Published: 11th of May, 2023 by Patrick CarpenLast updated: May 12, 2023 at 16:44 pm
Photos by Nikita da Luz.
The town of Mahdia is located in the Potaro-Siparuni Region, also called Region 8, of Guyana, South America. It serves as the capital and main commercial center of Region 8. Located at an altitude of 415 meters, Mahdia is geographically located near to the center of Guyana at latitude 5.2667 and longitude -59.1500.
Being an interior region, the location was first settled by indigenous peoples of the Patamonas Tribe. After the abolition of slavery, Africans traveled to Mahdia to engage in gold mining activities. East Indians in search of golden opportunities also traveled to Mahdia to engage in gold mining activities, but to a lesser extent. But Mahdia’s mineral rich mountains also attracted people from different parts of the world, such as St. Lucia, Dominica, and Brazil. These groups over the centuries intermingled giving rise to a growing fraction of mixed race population as well as Mahdia’s rich cultural heritage.
Mahdia can be reached by taking a detour when traveling along the Lethem-Linden trail. It can also be accessed from Bartica by the Denham Suspension Bridge which was built over the Garraway Stream by the British in 1933. There are also flights available to Mahdia from the Eugene Correia International Airport.
As the Administrative Capital of Region 8, Mahdia sports the following facilities and instructure:
- A cottage hospital
- A nursery, primary and a secondary school
- A commercial sector which includes dry goods, boutiques, a fuel station and 11 restaurants.
- Four hotels, two guest houses and four brothels
- A police station
- One Police Divisional Headquarters
- One Army Base
- One Magistrate Court (Presently under construction)
- A post office
- Two artisan wells
- A Regional Administrative Office
- An airstrip
One disadvantage of living in or visiting Mahdia is the potential to contract malaria which is mostly spread by the anopheles mosquito. A very large fraction of the residents of Mahdia have contracted malaria at least once in their lifetime.
Campbelltown is an indigenous community of about 500 people in the town of Mahdia. It consists of mostly the Patamona tribe of indigenous peoples with a few Caribs and Arawaks, and also mixed races who identify as indigenous. Although Campbelltown is separate from the town itself, it is considered part of the town of the Mahdia. However, it is governed by a Toshao according to indigenous tradition. The main economic activity of the people of Campbelltown, Mahdia is subsistence farming which is done on farmlands located some distance away from the village. Some residents are also employed in the mining industry, as tour guides, and as laborers.