Frequently Asked Questions

Book Donations

Books can be sent to our U.S. mailing address at:

2405 N Sheffield Ave. #640
Chicago, IL 60614

Usually we are unable to track where books go, unless you are here personally to help with the delivery or are donating to a specific school that we’ve arranged with you.  We try to give each school a mix of varying reading levels and of new and used books.  Being able to sort our donations helps us provide this variety to each school, but also makes in fairly impossible to track books.

We accept new and used (in good condition) books in Spanish.  We try to avoid books that talk about Christopher Columbus, Christmas gifts, or blonde-haired princesses, because these tend to be too different culturally in ways that reinforce the economic disparity.

The biggest need is easy readers in Spanish.  Second priority are ANY books in Spanish.  We’re generally looking for storybooks that will be fun or informative for kids to read.  We don’t provide textbooks because this is the job of the Honduran government, and we feel it’s important not to let the government off the hook.  

Books can be sent to our mailing address in the U.S. at:

2405 N Sheffield Ave. #640
Chicago, IL 60614

Contact us here to let us know when to expect a shipment!  We appreciate your donations!

Books are distributed to schools through an application process that verifies need, community commitment, and that the books will be used effectively.  We will do all that is possible to make sure that all schools who apply are approved.  To date, all schools who have applied have received books.  The application process requires that the community organizations work together to apply and pay a nominal fee depending on the amount of students.  Our application can be found here translated in English for donors to understand exactly how our schools apply and the work they must do to obtain books. 

We are usually connected with schools in need through personal introductions or volunteers who want to focus on an area or particular school.  We have the ability to travel throughout Honduras, but try to plan our traveling effectively.  We also try to only have as many applications out as we have books available so that schools are not waiting too long between when they apply and when they receive books.
We believe that sustainability, in part, happens automatically whenever you make improvements in education.  Put a book in a child’s hand, and the knowledge they gain can never be taken away.  Thus, our sustainability focus is on making the most use of books donated to give children as much time with the books as possible.  First, we work directly with the community and create library committees that are trained to run and sustain the libraries.  See our sustainability model here to understand how we all work together to ensure the best usage of book donations within a community.  Also, through teacher training and community meetings we help everyone understand how to care for the books and have a plan to use the books effectively in the classroom.

Volunteer Projects

Projects done in the past include building bathrooms and sinks for schools, renovating a kindergarten, and donating coloring books and school supplies.  Projects like these will be given a separate budget and paid for by donors and volunteers who want to specialize their funds for a certain project.  Details of some of these sample projects can be found here.
Trip costs really vary depending on where you are visiting, if you need a hot shower or translator, or if you’re taking a chicken bus or a car.  Trips average around $1,000 per person for an “all-inclusive” price for everything in Honduras including food, lodging, transportation, and project expenses.  Please give us a chance to give your a quote and figure out a budget that fits your needs.  Contact us today!
We love volunteers who are flexible, willing to serve in any capacity, and ready for an adventure.  We know that our volunteers receive so much more than they give, as long as they keep their hearts and minds open.  Other than that, we aren’t too picky.  We will do our best to prepare and train our volunteers in general local cultural, health and safety and ask that our volunteers are intentional about their decision to come.  So…take a chance!  Talk to us and find out how you can best participate. 

Teacher Development

Teachers are taught directly by Chispa Project staff or trained volunteers.  Our training workshops have been created in collaboration with other local teachers and fellow non-profits.
Packets can vary depending on what supplies are available and what kind of teacher workshop we’re facilitating.  We purchase supplies and look for donations.  Packets can include construction paper, chalk, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, scissors, pens, permanent markers, and a pencil box.  These basic supplies the teacher can then use and lend out to their students when necessary.
We often build teacher development workshops based on specific requests of the school and grade levels taught.  However, we tend to focus on three main areas:  classroom management, multi-level teaching techniques, and the Universal Design of Learning. 

The first area focuses on classroom management to assist with making the workday more effective for the student learning environment.  The second part is how to teach multi-grade or multi-level classrooms.  Often in rural schools, teachers teach more than one grade.   Some schools even have one teacher for all elementary grades 1-6.  Even for teachers that only teach one grade, they will still often have a dramatic difference in ability level within the grade due to low accountability in student expectations and the grading process when passing students.  Finally, the third part of training focuses on Universal Design of Learning framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.  This is to assist teachers in becoming more creative in their teaching methods to make learning more effective for the variety of ways that students learn.

Still have questions?