Guyana makes a great gap year and volunteering holiday destination thanks to its amazing wildlife and amazingly friendly people.
In Yupukari, Guyana (the only English-speaking country in South America), villagers will teach you their indigenous knowledge while you contribute your strengths in reading, writing and technology to their self-development projects.
Villagers of all ages will teach you to fish, farm, weave a hammock, plait a basket, make and use bows & arrows, paddle a dugout, cook over fire and many other indigenous skills the same way they teach their own family.
These student-villager co-creative partnerships have yielded the first digital maps of the community; the first catalogue of medicinal plants; the first books from oral stories, among other projects that have been transformative for locals and visitors alike.
This working relationship allows both parties to develop an appreciation of their own knowledge, gifts and strengths, while learning lifelong skills and forming deep friendships.
Rupununi Learners – finding out more
The host organisation is a village-run NGO, Rupununi Learners, which operates a guest lodge, Caiman House, where you will live. 100% of revenue surplus from visitors goes to the village public library, wildlife research and cultural preservation. In 2012 Caiman House received the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Award.
This gap semester program is based on an award-winning, university-accredited Study Abroad program, but with a focus on “learning from living” rather than fulfilling academic requirements.
The experienced staff are a mix of villagers, Canadians and Americans.
Find out more here on the Gap Semester Webpage, and read more about Caiman House in Tom’s blog.
Please get in touch for more information, and read our Volunteer section.
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