Environmental Education Volunteer
Peace Corps Guyana’s Community Conservation Promoters live and work in villages and towns along the coast, or in rural and remote communities in the hinterlands (interior) of Guyana. They work with youth and adults in communities to build their capacity to be better environmental stewards, and support the effective management and sustainable use of Guyana’s natural resources.
Community Conservation Promoters will work in the classroom, alongside local teachers in a primary school, teaching grades 3-6. They will co-plan lessons and co-teach general science classes, as part of Guyana’s National Science Curriculum five days per week. The primary grade science curriculum focuses on the following areas of science: animal and plant kingdoms, environment, weather, materials, earth and space, and forces (gravity and electromagnetism). There is significant need and opportunity for infusing the teaching of the curriculum with inquiry-based methods, such as citizen science, and use of the local environment as a classroom.
Community Conservation Promoters will also will identify and work with interested community members to co-plan and co-facilitate a wildlife club for youth that will meet afterschool, on weekends and/or during school breaks. The purpose of the club is to build awareness and appreciation of nature and to develop youth leadership skills. Finally, they will collaborate with youth and adults to build awareness of local environmental issues and help develop and implement activities to address them.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.
•Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
•5 years' professional work experience
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in biology or another scientific field
• Strong working knowledge of natural history and ecology
• Classroom teaching experience in general science or environmental science in primary or secondary schools
• Experience developing and facilitating outdoor environmental education programs for youth in camps or clubs
• Experience in community-based, natural resource conservation (such as biodiversity inventory and monitoring, sustainable land use planning or management, eco-tourism or related fields)
• Strong presentation and facilitation skills
Required Language Skills
Most of the population lives in a long narrow strip along the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Venezuela to Suriname. The open savannah and forests of the interior are dotted with small indigenous communities, some of whom still preserve their own language. The country is crisscrossed by myriad rivers, and transportation to and from the Volunteer’s community may involve a mix of minibus, hired car, small plane, motor boat, and canoe.
The majority of Community Conservation Promoters live and work in the inner hinterlands of Guyana. The hinterland region is vast and varied and includes communities in savannah, forest and riverine areas. There may be little or no cell network and internet access in their communities, so most Volunteers will be issued satellite phones for emergencies and to contact Peace Corps staff. Transportation to and from their communities may be by mini-bus, hired car, small plane and/or small motorized boat or canoe.
Living conditions vary, but Community Conservation Promoters in all locations should be prepared to do the following:
• Live with extremely limited or sporadic access to electricity, phone and internet within their community
• Endure long rides on public transportation over rough terrain and/or water
• Walk or ride a bike long distances (2 to 10 kilometers) over uneven terrain
• Adjust to the high heat and humidity a of tropical climate
• Use a latrine toilet
• Adapt to a diet with limited availability and seasonal variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Fetch water by bucket from a river or community well
• Stay in their communities for extended periods of time
Professional dress and behavior is extremely important in schools in Guyana. School administration expects all teachers, including Volunteers, to adhere to the Ministry of Education’s Code of Conduct which includes being well-groomed, dressing professionally (slacks, belt and button-down dress shirts for men, dresses and skirts or nice slacks with blouses for women) and respecting the organizational structure. Guyanese teachers are viewed as role models in the community and are cautioned by the Ministry to display publicly acceptable behaviors when not in school. Volunteers will also be held to this standard as they live and dwell in the local communities.
While Peace Corps Volunteers of various gender expressions, gender identities and sexual orientations 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 are available to support Volunteers. They will address these topics 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.
Community Conservation Promoters who serve successfully in Guyana are open-minded, flexible, emotionally mature and very resilient. They deal well with ambiguity and isolation and are proactive in an unstructured setting. They are culturally competent and show respect by following cultural norms.
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.
Adolescent Health Promoter
Couples in Guyana will share living arrangements, but will have separate work sites. Couples will work at neighboring sites (not more than 30 minutes apart). Although a couple will live together during service, each individual is expected to work at their own school and is encouraged to have their own Peace Corps experience.
Couples will be placed together with a host family during the 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training and during the first five months in their permanent community. The couple will have their own bedroom in a single family home and share common living areas with family members, including living room, kitchen, dining areas, and the bathroom or latrine. We cannot guarantee a particular type of living arrangement, and expect Volunteers to be flexible and adaptable.
We strongly believe the homestay program supports Volunteers’ safety and community integration. After the first five months of service, Volunteers may live in independent housing that meets Peace Corps Guyana’s safety and security criteria. Please note that independent housing may not be available in all communities and that couples may need to live with host families throughout their service.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.
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