Work and Travel in Equatorial Guinea
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA FOR TRAVELLERS
Equatorial Guinea is a small country in West Africa. Little is mentioned about Equatorial Guinea as it’s not a common backpacking destination. Travel in Equatorial Guinea isn’t an easy prospect and it can be difficult to get around.
Unlike practically all countries in the region, the main language of the country is Spanish, with French being widely spoken. This makes work and travel in Equatorial Guinea something of a unique experience.
Here are some of the options you have in this country, presented in our travel guide to Equatorial Guinea (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/equatorial-guinea).
1. Educate Children in Equatorial Guinea
As you would expect from such a poor country, thousands of children don’t have access to good quality education. If you want to work in Equatorial Guinea, this is one of the best positions around.
Most of these programmes take place in the urban areas of Malabo and Bata. You’ll be working with younger children and showing them how to read, write, count, and more.
There are also English teaching programmes, so if you want to teach English in Equatorial Guinea, you only need to be a native English speaker to qualify. Anyone with a qualification will be able to take on more advanced positions, particularly those involving older young adults.
2. Get Creative with Arts and Crafts in Equatorial Guinea
Another one of the great volunteering opportunities in Equatorial Guinea is running arts and crafts workshops for children in the urban areas.
These programmes may take place as part of the school day or they could be private ventures. Charities in the region promoting the arts are there to provide a type of education that often doesn’t gain much consideration in this part of the world.
Whether you can paint, draw, or act you’ll be welcome to help introduce children to the joys of art as you work and travel in Equatorial Guinea.
3. Engage in Community Activities in Equatorial Guinea
Work and travel in Equatorial Guinea isn’t easy if you don’t know anything about the locals. Throw yourself into life in this country by engaging in community activities.
These community activities vary depending on the organisation involved, but they’re all geared towards making a difference. Whether you’re helping to redecorate homes or promoting public health, what you do here will leave a lasting impact when you finish your work in Equatorial Guinea.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Equatorial Guinea has an interesting history, therefore it also has an interesting visa policy.
Citizens of the United States and China are able to enter the country and travel in Equatorial Guinea for up to 90 days without a visa (https://www.egembassydc.com/). This is a rarity in the region. The only other countries that qualify for this are the countries around Equatorial Guinea.
Everyone else has to go through the process of applying for a visa (http://embassyofequatorialguinea.co.uk/visa-application/) to visit Equatorial Guinea. This can be a time-consuming process to visit the embassy. Many nations will find it can take weeks to reach a decision on a visa (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/equatorial-guinea/entry-requirements).
We recommend ensuring that you already have one of the volunteering opportunities in Equatorial Guinea booked because they can provide you with the necessary visa support.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Equatorial Guinea gains part of its name because it’s positioned on the equator. This gives it two distinct seasons every year: the dry season and the wet season.
During spring, you should expect to deal with heavy rains. From April onwards, you should spend time in the urban areas. Infrastructure problems make it difficult to get around the country independently.
Community engagement and educational programmes are always highly popular throughout spring. You may even want to apply for a position as part of a sex trafficking charity. Volunteers are always needed and spring is an excellent time to do it.
This is a big problem in the country, so your help will be much appreciated in providing help and support to survivors.
The summer season is the worst time of year to work and travel in Equatorial Guinea. This is the middle of the rainy season and storms can be severe.
For the purposes of this section, you should refer back to ‘Spring’ as these are the seasonal skills that are most required. There’s nothing specific to summer itself.
By the time October arrives, the rainy season has ended. This is the shoulder season, so it’s the perfect time to begin organising work in Equatorial Guinea.
Backpackers may want to consider organising a home stay in the rural areas. Home stays can involve anything from helping a local family to learn English to simply helping them out with tasks, such as looking after children or helping out on a farm.
The winter is the dry season and it’s when many outdoor community engagement programmes commence. There’s a big emphasis on building wells, reconstructing homes, and helping communities to provide other services.
These are difficult roles, but they’re highly rewarding ones. You will also get the chance to see a pat of the country you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see.
Take note that these typically only last until March as the conditions during the rainy season become too difficult to work in. Make sure you commit to a long-term programme as there are few short-term ones.
Expect to spend at least two to three months on these projects as charities and NGOs have to make a lot of effort to get you to the more remote parts of the country.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA
As you work and travel in Equatorial Guinea, expect to gain a lot of attention from the locals. They rarely receive visitors and so the sight of a foreigner is amazing to them.
There’s nothing sinister about it. They’ll usually harass you with questions about where you came from and what life is like there. The prospect of a foreigner volunteering in the area is an exciting prospect for them.
If you think you’re tough enough, work in Equatorial Guinea could be your next big adventure.
- Edited on Oct 31 2018 by Marichka