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Georgetown is the capital of Guyana, located in Region 4, which is also known as the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is the country's largest urban centre. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.'
Georgetown serves primarily as a retail and administrative centre. It also serves as a financial services centre. The city recorded a population of 118,363 in the 2012 census.
|FOUNDED :||Established 1781|
Named 29 April 1812
|TIME ZONE :||UTC-4|
|AREA :||• Water 10 sq mi (30 km2)|
• Urban 20 sq mi (50 km2)
• Metro 57 sq mi (150 km2)
|ELEVATION :||0 ft (0 m)|
|COORDINATES :||6°48′N 58°10′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.80%|
• Female: 49.20%
|ETHNIC :||70,962 (53%) listed themselves as Black/African; 31,902 (24%) as mixed; 26,542 (20%) as East Indian; 1,441 (1.1%) as Amerindian; 1075 (0.4%) as Portuguese; 475 (0.35%) as Chinese; 2,265 (1.7%) as "don't know/not stated"|
|AREA CODE :||231, 233, 225, 226, 227|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+592 223|
Georgetown is primarily the business and governmental seat of the country but its fascinating wooden colonial buildings also provide a different experience for tourists. Most tourists visit Georgetown as a launching point to the rainforests of the interior.
There are many tourist attractions in Georgetown, including St. George's Anglican Cathedral,Stabroek Market, Demerara Harbour Bridge, the Guyana museum, and the Pegasus Hotel. Georgetown receives more than 450,000 tourists per year, which is almost 86% of Guyana's total tourism. The city has a zoo, a lighthouse, and Amerindian huts.
The city of Georgetown began as a small town in the 18th century. Originally, the capital of the Demerara-Essequibo colony was located on Borselen Island in the Demerara River under the administration of the Dutch. When the colony was captured by the British in 1781, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Kingston chose the mouth of the Demerara River for the establishment of a town which was situated between Plantations Werk-en-rust and Vlissengen.
It was the French who made it a capital city when they colonized it in 1782. The French called the capital Longchamps. When the town was restored to the Dutch in 1784, it was renamed Stabroek after Nicolaas Geelvinck, Lord of Stabroek, and President of the Dutch West India Company. Eventually the town expanded and covered the estates of Vlissengen, La Bourgade and Eve Leary to the North, and Werk-en-rust and La Repentir to the South.
It was renamed Georgetown on 29 April 1812 in honour of King George III. On 5 May 1812 an ordinance was passed to the effect that the town formerly called Stabroek, with districts extending from La Penitence to the bridges in Kingston and entering upon the road to the military camps, shall be called Georgetown.
The ordinance provided that the various districts of Georgetown shall be known by their own names. The supervision of Georgetown was to be done by a committee chosen by the Governor and Court of Policy. Estimates of expenditure were to be prepared.
By 1806 the owner of Vlissingen asked to be exempted from the responsibility of maintaining the road which is now called Camp Street, but the Court refused the request. In 1810 the maintenance of the roads in the area called Georgetown cost 11,000 guilders per annum.
The governing body of Georgetown was once a Board of Police. The Board of Police was chosen by the governor and the Court of Policy. It came into existence as the result of disputes among various organisations which controlled the districts.
The Board met monthly but what was discussed is not on the records between 1825 and 1837. Newspapers in the colony were prohibited by law from reporting public matters.
The post of Commisary of Police was not regarded as important. People elected to the Board invariably declined to attend meetings and never gave reasons for their refusal.
It was, therefore, decided that individuals elected to the Board were bound to serve for two years, or suffer a penalty of 1,000 guilders.
The Board of Police was abolished when an ordinance was passed to establish a Mayor and Town Council.
Georgetown gained official city status on 24 August 1842 during the reign of Queen Victoria.
The names of Georgetown's wards and streets reflect the influence of the Dutch, French and English who administered the town at different periods of history.
Cummingsburg was originally named Pln. La Bourgade by its first owner, Jacques Salignac. It was laid out in streets and building lots by its second proprietor, Thomas Cuming, a Scotsman, after whom it is named. He made a presentation of the Militia Parade Ground and Promenade Gardens to the town as a gift. It is noteworthy that Carmichael Street was named after General Hugh Lyle Carmichael who served as Governor from 1812 to 1813. He died in March 1813 and was buried in the Officers' Cemetery, Eve Leary.
