December 14, 2017

Archives for December 4, 2017

Mandolall shines in this year’s cricket season in Ontario

Former Guyana youth cricketer Rovendra Mandolall said he is delighted to be the top batsman in this year’s Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs (OMSCC) tournament.

Rovendra Mandolall collects his trophy

The Essequibian right-hander chalked up 405 runs from ten matches inclusive of two centuries while he emerged as the best bowler with 11 scalps from the same number of matches. He received the cricketer-of-the-year award at the recently held gala presentation by the OMSCC.
According to the ex-Essequibo senior Inter-county skipper, he had wanted to make an impression this season having only played in his second year at the over-40 division and was more than happy to be the leading player.
“I am proud to be the top batsman this year; certainly the hard work paid great dividends while taking the wicket trophy also gave me the motivation to do well again next year,” Mandolall related.
Another former Guyana player Shiv Seeram also showed equal dominance but in the over-50 category accumulating over 400 runs. Seeram, who also represented Canada at the highest level, made 406 runs from 11 matches and registered two hundreds.
Meanwhile, at the function which was kept in Scarborough, president of the OMSCC, Canada-based Guyanese Azeem Khan, congratulated the awardees and all the various winners. He made special mention of the sponsors while he reserved his gratitude for his fellow executives for their hard work and commitment on pulling off another successful season.
Khan, a long-time member of OMSCC, stated that OMSCC has seen tremendous growth over the years and spoke epically about hosting another terrific Toronto Cup 2 earlier this year in which the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association team participated but was knocked out at the semi-final stage in the over-45 division.
Khan said based on these kinds of excellent performances from Seeram and Mandolall it is certainly a reflection of the eagerness players are still showing to make an impression. He took the opportunity to educate the audience that OMSCC team did participate at the Guyana Cup 7 too and thanked the players for their profound interest by making the trip to the South American continent.
The team was skippered by Seeram and comprised of several other softball stalwarts like Sunil Dhaniram, Bobby Parasnauth, Jaimini Singh among others.

Wowetta Women’s Agro-processors: Turning cassava into “Rupununi Gold”

The Wowetta Women’s Agro-Processors story is one of trial and error, determination and innovation. When the group was first set up in 2008 as a voluntary enterprise by a group of women set on generating income for their families, few knew it could grow to provide employment far beyond the Region Nine community.
The village, which border the Iwokrama International Rainforest Protected area, is now the site of a modern, multimillion-dollar cassava processing and farine storage facility, where up to 10,000 pounds of farine can be stored, thanks to a collaborative effort of CIDA, CI, CUSO and other stakeholders. And the facility provides paid employment for about 30 women, youths and elderly persons and cassava farmers across the Rupununi.
Grace Albert, the manager of the agricultural initiative, which is run by a committee, explained that the group’s members rotate, five to seven at a time, to produce farine, sweet cassava flour, cassava bread, cassareep and tapioca on a weekly basis from about 3000 pounds of cassava that is grown to their specification. “We work with our farmers (also from neighbouring villages) from before planting to ensure we get a good product so that we can assure our customers of quality.”
That is just the beginning of the quality assurance process as the group has worked with the Food and Drug Department to ensure that what they put on supermarket shelves is of international quality.
She noted that while finding markets remain a problem, miners were their best customers, particularly for farine, dubbed “Rupununi Gold” by some.
Albert stressed that sustainability of the venture was a big part of their operations, because the group’s mission continues to be creating income-generating employment for women in particular in Wowetta, although they have expanded their focus also to youths.
When asked what advice she would give to persons hoping to get up similar operations, she said commitment and dedication were very important.
“It takes a lot of human effort, it takes a lot of commitment,” another member, Priscilla, said. She was adamant that would-be agro-processors would have to be” very serious…have ownership of the group”. She noted that “it really needs people on the ground” to understand the long-term benefits, to motivate and inspire others, to show them how their children can benefit, to make sure they have the interest.
Albert also pointed out that record-keeping was important, as she highlighted that the group began on a voluntary basis, on their own without any capital, so they had quite a few challenges. She added that the Wowetta Women’s Agro-Processors would be willing to act as mentors and help others, as they were quite willing to share their knowledge.
Contact: 628-9201; c/o IICA Guyana, Lot 18 Brickdam, Stabroek, Georgetown; Tel: 226-8835

