Work and Travel in Guyana
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN GUYANA FOR TRAVELLERS
Guyana, not to be confused with French Guiana, is an independent nation in the northeast of the South American continent. With much of the landmass covered by rainforest, this is a nation of biodiversity and relative isolation. How many people do you hear about who have decided to travel in Guyana?
You could go on an adventure to a challenging nation that most travellers know little about. With work and travel in Guyana you can do something that few others do.
But before you work out how to get there, read our travel guide to Guyana (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/the-guianas/guyana) to find out more about this country.
1. Rainforest Conservation in Guyana
As already mentioned, Guyana is mainly covered by rainforest. There are developed areas, but the rainforest makes up a big part of this country’s identity. Help to protect the rainforest from development by joining the conservation teams there.
You’ll be helping to plant new trees and studying the foliage there in an attempt to understand how scientists can improve conservation efforts.
Most of these projects involve you camping out in the rainforest itself, so it’s a magical experience that you’ll be able to enjoy as you work in Guyana.
Take note, however, these positions tend to fill up early and most organisations want at least a medium-term commitment from volunteers.
2. Discover the Secrets of the Rainforest in Guyana
The rainforest is about so much more than conservation efforts. You could support scientists as they study the wildlife and the different plants there. Scientists are constantly discovering new medicines from the rainforest and they acknowledge that they know little about the deep forests.
You can help scientists in their studies. The best part about these volunteering opportunities in Guyana is you don’t need to be a qualified scientist to secure these positions. It helps, of course, but you can have no qualifications and gain some valuable experience in the process.
3. Educate Underprivileged Children in Guyana
Guyana’s education system is poor, so it should come as no surprise that native English speakers from developed countries are in high demand. As long as you’re able to read, write, and count you’re already a prime candidate for these positions.
Certain private schools may demand that you present some form of teaching qualification, but this is far from the case in the majority of schools. You just need to be able to work with children and be able to speak to them on their level.
It can be a great way to really make a lasting difference as you work and travel in Guyana.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR GUYANA
Guyana has some strange visa requirements. The main point of contention is that its visa policy isn’t uniform across the European Union (EU) (http://www.guyana.org/govt/visa_requirements.html). Western European nations, up to Germany, can enter the country for 90 days without a visa. The same goes for the UK. But Poland and other EU nations are not even allocated a transit visa without applying in advance.
The USA and Canada are able to enter without a visa, whereas Mexicans will need to apply for a visa from a Guyana embassy (https://gy.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/).
The Japanese, South Koreans, Kiwis, and Australians are able to enter the country without a visa (https://smartraveller.gov.au/Countries/americas/south/Pages/guyana.aspx). Indian and Chinese citizens will need to get a visa in advance.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN GUYANA
Guyana’s seasons can be quite confusing, due to its coastal and rainforest areas. To start with, spring tends to experience rainy spells in the inland regions. For this reason, we recommend that you stick to the coastal regions. There are conservation projects on the coast, but they’re far less abundant than those in the rainforest.
You can also educate children in schools. The coastal regions tend to have fewer options for work in Guyana than the inland regions.
The summer rainy season is the worst time of year to travel in Guyana. Most volunteering opportunities in Guyana don’t exist in summer because the country gets 50% of its annual rainfall during summer, so lots of remote areas are cut off by flooding and landslides.
We don’t recommend coming to Guyana in summer as there are no seasonal skills available. Travel can also be difficult once you leave the urban areas.
The autumn is the ideal time to move into the inland regions and to work in the rainforests there. You’ll be able to discover the mysteries of the rainforest, and help preserve it for future generations.
Your work will involve camping out in the rainforest and supporting scientists in their vital work. Both wildlife protection and rainforest conservation projects are available.
The coastal regions experience a second rainy season during winter. However, you can still find work. Educational projects and working with poorer children are always popular throughout the coastal rainy season.
You don’t need prior qualifications or experience for the majority of these projects, either.
Another option is work with the elderly and disabled. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable in society don’t get much support from the government. These care homes rely on volunteers from outside to provide aid. You’ll be expected to keep the residents company and to work with staff to ensure that they’re getting the care they need.
You can also refer back to the ‘Autumn’ section as these projects are still available.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN GUYANA
The majority of volunteering opportunities in Guyana will bring you into contact with the locals. They will be curious about you and your homeland because most travellers who come here are often rich and travel as part of a guided tour. Backpackers don’t come here in large numbers because of how difficult it can be to get to the country at an affordable price.
You won’t experience any hostility whilst you volunteer or work in Guyana. But you will be regularly approached by locals who want to know more about you.
Do you want to work and travel in Guyana?
- Edited on Dec 11 2018 by Marichka