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St. Ignatius Village, Region 9

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Photo: St. Ignatius Village Facebook Page

First Published: 24th of November, 2014 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: April 27, 2023 at 18:12 pm

St Ignatius Village is a Titled Indigenous Village in Region 9 of Guyana, South America. The village, which borders the town of Lethem, is replete with breathtaking scenery, beautiful landscapes, and natural vegetation. The bridge which crosses over the Moco Moco Creek marks the entry point into St Ignatius Village from Lethem. This bridge is located only about 120 m southwest of the Lethem airport.

Photo: Fay Aldie

St. Ignatius Village is also bordered by Culvert City, Moco Moco Village, Kumu Village, and the Takutu River which forms a border with Guyana and Brazil to the South. Not too far away are the majestic Kanuku Mountains, the Moco Moco waterfalls, and the Kumu Falls.

Like all Titled Indigenous Villages across Guyana, St. Ignatius Village is governed by an Indigenous leader referred to as a Toshao who is democratically elected by the people of the respective village every three years.

The People of St. Ignatius Village

Most of the residents of St. Ignatius Village are Indigenous (Amerindians) or a mixture of Indigenous and other races such as East Indian, African, Portuguese, and white. Nevertheless, the residents maintain a predominantly indigenous culture and most or all residents of mixed races identify as Amerindian.

Police patrol St. Ignatius Village on horseback. Although the village is governed by a toshao and is subject to non-interference by government forces, there are still circumstances under which the Guyana Police Force can intervene. Photo: St. Ignatius Village Facebook Page
Religion in St. Ignatius Village

Most residents of St. Ignatius Village (about 99%) belong to a Christian church, either Catholic or Protestant. There may be rare instances of Hindus and Muslims but I have never personally encountered any.

Photo: Triton Cort
Schools In St. Ignatius Village

St. Ignatius Village is home to the St. Ignatius Secondary School, the St. Ignatius Primary School, and the St. Ignatius Nursery School. About 1000 students attend the St. Ignatius Secondary School.

St. Ignatius Secondary School
Economic Activities In St. Ignatius Village

Economic activities engaged in by the people of St. Ignatius Village include fishing, farming, cassava farine and casareep production, and art and craft production. A significant percentage of the population are nurses, teachers, and other government employees.

Editor’s Note: The St. Ignatius Women’s Helping Hand Group which was closed in 2019 has resumed operation in November, 2022. They produce peanut butter, cashew nut butter, jams, and other Rupununi products.

Nurse Dianna Bernard, a resident of St. Ignatius Village, poses for a photo at a ranch with the Kanuku Mountains in the background.
Architecture of St. Ignatius Village

The architecture of most houses in St. Ignatius Village is similar to that of neighboring Brazil: flat concrete houses made of clay bricks. There are few upper flat homes in St. Ignatius. There are also very few indigenous style thatched roof houses made of clay – which are prevalent in more remote villages further away from Lethem.

Landmarks In St. Ignatius.

The most distinguished landmarks in St. Ignatius Village are the sports ground and football stadium, and the St. Ignatius Benab and community center – which is a popular meeting place for the villagers that is used to host meetings and other special events. We can also refer to the bridge that marks the entry point, the St. Ignatius Secondary School, and the “high hill” which intersects four streets as landmarks.

Tourist Attractions In St. Ignatius Village

With its unique architecture, people, way of life, and beautiful landscape, the whole of St. Ignatius Village itself may be considered a tourist attraction. Giant anthills are also found in St. Ignatius Village. A few miles away are the Kumu and Moco Moco Waterfalls.

Photo: Fabie
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