For many years Guyana served as part of the British Jesuit province. Although now it is part of the Caribbean province, we still retain very strong ties with the South American country.
Guyana is a small country in South America that borders Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. The Jesuits first arrived to British Guiana over 150 years ago and continue to work throughout the country, and in particular with the indigenous Amerindian communities.
Although English is the national language of Guyana, many children from these communities do not speak English before they start school. Jesuit Missions is supporting the implementation of a bilingual education programme which creates a more gradual transition, so the children can study in their native languages for the first few years of education whilst simultaneously learning English. This preserves the native languages, as well as supporting children in their education.
Sr Theo (Member of the Congregation of Jesus) visited Guyana in 2017 and spent 7 months supporting the sisters in this area and conducting research into the bilingual programme.
Fr Jim Conway SJ has been living and working in the interior indigenous areas of Guyana for the last five years and experienced the joys of simple living which he has learned to embrace.
“You can’t get more simple living than sleeping in a hammock with no electricity and washing in the creek.”