The World Beyond Georgetown

For close to seven years now reporters attached to this newspaper have gone to various communities in all ten regions of Guyana, seeking to shed light on their customs, way of life and issues. Recognising that for a very long time, many of the far-to-reach places were out of sight and in several instances out of mind as well.

On the shortcut to Wakapoa
(Joanna Dhanraj photo)
On the shortcut to Wakapoa (Joanna Dhanraj photo)

Wakapoa revisited – Part 1

Bordered by Akawini to the south and Manawarin to the west, Wakapoa is by far one of the most peculiar indigenous villages in Guyana and possibly in the world as it consists of twenty inhabited islands that is home to its two thousand plus residents who belong to the Arawak/ Lokono and Warrau tribes.

Amina Alberts (centre, forefront) holds her son in her lap. She is surrounded by her relatives.
Amina Alberts (centre, forefront) holds her son in her lap. She is surrounded by her relatives.

Meet the ‘Bendorffers’

With no electricity or potable water, Bendorffers use solar panels, kerosene lamps and generators for power and rainwater for drinking and cooking, while water from the canals or the nearby Essequibo River is used to wash and bathe.

A brother and sister from the neighbouring Bendorff
community make their way along the road in Larimakabra to the shop
situated more than a mile away from
their home

Larimakabra

Larimakabra is a community of 18 people – a shopkeeper who lives by himself and the 17-member Williams family– located along the Parika-Hubu Road, between Naamless and Bendoroff, on the East Bank of Essequibo.

Aftab Zahoor’s home, said to be more than 100 years old, was at one time the house where overseers lived

San Souci

Sans Souci, a community on the north-western coast of Wakenaam Island, is home to approximately 200 people, many of whom are farmers and fishermen.

A young caiman feeding in the canal

Windsor Castle

Forty-one kilometres from Supenaam on the Essequibo Coast is the village of Windsor Castle, home to approximately 650 residents, most of whom do rice farming while some do cattle rearing and fishing.

Telackdhari Persaud

Fear Not… now entering Sparta

On arriving at Sparta, the small Essequibo Coast village sandwiched by Danielstown and Windsor Castle, I noticed two signs—one with the name Sparta and another, several yards ahead, which read “Fear Not.”

 In the shade of the trees, Juliet Moriah’s grandson Samuel enjoys the view. The Canje River runs alongside Sandvoort and is only a stone’s throw away from the houses of the
residents.

Sandvoort revisited

Situated on the left bank of the Canje River, Berbice, some six kilometres from Government House in New Amsterdam, Sandvoort was established in 1774.

A resident getting water from the canal for watering his garden

Esau and Jacob

Esau and Jacob is a scenic community that sits on the outskirts of Region Five, at the very end of the Mahaicony Branch Road.

Surrat Singh and Indrowtie Mohanlall

Flora Garden

Flora Garden is situated along the De Hoop Branch Road in Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, where it is flanked by Number Ten and Handsome Tree.

This clothing vendor is from Region Two; he travels weekly to El Paso and other surrounding communities to ply his trade. Behind him is the defunct hydropower plant.

El Paso

El Paso is a community located in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), west of the Tumatumari Falls, a scenic haven for its less than 200 residents, most of whom are indigenous people.

 Pupils of Richmond Hill Primary on their way home

Kingston, Leguan

Kingston is a village in Leguan, north-west of the island’s dock and bordered by Doornhag and Tewkesbury.

Toshao Cleveland Henry

Micobie

Micobie is a picturesque Amerindian settlement two hours outside of Mahdia, which can only be accessed by climbing what are among the steepest and most dangerous hills in Guyana or via the Potaro River.

A benab in the village

Campbelltown revisited

Ninety-seven-year-old Cecil Thomas was the first toshao of Campbelltown, which is the closest village to Mahdia, in Region Eight, at just a five-minute walk away.

Anita Daniels surrounded by her granddaughters: Ferisa John, Leewana De La Cruz and Lena Daniels

Princeville

Princeville is in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), a half an hour’s ride from the mining town of Mahdia and home to more than 100 residents who are still learning to co-exist with the wildlife that was there before them.

Ganesh Phillips and his children, Shem, Yelena and Ellenita

Present Hope

Present Hope, East Bank Essequibo, bordered by Saint Lawrence and Lookabu, is a haven to the more than 100 people who call it home.

The cleared blackwater canal that separates Cane Grove Estate from Coconut Dam, Cane Grove

Cane Grove

Nestled at the far end on the left bank of the Mahaica River, 28 miles from Georgetown and surrounded by rice fields, is the fairly large village of Cane Grove.

One of the main streets

Clifton Settlement 

In Clifton Settlement, which was once known as Port Mourant, then Tain, located along the Corentyne highway in Region Six, fish vendor Angela Naidu wakes at 2 am to head to work on most days.

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