Story and photos by Jeanna Pearson
Acres of canefields and tractors line the access roads of many villages on the West Bank of Demerara, but there is something different about La Retraite that causes villagers, especially the younger folks, to remain in the place of their birth.
After a long day of doing chores in her home, Carmen Sandbach would clamber up the “back steps” of her daughter’s house around 5pm to listen to the waves crashing against the seawall in her village. She would stay there for hours into the night, inhaling the cool evening breeze, until the sun goes down and the lights on the Habour Bridge are turned on. “That’s why I like La Retraite,” she said.