Training in Honduras
From Peace Corps Wiki
Prior to becoming a Volunteer, you will participate in an 11week training program in Honduras. Pre-service training
incorporates experiential learning and adult learning methodology that is meant to challenge you while preparing you to begin your work as a Volunteer. Though pre-service training can be taxing at times, Peace Corps/Honduras works to ensure that it is challenging and fun.
Upon arrival in Honduras, trainees move in with host families after a brief introductory session. The first four weeks of training take place in a large group and include trainees from various projects. In the fifth week, most trainees will move to other communities for field-based training, which focuses on the practical application of project technical skills.
Although you were recruited for a particular project and your training will be tailored to the requirements of that project, all Volunteers are considered to be community development facilitators. You will receive theoretical and hands-on training in community analysis, participatory analysis, gender analysis, community development, and integrated community development and become familiar with current development efforts in Honduras. As the weeks pass, you may find that you need to adapt both existing skills and new skills to the work environment in Honduras.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance, they help you integrate into your host community, and they can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Honduran language instructors teach formal language classes five days a week in small groups of three to five people. They will also be available for individual tutoring sessions on Saturday mornings and after hours during the week.
Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to do outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills further on your own. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies on your own during your two years of service.
Project training will prepare you to work in Honduras by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The project staff, training staff, Honduran experts, and current Volunteers will conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.
Project training includes sessions on the general economic and political environment in Honduras and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your project’s goals and will meet with the Honduran agencies and organizations that have invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with two Honduran host families—one during center-based training and another during field-based training. As a member of the family, you will engage in routine family activities and share in their meals. An important part of both cross-cultural and language training, this experience is designed to ease your transition to life at your site. Families go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of pre-service training and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Honduras. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Honduras. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.
During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.
Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with frequent opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills. During service, there are a number of training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
- In-service training: Provides opportunities for Volunteers to upgrade their project, language, safety and security and community development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three months and again after eight months.
- Midterm project reviews (done in conjunction with midterm medical exams): Assists Volunteers in reviewing their first year, reassessing their personal and project objectives, and planning for their second year of service.
- Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and reviews their respective projects and personal experiences.
The number, length, and design of these trainings are adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.