Water Street was so called because it ran along the riverside and formed the original river dam. High Street formed the leading road from the East Bank to the East Coast of Demerara. The part of High Street that ran through Cummingsburg was called Main Street. Camp Street received its name because it was the road which led to the camp or garrison at the northern end of the city. Kingston got its name from King George of England. It was part of Pln. Eve Leary which was named after the wife or daughter of its owner, Cornelis Leary. Some of the streets of Kingston have military names because the garrison used to be located there, e.g. Parade Street, Barrack Street and Fort Street.
Lacytown was another leasehold portion of Plantation Vlissengen. L.M. Hill claims that it was named after General Sir De Lacy Evans, a Crimean war hero. However, James Rodway claims that it was named after George Lacy who bought part of the plantation from R.B. Daly, representative of Vlissengen. The owner of Vlissengen was Joseph Bourda, Member of the Court of Policy. After his son and heir disappeared at sea, the government claimed the property under the authority of the Vlissengen Ordinance of 1876. A new district of Bourda was laid out and Lacytown was improved by the Board of Vlissengen Commissioners.
Bourda Street and the ward of Bourda were named after Joseph Bourda, Member of the Court of Policy and former owner of Pln. Vlissengen. It was laid out by the Commissioner of Vlissengen in 1879. The Bourda Cemetery holds the remains of many old citizens of Georgetown. Only those persons who owned family vaults or burial rights in the enclosed ground used it.
In 1945 a large fire (The Great Fire) broke out in the city causing widespread damage.
Georgetown has a year-round hot tropical rainforest climate. Relative humidity fluctuates throughout the year with the highest occurring in May, June, August and December–January; these months are usually the rainiest part of the year. Between the months of September to November relative humidity is lower ushering in the drier season.
Georgetown does not truly have a dry season - monthly precipitation in all 12 months is above 60 millimetres (2.4 in). Because of its location Georgetown’s temperatures are moderated by the North-East trade winds blowing in from the North Atlantic and so it rarely sees temperatures above 31 degrees Celsius.
Climate data for Georgetown
|Average high °C (°F)||28.6|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||23.6|
Georgetown is located on Guyana's Atlantic coast on the east bank of Demerara River estuary. The terrain in this part of the country where the city is located is flat coastal plains. The city is surrounded by a blanket of cane fields along with marshy swamps, and savannah lands on its east and south. The Elevation of the land is one metre below the high tide level. This low elevation is protected by a retaining wall known as the seawall to keep the ocean out and an innovative network of canals with kokers to drain the city of excess water.
Georgetown is Guyana's largest urban centre, containing a large portion of its commerce. It is an important city for Guyana and the Caribbean. Within the metro area there is the CARICOM headquarters, the Administrative Arm of the Caribbean Regional Integration Organisation. Georgetown also is home to a seaport. Guyana's international airport, Cheddi Jagan International Airport/Timehri, an hour south of Georgetown is a destination for Caribbean Airlines (the airline formerly known as BWIA or ""bwee""), LIAT, META, and Travel Span GT.
Closer to the city is the newly expanded Ogle Airport, with a terminal facility geared to handle regional, international and inter-Caricom flights, connecting CARICOM states with the CARICOM Secretariat. The city has many highway projects under construction although the four-lane East Coast Highway was completed in 2005. Georgetown accounts for a large portion of Guyana's GDP.
Georgetown has expanded dramatically through the years and may be divided into three Geographical regions:
Georgetown - referring to Central Georgetown includes the Business district as well as the seat of the national Government.
Greater Georgetown - contains some of the most expensive and luxurious metropolitan neighbourhoods. Bel Air Park, Bel Air Gardens, Lamaha Gardens and Bel Air Springs are well known ultimately as places for the rich and powerful. Most residents here are high ranking executives or government officials. These close gated neighbourhoods of the city are mostly concentrated in the northeastern part towards Greater Georgetown and the Atlantic.
