Alternative Break in Roatan Honduras

Background: ​Over ten years ago, Scott Fried, motivational speaker, HIV/AIDS educator, activist, and author, traveled to the island of Honduras on a holiday cruise. After a 6 hour excursion, Scott stumbled on the community of La Colonia in Roatan, Honduras, an extremely poor area lying 40 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. There, he discovered, 1 in 7 people lives with AIDS. After engaging with the locals and learning their stories, Scott vowed that he would go back to that community. In the winter of 2015, 8 Penn Staters joined Scott, in his 10th year of service, to help give back to the place that he fell in love with (read more about Scott’s work at

In 2016,  a group of students joined Scott to continue work on the “Steps to Roatan” project which provides a means of travel to many residents of Roatan, Honduras. Each year we bring back a group of students back to the Island to continue on this project through community building construction projects. In the past we have built homes, built long stair cases, and created roads. We have developed close relationships with many community members and we work with them on these projects each year. We also spend time during the trip visiting a local AIDS clinic, volunteering at a school, and exploring the small, but beautiful island.

Roatan is an amazing community and by going on this “Steps to Roatan” trip, you will not only do amazing service, but meet a lot of friendly locals and also have a great spring break!

Quick Facts:

  • Roatan is a beautiful island in the Caribbean that is a popular tourist destination
  • Because of the dangers associated with visiting mainland Honduras, we fly into Coxen Hole, the airport located on the island
  • Roatan is well known for having the second largest coral reef in the world
  • Honduras is Central America’s second poorest country
  • Roatan, being an island off the coast of the country, struggles to gain access to resources and because of this is even more underdeveloped than the mainland

Trip Basics:

  • Student Trip leaders: Tanner Eisenhard ( & Eleanor Smith (
  • Trip Staff: Emma Kaplan, Director of Leadership Development & Matt Altman, Innovation Specialist/Springboard Fellow with support from Scott Fried, Nationally Renowned Motivational Speaker and Jewish Life Educator
  • Trip dates: March 2-9 2019 (Penn State University Spring Break)
  • Cost per Participant: TBD  (cost to change depending on grants/money raised by Hillel and trip participants. Final cost includes housing, 3 meals a day, flights, & on-the-ground transportation in Roatan)
  • Lodging: Sea Breeze Inn —
  • Meals: all meals are included in the cost of the program (dietary restrictions can be accommodated for)

Program Highlights:

  • Interactions with locals who are able to tell their life stories
  • Midweek excursion to experience the culture of the beautiful island & take a break from our hard working days
  • Multiple day-long site work opportunities for community improvement and development
  • Free choice nightly activities with new friends
  • Cool down from a hard day of community service on the beautiful beach

Participant Requirements:

  • Passport (must be valid for 60 days after return trip date)
  • Must be capable and willing to perform  full day of hard manual labor and or other community needs such as painting projects
  • Must be willing to do individual & group fundraising
  • Provide a $250 deposit for trip upon acceptance

Check out last year’s recap video HEREFor more information, please email

Applications for the Spring 2019 trip are now CLOSED.