North Pakaraima residents benefit from introductory lapidary course

DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 26, 2018

Some twenty (20) persons from Monkey Mountain, Tuseneng, Kurukabaru, Kato, and Mikwak recently benefitted from a two-week Introductory course in Lapidary. Participants were trained to recognise and gather quality semi-precious stones and more importantly, how to test the various stones to determine their properties and history.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe.

The job of a Lapidary or stone cutter has to do with the engraving, cutting, or polishing of stones and gems, many of which are found in Region Eight. The government allocated the sum of $10M in the 2018 Budget to establish a Lapidary Workshop in Monkey Mountain.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, said that the residents of the North Pakaraima communities are very enthusiastic about the project.

Apart from the introductory course, Minister Garrido-Lowe explained that participants will be trained in jewellery making. Craftsmen and women will also benefit, as they will have to produce unique craft cases out of tibisiri, nibi, wood and spun cotton, to display the different pieces of jewellery.

The Minister explained that the residents are in the process of designing the workshop, and identifying the land for its construction. Once the facility is completed, the ministry will seek to procure the modern equipment to cut the stones.

According to Minister Garrido-Lowe, the polished stones will be sold locally in support of the local jewellers. Additionally, when the project is fully onstream persons overseas will be able to order their pieces online.  She said that the ministry will be working closely with the Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin in that regard.

Another positive offshoot from this economic venture is tourism. Visitors will be taken on semi-precious stone hunting and gathering trips and will be taught how to recognise quality stones. They will also be able to order customised pieces.

This project will create employment for at least 20 persons in each of the five communities that will be involved, and an additional 10 in Monkey Mountain itself.


By: Synieka Thorne


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