Quarrie Village of Central Rupununi explores its tourism potential

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Villagers and officials of the Guyana Tourism Authority during an exploration visit at the village

As the world reopens to the post-pandemic period, the 280-plus residents of one of the smaller villages within the Central Rupununi have banded together to offer tourists a welcoming and memorable stay through the tourism programme of the village of Quarrie.

Quarrie, a satellite of the village of St Ignatius, sits on the outskirts of the border town of Lethem, near the border with Brazil. This village, situated some 15-20 minutes’ travel away from Lethem, the administrative hub of the Rupununi, has recently been promoting its tourism initiatives. In fact, things have gotten off to such a promising start in this respect that officials of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) have recognised Quarrie’s efforts to market its tourism potential to the visiting public.

Last February (2022), the GTA undertook training sessions with villagers, a first-time undertaking in the village.

A traditional mode of transportation at Quarrie

“The tourism initiative was born from a youth initiative here in Quarrie, where entrepreneur training was conducted,” Joan Thomas, a spokesperson for the village project, told this publication.

She said villagers examined various “possibilities of how we can help the entire community,” and the tourism business idea was explored, and with the help of the elders of the village, the project was registered with the authorities.

Thomas pointed out that most of the members who are part of the initiative are youths, but the project is not without its challenges. “One of the challenges we are facing is financial support, since we (are) now trying to get back on our feet from the lockdowns we had due to the coronavirus,” Thomas said.

She added that the village has multiple accommodation choices for visitors, but also noted that there is need for additional furnishing of the venues. She added that there is need for a multipurpose building “where we can get youths to be trained in skills to benefit (themselves); for instance, culinary training.”

A section of the guest house at the village

So, what exactly does Quarrie have to offer? Apart from scenic flatlands and a wide landscape of mountains in the distance, the village possesses a welcoming attraction in the form of its waterfalls. In fact, there are three waterfalls within the village, which tourists can explore under the village’s offer, themed “Escape the Ordinary”.

Tourists can also be taken to the mountain tops on guided tours; and after a visit, they can cool off in the ice-cold waters beneath the waterfalls.

The village also has transportation options for tourists, from vehicle rides to a ride aboard a cart pulled by huge cows. In terms of accommodation, a village guest house is a viable option, in addition to smaller venues.

The initiative also has an agricultural aspect, and tourists can explore this option.

The Quarrie Village Council started a rice-growing project in 2019 under the guidance of the Guyana Rice Development Board, and harvested its first crop that year. Tourists can obtain a glimpse of the farming plots and observe how the staple, which is traditionally growing on the Coastland, is cultivated.

A view of the waterfalls at Quarrie

There is also the Quarrie reservoir, which was built to supplement water supplies in the village, and while it has an agricultural benefit, the water-holding area also produces an idyllic blue reflection of the skies.

The Rupununi is known globally for its cattle-ranching potential, and Quarrie’s cattle ranch is there for exploration, with horseback riding being offered to tourists who are so interested.

The village is keen of enhancing its evolving potential, and those persons who wish to visit this Central Rupununi village can peruse its Facebook page, “Quarrie Eco-Tourism and Agriculture Coop Society Ltd”, for more information on the budding initiative.