The essence of democracy

Satiricus was ecstatic. And why not? After months of taking a pounding from his buddies — good natured or otherwise — it was his turn to crow! His leader Rum Jhaat had deftly turned the tables on all those who’d thought the criticisms from within the KFC party meant he was in trouble.
“The essence of democracy is to allow free debate among the rank and file!” Satiricus suddenly announced to his buddies, who’d been focusing on the cricket on the big screen at the Back Street Bar.
“Wha’ yuh a talk ‘bout?” asked Cappo, as he finished his beer.
“Didn’t you fellas listen to Rum Jhaat?” Satiricus asked impatiently. “He was explaining the e-mails between those leaders in our KFC party.”
“I thought it exposed what a set of dictators Rum Jhaat and Trot Man turned out to be!” said Hari with a snicker.
“That’s the problem with you fellas,” complained Satiricus, “You all only looking at the substance of what was said; you got to look at the form.”
“Me na know wha’de rass yuh a guh-aan wid,” said Bungi. “Me t’ink yuh shoulda shame fuh bring up da e-mail business.”
“Budday, don’t we quarrel and use harsh words with each other?” asked Satiricus. “But we remain friends. That’s democracy….and THAT’s the KFC!!”
“Suh lemme aks you,” said Cappo. “When Rum Jhaat lie dat he na advise Prezzie, da Demacracy?”
“You see?” asked Satiricus. “You talking about the substance again. But even there, Rum Jhaat didn’t advise. Was a gyaaf over coffee.”
“An’ when Rum Jhaat na consult nobady in KFC when he seh KFC agree wid Prezzie, da democracy?” demanded Bungi heatedly.
“But the man said he was sorry,” Satiricus said. “What more you want with him?”
“Me want Rum Jhaat fuh grow some balls,” said Cappo. “An’ na jus’ worry ‘bout when rum shap fuh close!”
“Haul yuh ass!” said Satiricus with a broad smile.

New Colombian Ambassador accredited

President David Granger, on Wednesday accepted Letters of Credence from His Excellency Dr. Alfonso Múnera Cavadia accrediting him the new Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to Guyana. Speaking at the Accreditation Ceremony, which was held at State House, President Granger said that relations between the two countries are based on the principles of peace, cooperation and mutual respect for each other sovereignty. These principles have been pursued through the Guyana-Colombia Joint Commission.

Colombian Ambassador, Dr. Alfonso Múnera Cavadia presenting his Letters of Credence to President David Granger in the presence of Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon who is currently performing the functions of Minister of Foreign Affairs. (MOTP photo)

The Head of State pointed out that the signing of the Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa for Holders of Ordinary Passports, in June of this year, is expected to increase the movement of people and the trade in goods and services between the two states. Moreover, he noted that both countries share a common platform for advancing regional integration as members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). Guyana remains committed to working with Colombia to promote economic and political cooperation and to combat transnational criminal syndicates. Similarly, both countries are committed to working together on issues affecting the region.
“Guyana and Colombia also share a common interest in assisting the countries of the Caribbean, which have been affected by the devastating passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Guyana expresses its appreciation for the Colombia’s pledges of support to provide assistance to the countries affected by these recent hurricanes. I look forward to working with you to strengthen relations between our two Republics. I welcome you to Guyana and assure you of my government’s support in the discharge of your duties,” President Granger said.
Prior to the Accreditation Ceremony, the Ambassador met with Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon who is currently performing the duties of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. During that meeting they reaffirmed their commitment to continued fertile relations between the two countries.
Guyana and Colombia established diplomatic relations on the December 18, 1970. (DPI)

Guyanese Gerialisa Caesar: Decoding Science #IAMSCIENCE

#IAmScience because education and my pursuit of learning became my ticket out of poverty and a way that I can really help others.”
“Mother knows best” rings true for Gerialisa Caesar. In her family, the career options were either to be a lawyer, engineer or doctor.

