Village Profile











Makushi, Wapishana, Portuguese


Farming, hunting, fishing, brick making, embroidery, carpenters, chain saw operators, grater maker, canoe making, boat builder, canoe makers, hammock weaving, ,arrow makers, pottery


Anglicans, Christian Brethren

Village assets

Aluminum Boat, outboard motor, windmill, chainsaws, water pump, brush cutter, sewing machines, solar panels and batteries, cattle, horses, bullock cart, wells, overheard water tanks


Teachers, Health Worker, cooks, shopkeeper, domestic workers, caterers, self employed, Toshao, catechist, pastor,

Economic activities

Farming, hunting, fishing, brick making, embroidery, lumber, cashew nuts, small business (shops), sewing,


Primary and Nursery Schools, Health Post, Churches, village office, teachers quarters, hot meals kitchen, sewing centre, village bond, Church Rest house,

Local Organization

Wildlife Club, Parent Teachers and Friends Association, Sewing Group, Mothers Union, Sports Club, Red Cross, Steering Committee for school snacks



History of Massara

Settlement first began in the area now known as Massara around 1915. The location was first discovered by a Makushi named John Simon and his companion and son-in-law, a white man named Mr. Hinds. In that era there were white men who used to conduct business through the river, travelling by engine boat and Mr. Hinds was one of them. There was no aircraft then.

After John Simon had settled in Massara with his family, his wife and daughter died. He abandoned the place, and moved to Apoteri where his descendants live up to this day. Years after John Simon had left this settlement, my grandfather, Mr. Edward Bartholomew, arrived at Massara. Until then he had lived at Narama, now called Normandia, in the Roraima State, Brazil. Mr. Bartholomew moved to three different locations before he settled at Massara. At first he was living at Shapîtî, and then he moved to Tapieukata, between the Pakaraima Mountains. From there he moved to Toka where he remained for about ten years. Mr. Bartholomew used to come to Massara to fish in the Rupununi River. He found the area very useful, with a great quantity of fish and cashew trees. Compared with Toka location, the river was much nearer. All of these factors encouraged him to move to Massara with his family in 1935. An Anglican Church was established in the village in 1938. Until that time most of the people used to travel to Yupukari Church in order to worship. A school building was constructed in 1942. The first teacher was M. John Bennett of Kabakaburi on the Pomeroon River. Most of the people who are now living in Massara are descendants of Mr. Bartholomew.


Strengths of the village


  • The community is a titled village under the Amerindian Act. The community was recently granted an extension of land.

  • Forested and savannah area to do both ranching and farming.

  • A large number of lakes and ponds which provide enough fish for the community.

  • Forested area has enough potential to produce materials for building and sale

  • New leadership in the community – the community now has a new Toshao and council with a new perspective on what direction the community will take in terms of development.

  • Conservation area – the community decided that the preservation of part of their land was necessary so that future generations would benefit from the natural resources that the community has. An area was set aside for this purpose this area included an area where there are a lot of cedar trees.

  • The village has been able to plant lots of fruit trees in the community such oranges, cashews, tangerines, coconut etc. The farmlands are further away from the community, but have also been used to produce adequately for the community and for some amount to be sold to outsiders.

  • Has access to primary and nursery education in the community the primary school has 2 trained teachers and 1 untrained teacher, the Nursery school has1 trained teacher and 1 untrained teacher

  • There is good community support for community activities.


Weakness of the village

  • Lands are not arable near to where most people live in the village so this had made villagers have to go further away for farming e.g. Simoni

  • Does not have adequate transportation, no vehicles in the village

  • Not enough financial support for all the projects planned

  • Limited job opportunities in the community

  • Limited negotiation skills

  • Limited education and skills within the community, the community still has to have help from outside to help write proposals etc.

  • No proper accommodation for visitors to the community

  • No proper potable water system

  • Lack of trained people in the community to do catering etc for visitors.

  • Segregation among community members exist.

  • The village inaccessible by road during the rainy season. The access road is not in a very good condition even during the dry season.




  • Can produce more crops such as cassava to make farine which is in high demand in other communities.

  • Learn new skills when employed outside of the community which may be used in the community when they return.

  • Developing wood products such as furniture since the community has wood in the forests which can be used for this purpose.

  • Development of handicraft such as sifters, matapee, bow and arrow, embroidery, sewing etc.

  • Training for young people in institutions such as Bina Hill Institute.

  • Fruit preservation during the fruiting season



  • Farming land lies along the mountain and this can be an issue with the impending development of the road, the savannah land is flooded seasonally so this can only be cultivated minimally.

  • Migration - Some villagers have to leave for employment in other areas such as the mines and logging concessions, this can lead to a decline in family values and may also import new values to the community which might be negative.

  • Fairly close and accessible to the main road, this could lead to an influx of unwanted or too many outsiders.

  • Loss of young people due to lack of job opportunities

  • Competition with other nearby communities for resources.

  • With the imminent drilling of an oil well and large scale farming to be done not very far away from the village there is a concern that these activities will have some negative impacts on the wildlife of the area.


