A challenge with an extraordinary impact
About the Villa Soleada Bilingual School
In 2012, we opened the Villa Soleada Bilingual School to provide an excellent
education for low income students—including children from a local shanty slum
and former street children—in El Progreso, Honduras. With over 270 students from
pre-K to 8th grade as of 2018, we have continued to add a new grade every year.
In 2018, we broke ground on the high school which is set open in 2021.
We are proud of our rare model where children of very low economic standing
can have access to a bilingual education—something that normally only upper
class families can afford. Our mission as an organization is to alleviate
extreme poverty and violence in Honduras through education and youth empowerment.
VSBS is our primary project to fulfill that mission.
If you’re looking to live abroad to make an impact on the lives of at-risk youth,
look no further. We are looking for native English speakers with a bachelor’s
degree to teach English for 12 months at our school.
We provide an intensive 5-week summer training program to our volunteer
teachers in July. Then from August to June, our English teachers work
alongside our local Honduran staff members inside the classroom. Most of our subjects—
including math, science, literature, technology, music, art, and P.E.—are
taught in English.
“The students are tougher than you could imagine, and they all share a quality that teachers should encourage: they love to learn.”
– Miss Hannah, 5th grade teacher during the 2017-2018 school year
When I first joined my university’s chapter of One Thousand Schools, I had no idea that my involvement would steer the course of my life the way it did. Freshman me could not have predicted I would volunteer three times in Honduras, spend late nights making cookies for countless bake sales, and walk for hours around the Lexington community canning, all while doing it alongside friends who share the same passion and determination. I could not have guessed how much I would learn
about what it means to be a volunteer, to be a sidekick for Honduras, and how much the fight for ending extreme poverty and violence through education would become a part of my own mission. And I certainly did not imagine myself standing in a classroom of the Villa Soleada Bilingual School teaching.
Teaching experience and conversational Spanish are both recommended. However, they are not strict requirements as training will be provided.
We are most interested in individuals who are resilient, flexible, able to overcome unexpected challenges, and willing to learn. We require a bachelor’s degree from all of our English teachers.
In addition to providing a monthly stipend, we cover housing in shared staff apartment, furniture, utilities, high speed internet, classroom materials, health insurance, transportation, and Honduran visa or residency card.
Expenses not covered by us include: airfare to/from Honduras, groceries, meals.
Living in El Progreso, Honduras
Our volunteer teachers live together in a staff house located in the city center of El Progreso.
The house is within walking distance to markets, thrift stores, gyms, clinics, parks, churches, restaurants, fruit stands, bakeries, pools, smoothie bars, and cafes. Running water, fully furnished kitchen, electricity, WiFi, hammocks, a patio, and a washing machine are available at the house. The organization provides transportation to and from school in our buses.
El Progreso, just 20 minutes away from the Ramon Villeda Morales airport in San Pedro Sula, is the 4th largest city in Honduras with more than 200,000 residents. It is most known for its tropical weather, friendly residents, banana plantations, and working class environment. It is one of the most affordable cities in the world to live in. Downtown El Progreso, centering around the main cathedral square, is small enough to give it a small town vibe.
Weekends in Honduras
Our English teachers enjoy their free time in the evenings. Some join the local weight lifting gym, running club, the Villa Soleada soccer team, or Jiu Jitsu dojo. Others take it easy in the various cafes in town. On weekends, teachers often go to the pool, take day trips to Tela beach, attend parades and concerts, go out salsa dancing, or go on jungle hikes. During the holidays, beautiful places such as Utila, Roatan, Lake Yojoa, and Copan are only a few hours away.
Student Loan Options
Have student loans? Some teachers who come down to Honduras are eligible for loan deferment. Click the links below for more information on eligibility.
Loan Deferment or Forbearance: This allows you to temporarily stop paying your loans or temporarily reduce your loan payments.
Loan Forgiveness, Discharge, or Cancelation: This allows you to no longer pay some or all of your loan.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: This forgives the remaining balance of your loan after you have completed 120 payments.