Gerilisa Caesar

But with little interest in law and a greater love for science than math, Caesar decided to pursue her doctorate.
“I graduated high school at 16 fully equipped to enter the work force,” Caesar said. “I went back to school to study science because my mom basically told me I had to, but biology fit me really well, so it worked out.”
Initially, Caesar was hesitant that she could even become a scientist.
“I had an idea of what a scientist was, and it wasn’t me,” Caesar said. “After I immigrated from Guyana, my undergraduate advisors, Drs. Carroll and Catapane, explained the opportunities I had to study biology. It opened the world of possibilities for me to pursue science.”
Now, as a biological sciences Ph.D. candidate in Laura Schulz’s lab, Caesar focuses on women’s health and reproductive biology.
“My research is to understand how a mother’s nutrition prior to and during pregnancy affects the baby’s development,” Caesar said. “This is important as several studies link maternal diet during pregnancy to an increase in susceptibility of the offspring developing diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension in adulthood.”
That includes connecting how mother’s diets cause fetal health issues, which is a highly debated topic.
“For example, a lot of women are told to take folic acid pills during pregnancy,” Caesar said. “Doing that has been tied to help with neural development concerns — things like spina bifada [a birth defect that affects developing babies’ spinal cords]. Understanding the mechanisms that make that occur would aid in developing better interventions to prevent such occurrences.”
As a result, Caesar’s research has the ability to help the world’s greatest health concerns in an impactful way.
“My work is directly contributing to prevent health issues that exist for future generations,” Caesar said. “Knowing that is motivating.”
After she earns her Ph.D., Caesar would love to work for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The CDC has immediate response teams that react to major disease concerns. Being a part of that would be incredible,” Caesar said. “There’s something about working for the CDC and being able to have a meaningful impact within the community that calls me.”
Caesar plans to channel that passion regardless of where she ends up, though.
“Biology is literally the study of life,” Caesar said. “As much as I thought science was challenging, I am able to see how it affects everyday life. I have a purpose, and I know what I do is going to make a difference.” (Bond of Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri)(Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

“Walk With Me”

– A showcase of Women, Art, Guyanese culture

In continuing a tradition of honouring women through the showcasing of their art and talent, the Guyana Women Artists’ Association (GWAA) once again opened the doors to its annual Art Exhibition.
On display at the National Art Gallery housed at Castellani House, Homestretch Avenue, is a diverse line-up of imaginative pieces, which seeks to amalgamate various forms of visual art so as to create an intrinsic explosion of colours, symbolism and beauty, all wrapped up in one grand collection.

Illuminus by Sandra Bell-LaRoque (Acrylics on canvas)

This exhibition aligns with the observation of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with the GWAA this year presenting its 29th edition of highlighting the complexity of women and their roles in society through art.
Headlining the exhibition is Guyanese woman artist Akima McPherson, who brings to the collection three series of her work, each encapsulating a different form of art.
Taking centre stage is a suspended text ensemble, titled “Unmasking”, which is hung in a cascade of silent testimonies. Each part of the puzzle represents individual women and the invisibility of their issues as they move through time and space.
Adding to that, McPherson also has on display seven figures in varying postures with small abstract forms which symbolise the burdens, hardships and difficult circumstances of women in society. Despite initially appearing dismal, the abstract pieces are backed figures of victory, inclusive of prayer and dancing.
In outlining the essence of the work she has on display, the featured artist indicated, “Increasingly, my work rejects commoditisation and participation on the market. Instead, I am interested in art that critiques social structures and in its critiques proposes a way forward.”
McPherson alluded to a theory which solidifies the foundations of art, saying art has a special role to play in the evolution of the individual and humanity. It is a gift from the Universe and should serve the aims of the Universe and, therefore, humanity.
This year marks the first time the GWAA singled out one of its own members as the main feature artist.
Meanwhile, the exhibition also presented the perfect opportunity to highlight the works of other local female talents as they seek to bring to the table various perspectives on the dynamics of women in the Guyanese context.
One such display was that of the guest artist, Sandra Bell-LaRocque in her attempt to capture nature and its importance in the lives of Guyana’s people. Bell-LaRocque presented five pieces, which speak of her patriotism and its inspirational role in her work. They were “East Coast Dusk Sky”, “Sunset”, “Guyana I love”, “Sea Life” and the highlight, “Illuminus”.

