A Village on the Rise
While indigenous Guyanese populations had long used balata for temporary tooth fillings and for carving decorative art work (such as figurines), the discovery of a “rubber tree” boosted the economic activity in British Guiana as worldwide demand for rubber intensified for machinery belting for the newly invented motor industry. The region soon became the base of operations for Booker, McConnell Ltd (sugary industry) as well as the Balata Company and Apoteri Village thrived.
THE RISE & FALL
Situated in Region 9 along the Rupununi and Essequibo Rivers, workers from all over the region arrived in search of employment opportunities. In order to accommodate the inflating workforce, the Balata Company constructed compounds meant to house hundreds of personnel. With the influx of advanced infrastructure, highlighted by health facilities (e.g., hospital), military barracks, in-home lighting, water supply pontoons and a nationally-recognized airstrip, Apoteri served as a pillar of success amongst other villages.
However, when the rubber industry relocated the late 1990s, the population dwindled as locals migrated in search of job opportunities.
Since the departure of the rubber industry in 1998, income flow has been largely limited to agricultural means, including hunting, fishing and the farming of cash crops (such as peanuts). Nevertheless, the village continues to boast a diversified workforce including (but not limited to):
And, in partnership with King William Adventures, Apoteri Village’s future looks bright. Learn more about this unique village here.