Patamona Tours aims to showcase Region 8

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Tourists can enjoy the breathtaking views of Region Eight, such as this scenic view

As eco-tourism around the world picks up pace globally, following a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, a new tourism entity based in the North Pakaraimas has been launched with the aim to promote and showcase the rich culture of Region Eight.

Under the slogan “For the adventurous and wild at heart,” Patamona tours was launched in May 2022, according to one of its founders, Louana Augustus.

The former Indigenous beauty queen told this publication that the launching was made in time to commemorate Heritage Month this September.

According to this young entrepreneur, Patamona Tours is the first ever Indigenous tour company that was founded in the North Pakaraimas.

“It will be collaborating with Village Councils to bring to adventure-spirited persons the ultimate nature-friendly travel experience,” she said.

Louana Augustus, one of the founders of Patamona Tours

Recounting the journey leading up to the formation of the entity, Augustus said that while growing up in the small Indigenous community of Kopinang, she felt privileged to live among breathtaking flora, fauna, and majestic mountains that tower over the village.

“As I grew, I learned about eco-tourism and Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy,” she said. Augustus said she saw “great potential” to market her hometown and the wider Region Eight area in an eco-friendly and sustainable way that directly benefits the various Amerindian communities.

The United Nations has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, to raise awareness not only to benefit the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to the world’s cultural diversity. For Augustus, this awareness lies paramount in the plans of the new tourism entity.

Region Eight, Potaro-Siparuni, is home to the Patamona Indigenous nation, and according to Augustus, the Patamona language is spoken by approximately 8000 to 9000 people, many of whom live in the region, and there are those who have migrated to other parts of Guyana and the world.

“Therefore, this company was established as a way to educate, promote, and preserve our unique and dying language,” she said.

She has said that while the entity is raising awareness and preserving the Patamona language, it is simultaneously promoting community-based, eco-friendly tourism to show the rest of the world and Guyana the beauty of Region Eight.

Tourists would be treated to a dip in the waterways of the Pakaraima region, Region Eight

The new initiative also has a Facebook account – Patamona Tours – and according to one of its most recent posts, the entity is offering tour packages to the village of Kato. Tourists can expect Indigenous cuisine, reputable accommodation with the option of camping, hiking, and site-seeing trips across the village and its geographical spread, including the breath-taking Chiung Falls.

Augustus has said the tourism package commences with trips to Kato, and a list of other villages will follow, including her home village of Kopinang. Orinduik, Kamana, Chiung Mouth, Kurukubaru, and Monkey Mountain are among the other villages where tourists would be allowed to explore the landscape and rich culture of the Indigenous people.

Augustus has said that the main mode of transportation throughout the trips would be by all-terrain vehicles (ATV) due to the rough terrain and heavy rainfall which are common in this part of Guyana. “However, it’s always an adventure,” the young lady said, beaming with excitement at the new initiative.

In addition to its Facebook account, persons who wish to contact the new tourism entity can call or WhatsApp the number is 638-1721.