If you are interested in volunteering with BICA, send us an email explaining the reasons for your interest, your qualifications, any previous experiences, and expectations, as well as the intended duration of your stay. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org We will reply to your message as soon as possible.
Utila is wonderful place for an enthusiastic, young (or young at heart) person to spend a working vacation, help, learn, enjoy, and meet some interesting people. The environment in need of protection is fragile, very diverse, people here are warm and intriguing, and the work is rewarding and varied. The range of activities BICA is engaged in offers opportunities for people of different interests and skills. You would be working with BICA’s regular staff, but your independence, ideas, and enthusiasm would be greatly appreciated. Volunteers frequently have personal projects that they work on here in addition to helping out in other ways.
You need to have an interest in nature, enjoy working with people, and be very flexible. Of course, if you are studying, or have a degree, in environment, biology or ecotourism, we would very much welcome your help.
BICA volunteers’ programs last between one month and three months (it is difficult to extend visitors’ visa in Honduras). There is no schedule of volunteer’s intake as each volunteer will have individual responsibilities.
The type of work volunteers could chose to help with varies greatly, but generally the jobs can be divided into Research Assistants and Environmental Educators.
Research Assistant volunteers must be undergraduate or graduate level, and at least 21 years old. These volunteers will be able to select work on BICA’s office management, manage the database of dive sites, take part in patrolling and monitoring of reefs, organize eco-tours on foot or by boat, develop communication materials, work in our Information Center providing information to tourists on Utila environment and tourist attractions, etc. Knowledge of Spanish can be useful but not crucial.
Environmental Education volunteers must be undergraduate or graduate level, at least 21 years old. These volunteers will be working on environmental education programs with local schools, organize field trips, community workshops, beach and underwater clean-ups, reforestation, fish house construction and many other activities. Good knowledge of Spanish is very important.
Behind the BICA building is a dormitory for volunteers. It is fully equipped with a kitchen, comfortable beds, and bathrooms. Volunteers agree that it is one of the nicest places to stay on the Island. Each room houses from 1 to 3 volunteers, and four rooms have integral bathrooms while the other two rooms share one among themselves. There is fully equipped kitchen in each dorm area, as well as free wireless internet connection.
The total cost for one month is $350. It includes accommodation, electricity, internet, purified water (both for drinking and for bathing). Volunteers are provided with one set of laundered bed linens and a towel per week. Diving courses are not included, but can be arranged locally and prices start from around $250, with BICA volunteers usually getting a small discount. A list of dive shops sites can be viewed on our links page. There is also Spanish Language school in town and 20-hours’ intensive course costs $100. Volunteers should plan to spend around $300 a month for food and entertainment (assumes some cooking and some eating out, but actual costs depends largely on the volunteer).
Health insurance should be arranged before leaving the country.
(Note: external link below leaves the BICA-Utila webpage)
LIVFund is a new organization that is offering a $500USD Scholarship to applicants over 18 for internship, study or volunteering abroad in Latin America. They have an open enrollment and award scholarships to 2 applicants per month. Applicants are automatically reconsidered each month throughout their placement. Prospective BICA volunteers may apply up to 6 months prior to their placement start date. Successful applicants are required to post 4 blogs of at least 500 words each during their sponsored placement in return for the scholarship.
The application process begins with an on-line form, in which the applicant provides basic information (contact information, brief description of desired program, sponsoring organization, etc.) and an "essay" which can be presented using video, photography, graphic design OR writing. If video, it must be available via a YouTube URL and limited to two  minutes. If photography or graphic design, it must be uploadable as PDF or JPG files. If written, it can be copied and pasted into the form (recommended) or uploaded as PDF or JPG files, and is limited to 300 words.