With 83,000 square miles to explore, Guyana is indeed a country that has a lot to offer. The people here are the friendliest you will ever come across and the food is exceptional.
Living in Guyana comes with challenges like anywhere else in the world but there are some communities where everyone just lives harmoniously. You would find that mostly in rural and Indigenous communities where everybody knows everybody.
Recently, I ventured into one of those communities and was quite pleased with the level of neighbourliness exhibited.
Mahaicony is considered to be “de countryside” because of its location from the capital city of Georgetown. In order for one to get to Mahaicony from the city, they would have to either board a bus or some vehicle and drive approximately 54 kilometres before they reach the first village in Mahaicony.
Mahaicony is bordered by De Hoop to the west and Calcutta to the east with its main economic activities being farming and cattle rearing.
The Mahaicony River runs through several of the communities. The communities on the banks of the river and accessible by boats are bunched together as the “creek”.
In the Creek, the residents there, despite living considerable distances from each other, know every single person. The picturesque blackwater flowing through the Mahaicony River sets the scene for a calm life and that is exactly what the residents there experience.
Tamashwar Budhoo told the Sunday Times that growing up in Mahaicony River is very humbling. He said that the life is simple and one that brings ease.
“The day starts for most at 04:30 in the morning and end about 07:30 pm. In the early days there was no electricity hence everyone makes maximum use of the daylight. Farming is the main economic activity here in Mahaicony River. We grow all our food, fresh greens and would get fresh fish from the river or ponds or backdam trenches. Children spend their Monday to Friday attending school and, in the evening, and weekends help on the farm. We enjoyed swimming in the blackwater river in the afternoon. It’s a cool refreshing dip after a hot day. Fruits are bountiful and we enjoyed every moment we get to raid the fruit trees,” he said.
Before electricity was installed in the Creek, the residents there would use kerosene lamps, which were the only source of light in their homes. Many of the younger children there (now the older adults) have memories of studying using those lamps.
Camaraderie is the order of the day in the creek and quite often residents would leave their homes in their boats to render assistance or celebrate with each other.
The community is tightly knit and according to Seerattie “Sani” Sohanlall, life there for her is quiet. She moved there as a child with her mother who taught at a school in the River. She remembered life as being very calming with little to no worries.
Mahaicony Creek is also the home to Guyana’s national bird – the Canje Pheasant or as the locals would call it “stinky nana”.
A visit to Mahaicony Creek should be on everybody’s bucket list.