Tara Bentick’s collection of jewelry, ornaments and glassware on sale at the Exhibition

The last was perhaps the most symbolic of her pieces – the abstract of a woman almost synonymous to the dawn of a new day.
Another eye-catching piece was that of Denise Bristol, titled “The strength of a woman.” The acrylic painting stands out for its portrait of the many hats worn by a woman, particularly in her role as a child bearer and caregiver.
In existence for the past 30 years, the GWAA has not only contributed to the development of female artists of Guyana but also to the development of art. The GWAA has ensured the hosting of an annual exhibition since 2008 along with the International Women’s Day Exhibition in March of each year.
This is as the Association has set out not only to exhibit works of its members, but, on several occasions, has invited other women to participate in its displays.
In addition to giving members an opportunity to show and grow from exhibiting their work, the GWAA’s exhibitions have served as learning resources for students of art, some of whom later join the Association.
The 29th Annual Exhibition of the GWAA kicked off on November 16 and is expected to last until December 23. The showcase is on a daily basis from 10:00h to 17:00h, and is open to the public, free of cost.

A locally made ornament on display at the Exhibition

As such, whether you are a lover of art or simply interested in supporting and celebrating the works of Guyanese women artists, the Association invites you to cash in on the initiative, which aligns with the calls for the elimination of violence against women, the international day for which is observed on November 25 every year. (Ashraf Dabie)
(Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

‘Kamarang’ by Micheal Jordon

A Book Review by Petamber Persaud

The power of the written words in this new Guyanese novel, “Kamarang”, will bewitch and haunt, thrill and satisfy, educate and entertain, the reader from the eerie beginning to the bewildering end, gnawing at the reader’s entrails, sucking at the reader’s grey matter long after the end is revealed and the mystery solved because the end will beset the reader with a new goal – a longing to learn more about the inexhaustible heritage of the land known throughout the world from the 16th century and onwards as El Dorado.
“Kamarang” is the first novel by Michael Jordan, a journalist and an investigative reporter whose interest in cold cases and unsolved crimes has and continues to treat Guyanese and non-Guyanese readers with fascinating and intriguing stories. In fact, he is the recipient of PAHO Award for Best News Story in 1994 and the Award of High Commendation for Assisting in the Solving of a Cold Case in 2016.
Jordan’s interest in writing and in the macabre was influenced firstly by his parents. His father, Walter A. Jordan, was an avid reader and a writer. The elder Jordan was well-known for his column, ‘Watch your Language’. Jordan’s mother ‘consumed works of Poe and other masters of horror’ while pregnant with him and she also presented him with his first collection of ghost stories when he was twelve.
“Kamarang” is a supernatural tale which unfolds with a fine balance of terror and horror set against Guyanese myths, legends and folklore – Bush Dai Dai, Kanaima, Mermaid and others. The story is centred on Michael Jones and Lucille – the most beautiful and sensual woman Michael has ever known, a women much sought after by all men she encounters and envied by all women crossing her path. One of the mystifying aspects of Lucille is that she takes nothing in payment for her service from men she favours; those men pay the ultimate price. The supporting characters, on Michael’s side include his father, his mother and grandmother, all with skeletons in their respective closet. The supporting character on Lucille’s side is a shape-shifter.
The novel is set in the capital city of Georgetown, dotted with hotels cum brothels cum whorehouses mainly frequented by gold miners/prospectors and in Kamarang, an interior location often referred to as the gold bush where men make and lose their fortune and where some prostitutes make a fortune or die trying.
Michael Jones is healthy boy in his late teens with a strong physique influenced by his idol Bruce Lee. He grows up in a Christian home and community and he is also sexually active. This leads by a series of uncanny attractions to a well-known brothel where he forms a strange sexual relationship with Lucille, a relationship that sucks his strength and vitality, leaving him broken yet he goes back for more pleasure and punishment.
The story unfolds as one by one the skeletons in the cupboards are freed by way of revelation or intense introspection, bringing shame and sometimes remorse. There are as many moments of déjà vu as there are parallels in events in the city and in Kamarang even the motifs are not dissimilar in both locations including the deaths by fire, the drinking of cider by the main female player, her perfume affecting men familiar with its odour, dreams and the silk cotton tree.
Apart from the flashbacks filling out the story, there were foreshadowing of how and when to deal with this ‘thing’. Getting rid of it fell to Michael.
And when the time was ripe, characters from the past and the present, from remote areas and from the city, are brought together by fear, by fear of the unknown to pit their human frailties aided by a little knowledge and binas/charms against the unknown evil.
“Kamarang” by Michael Jordan is available at Austin’s or can be uplifted from Michael Jordan. He can be contacted on 545-2447 or
Responses to this author please telephone 226-0065 of email:

