Interviews and photos by Frances Abraham
and Marcelle Thomas

This week we asked persons who attended GuyExpo 2011 their opinions of the exhibition and what really stood out for them.

Michael DeSantos- Private Sector Employee
`There’s a lot of stuff going on here and it’s only going to get bigger and better. It’s pretty amazing, in my opinion it’s getting better, it’s getting bigger every year. I liked the diversity. All of these people coming together. I saw a bus pulling in from Linden and all of the Guyanese people coming together in harmony and unity even in the light of the elections coming up. I just love it. You have lots of variety of the different businesses from GRA to KFC to Digicel. It’s pretty great.’

Dellon Peters- Private Sector
`I think the Government is doing a great job with GuyExpo with all the exhibits that are included here and I think the exhibitors are doing a great job as well as they are showing us brand new things every year. I haven’t been around much but for the couple of places I’ve been to, Global Technology seems to be doing a good thing with the Apple display. GuyExpo seems to be growing every year and it is getting bigger and better. Keep GuyExpo alive.’

 Ohene Koama- Curatorial Assistant at Office of the President
‘It’s a great initiative to encourage the local people to expand and to promote themselves and advertise themselves and so on but I think less emphasis should be placed on the bigger companies like Digicel and GT&T. They are not really manufacturing anything locally… emphasis should be placed on the small man. They are the true persons who are actually manufacturing items. I haven’t seen everything as yet but I think the place looks brighter, there are more lights. Improvements can come where there can probably be a reduction in the cost towards people who have to exhibit their products and maybe that would encourage other people to come forward.’

 Paul Alli – Pastor
`I think it’s bigger and better, they have a wider variety of stuff and I liked the furniture section, they are doing a whole lot there. I’ve seen a whole lot of new designs and I think they are putting a lot of emphasis on the outer world coming into Guyana now, in terms of their designs.’

Suresh Paryag- Booth Owner
‘I’m very impressed with the exhibit. This year it seems to be better than the year before. Every year it seems to be getting a little better than the year before. They are ironing out most of the mistakes they made before and so far they’ve done a good job but what I think they should do is make it more local rather than have foreign investors here. It’s a GuyExpo, it’s Guyana on expo so it should remain local. We need to showcase what Guyana has and educate the Guyanese population on what we can produce. Also, I liked that it was not much of a sporty event this year. That stands out a lot because last year it was more like a fair so the organizers are listening when we speak because we did make some suggestions to them.’

Liquat Hussain – Overseas-based Guyanese
‘I was in the Suriname display and that was great. The food section, well there’s a lot of people who are observing their fasting month and I don’t know if the display of food was appropriate for certain people who are visiting but other than that, it’s been alright. This is my second visit here.’

Marene Persaud- Retired Teacher
‘I think it’s very enlightening and it’s good for our country. I’ve been hearing so many negative comments but I think our country is on the go. I don’t think it’s better than previous years, I know it is. I think everything in health, education, infrastructure, everything is getting better. It’s slow but we’re getting there. I liked looking at the development especially coming from the interior and Hinterland areas with the products they have produced that are on display.’

Alana Walker – Overseas-based Guyanese
‘I’m very much impressed… It’s nice to come here and see that we have more to offer. I think it’s getting better especially with the quality of the products that are being produced…I saw some ceramic pieces and I was very, very impressed so I think that things are getting better even though I think last year there was a much bigger crowd but in terms of the products, yes I can see a huge improvement. I think they are going steadily and are moving along within their limits as well so it’s all good.’

Melissa Correia- Student
‘I like the excitement… the setting, everything. I believe it’s a good thing to keep GuyExpo alive because it allows people to advertise their products and their businesses especially since people who wouldn’t even usually go into the town areas would come to see what is on display here. This is my first time out here and so far I’ve liked the drumming the most. I’m really enjoying it.’

Marcelle McKenzie– Senior Project Officer at CARICOM
`This is my second day in Guyana and my first day out. I am really fascinated by the GuyExpo. I think perhaps more countries need to also join this event. You have a wealth of natural resources that you are making great use of and I think the rest of the Caribbean can learn a lot. The Amerindian food and artwork has really stood out to me because it’s the first time I’m experiencing it so I’m fascinated mostly by that. I really am enjoying it.’