Greater Georgetown contains some notable places such as:
- The University of Guyana (Headquarters)
- The Cyril Potter College of Education
- The Caribbean Community Secretariat (Headquarters of CARICOM)
- The Guyana International Conference Centre
- Ocean View International Hotel
- Guyana Sugar Corporation (Headquarters of the country's largest corporation)
- Ogle Airport (Guyana's local air transport facility)
South Georgetown - incorporated communities of neighbourhoods along the eastern bank of the Demerara River such as Sophia, Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Albouystown, and Agricola. Those are well known and highly regarded poor areas of the city. Some areas such as Houston Estates, Ruimvelt and Thirst Park have retained high levels of affluence.
Known for its historic importance, Georgetown remains the administrative centre for the central Government.
North of Georgetown lies Main Street, where the Head of State's official residence can be found along with several other important Government buildings including the Ministry of Finance. East of Georgetown stretches towards the Avenue of the Republic where Georgetown's City Hall building is located as well as the St. George's Cathedral. Also on the East side is Brickdam which is the single most concentrated area of Executive departments and agencies. The Ministries of Health, Education, Home Affairs, Housing and Water are all located on Brickdam.
West of Stabroek Market is the Port of Georgetown, the largest and busiest shipping point in Guyana. Stabroek Market itself contains the Ministry of Labour as well as the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. It is also the host facility for the equally famous Stabroek markets.
- Regent Street - Georgetown's premier shopping district.
- Sheriff Street - Guyana's main entertainment area; contains most of the city's clubs, bars and restaurants.
Suburban Georgetown consists of Greater Georgetown and Uptown Georgetown and contains the following suburbs of the city :
- Republic Park
- Nandy Park
- Bel Air
- Vreed en Hoop
- Lamaha Gardens
Prices in Georgetown
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.45|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$16.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$31.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$5.80|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$2.15|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.50|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$9.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$5.70|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.15|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$1.90|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$2.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$48.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M.)||1||$44.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$81.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$0.50|
Transportation - Get In
Cheddi Jagan Temeri International Airport (IATA: GEO) is the main airport serving Georgetown. It is mainly served by Caribbean Airlines from the Caribbean islands and from Miami and New York through Port of Spain as well as by LIAT, which provides good connections from Port of Spain and Bridgetown, Barbados from islands such as Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, and Grenada. Delta Airlines flies twice-weekly from New York. Make sure you have some currency when you arrive because there is no ATM in the airport. Also, in town the only bank that your card will work at is Scotia Bank. US Dollars can be used for almost any transaction and you can easily stay in Georgetown without using the local currency. Immigration processing is appallingly slow. Arriving tired on one of the late-night flights is an exercise in considerable patience.
Once out of the airport, a taxi is about $25 or G$5000 and takes 45-60 minutes to get to Georgetown, depending on traffic. The cheaper, slightly slower option is to take minibus #42 to Timeri bus park which is behind the parliament building near Stabroek Market. The minibus costs G$260. The minibuses run at all hours of night and day, however taxi drivers will try to get you as a fare as soon as you come out of departures. They will say it's not safe to walk around in Georgetown at night, which is true. However, a taxi from the minibus station to your hotel will be about G$400.
Ogle Airport (IATA: OGL) is small located slightly closer to Georgetown (~6 mi) which is for a few private charter companies, primarily used for domestic/local flights. The following companies have a few daily flights from/to Zorg-en-Hoop Airfield in Paramaribo, Suriname:
- Gum Air, Doekhieweg 03, Zorg-en-Hoop Airport, Paramaribo, Suriname, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-Sa. (website is broken as of january 2016 but wikipedia also lists it as operational - so call them for information/booking)
- Trans Guyana Airways (TGA), Ogle Aerodome, Ogle, East Coast Demerara, Guyana, , e-mail: [email protected]. M-Sa.
