Georgetown Guyana Picture Guide On the Road Less Traveled

Guyana Black Water Creek and Beach

In my travels across South America, I had the opportunity to visit some rarely visited parts of South America.  The former colonies of the Dutch, France, Portuguese, Spanish and the British.  Guyana was both Dutch and then most recently a British colony but became independent from the UK in 1966 and in 1970 became a republic.  The official language is English, the only country in South America where that’s the case.  While I’ve been to Belize a central american former british colony that speaks English, it wasn’t the best trip.  It is one of my least favorite.  It was a mainland drive and I had a run in with the police.  On my trip across Belize I found more depressing moments than not.  I do plan to give it another chance sometime in the future.  Guyana had a few sad moments, but  I don’t let poverty keep me from visiting a place.  I feel I both gain a greater appreciation for what I have, and I find what really matters in life.  Our families, relationships, faith and shared experiences.  I met the family of a couple of my local friends I met first on facebook through SharePoint the technology that I work with.

This post on Guyana will be part of a series on that part of the world.  When I was looking to visit I found very little written on it.  I’ll add the links as the stories go live.

Road less traveled series…

Traveling Georgetown Guyana Land of Waters

Paramaribo Suriname

Saint Laurent du Maroni French Guiana

 

“Guyana was originally colonized by the Netherlands. Later, it became a British colony, known as British Guiana, and remained so for over 200 years until it achieved independence on 26 May 1966 from the United Kingdom. On 23 February 1970, Guyana officially became a republic. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.” – More on Wikipedia article on Guyana

Map of Northern South America

 

Georgetown is pretty raw.  It’s a fascinating colonial town, but much of it looks like it hasn’t had much care since 1966.  This isn’t going to be a history lesson more than sharing what I saw and experienced.

 

Welcome to city hall… GeorgeTown

Georgetown City Hall Guyana

 

One of the most fantastic experiences was wandering the city.  I’ve collected 5 things to see in Georgetown and surrounding.

 

 

Guyana Light house and Beach

Guyana Beach

Guyana LighthouseGuyana Lighthouse

 

Colonial House in Georgetown Guyana

Back side of Georgetown City Hall

 

Starbroek Market

1. StarBroek Market… Fresh Meat and Food Market, Ferry Terminal and the heartbeat of the town.  The name of the market is the old name of the city during dutch times. The beautiful architecture is an important part and key attraction of the city.  It is organized chaos.  This country really doesn’t get much tourists and you can tell that by the reactions you’ll get at the market.  They aren’t pushy, they are simply surprised to see you.  The homeless people sleeping near the docs are really sad, but it gives you a temperature on the city.

Starbroek Market Vegtables

The market is raw, and it’s a great way to see life in Georgetown.

Georgetown Ferry

Ferry system in Georgetown to cross the great river

 

2. Capital and Grounds

Republic of GuyanaCapital of Guyana

In the national library we met a guy who wanted to show us something really cool… The real signed documents for independence!

Queen Elizabeth Signature

The actual signatures of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on the Independence documents

Queen Elizabeth Statue Guyana

Judicial Court including statue of Queen Elizabeth herself

3. Promenade Gardens – a nice walk through the city will lead you to the gardens.  Everything is all pretty close and an easy walk.

Guyana Gardens

Gardens… While we didn’t end up spending so much time here.  I hear there are places where you can see manatees.  Virtualtourist Georgetown page has some more info on that.

 

Guyana Streets

There are some nice walking areas of town where you can get a feel for the bustling of the city while enjoying the people watching and soaking up the atmosphere.

homeless sleeper

A common site in Georgetown and a dose of reality is the sleepers.  Homelessness is a global phenomenon, and I don’t mean to be unfair, but this is the reality of Georgetown.  Lots of them.

sad horse

You can tell by the look of this horse that they’ve had some tough times.

You need to be ok with seeing a lot of poverty to visit this city, but believe me… there is hope.  There is a generation of powerful youth with a bright hope for the future.

Guyana Technology Youth

I had lunch with five bright young people that represent hope.  They are the future of Guyana.

There is a hindu influence that is also felt.  There are really 3 major groups of people that I came across while in Guyana.  The Blacks (former slaves), the Indians (former british labor), and the natives or AmerIndians.  All groups have been exploited and feel marginalized, but it was both my lunch with the technical group shown above that gives me hope and my visit to the Amerindians that also made me excited about the potential.  The teens were dancing to native songs that were designed to carry a positive message of pride in being an Amerindian.   Any travel to a country should and must involve really getting into the culture and trying to understand the people.

4. Local Small Temples and Churches

Guyana Hindu Temple and MosqueGuyana Hindu Temple and Mosque

Small temples and mosques from the Hindustani locals as seen on a short drive through the city.

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4. Amerindian Village – Ask Elvis…

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In the city there are a few reminders about the original inhabitants of Guyana.  They call the native people Amerindians.  They are comfortable with that name as well.

 

Amerindian Elvis

On a drive outside of Georgetown we saw a coconut stand and fresh coconut juice sounded refreshing.  In our conversation with “Elvis” we found an Amerindian village just down a small unmarked dirt road.  Our local friends had no idea the village even existed.  Elvis is the little guy between the two big white guys.  My friend Michael Noel, Sharing the Globe is the one with the massive camera.

