The village of Kartabo is situated in the lower Mazaruni, six miles from Bartica. It is home to a mixed group of people, the largest concentration being Indigenous folk of Carib descent, followed by Arawaks/Lokonos and Akawaios.
The village is named after a crater on Mars called Katabo which was named in 1976. However, the village has existed longer than 1976 and is said to have been around since the 17th century. This belief possibly stems from the fact that one has to pass Fort Kyk-Over-Al, which sits at the junction of the Cuyuni, Mazaruni and Essequibo rivers to get to Kartabo. A few elderly residents said that their parents were born at Kartabo, while their grandparents would have arrived from other communities in Guyana.
My journey by boat began at Parika. Though one can go by ferry, this was not possible with a day trip. The ferry travels on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the same time and on different schedules on Saturdays and Sundays. On these days it leaves Parika at 5 am and takes about 3 to 4 hours depending on the tide to get to Bartica; it departs Bartica at midday to get back 5 hours later. The fare is $500 per adult. A speedboat which comes at the cost of $2,500 takes just an hour and ten minutes. The smaller speedboats which run to Kartabo and other places like Itaballi and Aruwai Resort can be found at the Bartica Stelling or at the once famous restaurant and bar called Cool Breeze. ….