Warapoka commissions Horo Hanoco guest house


The indigenous community of Warapoka, Region One (Barima-Waini) has received an economic boost with the commissioning of the guest house there.

The village recently launched its tourist itinerary at the Umana Yana, which highlighted the natural beauty and cultural attractions available to tourists.

Warapoka is a Warrau community that thrived economically on agriculture; however, tourism now brings new prospects for the community.

Deputy Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kamrul Baksh noted that the development of Warapoka’s tourism product took about five years with training and support by GTA.

“We’ve done all the applicable training for hospitality, guiding, culinary, hygiene, first aid, so they are well equipped and knowledgeable to host visitors comfortably,” Baksh said.

The village is also working to have solar and water systems for the guest house. GTA will also work with its developmental partners to provide internet access to allow guests to make bookings and other services.

Baksh said Warapoka is one of four pilot communities where GTA is fostering the community – led tourism initiatives.

“Warapoka is part of a Region One circuit. It actually is the first one that we started with. We will be working with other communities nearby and to explore the entire Shell beach region, so that we could have a very robust and diverse tourism experience,” Baksh said.

Harpy eagle sightings, tarpon fishing, caves, shell mounds, cultural products and the traditional way of life are among the attractions of the village.

“We feel that that area is also home to great tourism product, and we have started to work with Santa Rosa this year, we have started to work with other communities within the district such as Asakata and Waramuri, to create an operational circuit, so that’s what we’re going to do, because we can’t have a stand-alone product, we need to ensure that we bridge the gap and have multiple options for persons who come into this region,” Baksh said.

Baksh is urging Guyanese to get out, and visit the new tourism products in operation.

Toshao Jeremy Boyal noted that the activity is historical for the village.

“When a guest comes here, number one, you put food on somebody’s table, somebody is being employed, some child could go to school, you contribute, as well to the green economy, because we preserve what we have, and also it helps to build the culture,” the Toshao said.

Meanwhile, villager Carlene Wilson noted that tourism creates new opportunities for the community.

“This is a great opportunity for some of the villagers, at least we can be employed now, we can employ our daily staff like cooks, managers, tour guides and so on, and it can create income for villagers, because mainly we depend on farming, but not everybody can do that, or persons getting salary from the government, but I see this as a major economic activity for the community now,” she said.

Another resident, Kevon Jeffery also noted the benefits that tourism will bring to the village.

“I’d just like to let the country know that our community is here, I know as a community it was isolated, nobody never knows about Warapoka, they always get mix up between Warapoka and Wakapoa, so now the community is launched, Guyana and the world would know our community and what we have to offer in terms of our package, we are a community of great tourism potential,” Jeffrey said.

Visitors to the launch on Monday were treated to a number of traditional activities and got the opportunity to sample indigenous foods and drinks.