From left: Siblings Daniel, Anderson and Karelis at the standpipe

Coldingen is on the East Coast Demerara right between Strathspey and Nonpareil. The village is believed to have more than 1,000 residents and most of them have access to all of the necessary amenities, those who are excluded mainly live on Sea Dam. Only a handful of houses on Sea Dam have both electricity and potable water.

As I stood there, a horse drawn cart passed by and its driver nodded in greeting. A short distance away, a fisherman sat removing several small fish from his cast net with his wife keeping him company.

Excited shouts came from a group of teenagers playing cricket, while their mothers and neighbours looked on. A few lots over, a group of smaller children laughed while one boy followed through with the order of “three crapo [crapaud] jumps”; they were playing ‘Mother May I’.

Patrick Coates stood outside his home chatting with his wife. He, like many others, lives on the government reserve. Coates hails from Montrose further up the coast. He is currently on a break from his job as a gold miner in the interior; he does a bit of masonry when he is out…..

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