Volunteers helping out on Roatan with one of the many charities or community groups

Help out and volunteer

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." - Arthur Ashe

 

There are many opportunities to help out charities and organizations that seek to improve the lives of the people of Roatan. It can be as simple as volunteering space in your luggage for necessary goods such as school supplies as you move back and forth from your home country. Or volunteering your time here with one of the many caring organizations of people that spend their days helping others.

Community is the core of the island and volunteering is a great way to become a part of it. There are hundreds of ways to participate and there are many areas you can contribute to conservation, healthcare, education, sports, recycling, sustainable development, housing, animal rescue, and more. If you can’t find what you are looking for, Roatan can be a blank canvas where you can get creative. Just give yourself time to understand the island and its history a little before pushing well-meaning solutions on them. 

Fundraising on the island is difficult but has been successful. The caring community is consistently donating. Charities arrange social events around the cause of the moment and people drink, eat and enjoy themselves for a good cause often with restaurants, musicians, etc donating their time and resources to the events. 

A good solution is that organizations have 501c3 status meaning that tax-deductible donations can be made from the US. This is applicable not only for financial donations but also for donations of services, products, and time. You need to check with each charity if they are registered. 

Giving your personal time, help and support are invaluable to the organizations trying to improve the island and the lives of the people of Roatan. If you do not have the capacity to volunteer then at least join in by attending some of the fundraising events where you can enjoy yourself while helping a good cause.
 
As most great things happen in the community it is down to the person running the show. Some of the main players consist of Ms. Daine Etches who gets involved not only at the scene of every crime, translating and offering official and emotional support but in facilitating donations to an array of causes from fire departments, health care, emotional support, and more.  Ms. Nidia  Webster is the owner/CEO of the organization Because We Care, an activist heavily integrated into the local community. Ms. Peggy Stranges, who after 14 years of coordinating volunteer medical and dental mission teams to Honduras, relocated to the island of Roatan in 2001. Being acutely aware of the critical need for quality health services, she began her journey to improve the healthcare of her surrounding community and Clinica Esperanza was born.
 

Organizations that need help
 

Clinica Esperanza   on Facebook

Clinica esperanza is a non-profit medical clinic dedicated to providing low-cost, quality healthcare to the people of Roatán, Honduras. Providing opportunities for medical professionals, students, and non-medical persons to volunteer. Facilitating excellent medical care for free and discounted prices to the locals while offering fast-track for those willing to donate 500 lempiras. Volunteers are vital in giving their time, talents, and resources to bring knowledge, assistance, and encouragement to Clinica Esperanza and their staff and quality care for all.


Roatan Because We Care 

Because We Care (BWC) is about helping those in need. Reaching out into the most remote places all over the Island of Roatan, giving a shoulder and a hand to those forgotten by the government. An innovative organization working tirelessly to provide effective support for the community depending on their current needs. Outspoken, loving, and energetic, they are not afraid to make waves to make change happen.


The Bay Islands Conservation Association

Help protect and rebuild the Bay Islands of Honduras through science and breaking the cycle of poverty. Programs Environmental Education, Community Development, Environmental Protection, Research, and Monitoring.

The Roatan Marine Park

Patrolling and protecting the marine protected area by inspiring, educating, and empowering communities and visitors to conserve and protect marine environments for the benefit of all.  You can name your own dive site, participate in reef clean-ups, get certified to hunt lionfish, or shop to support. Get in touch to see what their current programs are, this could be coral reforestation efforts, beach patrols, or beach clean-ups.

 

MarAlliance

MarAlliance explores, enables, and inspires positive change for threatened marine wildlife, their critical habitats, and dependent human communities. The objective of the Honduras Campaign is to raise awareness and teach people the importance of sharks and rays in marine ecosystems. The goal is for people to empathize with marine fauna and, above all, to ensure that you, the public, want to learn more about these animals and the importance of protecting them, especially as Honduras is the only Shark Sanctuary in the Central American region. Sharks, rays, and many marine animals have a lot to say, but unlike you, they don’t have a voice that can be heard. That is why we ask you to lend your voice to sharks and rays and be part of something important.

