Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about our website
Q: How do I create a user account with CeCI?
If you are ready to register for a trip you can go to www.studentshelpinghonduras.org/trips and register for your trip. A few minutes after registering you will be sent an email with your username and password. If you are not ready to register but you would like to create an account you can go to “Log In” located on the top bar of the website and select the “create a new account” tab.
Q: Can donations made on myProjects go towards my trip?
No. myProjects is for fundraising for projects only. If you would like to allow friends or family to contribute to your trip online you can send them the link to your trip contribution page. Go to myAccount, myTrips and click on the trip you would like to raise money for.
Q: I registered more than 2 months before my trip but I haven’t put down the $150 deposit, do I still pay the discounted rate of $650?
You must pay the $150 deposit at least 2 months in advance of your trip start date in order to qualify for the discounted trip fee of $650. Anyone who has not submitted their $150 deposit before the 2 month deadline will pay $750, even if they completed the registration form.
Questions about our organization
Q: What is CeCI's policy on cancellations?
Please see our Cancellation Policy
Q: Is my trip tax-deductible?
Yes. The IRS states that you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home. Since the trip fees cover necessary lodging, meals and construction site expenses you can deduct the full amount you paid towards the trip. Also, 100% of your airfare is tax-deductible! We recommend consulting your accountant or tax advisor before filing but this IRS document may help for those that file by themselves (see page 6), Click Here.
Questions about traveling to Honduras
Q: Can I arrive before or depart after the trip dates online?
Please purchase a flight to Honduras on the EXACT DATES of your trip. If you come early or leave late, you are responsible for your own safety, transportation and accommodations.
Q: Will the internet or international phone calls be available?
Yes. You will have internet access at the hotel. You can also make international phone calls from any Honduran cell phone with a local phone card for a few dollars. Getting an account on Skype is a good idea.
Q: What if someone from my home country needs to get a hold of me while I’m in Honduras?
Each group will have a leader with a cell phone. You can send that number to friends and family once you arrive. Before your arrival or on the day of, anyone can call Shin at +504 9637 3088 if they have any concerns.
Q: Where will we be staying overnight?
Majority of our volunteers stay in the Volunteer Lodge in Villa Soleada. The lodge has 24/7 security as well as all the necessary amenities including wireless internet and a laptop to share. On larger trips part of the group may stay at a hotel in El Progreso, such as Hotel La Cascada, a secure and gated hotel comprised of numerous air-conditioned cabanas. No matter where you stay laundry service is available.
Q: Where can we get water while down in Honduras?
CeCI will provide purified water 24 hours/day during the trip. If you want to buy your own water, you can purchase purified water for about two Lempiras (ten cents). Please bring a water bottle to Honduras.
Q: Should we bring food on the trip?
If you have certain dietary needs, feel free to bring food on the trip. However, there is a large supermarket in town where you can buy anything from exotic fruits to Captain Crunch Cereal. Most people bring energy bars or other snacks and carry them in their backpacks.
Q: How will we be traveling during the trip?
CeCI has its own bus and works with a professional bus driver who is available 24 hours during the trip.
Q: What would I be spending any extra cash on?
You may spend money on snacks, drinks and souvenirs during your trip. Most souvenirs, such as wood carvings, paintings, and handbags might cost around five dollars. Keep in mind that each traveler must pay the $37 exit tax to the Honduran government when leaving the San Pedro Sula airport. Bring an ATM card since exchanging cash in Honduras is difficult.
Q: Is it safe to bring equipment such as laptops, digital cameras, and iPods?
Many volunteers bring electronics with them to Honduras. If you leave your gadgets in your hotel room, you shouldn’t have any problems. You will have access to a computer and WiFi at the hotel.
Q: What is the dress code in Honduras?
Most people in Honduras wear clothes similar to what people wear in the US. Hondurans almost always wear pants and rarely wear shorts. But don’t worry, Hondurans are quite used to seeing Americans in shorts, tank tops and flip flops. It’s a good idea to dress modestly while traveling.
Q: Do we need to speak Spanish to go on a trip?
Absolutely not! We provide translators 24 hours a day during the trip. There will be a good mix of non-Spanish speakers and fluent speakers in your group of volunteers.
Q: Do we need a visa to travel to Honduras?
For US citizens, a visa is not required. However, travelers' passports must not expire for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Honduras. People from other countries may or may not need a visa to enter the country. Please check with the Honduran Embassy before departure. A good website to find out more on visas to Honduras is honduras.visahq.com
Q: What do I do if I get sick or injured?
The first thing you should do if you get sick or injured is to tell a staff member. If necessary, a staff member can take you into town to purchase the needed medication or visit a local clinic. We also recommend taking a morning or afternoon off from the construction site if you are feeling particularly weak or dehydrated. For minor injuries, a first aid kit will be available for trip participants’ use at all times.
Q: What happens if I lose my passport?
Each participant is required to bring two photocopies of their passport to Honduras, one for him/her and one for the CeCI staff. In the case that a passport is lost, you will be brought to the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa where they will ask for a copy of your passport and possibly a copy of your birth certificate (which would have to be mailed from the US). This could take up to a week, so be sure to avoid this situation by keeping your passport in a safe place in the hotel.
Q: What should I do if people ask me for money or gifts?
CeCI prohibits participants from giving monetary gifts to the communities that we work with. This is because we do not want to create dependency or instigate conflict in the community due to preferential treatment to any one individual. If you choose to give a gift (for example, for a child’s birthday), we ask that you consult with an CeCI staff member before doing so.
Q: Am I allowed to bring a pet on the trip?
No pets are allowed on CeCI service trips. The only exception is guide-dogs or assisted-living pets.