Honduran Bird

Yellow-throated Warbler, Neoptropical migrant wintering in Central America. Photo by Ruth Bennett.

Honduras Work Tour

When: January 5 – 14, 2017

Cost: $1,750.00; cost does not include airfare*

Who: Limited to 15 adult participants, accompanied by 2 TWP Staff and 1 Honduran Guide

See the authentic and natural side of Honduras as few others ever do by joining Trees, Water & People’s 2017 Work Tour to El Socorro, a small town in the Central Highlands located near the Montecillos Mountain Range and Biological Reserve.

On this trip you will:

  • Monitor the rare migratory and resident bird species of the cloud forest
  • Explore Honduran campesino customs and culture, and practice your Spanish skills amongst a family farm setting
  • Learn to build clean cookstoves and understand their benefits for birds and people
  • Visit tree nurseries and plant trees with local conservation practitioners and families
  • Help construct ferrocemento tanks, a rainwater harvesting and storage technology for campesino communities
  • Stay at unique, off-the-grid, lodging and learn about permaculture and bird-friendly agricultural techniques at the Center for Education in Sustainable Agriculture (CEASO)

Click here to download the flyer.

Honduras 2017 Itinerary:

  • Thursday, January 5: Rendezvous with the Trees, Water & People (TWP) team at the Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, overnight at a safe hotel near the airport, and enjoy a group dinner and orientation with TWP trip leaders.

  • Friday, January 6: Group breakfast at the hotel, and take group shuttles directly to the Center for Education in Sustainable Agriculture (CEASO) family farm and dormitory facilities in El Socorro. Take a half day tour and demonstration of the CEASO family farm and school, and learn about bird-friendly agricultural practices. In the afternoon we will tour the watershed area that feeds the town of El Socorro. Water scarcity is a major problem for the town surrounding CEASO, as normal tap water flows only once every 10-12 days.

  • Saturday, January 7: Working Day! In the morning we will tackle some ferrocemento construction, ecological tanks that are used for rainwater harvesting and storage. As the town members and rural campesinos look for appropriate technologies to survive the water crisis, these methods have proven quite useful. CEASO is a leader in this type of technology, construction and implementation. We´ll work in the AM and in the afternoon on the ferrocemento tanks.

  • Sunday, January 8: Continue the work with a focus on Clean Cookstove Installation! After breakfast we will break into teams and accompany local leaders to a variety of pre-selected homes to construct an improved “rocket” cookstove for local families using local materials. These stoves reduce indoor air pollution, protect bird habitat by reducing wood fuel consumption, and withstand heavy seasonal winds that can make cooking difficult here. We’ll conclude this activity in the early afternoon and then head into Siguatepeque in the afternoon for some locally produced ice cream and sweets from the Mennonite store.

  • Monday, January 9: After breakfast, we will visit the community of El Achiote and take a tour of the school gardens project and visit the local leader, Don Daniel´s finca (farm). Then we will break for lunch at Don Daniel´s place. Following lunch we will continue our journey up to main CEASO project community of San Jose de Pane, on the buffer zone of the Montecillos Range and Biological Reserve. Here we will meet the Project New Life team and some of the local community leaders before touring the grounds and checking out some of CEASO´s projects. In the evening, we'll prep for tomorrow's bird monitoring activities. We will have dinner and sleep here in Pane.

  • Tuesday, January 10: An early-bird breakfast will be followed by a hike into the actual Montecillos Biological Reserve and begin our bird monitoring activities with local ornithologists! We'll conduct baseline bird surveys in the cloud forest, and adjacent agroecosystems while also learning about the challenges of agroforestry and crop diversification in a zone that is dominated by coffee planting. Maintaining diverse agroecosystems and forest fragments is critical for wildlife that live near Montecillos. Eat a typical lunch on the Montecillos trail, and head back to Pane for a siesta. In the late afternoon, we'll learn about the pine beetle plague that has impacted the surrounding community, and tour the affected areas.

  • Wednesday, January 11: In the morning, we will conduct a second day of bird surveys in the cloud forest and agroecosystems, searching for the rare Golden-cheeked Warbler (endangered) and other migratory species. Others will assist community leaders with their ongoing projects, including tree planting and various nursery management tasks. We will also learn about how much the. After lunch we will depart Pane and make our way back towards Siguatepeque and El Socorro. Possible visit to Mennonite farm with a fully diversified agricultural and agroforestry system in place. We will pause for dinner at a destination roadside diner between Siguatepeque and El Socorro that has the most famous organic strawberry juice in all of Honduras!

  • Thursday, January 12: A full day of activities at CEASO. Discussions and charlas on CEASO´s experience to date. Hands-on planting and nursery activities led by Gerardo. Strategic analysis about the importance of management, agroforestry and conservation in campesino communities and how to slow the pace of the advance of the agricultural frontier through crop diversification

  • Friday, January 13: In the early morning, we will visit the tremendous beauty of Pulapanzak Falls, North of Lago Yojoa, an incredible bird watching opportunity! From there we will stop for lunch at the spectacular paradise that is the D+D Brewery and enjoy a fine meal before making the hike to local natural spring where more bird opportunities abound! Stay at D+D brewery for dinner and lodging.

  • Saturday, January 14: After breakfast of fresh blueberry pancakes (picked from the mountains above the brewery), we will leave for the San Pedro Sula airport again to coordinate drop-offs, confirm departures and say our goodbyes.

Things to Remember

  • Temperatures in January are variable according to altitude change. Come prepared with hats, sunscreen and a water bottle. There will likely be warm to hot days, some of the days in the mountains will be crisp and nights will be on the cooler side.

  • Mosquitoes are a reality; bring repellent, long sleeves, and pants for the early mornings and evenings.

  • These areas of Honduras are safe – and we can keep it safe by keeping group communication clear and abiding by the group itinerary and scheduled meeting times.

  • Plan your spending – Honduras has some interesting products and handicrafts, but you will need the local currency, Lempiras, to get your gifts. There are plenty of ATMs in Siguatepeque that will give you the best rate, albeit for an ATM fee. DO NOT bring travelers checks.

  • Bring comfortable shoes or boots that you can work and hike in safely. Chacos and Tevas are also great to have, but will expose your feet to mosquitoes, so use judiciously.

  • Bring a camera!

  • * Under certain circumstances, expenses relating to volunteer travel can be tax deductible. Please contact your tax adviser for further information.