What’s happening:
Over GYD$1,000,000 in prize monies up for grabs in the 2018 issue of The Guyana Annual. Closing date for entries to the various competitions is November 30, 2017. For further information go The Guyana Annual on Facebook or email: (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


…in sugar?
The Government boasted that sugar workers have nothing to worry about their future, since some 70 companies have submitted bids for the four estates they’re closing down and selling off.
Really?? A number of questions come to your Eyewitness’s mind. The first one has to do with the Trinidadian expert the Government brought in to advise them on their “divestment”.
It was advice only people in this APNU/AFC government in general, and its Minister of Agriculture in particular, needed to be told. Anyone with even the slightest connection with sugar would’ve already taken that fact into consideration when the decision to close the estates was made: cane-cutters aren’t farmers!! And you can’t just snap your fingers or wave a wand — even while wearing a tu-tu — and make them into one!
Some might say Nagamootoo and Ramjattan should’ve known that fact when the Government blithely announced they would “lease” the land to the fired cane-cutters, who could then cultivate “cash crops”. But Ramjattan comes from a rice village and Nagamootoo from a fishing one; even if they remembered anything from their childhood, it had nothing to do with sugar.
So back to the 70 companies who’ve lined up to take over the sugar estates. Will the Government insist they keep on with sugar production? Well, that would put them in an awkward position, wouldn’t it? If those companies could make it in sugar, why didn’t the Government continue in the business, and possibly hire one of those companies as advisors? Would’ve been far less traumatic for the workers, wouldn’t it?
But if the companies are going to enter other crops for the world market, the Trini knows that would involve a whole different skill set from the workers — which cane-cutters don’t have. These fellas are specialists whose work is so practised and fluid that to look at them is to look at the Bolshoi Ballet performing Swan Lake! To grab that stalk of cane at just the precise point of equilibrium, cut the bottom at just the right height from the ground (so it’ll sprout a new shoot), then swing the top, which is then lopped off in one unbroken movement, is a thing of beauty to behold. Ballet dancers can’t cultivate cash crops!
But the Government is just playing the fool. Most of the businesses indicating interest are like the Private Sector Commission — they want to use the land for housing or suchlike. Which would be tragic when we keep on hearing about the US$4Billion food bill of the Caricom bloc – and we would be putting the best drained and irrigated lands in the Caribbean into housing!
And cane-cutters on the breadlines!!
…of Ramjattan whistling in the dark
Back in the countryside where Ramjattan comes from, when they went out into the dark (say, to the outhouse!), they were so scared of “jumbies” they’d be whistling as loud as they could, hoping that would scare them away. They knew the whistling didn’t do a damn thing, but they kept at it – hoping against hope. All it was, however, was to kid themselves that “everything would be okay”, and they wouldn’t mess themselves before they squatted in the outhouse!!
Ramjattan’s whistling in the dark when he keeps on insisting the e-mail revelations by the betrayed Canadian affiliate wouldn’t affect the AFC!! He knows, like his US Affiliate Chair said, their Indio-base has evaporated like snow in hell after the revelation on Ramjattan and Trotman’s role in advising Prezzie on his unilateral choice.
They have no bargaining chip to negotiate with the PNC come 2020 (the Jumbie!!). To keep on enjoying their perks, they’ll have to continue being poodles to give the PNC a multi-ethnic fig-leaf.
A VERY small fig leaf!!
…new GECOM Commissioner
Prezzie didn’t consult his “partners” to select the GECOM Chair – who holds the “casting vote”. Now, after asking AFC for candidates to fill the vacant Opposition Commissioner’s seat, he decided to sideline them once again. And they have no choice but to pull their tails between their legs and stay quiet!

