Escape to Rockstone…
Enterprising couple providing tour guide services
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
The serene community of Rock Stone, in Linden, is filled with picturesque scenes and lots of outdoor activities to enjoy; perfect for a weekend getaway. It is also a major fishing and tourism hot spot.
Ray Peters, realised that this tourism potential should be exploited and has ingeniously transformed himself into a self-trained guide providing tour packages to the many visitors flocking the community on weekends.
He purchased a boat with financial support from his fiancée, Ulandy Marks who was a participant in the Hinterland Empowerment Youth Service (HEYS) programme. The duo rent the community’s boat engine and provide transportation and tour guide services to tourists and sports fishermen.
“I realised I could earn a living through this venture. They [visitors] would hire me to take them to Sand Beach, river fishing, bird watching such as the Harpy Eagle, they would go out to see the waterdogs and all of these things,” Peters explained. Some daily packages cost between $30,000 to $40,000 per day.
Peters is now seeking additional funding to expand his business. His plan is to purchase his own engine and eventually more boats with the aim of employing youths within the community to become tour guides.
He added, “I would also like to purchase hammocks, tents and even construct some cabins for visitors to sleep because right now they stay at the village guest house and not everyone wants to stay indoors when they are in a community like this,” he reasoned.
According to the enterprising young man he has consulted with the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) for a loan to expand his tourism businesses. He will also commence training through the Department of Tourism, which will enable him to become an official tour guide.
Like Peters, several other youths of Rock Stone, have entered into various forms of businesses with funding from HEYs. Older residents have also adopted methods of diversification, especially in the areas of agriculture with apiculture and aquaculture taking priority. This has caught the attention of the Linden Enterprise Network, has offered to provide loans for business expansion in these areas.
Recently, LEN officials visited the community and highlighted the requirements needed to benefit from business loans. Toshao of Rock Stone Flagon Carter, who is involved in apiculture has been in conversations with LEN, on how they can provide the needed assistance, to enable the community’s economy to be boosted in this regard. LEN will also be providing technical support, for the entrepreneurs.
Story and images: Vanessa Braithwaite.