Santa Aratak celebrates Heritage Day

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 18, 2017

Several persons gathered at the Santa Aratak Mission on Saturday to participate in the village’s annual Heritage Day Celebrations.

Delegates of the Miss Indigenous Heritage Pageant being introduced to the audience.

The festivities included dances by school children and their parents, and a special performance by the reigning Miss Indigenous, Sherica Ambrose. There were various indigenous dishes and craft on sale and for the first time the delegates of the Miss Indigenous Heritage Pageant 2017 were introduced to the public.

The pageant contestants participated in the first ever indigenous challenge where their cooking and crafting skills were tested. Miss Region One appeared to be a clear favourite.

Toshao of Santa Aratak Mission Mr. Aubrey Samuels in his final address as chief welcomed everyone to the village and thanked the Ministry of Indigenous People’s affairs and the regional administration for their continued support.

‘The Santa Aratak Community is thriving and developing as the years go by. Today I hope that each and every one of you present will have an enjoyable day as we celebrate heritage month, Guyana’s first people sustaining a cultural environment.’

For his part, Regional Chairman of Region Three, Mr. Dennis Jaikarran pledged his region’s continued support to the community, and mentioned some of  projects to be undertaken shortly, including the fencing of the school compound, a community health outreach, fuel supply for a brush cutter and sports gear for the youth.

He also noted the importance of analysing the achievements of the community.

“As we continue to celebrate Amerindian heritage month in this community let us celebrate it with a meaning, the purpose for which it was set out and to ensure that our achievements at the end of each celebration that we record them that we evaluate each one” he said.

The Santa Aratak, the only indigenous settlement in Region 3, with a population of 3000 persons is located on the bank of the Camuni Creek. The community is the closest indigenous settlement to the capital city and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

 

By: Natasha Smith

Students of the Santa Aratak Primary School performing a traditional dance.

Visitors examining local craft products.

 

A visitor cooks a pot of cookup under a canopy of trees as her family prepares to camp out for the night.

Bar-b-cued Labba and Cassava bread.

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