Of mice…

…and cats
Robert Burns reminded us that, “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Oft go awry.” And we can see this unfolding so well with the sad but inevitable sidelining of the AFC by the PNC.
Ahhh…the AFC had it all planned out, didn’t they? They’d been launched, back in 2005, to exploit the “floating votes” they insisted existed in even Guyana’s ethnically polarised society.
These floating votes would come from all of the various ethnic groups in Guyana, and like Jagan more than a half-century before, when forming the PPP, they insisted those cleavages were bridged by the ethnic origins of their three founding leaders.
They’d been accused of receiving “foreign help” (including funding!) — a charge they never tried refuting, since it actually helped their cause by implying they had friends in high (and strategic) places! But be that as it might’ve been, they did get the most seats a third party had ever gathered in Guyana. Their supporters fervently believed they were going to be the “key to the change” – as they’d sloganeered.
They swore to support the two “big ones”– the PPP and PNC — in the “big house,” depending on whether their stands on issues were in the best interest of Guyana. So noble!! But, along the way, the AFC lost the plot — just before the 2015 elections. They decided to join up with the PNC — disguised as “APNU”. Now, why would they want to do that?
APNU accepted its lack of ethnic diversity when it began to court the AFC — which had picked up substantial support in Berbice, the traditional hunting ground of the PPP. But that “substantial” support was relative: they’d garnered just TWO more seats than they had done in 2006. They would’ve had to literally do a David on the PPP Goliath if they were to achieve what APNU said it sought — a government of national unity.
When the 2015 votes rolled in, going by the analysis of the polling station returns, the AFC had clearly lost ground; yet they went along with the “national government” spiel of the PNC/APNU. And this is where their best laid plans went awry. In their manifesto, they’d promised to bring in the PPP into the government, but chose Nagamootoo to take the lead!
It was like sending the rat to bring in the cat!! It was never going to happen. So, the inevitable did happen – just because the AFC “mice” wanted to pretend they were “cats” to drink all the milk. APNU knows AFC’s living a lie; AFC knows it’s living a lie.
And now they’ve been hung out to dry!
…and green
The National Trust just woke up to find Prezzie’s painting State House green! Your Eyewitness isn’t sure how that’ll play out legally…but he knows for sure there ain’t no one’s gonna be covering up that paint. Green, after all, isn’t just the colour of US greenbacks – it’s the PNC’s colour! That the PNC received greenbacks from the US back in the day to build its organisation is just coincidental! Burnham had already chosen the party colour.
Now this painting of State House – and the Office of the President and everything that’s nailed down! – with the PNC colour tells us a number of things. Firstly, the coalition business we spoke about above ain’t worth squat, since there’s no yellow for the AFC or whatever are the colours of the WPA and the one-man parties in the coalition!
And more, pertinently, the PNC means to be here for a long time!! By any means necessary!!
…being “disturbed”
Raphael Trotman says he’s “disturbed” the AFC candidate wasn’t selected to replace the vacant GECOM Commissioner’s slot. Does this mean the Cummingsburg Accord was breached? Or was it the Nassau Accord?
But whatever it is, your Eyewitness knows the fella had to “try a thing” after those revealing e-mails!!

