WWOOF

If you are planning to do some WWOOFing with us at The Organic Learning Center, these are things you may want to bring with you.

  • A light colored brimmed hat for the sun.
  • Wide mouth water bottle easy to refill. 
  • Long sleeve white shirts for sun protection. 
  • Most people prefer quick drying fabrics for their clothing.
  • Ear plugs if you are bothered by natural night noises… roosters crowing, owls hooting, dogs barking, cats mating, etc.
  • A rechargeable flashlight is always handy. 
  • Other than visitors, almost no one uses insect repellent but if you want something special, better bring it. 
  • Because the fields are very wet every morning from the night dew or rain, it is best to wear waterproof boots while working in the fields. Those boots are available here if your size is not larger than 10. Larger than 10 it’s better if you bring them. It is not muddy but the grass is very wet.
  • If you want special things, bring it. For example, if you want basic sun screen or insect repellent, it is easy to buy in town but anything special, probably not. Generic medications are readily available but not brand names. 

Things you may want to know before coming

If you don’t speak Spanish, no worries. There are three staff who would welcome the opportunity to practice their English with you. See them here.

ATM machines in Honduras ONLY use ATM cards….not credit cards. Because the airport has several different ATM machines, that is where I most often use because if one machine doesn’t like my card, another one will.

Washing clothes and bed linens is done by hand. Most students wash their clothes each day or two but some do it weekly. We provide the soap and a clothes washing station. If you prefer not to wash clothes, students are glad to earn some extra money washing for you. Everyone cleans their own room, porch space, dishes, etc. We live as typical Honduran families do where everyone, even children, have things to do and care for. 

Sleeping situation varies because of WWOOFers coming and going but will generally sleep two or three to a room in single beds.  We try to have a double bed available for couples in their own room. Sometimes wwoofers will share a room with students. As stated on the WWOOF site, we sleep dormitory style but everyone has an individual bed.

The style of composting toilet we use is so odor free that it could be and often is installed within homes. Ours is not in the dormitories but in a separate building. It is totally private, free of flies and free of odors and very clean. In addition it is totally environmentally friendly. However, occasionally a Wwoofer will not like it. 

The electricity in Honduras is the same as in the United States…same plug, same voltage, etc.

Security has not been an issue with personal items in the room but as for myself, when I am traveling and sharing space with others, I carry a small luggage lock to put on the zipper of my backpack. You will be able to lock your room door when you leave. 

We have wifi that works fairly well on phones but is slower on laptops but a coffee shop in town has great coffee and free wifi that is much faster. It is a 45 minute walk away.

BE SURE you have a copy of all pertinent information you will need to get to our town. Remember you’re in a Third World country where there may not be phone signal when you need it for you to call asking for information you forgot to record.

TOLC vs CAO

FYI, don’t be surprised that in Honduras you will never hear anyone speak about The Organic Learning Center (TOLC). Instead you will hear them talking about CAO. CAO is the Spanish version of TOLC. Centro Aprendizaje Orgánico. CAO in Spanish is pronounced as “cow” in English. Bottom line, when you hear people talking about “cow” they’re not talking about an animal.

Important to know before coming

Everyone one in Honduras uses WhatsApp.  Not email. Not texts. Not calls. Only WhatsApp  So, if you want to communicate in Honduras, download and activate WhatsApp. 

We have no insurance. If you want insurance coverage, you need to obtain it for yourself. Medical, accident, travel, evacuation, etc. insurances are all your personal responsibility. WWOOF organization offers some but we are not familiar with it.

All volunteers are asked to download our liability waiver and return it to us prior to arriving.

The San Pedro Sula airport, (SAP) is the closest to us. It is important to select a flight arriving during daylight hours because their are no buses at night.

When you first arrive, you will want to be able to communicate. Therefore, you will probably want to have an international calling plan with your provider for the first day. After that, you can get a local SIM card. 

Thing you may want to see before coming.

 The Agreement each of our students sign to be accepted. It will give you insight into campus life. 

A list of often used words you may want to learn in Spanish. 

Some of our teaching materials.

Our typical wwoofer dorm room

Some of our event videos.

Our WWOOF Instagram

Like us on FacebookFacebook

Preparing Honduran Immigration Forms  

You need this info if you are flying or bussing into Honduras.

The easiest best option when filling out forms for Honduran Immigration, etc. is to list Tourism as your reason for visiting Honduras. 
 
Address: Organic Center, Quimistan, Santa Barbara, Honduras.
 
Once you arrive at the airport in Honduras, the time to clear through immigration and customs varies but typically between 20 minutes and 45 minutes. Don’t be surprised that they are going to scan your luggage just like they did when you checked in to your airport back home. They want to be sure you’re not bringing weapons etc. into the country. Occasionally they will want to open your bag and look and see what you have but it’s rarely if ever an issue. For example, occasionally a camera can look like a pistol and they will want to check it out.
 
If you are busing in, we will provide you individual information of which bus to get depending where you’re coming from.
 

Reminders

  • We highly recommend you buy a ticket that lands during the day.
  • Have you sent us your Liability Waiver?
  • If you want insurance, have you purchased it?

Typical Schedule

Hours are flexible. Most wwoofers stay with the students all day. That is especially true of those coming to learn organic farming. But, some come for other reasons and take off an occasional afternoon or weekend to go exploring other areas.

The normal schedule is:
6 am coffee and socializing and conversation of daily assignments.
By 6:30, everyone is busy on their assignment.
8 to 8:45  breakfast.
12 to 1 is lunch.
Finish at 4 pm
Most days at 4 pm some of the students will clean up and go to town for various things…gymnasium, coffee shop, shopping, haircut, etc.
Diner is normally about  6 or 6:30.
Normally lights are out at 9 pm.

Saturday we finish at noon. After lunch, some will go to town, swimming, etc.
Sunday is off and most Sundays students go somewhere…like you see on event videos.

If you were wondering how many hours you might put in each day, the answer is multi faceted. The simple answer is, on the WWOOF website, we say 30 hours are expected from volunteers. And that is the situation. However most volunteers stay with the students all day because they came to either (a.) learn organic farming and so they want to do as much of it is possible so they can learn as much as possible or (b.) they came to experience as much of the Honduran culture and because working with the students tends to be a social experience with lots of conversation and laughing, they tend to stay all day.

There are some volunteers who don’t fit into the two previous categories. They come to kind of get into the Zen of organic farming and they want quiet time alone with the plants, soil and maybe the animals. In other words while some volunteers ask to be paired with a student who is very conversational, other volunteers asked to be paired with a student who is an introvert.

Bottom line: this is not a cookie-cutter kind of program but instead tailored to the interest of volunteers.

More info about The Organic Learning Center is here

Jacob is WWOOFing with us.

.

Chilling Out

.

Road Trip

 

Seal Of Excellence

The Seal of Excellence is awarded to Charities that certify on an annual basis they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, fewer than 50,000, meet these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal.