In late-August 2012, I’ll be traveling to Guyana, South America to volunteer with Project Trust. At the start of May, I got my placement letter, with tons of information on the exact project I’ll be going to, so I wrote this page to share that information with readers. Then in early-June the school pulled out of the arrangement, and I was re-assigned to a new project in Guyana. As this project is brand new there isn’t a whole lot of information readily available, but this page aims to over the basic questions.
Updated in December 2012 with more accurate information
Where Exactly Are You Going?
Sand Creek Secondary School, Sand Creek Village, Region 9, Guyana, South America
This is not a postal address – I’ll be confirming that closer to departure
Update: here’s the postal address
So Where is Sand Creek?
Sand Creek is a small village in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region of Guyana, also known as Region 9. Only a few miles from the mountainous Guyana rainforest environment, Sand Creek itself is set within a vast expanse of grassy and sandy savannah.
Guyana itself is a small country in South America, bordered on the north-west by Venezuela, on the south-west and the south by Brazil, on the east by Suriname and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. My original project was in Lethem, a town right on the Brazillian border of the country and a main trading hub. My new project in Sand Creek is about 33 miles (as the crow flies) south-east of Lethem.
This map – click for a larger version – shows where Harry and myself are stationed (Harry being my PT partner), as well as where the other 10 pairs are working throughout the country.
Update: turns out that the map above isn’t strictly accurate in some places (blame Google Earth, not me!), but it still gives a good representation.
What Will You Be Doing?
While I’m volunteering at Sand Creek Secondary School I’ll be teaching maths and/or science. Recent investments in educational facilities by the Guyanese government have given the school an IT lab, so I may also be teaching some IT, as well as any other subjects I’m asked to lead lessons for. I’ll be teaching a secondary school age group, so I’ll likely be preparing students for CXC exams – these are Caribbean Examination Certificates and are roughly similar to the GCSEs taken in the UK.
Update: As this post shows, I teach Grade 8 maths and Grade 7 PE (I used to teach Grade 7 and 8 reading as well, but we shuffled subjects at the end of the first term). As of the end of the first term there is still no IT equipment and I doubt I’ll be seeing it before I finish teaching in July, but I am planning to teach a basic IT skills crash course to some of the adults in the village.
Where Will You Be Living?
Honestly, I don’t know.
As I said, this is a brand new project, so we don’t have as much information about it as some other locations do. Most placements in Guyana house their volunteers in dormitories/apartments on or near the school compound, so I expect it will be something similar. As for things like power, running water, etc… I’ll find out when I get there!
Update: I live in a reasonably modern concrete apartment in the middle of the school compound. It has a hall, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. As I write (December 2012) there are no cooking facilities, no running water and no power. All three of them should be provided in the next few weeks/months.