BECA - Bilingual Education for Central America
Goal of Program:Bilingual Education for Central America (“BECA”) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2002. What began as an idea born in the homes of several Honduran families has since grown into a community-supported bilingual school model run in partnership with low-income communities in Honduras. BECA’s mission is to provide quality, affordable bilingual education to the educationally disenfranchised, while at the same time fostering meaningful cultural exchange between our volunteers and the communities in which they are immersed. As BECA has grown over the past decade, we have distinguished themselves from other education programs by the breadth and depth of our community engagement and volunteer training program. At each BECA school, local Honduran stakeholders maintain responsibility for effective school management while BECA recruits, trains, and provides support to English-speaking volunteers. Our provision of bilingual education to low-income students is a solutions-oriented response to multiple issues —economic development, jobs, drugs, violence—that impact both Central America and the United States.
Type of Placement:Long-term: Every year, BECA assembles a team of committed volunteers who want to dedicate themselves for a year of service as full-time classroom teachers engaging the difficult but rewarding work that we do in Honduras. BECA recruits, trains, and provides support to English-speaking volunteers with 6-weeks of community induction and teacher training, custom-made curricula and materials, year-long covered living expenses, and the opportunity for spanish language and cultural immersion. All selected volunteer teachers are assigned to an elementary classroom, a middle school classroom, or a resource teacher role. Short-term: Summer Camp Counselors who join BECA will live in BECA's volunteer housing in Cofradia and will be responsible for planning and executing all daily activities at our camps in either Cofradia or Vida Nueva. Instructors will work with students in first through fifth grades. The goal is to make the summer program a fun way for students to maintain/increase their English language ability. Instructors will plan activities across all disciplines including art, reading and writing, and physical activity.
Service Area:Long-term: Cofradia, Vida Nueva, and Macuelizo, Honduras Short-term: Cofradia and Vida Nueva, Honduras
Service Length:Long-term: 1 Year minimum (July 2018 to June 2019) Short-term: 3-4 weeks (June - July 2018)
Requirements:Long-term: We seek enthusiastic, curious, diverse, and thoughtful volunteers who have a passion for social justice. For every application, we consider the applicant's volunteer service, international engagement, teaching experience, and academic record. BECA volunteer positions are competitive, and the work we do is challenging. If you feel you are up to it, we want to hear from you! Please note that applicants need not be certified teachers or fluent Spanish speakers. Short-term: We seek enthusiastic, curious, diverse, and thoughtful volunteers who have a passion for social justice. Those who are looking to make a tangible impact in the lives of our students while challenging their assumptions of the world are encouraged to apply.
Financial Arrangement:Long-term: In recognition of your service, BECA provides full year volunteers with room, board, coverage of incidental costs and full-year residency. We encourage volunteers to think of these basic amenities not as compensation, but rather as our means of facilitating their ability to make this commitment to their own learning. BECA volunteers also receive an intense and comprehensive 6-week summer training run by veteran teachers and teacher trainers. Following this BECA provides monthly professional development opportunities to continue facilitating volunteer personal and professional growth. Short-term: Because the Summer Camp is a supplemental program, BECA recoups the program's expenses through donations paid by Summer Camp Counselors who wish to participate. In exchange for this experience, we ask that you contribute or fundraise $1,000 for the BECA program to help defray included costs (food, accommodation, training, materials, and a high speed internet connection). A reduced contribution may be available for college students with demonstrated need.
Living Arrangements:Long-term: Our volunteers at SJBS and SMBS share several homes (two people to each bedroom) close to the center of Cofradia and about a fifteen minute walk from the school. Our two houses are situated in an elevated part of Cofradia and have a picturesque view of the Merendon mountains from the airy patio areas. We also rent several apartments in one building immediately off the town's main square. Our volunteers at Amigos de Jesus live in our staff house, somewhat apart from the children's home and our school. Short-term: Summer camp volunteers live in the full-year BECA volunteer accommodations during their time in Cofradia.
Program Size:Long-term: For the 2018-2019 school year the BECA program will have 39 year long volunteers across our three schools. Short-term: Every year BECA recruits around 10 summer camp volunteers to run our programs at San Jeronimo and Santa Monica bilingual schools.
Training:Long-term: BECA volunteers begin their volunteer year with an intense and comprehensive 6-week summer training led by veteran teachers and teacher trainers that will prepare them for the duties and challenges they will face once the school year starts. Apart from our signature training program, we ensure the ongoing professional growth of our volunteers through quarterly professional development days and our weekly Culture in Context course that engages our volunteers in discussions focused on (a) collective action, (b) social change, (c) contextual understanding, (d) and root causes of social injustices in Honduras. We want your year with BECA to be a professional leap forward! Upon completion of service, we offer career development assistance and access to BECA’s extensive, and growing, network of over 200 alumni. Short-term: Summer Camp volunteers receive a 3-day orientation and daily support by BECA’s Summer Camp leader.
Application Deadline:BECA accepts applications on a rolling basis until all volunteer positions are filled. We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 - 2019 school year. Spots are competitive so apply today! http://becaschools.org/get-involved/volunteer-application
Current Urgent Opportunities
BECA aims to provide you with a challenging, transformative experience that gives an in-depth understanding of grassroots international development, underserved Central American communities, bilingual teaching strategies, and community capacity building techniques. As a result, you will develop the skills and responsibilities to be an effective teacher, communicator, and leader. Afterwards, BECA teachers go on to become Fulbright scholars, microfinance specialists, US Foreign Service Officers, charter school teachers, World Bank employees, non-profit executives, law and public policy students. We have an urgent opening for a volunteer teacher for the Middle School Math position at our founding school, San Jeronimo Bilingual School. This position needs to be filled as soon as possible and will end at the end of the school year on June 30th. There is no fee that our volunteers have to pay to work with us. BECA provides shared living accommodation; a food stipend, high-speed internet, assistance with visa renewal, ongoing teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Volunteers are responsible for their flights as well as health insurance to cover them while they are in country.