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 of the daily activities at our camps in Cofradia. You will work with students in 1st through 5th grades. The goal is to make the summer program a fun way for students to maintain their English language ability and to reduce summer learning loss. 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, Honduras
Service Length:Long-term: 1 Year minimum beginning in July Short-term: 4 weeks from June to July
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. Please note that applicants need not be certified teachers or fluent Spanish speakers. Short-term: We seek creative, independent, responsible, and fun volunteers to run our Summer Camp for 3 weeks every Summer. Summer Camp Counselors are typically current college students, recent college graduates, or teachers.
Financial Arrangement:Long-term: In recognition of your service, BECA provides full year volunteers with room, board, coverage of incidental costs and full-year temporary residency status. 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 quarterly professional development opportunities to continue facilitating volunteers' 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 costs (food, accommodation, training, and materials). A reduced contribution may be available for college students with demonstrated need.
Living Arrangements:Long-term: Our volunteers in Cofraidia and Vida Nueva share several living spaces (two people to each bedroom) close to the center of Cofradia. 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: Approximately 30 year-long volunteers across our three schools. Short-term: Approximately 10 - 12 Summer Camp Counselors for our annual Summer Camp.
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. http://becaschools.org/get-involved/volunteer-application
Current Urgent Opportunities
The BECA Program Administrator is an in-country team member charged with leading a team of motivated volunteers in a BECA community school. They are a creative and flexible person with proven management experience. The primary role of the Program Admin is to work as a liaison between BECA volunteer teachers and the Honduran staff at the school, both in logistical matters like calendar and staff meetings, and in cultural matters like assisting with event-planning for school holidays and supporting collaboration between a culturally-diverse staff. Additionally, the Administrator is responsible for overseeing and running the school scholarship program, which helps provide access to higher-level education to families from a wide variety of economic backgrounds within the community. For these reasons, the Administrator must be fluent in both Spanish and English, and feel comfortable speaking publicly, engaging in school board meetings, and having professional conversations with parents, teachers, and other staff in both languages. If interested, apply today: http://becaschools.org/get-involved/volunteer-application
Bilingual Education for Central America (BECA) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that was founded in 2002 to provide high quality education to low-income communities throughout Honduras. We typically recruit recent US, Canadian, European, and Honduran college graduates (ages vary from 21 to 35) who are service-minded, enjoy working in team environments, and are curious about cultural exchange. Those teachers undergo an intensive 6-week teacher training in Honduras in July and August before being matched to one of our partner schools. Currently, we operate three K-through-9 schools just outside of the San Pedro Sula area, and as a requirement, each school has significant parent ownership and deep community involvement. Our model is built on partnership between Hondurans committed to high quality, progressive education and foreigners interested in a truly authentic cultural immersion. BECA aims to provide its volunteers 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, BECA teachers develop the skills and responsibilities to be effective teachers, communicators, and leaders. You can apply online at http://www.becaschools.org/get-involved/volunteer-application.