Bilingual Education for Central America (BECA) is a 501©(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2002. What began as an idea born in the homes of several Honduran families has since grown into three community-supported bilingual schools run in partnership with low-income communities in Honduras. BECA’s mission is to provide quality, affordable bilingual education to the educationally disenfranchised while fostering meaningful cultural exchange. Our volunteer-driven bilingual school model creates an environment in which Central American students learn from dedicated volunteer teachers, and those volunteers learn from the community in which they are immersed.
As BECA has grown over the past decade, we have distinguished ourselves from other education programs by the breadth and depth of our community engagement and volunteer training program. At each BECA school, local Honduran stakeholders maintain responsibility for effective school management while BECA recruits, trains, and provides support to English-speaking volunteers. Our provision of bilingual education to low-income students is a solutions-oriented response to multiple issues impacting Central America and the United States —lack of educational opportunity, stagnating economic development, insufficient jobs, and deepening inequality.
Our model is built on partnership between Hondurans committed to high quality, progressive education and international volunteers interested in a truly authentic cultural immersion. We are not so arrogant to think that we North Americans can solve Central America’s problems unilaterally. We alone do not have the answers to the region’s challenges, which is why we hold collaboration with local partners as an article of faith. Only if we work together with respect, honesty, integrity, and equality, do we believe we will accomplish our goal of achieving a sustainable educational and economic transformation.
Our goal is not to encourage our students to pursue opportunities outside of Central America, but rather to empower and enable them to remain in the region by equipping them with the skills to find dignified, well-paying work in Honduras. For many of our graduates and their families, this has allowed them to avoid the necessity of the perilous journey north.