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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The whole trip was just incredible; the planned itinerary went smoothly, everything was perfectly organised and I could not think of any better way to have visited this beautiful country. The cruise on Galapagos Islands obviously was the highlight. Lost in paradise!
The accommodation/food/guides on Coral 1 were amazing! The crew was super nice and we had a lot of fun! The guides had great knowledge to share and the itinerary was super exciting and interesting. During my time on the cruise I talked a lot to the crew members that were all locals working for the conservation of the Islands, I got great insights on the people and culture of the country.
I am super happy to have chosen Andean Trails for my trip and so grateful for the help of Kat, she gave me great recommendation and helped me in the best possible way with the planning of my trip.
Marie Becker (France), July 2022
» Coral I & II Galapagos Cruise Yachts
We had a brilliant time , we loved it and managed all the mountain climbing! Our group was fantastic and also the guides .
We celebrated our wedding anniversary and both our birthdays - they managed to arrange cakes for our birthdays and we had such great laughs with everybody.
Shirley & Colin Whittaker (UK), Mar 2020
» Salkantay Lodge Trek To Machu Picchu
Students Study Food Insecurity & Climate Change in Peru University of Edinburgh students and teachers report back from Peru, where they learned how traditional farming techniques could help prevent climate change and reduce food insecurity. The team visited coastal Lima, the Cusco Highlands, and the cloud forest. For Andean Trails and our local team, it was a chance to showcase a side of Peru that many visitors may not see when passing through. It went so well that the University has already signed up its team to another Food Security tour in the spring of 2024. Learning About …
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