Fronteering Travel

Amazon Ranch Caretaker

Region 9, Guyana show on map

Non-profit | Fronteering Travel

Go back in to time in remote and beautiful Guyana and help to sustain local Amerindian cowboy community’s centuries old lifestyle by rebuilding the ranches. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+
Did you ever dream to live the life of a cowboy but you haven’t figured out how to travel back in time yet? Then this is your chance! Go back in to time in remote and beautiful Guyana and help to sustain local Amerindian cowboy community’s centuries old lifestyle by rebuilding the ranches and help them set up basic eco-tourism facilities.

Times are dire for the cattle ranches of Guyana Savanna’s, no longer being able to sell their meat to neighboring Brazil and not even longer allowed to sell their meat in the coastal regions of Guyana they struggle to continue. With the times changing and barely any source of income left the Amerindian Vaquero’s of the Savannas are in need of your help! They are on the brink of abounding their centuries old lifestyle, help now by building basic eco-tourism facilities and relive the days of old as a Cowboy (or girl) in beautiful Guyana!!! This is a great volunteer abroad opportunity for all adventures especially for those who love the ranch life, who are interested in native Amerindian cultures and have a passion for horse riding.

You will volunteer alongside experienced Cowboys as well as international volunteers. For a full kit list please contact us.

This is Why
  • Venture in to the amazing savannas of South America and help out on a local remote cattle ranch
  • Set up sustainable eco-tourism with the vaqueros and help protect their way of life
  • Learn how to live and survive a truly rustic lifestyle along side real vaqueros
  • Experience incredible Tropical wildlife right on your doorstep
Requirements:
  • You must be physically and mentally fit. 
  • Age: 18 and over. There is no upper age limit but good health is essential for this project.
  • Must love animals/outdoors
  • Make sure to contact your local health organization to inquire about the needed/recommended vaccinations and medicine.
  • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humor and dependable.
With this project you will be involved in sustaining the rancher’s way of life as they struggle in their existence. Since the government of Guyana no longer allows them to sell their meat along the coast, and the Brazilian government does not allow the import of meat form Guyana their only option for sales is locally in the small town of Lethem.
The ranch you will be working with currently has about 15 horses, all of which are used to work the cattle and need regular feed and care. The horses are important for ranch work but are also an opportunity for the family to take potential paying guests out into the savannah.


Typical day

This great experience will take you to the golden savannahs of Guyana, a magnificent landscape of open grasslands and jungle covered mountains, where vaqueros on horseback have lived and raised cattle  in co-existence with the local wildlife for many centuries. It was here that even Frank James (Jesse James older brother) used to gallop through the vast planes. His great experience will take you to the golden Savannas’ of Guyana a magnificent place where Vaquero’s with its horses and cattle have lived in co-existence with the local wildlife for many centuries.
Your help is needed to set up ecotourism facilities and related projects so that the ranchers have an income to sustain their ranch. In addition, and as part of the longer term eco-tourism plan, a lot of work is needed to renovate, improve and maintain the ranch itself. One of the tasks that needs to be completed is constructing an 8km fence to keep the cattle nearer to the ranch during calving. The fence will make a  huge difference to the ranchers. At present the cattle can roam unrestricted. This means a lot of time spent finding the cattle and bringing them in for branding or castrating. It also makes valuable unbranded cattle vulnerable to rustlers. A fence would protect the cattle and create more valuable time for the ranchers to embark on ecotourism.
Projects or activities you will mainly be involved in: 

  • Constructing a new cattle fence
  • Developing the vegetable garden and managing the chickens
  • Helping to bring in the cattle and manage them in the corral
  • General maintenance around the ranch buildings
  • Repairing the compound fence
  • Day to day cleaning and preparing of meals
  • Building additional accommodation for tourism
  • Constructing a horse coral
  • Improving the out buildings
  • Fishing
The projects you are involved in will directly benefit the local ranch community. We concentrate on things that work, not that look fancy. This is the real deal! It's no American dude ranch! Are you ready for a genuine adventure while helping to preserve the original cowboy culture and experiencing wildlife and landscape like nowhere else on earth?

Details on Arrival

There are no specific start/arrival dates for this project, however, we recommend that you arrive on a Monday.

