Archeological Digs & Research
If archeological discoveries are what you had in mind in a Honduras vacation, there are numerous ongoing excavations at any given time in Western Honduras. Keep in mind that most digs involve long hot days under the sun and working in the dirt. They are far from an Indiana Jones experience. Most sites relate to the Mayas; however, some focus on other pre-Columbian cultures. These kinds of trips are popular with college students looking for course credit, as well as retirees and general history buffs.
Several organizations focus on this type of volunteer work. Try the Maya Research Program (www.mayaresearchprogram.org), which organizes digs in various Central American countries, including several sites in Western Honduras.
Another option is the Archeological Institute of America (AIA; tel. 800/748-6262; www.archaeological.org), which organizes excavations and programs all over the world.
Volunteer & Working Trips
Honduras and Latin America, in general, are great places to devote your time and goodwill. Most volunteer programs fall in one of three categories: those that help rural communities, those that protect the environment, and those that preserve and collect data on historical sites. Most programs have a fee that will cover your food or lodging. Volunteer Honduras (www.volunteerhonduras.org) is a good place to start looking and a great resource for those thinking about volunteering in Honduras.
NPH International (tel. 504/2224-0573; www.nph.org) is a group of orphanages scattered throughout the Americas, including one near Tegucigalpa. A variety of long-term volunteers are always needed, ranging from doctors to English teachers and speech pathologists.
Proniño Honduras (tel. 504/2647-3424; www.pronino.org) and The Friends of El Hogar (www.foeh.org.uk) work with street children in northern Honduras to help them end drug addiction and focus on long-term education.
Children of the Light (tel. 504/3304-1414; www.thechildrenofthelight.org), a Christian organization, has built a school and has organized other community outreach projects for street children in the region.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.