Spanish authorities recently notified Honduras’s Secretaria de Trabajo y Seguridad Social of a request for 500 agricultural workers from Honduras to work the upcoming berry harvest season. Honduras’s response was met with support from the USAID Transforming Market Systems Activity. The Activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA in Honduras, partnered with the Honduran government’s Programa de Trabajo Temporal en el Extranjero (PTTE) to recruit workers to fulfill these roles and earn additional income for their families living in Honduras.

The Activity is a five-year effort to address the root causes of illegal migration out of the country and contribute to a more prosperous, secure, and inclusive Honduras. In late 2021, the Activity and PTTE processed petitions to send 242 Hondurans to work abroad during Spain’s berry harvest season.

Preparing Honduran Workers for Spain’s Berry Harvest Season

The next season will begin in January 2023. Among the 500 Hondurans hired for the season, Spanish authorities plan to rehire roughly 240 works from the previous season. Within weeks of receiving the request from Spain, PTTE interviewed candidates from Danlí, El Paraiso, and La Esperanza in Honduras’s Intibucá Department.

PTTE continues to conduct in-person interviews throughout Honduras with candidates for this and other requests for temporary workers. During recruiting events, the Activity and PTTE held sessions to inform prequalified candidates of the recruitment and hiring processes. The next step for selected candidates will be talks about labor rights and fraud protection abroad prior to their departure. So far, the team has identified 300 candidates—all of whom are now registered with the PTTE database for easy follow-up—for the upcoming berry harvest and other agricultural jobs.

In November, 600 interviews will take place between Spanish employers and agricultural worker candidates so that employers can select an additional 260 workers to join the 240 workers from last season who will be rehired.

Connecting Others to Hospitality Jobs Abroad

Also coming soon is the second half of the H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker season. In anticipation, PTTE and the Activity met with Waterloo Hospitality, a management company that provides talent for hospitality-related businesses and one of the main H-2B recruiters for hotels in the United States.

As a result, the partners hosted two recruiting events for the company between October 17 and 19 in Honduras’s Tegucigalpa and Roatán. The company interviewed more than 200 experienced candidates for housekeeping positions. In this first stage, 40 new recruits will be placed in the company.

Curbing Illegal Migration from Honduras

By working with the government, civil society, and private sector in Honduras, the Activity is working to create systemic change in Honduran market systems. Temporary work abroad is one way the Activity aims to generate new jobs for Hondurans at a scale and depth to create transformational change in local economies.

Learn more about our work in Honduras.

Learn more about the USAID Transforming Market Systems Activity in Honduras.