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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Highlights - everything really but probably Isabela.
The island was so beautiful, lots of areas to explore on your own - the walk to Muro de las Lagrimas, lagoons, beach, watching the pelicans diving for fish around sunset. Los Tuneles was probably our favourite snorkelling trip. Kicker Rock would be a close second, we have some fantastic footage of hammerheads.
All the breakfasts were fresh and enjoyable as were the lunches provided on the trips - especially the ceviche on Los Tuneles tour. Andrea, our main contact was great always on time, very friendly, lots of useful information. Overall organisation was excellent - no problems.
Thanks again Tom - it was worth the wait!!
Neil and Julie Buckley (U.K.), Jan 2020
» Galapagos Island Hopping
To be honest I don't have the words to describe the Galapagos. Breathtaking!!
Thank you so much for the excellent organisation, planning and support. The flights, boat, crew, guides, food and itinerary were excellent and worked really well. The wildlife was simply amazing and the weather perfect.
No low point. Highlight - everything, but in particular seeing a part of our planet that has not been ravaged by humans.
We wished to see as much of the Galapagos as possible and the boat made this possible. We chose Andean Trails because they responded very quickly and efficiently to our original request. Tom has been excellent and we would highly recommend Andean Trails again.
Mark Clixby (U.K.), Jan 2020
» Aida Maria, Galapagos Cruise Boat
How about finishing your holiday to Ecuador with a visit to Puerto Lopez? Here are Kathy's tips on what to see and… twitter.com/i/web/status/12359…
6th March, 2020 5:05 pm
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