cards are accepted at the hotels and airports in La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula for plane tickets. It is also difficult to cash Travelers Checks in Puerto Lempira.
3. Passport – Make sure you have a valid passport. Many US Post Offices take passport applications. Visit the United States Passport Office for more information.
These first 3 steps will get your journey started. We look forward to meeting you and to sharing the beautiful people of La Moskitia with you!
We are just getting started on the details of this program, so please Contact us for more details!