Development Plans

Annual Community Priority Plans






Foot Bridge

Linking Quimatta and Massara

Acquisition of materials

Lay foundation

Put up posts

Lay cross pieces

Lay planks

All year

This foot path will allow access to both villages during the raining season

Improve livestock farm

Build herd so that protein is provided for the community at a reasonable price

Acquisition of more animals

Develop site for vaquero to live so that they can focus on the herd

Fence and area for animal paddock


All year

The aim is to keep the herd away from the living quarters of the community minimize damage to crops and to the livestock

Poultry farm

Provide protein to the community at a reasonable cost

Raise domestic birds

Cultivate land for corn(feed)

Extracting wooden materials for pens


Third quarter to year end

Alternative to fish and meat that is brought in from outside

Extension of farms

Provide adequate supply of food for the community and to sell to outsiders

During the farming season for each farmer to increase their plot of farm by 1 acre

All year

Increased production and income generation

Storage of produce for long term

Multi-purpose building

Provide a space where there is general community events and gatherings and possible accommodate visitors, training

Extract wooden materials

Making bricks

Acquisition of funds to purchase materials, cement, nails, zinc and transport

Transport materials to site

Lay foundation

Put up walls

Insert windows and door frames

Lay roof

Lay floors

Complete doors and windows

Complete inner walls and furnishing


All year

At present the community does not have a place where they can have a number of activities mentioned in the objectives.


  1. Improved potable supply system






  1. Establishment of agro-forestry plot





  1. Improvement of access road






  1. Sanitation






  1. Solar power freezer for village shop





  1. Management of natural resources


Have clean and safe water for residents which will reduce incidence of water related illnesses


Improve soil in selected area, helping to introduce a variety of crops


Provide ease of access to community members and visitors to the community


Provide community with pit latrines




Have storage capacity for meat and fish





Ensure that the natural resources of the community is sustained

Fundraising to purchase 400 gallons water tanks and PVC pipes to run to every home in the community


Acquisition of funds for fencing of area




Hire tractor to fetch gravel to site on the road




Acquisition of materials

Build pit latrines for each home


Select appropriate machine

Buy machine




Monitoring the catching methods of fishing and hunting

Look at periods for hunting and fishing

Information sharing to community members of what measures and systems that is being put in place for monitoring


All year








All year






Second quarter of 2010





All year






Last quarter of 2010






All year




General Community Development Plans for Massara/Kwaimatta

  • Communication

  • Transportation

  • Roads Improvement

  • Education-access to higher education e.g. institute of learning, adult education

Nursery School-Kwaimatta

Skills training

  • Electricity

  • Agriculture

  • Infrastructure

  • Health

  • Water

  • Livestock

  • Information Technology

  • Religion

  • Tourism

  • Sanitation

  • Sports

  • Cultural continuity

  • Waste disposal

  • Conservation

  • Housing

  • Fish Ponds

  • Recreational facilities

  • Nutrition

  • Bridges-Kwaimatta

  • Economic Activities

  • Cottage industries-canning factories etc.

  • Forestry








  • Cell phone access

  • Public telephone booth

  • Multi-band HF Radio Sets

  • Regular flow of newspaper

  • Newsletters

  • Sky dish (satellite)

  • Postal agency

Information Technology

  • Computer – to have our own people trained in Information Technology to come back and teach their own people

  • Internet access for the community to use as a resource for information and research

  • Increase communication by use of the internet emails, chat lines

  • Increased business opportunities

  • Increased shopping options

  • Distance Education





The community should have access to electricity so as to increase the standard of living of among community members, this should include home appliances among other things



  • Solar system for water- clean and safe potable water for community, overhead tanks should be had so as to store water for distribution to the community, with water running to each home there can be an increase in the production of kitchen gardens


  • Livestock – increase on cattle rearing, sheep

  • Piggery

  • Fish farms

  • Poultry

  • Cassava production – a factory introduced to make farine, cassava bread, cassareep etc Income for the community

  • Agricultural equipment and machines – tractors, truck, mills,

  • All weather road –

  • Markets – proper marketing system put in place

  • Improved farming practices

  • Peanut production

  • Fruits farms such as Passion fruit

  • Citrus – improve on stock - oranges, tangerines, limes


  • The health system in the community needs to be improved this should include access to communication systems such as HF radios, telephones.

  • The health centre itself should be fully equipped with beds for people who have to stay, adequate drugs, adequate staffing.

  • The main centre at Annai should be upgraded to a hospital with the appropriate staff and equipment.

  • There should be reliable transport of emergencies.


The secondary school in Annai needs to be upgraded so that they can offer the full range of subject offered at the CXC level, this should include laboratory for science subjects, a wood working and technical drawing department, the dorms also need to be extended so that more children can have the opportunity of secondary education.

The school need to have a gym or something similar where students can have physical training and exercise.

There is also need for a proper play field with the proper infrastructure such as washrooms and stands, properly marked track to official standards, football field and other sports equipment


For higher educational opportunities Institutions such as the Bina Hill Institute needs to be accredited and expanded to include other subject other than those offered right now.

They should have a mechanical shop with the requisite trainers.