Cost of Living in El Progreso
- $1.10 Loaf of white bread
- $1.90 Carton of 15 eggs
- $2.80 – Lunch at a cafeteria
- $6 – Dinner at a restaurant
- $2 – Beer at a restaurant
- $2 – 12oz bag of coffee
- $1 – Cup of coffee at a cafe
- $1.60 – Drink at a smoothie shop
- $0.20 – Slice of fruit at a fruit stand
- $0.60 – One baleada (a Honduran burrito)
- $2 – Five to ten minute taxi ride
- $2 – One-hour bus ride to the beach
- $10-$20 – Monthly membership at the local gym
Incorporate some purchases into your grocery trips to save for leisure
Budget out money for taxis around town
- Facilitate relationships with parents and other community members
- Lesson-plan (to be done on a weekly basis and submitted for review)
- Foster a safe and productive classroom environment for students
- Serve as a Lunch/Recess monitor
- Support your fellow teachers in school and at home
- Serve as an ambassador for our organization by helping to spread the word about our work to your families and friends
Please note that life in Honduras can be unpredictable. Sometimes our teachers are called upon to do things that fall outside the scope of the activities listed here.
- Maintain attendance records for all students in your homeroom
- File a copy of your weekly lesson plans on the agreed upon schedule
- Provide administration with a copy of your weekly class schedule before the week begins
- Ensure classroom is open and ready for students at beginning of school day
- Attend all teacher meetings
- Keep the office informed of any problems (disciplinary or otherwise) you are having with students and any concerns you have about students
- Keep student files updated
- Keep the office informed of extended absences of students
Exam Administration Responsibilities:
- Grade exams
- Collect performance grades from other teachers and prepare Bimester report cards
- Fill out hard-copy of grading spreadsheet
- Fill out the electronic version of grading sheet – kept on a computer accessible for all
Other Optional (But Recommended) Responsibilities:
- Organize after-school reading workshops
- Plan field trips
- Plan and organize extracurricular activities for students
- Attend Parents’ Association Meetings (at discretion of Administrator)
- Participate in fundraising efforts to support our program costs
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Experience living or working abroad highly preferred
- Experience teaching, lesson planning or supervising children in an education setting
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively
- Ability to adapt to change and be flexible
How to Apply
Please email a resume and cover letter to VSBS@shhkids.org. The subject line of the email should read: Application to teach in Honduras.
Once you complete the online application, a representative will be contacting you to set up an online interview.
Teachers fly into Honduras in July to begin their year with a 5-week summer training program. Classes go from August to June.
**We are currently accepting teachers on a rolling basis to fill open positions
Commonly asked questions from our applicants.
What is the time commitment? Our teachers get a one-year contract that lasts from July to June. Some teachers decide to teach additional years. Second year teachers receive a higher living stipend.
What is a day like for a teacher? From Monday to Friday, teachers get a ride to school on our bus at 6:45am. Classes last from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and extracurricular activities from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The bus takes the teachers back into town at 3:30 p.m. Teachers spend the evenings freely and lesson planning.
What does the application process look like? After the application letter is received, you will get one or two interviews over the internet. If accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter and contract.
Do I have to speak Spanish? Though speaking Spanish is not required, a basic understanding of the language will help inside the classroom and in your social life in El Progreso.
Do teachers get enough free time to themselves? Teachers arrive back at the house around 4 p.m. and have the entire evening free. Weekends are also free. Including winter break, there are 20-30 days of holidays during the year.
How safe is it in Honduras? Crime is a concern in northern Honduras. We have a safety protocol that our English teachers must follow to minimize their risks. Volunteers and staff are advised to remain vigilant of their surroundings avoid going into certain neighborhoods.
What type of jobs have past teachers gone to after teaching? Many of our volunteer teachers find jobs back in the US teaching in public schools and charter schools. Others join graduate school, PhD programs, or nonprofit organizations.