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The Peace Corps uses a competency-based training approach throughout the continuum of learning, supporting you from arrival in-country to your departure. Peace Corps Guyana offers a variety of In-Service Training (IST) opportunities over the course of your two-year service. ISTs last 2-4 days and are considered official Peace Corps business. Volunteers will be within their volunteer cohort for these trainings and attention will be paid to also helping explore and honor the diversity of the United States of America within the group throughout service. Learn more about the Peace Corps' approach to training

Pre-Service Training

The Peace Corps employs a community-based model during pre-service training. It is based on adult learning methods that emphasize individual responsibility for developing the competencies to function independently as a Volunteer. Peace Corps staff design training and learning experiences to assess the trainee’s development and performance of the require competencies to have a professional Peace Corps Service.

Fostering and sustaining intercultural relationships across similarities and differences is the foundation of Peace Corps’ approach to development. As such, in order to prepare Volunteers to develop appropriate and effective strategies to integrate into the culture, maintain health, wellness, and safety and security, trainees will live with a family and take care of their own needs during pre-service training.

Each trainee must meet established competency benchmarks, in order to be eligible to swear-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Trainees can monitor and demonstrate their progress through self-evaluation, consistent feedback from staff and facilitators, and participation in daily activities.

Trainees’ success in this learning period requires full participation, and your investment of effort will be well worth the rewards of service.

Volunteer Competency Model

The Volunteer Competency Model (VCM) is the agency standard for Volunteer learning and performance. The VCM prepares and supports Volunteers to be effective in service as development professionals and ambassadors of world peace and friendship.

Peace Corps Guyana has identified Core Competencies and Sector Competencies for its trainees. Core Competencies include the Volunteer's ability to integrate into the community, facilitate participatory community development, and exemplify professional Peace Corps service. On the other hand, Sector Competencies apply only to volunteers engaged in a particular project.

To achieve the required competencies, trainees must take charge of their learning, identify areas for improvement, and develop a personal learning plan that aligns with their goals. Regular communication with all Peace Corps staff is essential to ensure appropriate support and guidance throughout the program. It is also important to report any issues or challenges encountered during training to the staff, which will be promptly addressed. Each trainee is responsible for accomplishing the competencies set forth by Peace Corps Guyana, and effective communication with the Peace Corps staff is vital for the training program's success.

Technical Training

Technical training will prepare you to work in Guyana by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Guyana experts, and current Volunteers will conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer. Technical training will include sessions on the general economic and political environment in Guyana and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your project’s goals and objectives and will meet with the Guyana agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities, report your progress, and serve as a productive member of your community. During PST, trainees will be given the opportunity to practice their skills in schools and health centers similar to those where they will eventually work. 

Language Training

Language proficiency is at the heart of successful Peace Corps service and effective language skills are essential to your personal and professional satisfaction. Language proficiency is critical not only to your job performance, but also helps you integrate into your community, can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings, and supports your personal safety. As a result, language training is central to the training program and closely tied to intercultural competence, diversity and inclusion training.  

Guyana language instructors usually teach formal language classes five days a week in small groups. Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so you can practice and develop language skills further once you are at your site. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will develop strategies to continue studying language during your service.

Intercultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion Training

Cross-cultural training will provide opportunities for you to reflect on your own cultural values and how they influence your behavior in Guyana. You will also discuss the questions you have about the behaviors and practices you observe in Guyana, exploring the underlying reasons for these behaviors and practices. Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. Training will cover topics such as the concept of time, power and hierarchy, gender roles, communication styles, and the concept of self and relationships. Because adjusting to a new culture can be very challenging, you will participate in resiliency training which provides a framework and tools to help with adjustment issues. The host family experience provides a unique context for cross-cultural learning and is designed to ease your transition to life at your site. Families go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of PST and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Guyana. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.

Health and Wellness Training

During pre-service training, Peace Corps medical officers prepare trainees to demonstrate responsibility for personal health and wellness in service. The training focuses on preventative strategies and minor and major medical issues that trainees may encounter while in Guyana, routine health problems, behavioral health and well-being, gastrointestinal illness, mosquito-borne illness, sexual health, nutrition, and alcohol and substance abuse, among others. It will be important to be open and remain culturally sensitive as you undergo health training and suspend judgement as to not project your cultural beliefs and values.

It is the responsibility of trainees to maintain their health by adhering to all medical policies, medical guidelines, and policies for reporting and response when urgent/emergent health needs present.

Safety and Security Training

Maintaining personal safety and security during service is a shared responsibility of the Peace Corps and Volunteers. During pre-service training, you will learn what you can do to reduce risks in your home, workplace, and while traveling in country by building your awareness and indirectly practicing culturally competent communications skills. You will learn to identify and mitigate safety risks, and the support the Peace Corps provides in the event you become the victim of a crime.