Green Island Challenge

Beginning in Guanaja and recently expanding to Roatan. Green Island Challenge is dedicated to the proactive protection of ecosystems. Its mission is to provide alternative livelihoods for islanders by creating long-term sustainable jobs, inspiring youth action, and nurturing environmental consciousness in the community.  To date, they have successfully trained former poachers to protect parrot and turtle nests, and have launched an island-wide environmental education program. You can get involved by fundraising from afar or take an ecotourism excursion supporting alternative livelihoods while learning about the native bird species. Join them for a summer semester of protecting marine turtles and their nests while leading citizen science research projects. Or help them track, monitor, and defend the endemic and endangered Yellow Naped Parrots during the spring. They work with universities to ensure class credits and support student research. All volunteer programs are 100% personalized so write to them for more information! PADI diving certifications and work exchanges are also included.  Learn to dive while protecting turtles on a remote Caribbean island? It doesn't get much better than that.

 

The Abundant Life Foundation

Building vibrant futures in Roatan with their three founding principles of Community, Education, and Conservation. Working closely with island residents in the community programs, including their flagship project, Los Sueños: The Dreams, a housing project located in Flowers Bay with a commitment to creating environments that foster personal and community growth. Recently they opened a library available to all in the community.


 

Wild Roatan

Change begins with small steps, and the most important thing to do is to be a responsible tourist when visiting Roatan. To maintain the local ecosystem, limit your use of plastic taking special care not to litter. You can show your support by donating or buying local goods, especially from the businesses that produce community-based sustainable and eco-friendly products like WIld Roatan, their profits go towards beach cleanups, and even as a tourist, you can volunteer and have a truly amazing experience during your trip to Roatan.


 

Pro Naturaleza Honduras

Donate to the publishing of a guide on the butterflies of Honduras, the construction of a natural center in the Emerald Valley, or the contribution of books to local schools educating about Honduran birds.

 

SOL International

SOL International

SOL International Foundation works to initiate and support community-based programs designed to promote education and increase the quality of life on the island of Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras. It achieves its mission by:

 

Establishing community centers offering otherwise inaccessible extracurricular activities.

Supporting existing foundations with similar goals.

Offering programs supporting public educational systems.

Supporting and establishing sports programs.

Providing academic scholarships.

 

You can find a wish list of community needs on their website.

 

Roatan PEER Health Exchange

Family planning education has been recognized worldwide as a means to decrease poverty, allow for economic stability, and promote gender equality. With flexible commitment PEER seek health care professionals, visitors can bring invaluable resources and fundraise from afar to support their sex education program. Get in touch to see how you can help.


 

Teach Them To Fish Micorindustries

A religious-based outreach program teaching various trades and skills to people so they can support themselves, their churches, and their community. They started off as a glass recycling facility which turned into a soup kitchen when COVID began and retransformed into one of the only glass recycling projects on the island. Run by a professional glass blower working with local women to produce products for sale to support sustainable livelihoods. 

Partners in Education Roatan (PIER)

Fosters quality education to increase opportunities for children. Through bookmobiles led by education specialists, the sandcastle library, and Science Friday a STEAM project running science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. They run a story-in-a-bag program delivering books to schools and following up 3 weeks later to investigate the progress. Showing results of: 

2,365 Story-in-a-Bag presentations in 241 classrooms for grades 1- 6.  

96% of teachers evaluated the program as "very helpful".

 

Animal Rescue

The beach bars are social hangouts for dogs and their owners and uncared-for street dogs are everywhere. There is a great need for help with fostering rescue animals. There are many ways to help animals on Roatan from conservation organizations already mentioned, to fostering rescue animals, or just supporting organizations financially. There are a few organizations you could approach. Roar supports Animal Support Roatan which focuses on spaying and neutering street dogs and cats, actively rehoming where possible and the Animal Shelter itself is run on tight resources by a passionate woman called Olivia. Fostering is helpful, donating is more than beneficial and if you feel you have found hoRoatan to be your home then please offer a forever home when you can but don’t take the lifelong commitment lightly.

Other sites, please send me ways people can help. Descriptions and links.

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