Travel to Guyana! Come and enjoy a country filled with rich plantation history whose name ‘Guiana’ belongs to an Amerindian word meaning ‘land of many waters.’ The Amerindians were the first set of people who came to what is known as the Guiana’s. They came from eastern part of Asia and crossed the ice bridge called the Bering Straight in search of food and shelter. As the times passed, conquistadores came in search of the legend El Dorado or the ‘The Gilded Man’ (around 1535) which was identified as surrounding the territory of present day Guyana. Some of these great explores are Domingo de Veira, the Spanish explorer Juan Martinez, who was said to lived among the Indigenous peoples.
The first established Dutch settlement in Guyana was in 1580 set up as trading posts on the Essequibo and Abary creek to trade with the natives Indians. Fort Ter Hoog (1596) was established at the Cuyuni, Essequibo and Mazaruni rivers. Other trading posts that were established by the Dutch include fort Kyk-overal in 1616 (by Adrian Groenwen); and Abraham Von Pere in colony of Berbice.
In 1740 the governor of Essequibo Laurens Storm Gravesande founded the county of Demerara. Making in 1814 the three counties still retaining its names that are Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice were joint and named British Guiana. In 1828 the British government was in total control of Guiana. This government replaced Dutch ruler ship and replaced it with the Crown Colony constitution.
From 1831 up until 1926 Guyana has faced numerous governors from Great Britain. Some of these governors are Sir Benjamen D’Urban who was appointed as our First governor; Sir James Carmicheal Smyth (26th June, 1833 – 27th June, 1838) who was oversaw the Abolition of Slavery bill through the Legislature and initiated bill; Henry Light (27th June,1838 -19th May, 1848); Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodson (26th September, 1904 – 5th July, 1912); Frederick Gordon Guggisberg (7th November, 1928 – 9th June, 1930) helped developed the rice industry and improved drainage and irrigation systems as well as land settlements for the working class.
After 500 years of being governed and ruled by the Europeans, Guyana has become diverse due to the plantation system of government. Some of the people who came to Guyana either due to slavery or Indentureship are the Africans, East Indians; Portuguese and the Chinese. This is what makes us the land of six peoples (Africans, Amerindians, Chinese, East Indians, Europeans and Portuguese) as is recited in our national anthem. We can say Guyana is famous for the Kaieteur Falls which can be found on the Potaro River, where it falls off the Pakaraima plateau.
The Kaieteur Falls is one of the highest waterfalls ranging at nearly five times as high as the Niagara Falls. The falls has a sheer one drop fall of 741 feet and finishes off with a further drop of 81 feet over the great rocks at the bottom. It is said that Kaieteur Falls was discovered by a C. Barrington Brown who discovered the Orinduik and Kuribrong falls as well. The name Kaieteur (called Kai-Tuk) is an Amerindian word with myth attached to it. Other familiar landmark that described our Guyanese history includes the lively Stabroek market, the sea wall and the Anglican cathedral St Georges (one of the tallest wooden building in the world). A wonderful rich history and biodiversity awaits anyone who chooses travel Guyana for their destination.