Guyana Ameridian Dancing

The kids danced and sang songs of Amerindian bride and culture.  I really enjoyed seeing this. Loved it.

Stickball

Pickup game of stick ball or crickett.  I did try a whack at it, but all I got was laughs.  You gotta love an impromptu gave of cricket with a stick.

Cute little ameridian girl

How can anyone have racial prejudice?  This cute little amerindian little girl melts my heart.

 

5. Black Water Creek Park – an excursion about an hour outside the city is this beautiful palm tree surrounded creek with calm waters is setup as a swimming area with nice little huts.  It’s a beautiful escape, and the water is really funky.  Our local friends took us out here and we had an amazing time wading through the black water.

Kevon in the black water

 

Black water escape

 

Blackwater escape with friends

My hopes and dreams for Guyana are in the youth.  Thanks Kevon for showing us your amazing country!

Technology Speaking Tour of Northern South America Kick off

Waterfall fly by

image

STP-LogoI’m happy to announce the Sharing the Point Crew is headed out once again to connect with folks in under served parts of the world.  We are headed to Northern South America.  This “Tour” will take us across the islands of Trinidad and Tobago where we hope to connect with isolated SharePoint folks, to the only English speaking country in South America in Georgetown Guyana and from there to Caracas, Venezuela and on to popular SharePoint city of Bogota, Colombia (home of Communidad SharePoint Colombia sharecol.com) and our final stop in Quito Ecuador.  As far as I can tell, no other US SharePoint speakers have ever spoken in these cities. It’s a great opportunity to unite the global community, and build new communities.  Our success is based on getting the word out.  Please help us!  Please share with your social networks!

Fechas de Gira/Tour Dates

STP Georgetown, Guyana                  9:00am on Tuesday, 3 September
STP Caracas, Venezuela                     9:00am on Monday, 9 September
STP Bogota, Columbia                       9:00am on Tuesday, 10 September
STP Quito, Ecuador                           9:00am on Wednesday, 11 September

Gratis SharePoint Formación De Los mejores altavoces de SharePoint!

Spanish:

Sharing the Point South America 2013 es una iniciativa conducida por las comunidades de SharePoint diseñada para ayudar a educar a usuarios sobre el potencial de la plataforma de SharePoint. El mejor grupo de evangelistas y expertos de SharePoint estarán en esta gira que presentara los usos prácticos para SharePoint en el mundo real.

Ofrecemos este * libre * formación y subvencionamos personalmente el entrenamiento para ayudar al crecimiento de la comunidad de SharePoint y ayudar a proporcionar oportunidades a las personas.

Special Thanks to Elias Mereb, MVP and Andres Rojas for helping us on connecting with the community and logistics in Colombia and Venezuela.  Andres is helping us look into doing a bigger event in Bogota with additional speakers and tracks.  If interested please coordinate with myself and Andres.

Ricardo Munoz, SharePoint MVP from Costa Rica is planning on helping us this time around as he did in Southern South America.  He translated our sessions last time and has plans to help us out.

Please Share the word!  We really want to connect with folks who have NEVER been to a SharePoint event, and our desire is to launch communities in all of the cities where there is no established user group or SharePoint or IT community.  All this training is free.

We are still looking for sponsors if anyone is interested please contact me.

For sure those who have put forth resources willing to sacrifice time and funds to go are:

Michael Noel

Michael Noel (Twitter: @MichaelTNoel) is an internationally recognized technology expert, bestselling author, and well known public speaker on a broad range of IT topics. He has authored several major industry books that have been translated into over a dozen languages worldwide. Significant titles include SharePoint 2010 Unleashed, Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed, Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed, ISA Server 2006 Unleashed, and many more.
Currently a partner at Convergent Computing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael’s writings and extensive public speaking experience across all seven continents leverage his real-world expertise helping organizations realize business value from Information Technology infrastructure.

Paul Swider

Paul J. Swider (@pswider) is the CTO of RealActivity an organization focused on improving collaboration, compliance and fiscal responsibility in healthcare. He has two decades of proven software and healthcare experience and is involved in many community and philanthropic efforts including a founding member of Sharing the Point, an international effort which offers free training opportunities in emerging markets. Paul is an accomplished technology entrepreneur straight from a barrier Island near Charleston, SC where he occasionally gets to chase the tides and winds as an avid boater and sailor.

Joel Oleson

Joel (@joeloleson) Joel was the first dedicated SharePoint Administrator ever. He’s been working with SharePoint nearly 13 years. SharePoint Evangelist & Managing Director at Salient6. Checkout his popular SharePoint blog at http://sharepointjoel.com and his travel blog at http://travelingepic.com

Ricardo Munoz

Ricardo is the SharePoint Consulting Manager at LatinShare, and a Popular SharePoint MVP and speaker in Costa Rica and Chile.

Registration Links (en espanol) :

Can’t join us because you’re in Spain?  Find us at the Iberian SharePoint Conference in Madrid on October 10.