- Roraima Airways, , fax: . Recently started offering flights to Paramaribo. Call for details
From Suriname, there are minibuses from Paramaribo to South Drain in western Suriname, just across the river from Guyana. The trip takes at least 3 hrs and costs ~US$15. From there, you will go through customs on the Suriname side. Then take the 11:00 daily ferry across the river to South Drain. The ferry journey takes about 30 minutes, but you'll need more time for going through customs on the Guyanese side. On the Guyanese side, you will be in Molson Creek and can take minibus #63a to the minibus station near Stabroek Market in Georgetown. The trip takes at least 3 hrs and costs ~US$10. From there you can get a minibus for G$60/pp to where you are staying in Georgetown or a taxi for G$400.
From Brazil travel to Bonfim on the border and walk across the border. Find a minibus or taxi to take you to Lethem city center and inquire about minibuses traveling to Georgetown.
Transportation - Get Around
When people in Guyana refer to buses, they mean minibuses. Minibuses (known as route taxis elsewhere) are the most common way to get around town. Minibus fares range from G$60-G$1000 depending on the length of the journey. Within the city, minibuses cost G$60 per person. Travel in this mode at night could be risky, however if the minibus does not get you to your exact location, the taxis are very cheap to complete the last leg of your trip.
There are numerous taxi services which are listed in the telephone directory and are not expensive. Fares should never be more than G$500 for travel within the city and most fares should be around G$400, regardless of the number of people. All taxis licence plates begin with 'H.' There are set prices for taxis for different destinations, e.g. from the airport to town costs GD$5000, from the airport to Molson Creek is GD$24000, etc. It is wise to ask at your hotel to recommend a driver. The "Yellow" taxis have the best reputation. Once you have found a driver that you trust, ask for his or her mobile phone number. A small tip will ensure that you get prompt service.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Rum. Guyana is famous for its rum . El Dorado has a good store in Departures at the airport but bear in mind that you cannot take a connecting flight carrying liquids unless they are in your suitcase. There are several places in town where you can buy the best brands.
- The best place for buying souvenirs is The Hibiscus Plaza located outside the General Post office.
- Buy wood carvings from the artists outside the Hotel Tower.
- Stabroek Market. A major market in the city centre. Keep an eye on your wallet.
The City Mall on Regent Street is the most modern of its kind in Georgetown and many tourist stores are located here. The central shopping area is bounded by Hadfield Street on the South of the city, Water Street to the West, Albert Street to the East and Middle Street to the North. Most of the city's stores, supermarkets, boutiques and restaurants can be found within this zone.
There are several well known places where you can get high quality handcrafted gold pieces, some of them being Royal Jewel House on Regent Street, TOPAZ Jewellers on Crown and Oronoque Streets in Queenstown; Gaskin & Jackson jewellers on Camp Sreet; Kings Jewellery World on Quamina Street with a branch on Middle Street; and Fine Jewellery by Niko's", located on Church Street.
Ask around too about designs by local and internationally acclaimed fashion designers, Michelle Cole, Pat Coates and Roger Gary.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Georgetown City, Guyana is very high. For example approximate prices (as of Jan 2010) of petrol US$5 per litre, electricity is US$0.33/unit, a domestic gas cylinder is slightly over US$20. Rent for average family accommodation may exceed 750 US$ per month in central (safe) locations and personal income tax, which is 33.33% of total taxable income makes the living further difficult. Employee's salaries are normally paid in Guyanese dollars and the income tax is deducted at source by employer.
- Demico House - pastries, cakes etc.
- JR Burgers (A Unique Guyanese Experience), Sandy Babb Street, Kitty, . 09:00 - 23:00. Flame-grilled beef burgers, rotisserie chicken, Jamaican patties, ice coffees, milk shakes, smoothies, doughnuts in the morning. Other locations at City Mall (Camp & Regent Streets) and Robb Street.
- KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) - There are several branches located in the Georgetown area.
- Popeyes and Pizza Hut, Vlissingen Road.
- Salt and Pepper - good 'Creole' food.
- Stabroek Market cookshops. The best for local foods, day time only.
- Barrow Restaurant and Lounge, Linden (Mackenzie). Upscale restaurant - very nice cocktails and local food
- Brazilian restaurant, Alexander Street. A Churrascaria that offers good food and service, and excellent caipirinhas.
- New Thriving, Camp St (and other branches). Chinese restaurant. Also has a buffet menu.
