Honduras SCUBA, Spanish & Conservation



Touching down in the green valley of San Pedro Sula, we’ll sit down and enjoy lunch as we review our objectives for the trip and get to know one another. Leaving San Pedro Sula, we’ll head west until we reach the small town of Copan Ruinas. Named after the ancient Mayan Ruins of Copan, this cobblestone-lined town lies just a few miles east of the Guatemalan border. This mountainous region is scattered with reminders of ancient society.

During the next 7 days you’ll spend your mornings with your own native spanish-speaking instructor in a relaxed, one-on-one conversational instruction designed to increase your proficiency and ability to communicate with local people. We’ll explore the ancient Mayan Ruins of Copan, which lie just east of town. We’ll see the exceptional preservation of their temples and cities and learn how the history of these fascinating people is reflected and carried on in their living descendents. Other afternoon excursions will take us to the surrounding mountains on horseback and to the natural hot springs, which sit in the mountains high above the town.

“I had the most memorable experiences in my life. Getting my SCUBA certification was extremely fun and adventurous, I can’t wait to do it again. Building greenhouses from scratch for a family with such hope and happiness in their eyes was the best feeling ever. I was emotionally touched by what I saw in both the poor village and the beautiful island. My Spanish definitely improved. You can’t truly imagine what it’s like until you see if for yourself.”

Because of our unique access to remote villages, you will spend a several days in the Mayan village of Carrizalito. Here you’ll work side-by-side with this impoverished community to improve its health, education, and livelihood. You’ll work with villagers on one or more sustainable development projects including but not limited: sustainable agriculture practices (reforestation, soil enrichment, etc); composting latrines; improve the local school and educate the community on health standards. Having gained a sense of understanding and achievement in this unique place, we’ll say goodbye to our new friends and head to the coast to explore the other natural wonders of the Bay Islands.

From the coastal town of La Ceiba we’ll board the ferry to the small island of Utila, your home for the next 7 days. Just 18 miles off the mainland, this tiny island is host to one of the world’s largest barrier reefs. You will spend your days here diving while you earn your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification as an Open Water Diver (or add another certification if you are already PADI certified), We’ll dive multiple sites around the island and spend our time in the warm Caribbean water rather than a cold pool. We’ll explore underwater caves and tunnels and dive along side a multitude of sea life with the hopes of the a brief encounter with Whale Sharks, Sea Turtles and Giant Lobsters. We’ll also spend time while on Utila working with the local community to protect the reef and raise awareness for outsiders.

We wrap up our trip with a final Honduran meal, before returning to the mainland, to reflect on our journey and the differences we’ve made in the lives of others and our own.

 

Service Immersion Language Adventure
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Project Snapshot: Reef protection and Lionfish Capture on Bay Islands, Honduras

Problem:The Lionfish is an invasive non-native species damaging the reef and reducing the population of the native species.

Solution:Work with local marine biologists to remove the lionfish from the area through capture and the training of natural predators.

Impact:Restores balance to the natural marine environment and protects the livelihood of the local people.

Project Snapshot: Solar Power

Problem:Lack of electricity.

Solution:Working cooperatively with local NGO’s and solar companies to install community level solar power for off-the-grid communities.

Impact:Green renewable energy provides electricity which creates access to education, modern construction, public information through radio and internet and improvements to water and sanitation.

Project Snapshot: Soil & Water Conservation

Problem:Deforestation and torrential rains compromise the integrity of farmlands and river beds and remove nutrients vital to a successful harvest.

Solution:On susceptible areas of farming parcels and ephemeral stream beds we use rocks and boulders to build low retaining walls and low head dams.

Impact:Retains important nutrients in the soil allowing for a more abundant and nutritious crop. In stream beds, it retains more water in the basin, allowing for improved water table levels, retention of the richest soils for horticulture and a consistent and cleaner source of domestic water.

Project Snapshot: Horticulture

Problem:Poor nutrition, lack of vegetables in diet, financial restrictions of traditional horticulture.

Solution:Through a simple and appropriate design using rope, rebar and anti-viral mesh, a small green house can be inexpensively constructed to enable families to supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Impact:In agrarian communities where rice and beans is the staple of the diet and sometimes its only ingredient, nutrition improves when it is supplemented with fresh, organic vegetables with little added work.   Click here to see the results from our greenhouse project.

Project Snapshot: Education

Problem:Poor education due to lack of infrastructure and proper government assistance.

Solution:Provide student-lead lessons in English and extra-curricular activities in the arts.

Impact:Exposes local students to native english speakers and allows for diversity in classroom activites and exposure to new ideas.

Project Snapshot: Eco-stoves

Problem:Existing ‘open flame’ adobe stoves use for cooking in the home lack ventilation and create smoke-related health issues.

Solution:Using local materials construct an eco-stove which burns more efficiently and ventilates smoke through the roof.

Impact:Reduces the amount of wood needed for cooking, reduces deforestation, reduces lung disease and other smoke-related diseases.

Trip Highlights

  • 30+ hours of community service
  • Sustainable Development projects in Mayan villages
  • SCUBA diving & PADI certification on the world’s 2nd largest reef
  • One-on-one Spanish language training
  • Homestay and travel with local Honduran families
  • Horseback riding, hot springs and jungle Tours
  • Exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of Copán
  • Rare wildlife such as Whale Sharks, Sea Turtles and Giant Lobsters
  • Tuition: $3200*

    Enroll Now!

    *excludes airfare