The intention of the mission team program is to offer an opportunity to walk in accompaniment with our brothers and sisters in Honduras. The experience catalyzes both our North American volunteers and the citizens of Olancho to grow in their faith, strengthen their trust in others, and gain a better understanding of the world by working together in unity. Teams that partner with local organizations, like Olancho Aid, can feel confident that the work they begin will be completed and sustained by people who are deeply invested in the community.
On average, 12-15 mission teams serve through Olancho Aid each year. Teams range in size from 10-35 people. Each team leader works with a Olancho Aid Foundation’s bilingual Mission Team Coordinator to structure unique projects based on the team’s strengths and current needs of the Foundation and the community.
Travel & Accommodations
Teams are met at Toncontin International Airport in Tegucigalpa by the Mission Team Coordinator who will be their guide throughout their stay. An Olancho Aid Foundation driver transports team to Juticalpa, about a 3 hours drive. Team members make themselves comfortable at the Volunteer House, which can accommodate 35 people in 7 rooms, each with 4-6 bunk beds.
There is a large kitchen, a living space, and a veranda. The Volunteer House has electricity, wifi, and running water. A security guard is stationed at the house from 6:00PM-6:00AM. Lunch, dinner, and purified drinking water are provided.
The bilingual mission team coordinator works with each team leader to schedule projects, secure/ship materials, and plan activities well in advance of the trip. Transportation is provided to work-sites.
Will you be joining a team? Find everything you need to know in the Team Member Guide.
Mission Teams FAQ’s
What kind of people participate with mission teams and what do they do?
We have had students as young as 12 and retired adults over 85 participate with mission teams. The projects are as varied as the amazing people who join us in service.
Is transportation provided?
Mission teams are responsible for flights to and from Tegucigalpa (Toncontin, International Airport). Olancho Aid provides transportation to and from the airport. One of our drivers, along with a bilingual staff member and a big yellow bus will be at the airport to greet you when you arrive in Tegucigalpa. They will also return you to the airport in Tegucigalpa on your departure date. The airport is located about 3 hours from Juticalpa, Honduras. OAF also provides transportation to and from your work projects each day.
Is housing provided?
Housing is provided, at the listed fee, in the Volunteer House that can sleep up to 40 people. The house has running water, bathrooms, showers, a kitchen, gathering areas, and a chapel.
What about security?
A security guard is stationed at the volunteer house at night and a bilingual Olancho Aid employee will be with your Mission Team during the day. We also provide two-way radios and cell phones so Mission Teams can be in constant contact with our main office, and so they can contact family in the U.S. As necessary, security guards accompany groups to and from the airport as well as work sites depending on various circumstances.
Where do we eat?
We have a cook at the volunteer house that will prepare lunch and dinner for groups each day. A continental breakfast is provided each morning as well. Most groups choose to bring additional snacks (crackers, oatmeal, peanut butter, etc) in case a Team Member does not care for the meal that is provided.
Are we on our own after we arrive at the Volunteer House?
A bilingual OAF employee will be assigned to your group each day, they will coordinate your work, travel with you to your work projects, and help supervise your team.
How do we figure out where to go and what to do?
Once you determine the type of work you want to do (see below) we will coordinate planning with the appropriate village, school, family, or church you will serve.
Each Mission Team Member that travels to Olancho Aid must sign the “Release Form” either electronically on the website or by printing, signing, and sending to our PO Box in the U.S. prior to traveling to Honduras.
Are there Volunteer House rules?
Olancho Aid will provide each Mission Team with a manual that includes details about the volunteer house, rules, and suggestions on staying safe while in Juticalpa, Honduras.
Is there an emergency plan, just in case?
We have an evacuation plan in place in the case of an emergency. This plan will be posted in the Volunteer House and a copy can be shared via email upon request. The evacuation plan includes details in regards to a central meeting place, transportation to an international airport, as well as security measures that we have in place should something happen while your team is visiting.
What is the cost for my team?
- Volunteer House rental fees, see Volunteer-House-Fees.
- Cost of Projects: these costs will depend on the type of project you choose or the amount of money you are able to raise. Generally, teams contribute $2,000-$10,000 towards projects.
- Flights, Vaccinations/Immunizations, Passports, Spending Money
What kinds of projects can my team do and for how much?
Some examples are listed below but projects can be customize depending on team strengths and budgets
$2,000 – $5,000 per team – provide aid to several public schools, communities, churches, or Olancho Aid schools through painting, roof repairs, building fences, digging/light construction, food/water distribution
$5,000 – $10,000 per team – similar projects, but with a larger scope than above
$10,000 + per team – various construction projects can be completed with this level of contribution. We have a list of current needs and can share it with you if you have interest in a larger scale project. Oftentimes these projects benefit students at one of the Foundation’s schools. Groups in the past have built classrooms, workshops, a cafeteria, and have contributed to many other projects at OAF. At this level, we can also hire Honduran construction workers to assist your Mission Team in completing a project.
Medical Supplies and Pharmaceutical Drugs – We have some medical groups who bring supplies and medicines. They host medical and dental clinics in remote villages. These mission teams consist mostly of healthcare professionals.
Clothing Donations – We encourage all groups to bring used and/or new clothing & shoes to donate. We can spend a day or two and distribute these items in communities that lack these basic necessities. This a great experience for your team, one they won’t forget.
Who books the flights?
Teams are responsible for the cost and booking of their flights. There are direct flights daily from Miami (American Airlines), Atlanta (Delta Airlines), and Houston (United Airlines). Flight times and dates should be coordinated with Olancho Aid prior to booking.
Do we need any vaccinations?
The team leader or each team member should contact their local physician for recommendations in regards to vaccinations & immunizations when traveling to Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras. (Best to contact a physician 4-6 months prior to travel)
How much can I expect to spend once I arrive?
This is up to each individual team member. The cost of souvenirs and miscellaneous items here in Juticalpa are typically very inexpensive. $50 would be efficient for covering the cost of a few small souvenirs and a few snacks while visiting the shops in Juticalpa. If your team wants to plan a group dinner at a local restaurant or an excursion (fun day) in order to experience the culture here in Juticalpa we can discuss that cost with team leaders.
Do I need a passport?
Each team member will need a valid passport when traveling to Honduras. Be certain your passport DOES NOT EXPIRE within 6 months of your return date. Example – If your return flight home to the U.S. (from Honduras) is on May 15, your passport must be valid through November 15.