- Night Cap, 8 Pere Street Kitty, . 5pm - 12am. Excellent Guyanese and world comfort food in a trendy casual setting with indoor and outdoor seating. Coffee, teas and speciality alcoholic beverages.
- Oasis Cafe, 125 Carmichael St. And in Cheddi Jagan airport departure lounge. A nice range of cakes and pastries, together with coffee, cappuccino and the rest. Free wireless.
- Shanta's Restaurant, Camp & New Market street. Good local food such as curries for vegetarian and non-vegetarian, as well as roti, dhalpuri and other Indian food.
- Sunflower, Cummings St. Wonderful Brazilian food.
- Peppers, Regent Street. Good Brazillain food - though they weigh their portions.
- Starbuds. Albert Street. A good selection of pasta, salads, sandwiches etc.
- Windjammers. Kitty. Food reputed to be good.
- Celina's On seawall, wonderful scenery and view. Food not always predictable in terms of availability and lighting at night so bad that you cannot see what you are eating, although it is usually good.
- Coal Pot Carmichael Street. An established tradition of good Guyanese food.
- El Dorado, Le Meridien Pegasus.
- Tic Tac, Middle Street. Excellent Brazilian Restaurant
- Dutch Bottle. South Road. Lovely colonial ambiance. Good Creole and Continental food - vegetarian and omnivore options. Try the callaloo soup.
- Bottle Restaurant, Cara Lodge Hotel in Quamina Street. Excellent food.
Sights & Landmarks
If you have a day or two to spend in Georgetown, check out the markets listed below, take a walk down Regent Street, or through one of the markets and have a look at the Umana Yama Church (Amerindian cultural center) or some of the older colonial buildings around town, especially on Main Street.
The local seawall may be unimpressive, but it protects a city that lies 1 metre below high-tide level. The sea wall, which helps prevent flooding and drainage is aided by canals protected by sluices, was built by the Dutch and later the British.
Georgetown has an abundance of tree-lined streets and avenues and contains many wooden colonial buildings and markets. Most of the main buildings are found around the western region of the town near Independence Square and Promenade Gardens. Interesting buildings include the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, the National Library, the Bank of Guyana, the National Museum of Guyana, State House and St. George's Anglican Cathedral.
- National Museum of Guyana, On North Rd & Hinks St, . M-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa 9-Noon. Two separate areas give a brief glance in the history of Guyana as well as the entire Guianas area. free.
- Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, Main St (between Middle St & New Market St). A free museum with two floors showing the Amerindian heritage of Guyana. free.
- Independence Square.
- St George's Cathedral. One of the world's tallest wooden structures, this cathedral is as attractive inside as out.
- Stabroek Market. Dating back to 1881, the interesting design of this iron structure and clock tower certainly make it the most recognisable of buildings.
- Parliament Building. Dates back to 1829.
- Botanical Gardens. Open during daylight hours.. A large free garden where families and people hangout. The Guyana zoo is located within the grounds of the gardens and south of the zoo there are Victoria Lilies - Guyana's national flower, they are huge lilies. Free.
- Guyana Zoo (inside the Botanical Gardens). A very small zoo with DIY cages for the animals. A lot of the cages are too small for the animal(s) they house. However, the zoo is a cheap way to spend an hour or two while in Georgetown. G$200/adults, G$100/children.
Things to do
- American actor Pauly Shore has a party mansion called the Class Act after his 1992 movie of the same name. The mansion is situated on the outskirts of town in a former mangrove that was drained in order to build the property. During January and February when Shore is in residence, there are many "invite only" parties to attend with B-list semi-celebrities such as Matt Dillon, Carrot Top and Seth Green. However, there are also some open parties for the locals to attend if you can get a ticket. These tickets are even more sought after than one-day-international cricket tickets.
- Victoria. This was the first village bought by slaves. Its a place that you will never forget. The Holy Communion Lutheran Church was the first church in the country.
- Demerara Rum Distillery (15min minibus ride). Tours are offered. G$30.
