Community Conservation Promoter

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Project Description

Community Conservation Promoters will live and work in remote indigenous communities to promote awareness and appreciation of the natural world and support community-based conservation efforts.

Community Conservation Promoters will use a club model to facilitate outdoor activities for youth to build ecological understanding and leadership skills. They will also work with teachers in primary and secondary schools, serving as technical experts to facilitate an increased understanding of environmental topics and train and support teachers to infuse hands-on environmental education into their lesson plans.

An essential component of all Community Conservation Promoters’ work will be getting to know the local community to determine its greatest environmental challenges and opportunities.

Depending on skills and experience, some Community Conservation Promoters may have the opportunity to support planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a community conservation project, or natural resource management plan.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in promoting environmental awareness in schools and communities, and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

• Strong working knowledge of natural history and ecology
• Experience developing and coordinating environmental education and outreach programs for youth or adults in outdoor settings
• Experience in community-based, natural resource conservation (such as biodiversity inventory and monitoring, sustainable land use planning/management, eco-tourism or related field)
• Enthusiasm for living and working in remote communities in challenging conditions with limited access to technology
• Strong presentation and facilitation skills

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

English is the official language, spoken by nearly all Guyanese including indigenous people in remote communities. Other languages include Guyanese Creolese (widely spoken), and nine indigenous languages including Macushi, Wapishana, and Patomona. Community Conservation Promoters receive basic training in Guyanese Creolese language and culture and will be provided with self-directed, immersion language learning techniques if they would like to learn the local language when at site.

Living Conditions

Community Conservation Promoters will live and work in remote indigenous communities in the interior of Guyana. Physical conditions include ability to:

• Endure long rides on public transportation over rough terrain and/or water
• Adjust to high heat and humidity of tropical climate
• Use a latrine
• Adapt to a diet with a lack of variety in fresh fruits and vegetables
• Fetch water by bucket from a river or community well
• Live with limited access to electricity.
• Walk or ride a bike long distances (2 to 10 kilometers) over uneven terrain to facilitate community integration and social and cultural understanding

Community Conservation Promoters will live with a host family during the initial training period and the first six months of service, after which Community Conservation Promoters may have the option to pursue other housing that meets Peace Corps Guyana’s housing criteria.

Note that independent housing may not be available in all communities. Communities will have very basic resources, including limited electricity and perhaps no running water.

While Community Conservation Promoters will be issued satellite phones for emergency communication, they will likely have little or no cell phone service or internet access until they travel out of their communities to the nearest town once a month for shopping and banking.

Transportation to and from site may be by small plane (6-12 seater), mini-bus, taxi, and/or small motorized boat or canoe; or a combination. Community Conservation Promoters are expected to stay in their communities for extended periods of time due to irregular transportation schedules and cost-prohibitive travel.

Community Conservation Promoters who serve successfully in Guyana are open-minded, flexible, emotionally mature and resilient. They deal well with ambiguity and isolation and are proactive in an unstructured work setting. They are culturally competent and show respect by following cultural norms.

While Peace Corps Volunteers of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity have served successfully in Guyana, it is important to note that Guyana has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of Guyanese law and cultural norms, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in the country and within their host communities. Peace Corps Guyana staff and currently-serving Volunteers will address this topic during Pre-Service Training and identify support mechanisms to help Volunteers who may experience a lack of openness and acceptance during their service. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guyana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Guyana

  • Guyana may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: cardiology; gastroenterology; insulin-dependent diabetes; seizures; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; HIV; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.  
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: eggs.  
  • After arrival in Guyana, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot,  to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

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