Welcome to where Amazonia meets Caribbean, where sounds of Chutney music mix with reggae, and smells of curry mingle with those of distilling rum. Welcome to the land of sugar, rice and cricket-playing. Welcome to Guyana, South America.
|Dolly Karran (above), a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana, helps feed fellow vendors and shoppers at Bourda Market, Georgetown.|
Guyana is a country of religious tolerance, greatly influenced by a history that includes occupation and slavery. About half its population are Christians, one-third are Hindu and less than a 10th are Muslim. Although a large variety of ethnic groups now coexist, historical divides have led to some racial tensions. About half the population is of East Indian descent and a third of African descent. People of Amerindian, Chinese, Portuguese and mixed descent round out the total of 700,000 inhabitants.
Guyana's beauty and struggle may best be experienced by walking through one of its many marketplaces. Fresh produce spills from stalls, painting a spectrum of God's provision. Yet prices are rising and people aren't buying — a sign of the times.
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