Free-time activities

During your days off, volunteers can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Rupunini Savannahs; tropical wildlife viewing animals such as the giant anteater, deer, armadillo and cougars. Also enjoy swimming in the tributaries of the Rupununi river; hikining trails and climbing small mountains. However these activities are at the volunteers own expense.

Swimming
Sightseeing
Climbing
Hiking
Riding

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
CV, Resume, Letter of Motivation and Two pics and signed Policies and Liability Form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:00 - 16:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Fronteering Travel cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fronteering Travel.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Fronteering Travel (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Fronteering Travel
  • Accommodation: While working at the ranch you will stay in basic shared cabins next to the main ranch house. 
  • Meals: While at the ranch you will eat with the vaqueros and all your meals are included. 
  • Airport Pick Georgetown + Hotel night: An employee of the project will pick you up from the airport near Georgetown ( 1 hour) and will transfer you to your hotel where you wil stay for 1 night. The next morning you will be picked up from the hotel and you will be brought to a local domestic airport.
  • Domestic flight (return flight incl) + Airport Pick up: An employee of the project will pick you up from your hotel in Georgetown and will transfer you to the airport. Included in this package is a domestic flight from Georgetown to Lethem by small airplane (approximately 2 hours flying over seemingly everlasting jungle). You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel in Lethem where you will stay one night.
  • Transfer to the project: You will be  picked up from your hotel in Lethem and transferred to your project by 4x4. It is approximately 4 hours drive through the beautiful Tropical savannahs of Guyana (return flight inlcuded).
  • Returning home: After your time at the project has been finished you will be transferred back to Lethem by 4x4 after which you will stay one night in a hotel. The next morning you will take a domestic flight from Lethem to Georgetown. At this point you can choose to travel home or to explore more of Guyana. We are of course happy to assist you with this.
  • Work permit: For volunteering in Guyana a work permit is required as well as premmission needed to visit the Amerindian reserves. This will all be arranged after your arrival (as Guyana has no embassies abroad) and will be HASSLE FREE for you. The fee for this is included in the program cost.
  • Mail and Communications: It is possible to receive and send mail from the town of Lethem via our Fronteering representative, however the postal service is very variable in such a remote area and the process regularly takes over a month. It is not unheard of never to reach it's destination! There will be internet connection and cell phone reception in both Georgetown and Lethem. The ranch is very remote and the only communication is by transistor radio and satellite phone which are used for emergencies only.
  • Ongoing service and 24/7 Emergency contact
Airport Pickup at Cheddi Jagan International Airport

You will arrive in the capital of Guyana where you will be met and stay over night in a hotel.

Accommodation

When staying overnight in Georgetown *shared rooms, while in the savannah you will stay in shared cabins.The cabins have simple beds or you can choose to sleep in a hammock if you wish! The cabins are open buildings with traditional thatch  made from Ité palm leaves. To begin with wash facilities will be in the main house. As you will read in these details, part of your tasks will be to improve the cabins, including building an adjoining washroom. But of course there is always the creek as the true vaquero way to wash! When Arriving in Georgetown and Lethem you will stay in a private hotel room!

Guesthouse Bungalow
Food & Beverages

During your stay in Georgetown and Lethem meals are not included, while at the ranch all food is included. Each project member will be involved with preparing (and sometimes catching!) your meals.Local food is basic but hearty to keep your energy up for an active day on the savannah. Typical dishes include farine (a carbohydrate made from a local root called cassava) and meat either raised at the ranch, such as pork or chicken, or fresh fish caught by you from the creek! You will also help to develop the vegetable garden and harvest the fruit trees. Please note that the diet at Saddle Mountain Ranch is not suitable for vegetairians. During your short stopovers in Georgetown/Lethem, meals are not included.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Georgetown. We assist you to find cheap flights to Guyana.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Guyana provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Guyana you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Guyana.
Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,195
6 weeks
$ 1,395
8 weeks
$ 1,495
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 1,795
Average fees
$ 224 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Region 9/Guyana between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Fronteering Travel will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Guyana.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Fronteering Travel during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or cash at arrival at the project site.
  Americas South America Guyana  Region 9, Rupununi

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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