Raleigh’s Second Expedition to Guyana

By Dr. Odeen Ishmael

Shortly after Raleigh left the Guyana region, soldiers from the Spanish settlement of Cumaná, west of the Orinoco, were sent to apprehend the two Englishmen Raleigh had left behind. They managed to hold only one of them named Francis Sparry; the other had been killed and eaten by a jaguar. The young Englishman, and the Amerindians with whom he resided, informed the Spanish soldiers that Raleigh was expected back in March 1596.

Sir Walter Raleigh

In 1596, Raleigh sent his lieutenant, Lawrence Keymis, back to Guyana in the area of the Orinoco River, to establish contact with the two Englishmen and the Amerindians there and to gather more information about the golden city. It is not known if he learned of the whereabouts of the Englishman whom the Spaniards held. But he did describe the site of a village (which became the Spanish settlement of Santo Thomé) as a “ranceria of some twenty or thirty houses at the mouth of the Caroli”.
During his exploration of the coast between the Amazon and the Orinoco, he visited 52 rivers and claimed discovery of 40 of them. In addition, he mapped the location of Amerindian tribes and prepared geographical, geological and botanical reports of the country. He also sent one of his captains, Leonard Berry, to explore the Corentyne River which he did until he was stopped by rapids on that river.
In his report, Keymis expressed the view that Manoa could be reached by way of either the Corentyne or the Essequibo rivers. His report named “Lake Parima” as the location of Manoa, and shortly after, cartographers in Europe actually showed the location of this lake and city on their maps of the Guyana region. (One version of his report fixed the city of Manoa somewhere between the sources of the Essequibo and the Rupununi Rivers on a “Lake Roponowini”).

Map of Raleigh’s El Dorado expedition

Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 and was succeeded by James I who immediately established peace with Spain. Many favourites of Elizabeth were dismissed from high office, and Raleigh was soon after accused of being part of a conspiracy to assassinate the king. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London until 1617 when he managed somehow to convince King James to allow him to return to Guyana to search for the golden city. The King most likely gave his permission because he hoped that any acquired treasure would help to finance royal projects. However, the King warned him not to provoke any clashes with the Spaniards with whom England was at peace.
Raleigh set sail with 14 ships and 500 men and finally cast anchor near the mouths of the Orinoco. From here he sent his lieutenant Keymis with an expeditionary force up the river.
By this time, the Spanish Governor of Trinidad, Antonio de Berrio, had strengthened the defences of the small settlement of Santo Thomé on the lower Orinoco aimed at blocking any encroachment by non-Spanish expeditions. The Spaniards tried to prevent Keymis and his men from passing the settlement, but using superior force, the English destroyed it and proceeded upstream. Unfortunately, in the fighting, Raleigh’s son was killed. From Amerindians they met, Keymis was unable to obtain any information of the golden city and eventually reported his failure to Raleigh. Angry words were exchanged between them over the death of Raleigh’s son, and Keymis, probably in remorse, committed suicide.
After an unsuccessful stay of 26 days, the expedition returned to England. Meanwhile, the action of the English in destroying San Thomé was reported to James I by the Spanish authorities. Raleigh was blamed for this unfriendly act and was, immediately on arrival back in England, imprisoned on the charge of treason. He was beheaded in 1618 to give satisfaction to the Spanish King. (“The Guyana Story – From Earliest Times to Independence” By Dr. Odeen Ishmael) (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)