There are small rum shops and bars throughout the city, those of note are:
- Buddy's NightClub, Sheriff Street. The nightclub downstairs offers popular Caribbean Music (Dancehall, Soca, Reggae, Dub, etc.) with a dance floor open late into the night. The upstairs pool hall is a good place to start the evening, sit on the front porch to checkout the incoming clientèle.
- Latino Club, Hatfield St. Despite the name, the club offers more Caribbean-style Music (Dancehall, Soca, Reggae, Dub, etc.) than Latin. A nice little patio outside serves good drinks and has ceiling fans to take cool-down breaks from the hot dance floor inside. Take cabs to and from this location at night as the surrounding areas can be a little dodgy.
- Windies Bar. A nice little "sports" themed bar that pays homage to Guyana's national sport - Cricket.
- Palm Court. Nice outside dancing and sometimes features live Brazilian Music.
- Le Grande Penthouse. located in central Georgetown,this bar and lounge is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, and the bar's vibe is still laid back like it was almost 40 years ago.
- Jerries. A 24 hour drinking spot that plays a mixture of music (dancehall, soca, reggae) from nightfall until morning, and then begins serving breakfast. A nice little bar with a large outside seating area that is busy most nights of the week. Regular DJs also play music but fairly centrally located as well in the Lamaha Newmarket block.
- Local Rum Shops, Anywhere. 06:00. Located anywhere that you would not find a bar or club. It is mostly found in rural areas. 100.
Safety in Georgetown
Georgetown is notorious for petty street crime. Do not walk alone at night, or even in the day, unless you know the area well. Areas such as the Tiger Bay area east of Main Street and the entire southeastern part of the city including, in particular, Albouystown and Ruimveldt are traditionally known as high crime areas but one can be relatively safe if going through these areas in groups and with native escorts. Venturing into the covered area of the Stabroek Market can pose some dangers but if you need to visit it then do so with a group or with Guyanese whom you know well and with whom you feel comfortable. Police are unlikely to help you unless they see the crime in action. Be sensible about wearing jewelry. Even cosmetic jewelry which is gaudy is likely to attract the wrong attention.
It is advised to exercise common sense.
You might have heard of or read about the village Buxton. It is a hotbed of Afro-Guyanese violence, comparable to the American neighborhood Compton. Visits to Buxton ought to be brokered carefully with someone who knows the area well and who is well accepted in the village. If your visit to this village is perceived to be anything other than casual then there could be unwarranted problems. There are a lot of gangs and drug dealers there. Many Indo-Guyanese villages such as Cane Grove, Annadale, and lusignan, are notorious for violence, petty crimes, racism and kidnappings. It is advisable for toursists or people who are not of Indo-Guyanese origin travelling through these areas should also be accompanied by someone known in these areas.
The police response varies depending on the location and time of the crime. Some tourists have reported positive responses.
Discussions of the current affairs of ethnic relations between the two major races, politics and the socio-economic issues in the country ought to be undertaken with much tact and much patience. Be aware that these types of discourses can sometimes lead to very heated and intense debate, and possibly something much worse. Guyanese are generally very open to discussing most issues, but as an outsider, you could be seen as a part of the problem - as absurd as that sounds - so guard your tongue.
Crime is rarely directed at tourists, so don't feel intimidated. Just be sensible about the company you keep, where you go and how you behave.
The biggest problem I experienced was the high level of noise, particularly in the areas where tourists / backpackers stay. E.g. the noise caused by Palm court disco on main street was so extreme that it triggered alarms of cars in the vicinity to go off. Whenever there is a bar / restaurant in the area there will be noise until late at night until 3 AM or later.
Safety for gay travelers
Homosexuality is illegal in Guyana and carries a sentence of life in prison. However, no one has been charged under the laws. One organization SASOD [www] organizes some events to promote anti-homophobic work. There is no local gay "scene" as most homosexuals remain rather closeted. Private gatherings are known to occur to which one must be invited. Homosexuals who are openly gay are generally left alone providing they are circumspect about their behavior. Public displays of affection among gay people are frowned upon and can make you the target of overt discrimination, attacks and taunts. There are no hotels, resorts or bars anywhere in the country which cater exclusively to gays and lesbian visitors or locals for that matter. The gay traveler is wise to be very cautious and conservative in his/her behavior.