Village Profile

Village Profile







Children in school







Makushi, Wapashina, Arawaks, Patamona, Warrau

East Indians, mixed




Mason, Carpentry, tour guides, handicraft(men& women), Drivers, Mechanic, Forest rangers, cooks, Managers(men & women)Boat captains, welders, I.T skills, Fisher men,


Economic Activities

Farming, Fishing, Hunting, Handicraft making,


Teachers, Health worker, Police man, Tour guides, Rangers, cooks


Primary and Nursery Schools, Health Post, Church, Teacher Quarter, Rest house, Eco-Lodge, Wild club office, Carpentry Center, Cassava processing House, Internet office,

Local organization

PTFA, Sports Club, Wild Club, Women’s Sewing group, mother union, Makushi culture group, Letter wood conservation group


Bedford Truck, Out board motto, chainsaw, brush cutter, aluminum boat, generators, freezers, HF radios, Solar panels, computers, internet system, Pick up canter, Mini Bus,


Village shop, privately owned business,





Visit the website of the Surama Eco Lodge


History of Surama

For generations the payako ranged the area between Surama and Wowetta, abandoning an area only after the terrible epidemics, against which their traditional medicines would not work.

Mr. Peter Moses remembers his elders recounting that there were three major epidemics, separated in time, each forcing the payako to leave, first the Surama area and then Wowetta. He himself was born in Surama, and among the families who had returned to the area in his childhood were Ivan James’ and Theresa Joseph’s. When he was around 9 to 10 years old, another epidemic struck, killing most of the members of his and other families. Only one of his brothers survived and together they moved to Annai to live with friends, never returning to Surama. For years after that, Amerindians were afraid to return to the Surama area, with its associations of epidemic and death.

However two balata bleeding operations, Daylight and Garnett, located in the area, and at least 2 African Guyanese and 1 East Indiana family came to settle there. Later, by the 1920’s, one of the paddocks of the great cattle trail from Dadanawa to Takama was built in the Surama area, and gradually Amerindians returned—to work for the Rupununi Development Company, to bleed balata,etc. Susan Rufino, an Arawak resident of Surama, recalls that her father, James Hendricks, brought his family to Surama in 1937. By the date the African Guyanese families had left but the East Indian named Drew and Amerindian families (including the Croft family) remained. Many balata bleeders would come to Surama to sell their balata, which in a later period was shipped out from Surama by aircraft.

In time James Hendricks returned to Berbice. The Crofts left too, but Susan and her brother remained, working for the balata company. She worked as a domestic helper, later marrying Stanley Rufino who had been working with the Rupununi Development Company, until the company moved its base from Surama to Apoteri.

A few families continued to live in Surama even after the balata company had left. The 1969 uprising was a bad time for residents of this community. Surama resident, Mr. Nacka, was shot and Mr. Sutherland moved away after the uprising. In 1973 two brothers, Robert and Theo Allicock, moved to Surama with their large families. They had lived in earlier periods at Linden on the Demerara River, Kurupukari on the Essequibo River, Wowetta and Kwataman. Other savannah families, including the Captains, Salvador’s and Roland’s moved to Surama after Allicocks. For a time there was also a GDF station based in Surama. Since that date, surama has grown and prospered. A school was built entirely by self help in 1978, followed by many other development projects.

Surama is located north of Annai. It is one of the sub villages of Annai Amerindian Village. It has a population of 287.The Size of the sub village is about 7 square miles.

Surama was establish in 1974, when the Allicock brothers Mr.Theophalus and Mr. Robert Frederick Allicock and fire other families came together to start the village. The main economic activities at the time were Agriculture and fishing.

Residents depend mainly on farming for living. A few did fishing. Today this change the residents now are involve in Agriculture, forestry (lumbering), fishing and tourism. A few persons are employed by the Government as health workers, police and teachers.

The people of Surama are of various backgrounds. There are Makushi, Wapashina, Patamona, Awarks, Warrau, East Indian and mixed from by intermarriage between the various groups.

The first Primary school was built in 1978 with first enrolment at less than twenty children. The first Head teacher being Mr. Joseph Torres there when the school was opened and acting teacher Mr. Councilor Sccipio. There was no Nursery school at that time. Over the year the population of the school increases and so there was the need for a bigger and better school and so with the help of central Government both a nursery and primary schools were built. Today the leader on the resident and most of them are trained.



How Surama got its name

Once there lived two brothers who were magicians and leaders of their community. The elder was named Inskiran, the younger Anekî. One day Inskiran and Anekî invited the villagers to picnic by the lake called warekupî, now known as Surama Lake. They caught a lot of fishes and in the afternoon all returned home together and made a barbecue. The two brothers made their own barbecue, apart from the others. Suddenly their fire flared up and Anekî screamed, shu ra ma ta bî man, which roughly translates as ‘barbecue is burning’. That was the origin of the name Surama.



Strengths of the Village

  • The Villagers cooperation

  • The village council in place

  • Village has its own transportation

  • Has a tourism sector which benefits the village

  • Has a small zoo

  • Has primary and nursery school, church, etc.

  • Wild life club functional with the club members involved in a number of activities such as bird watching

  • Carpentry Centre with equipment and individuals who has been trained in their proper use and maintenance

  • Women’s group who are active and play an important role in the community

  • Communication to the other communities and other areas via a HF radio and internet

  • Cultural group active in helping to maintain traditions, such as language and other art forms

  • Has an Eco-Lodge where the tourist goes very often.

  • Has an cassava factory

  • Conservation sites

  • Have links with international organizations.

  • Most of the Villagers are employed at an Eco-Lodge.



  • Some loss of language

  • Lack of young people for upcoming development opportunities.

  • Do not have enough qualified mechanic for maintenance of vehicle, truck etc

  • Does not have proper road access to the Village




  • For young people to be trained in a number of areas including, carpentry, joinery

  • Small entrepreneurial development for community members in areas such as lumbering, embroidery, arts and crafts

  • Training opportunities for young people in the tourism business



  • Not enough job creation for residents

  • Loss of language and culture especially young people.

  • Competition for resources with others






Crops grown-Cassava, corn, yam, bananas, sweet potatoes, peppers, Ochro, water millions, rice, beans, peas, oranges, limes, lemons etc…

Domestic Animals

Cows, donkeys, horses, chickens,

Natural Resources

Land-gravel, sand, etc



Fish-Hassar etc…

Wild animals- tapir, Birds-Powis


Development Plans

General Development Plans


Health Care


Roads and bridges

Energy Supply-solar power system to push

Portable water-

  • water tanks, water pipes by homes

Better communication system-

  • Telephone booth, cell phone service,

Skill training-to learns to know how to make bricks, handicrafts etc…


Economic activities

Community Rules

Community mapping and Design and layout of residential homes


Information technology- to have young people in using computers and make their work easier

Transportation Service

Tourism Lodges

Makushi Culture Museum

Trade or Art School


  • Well design ground

  • Multipurpose building

Extension –of lands, play grounds etc



  • Lack of enough education opportunities for young people to achieve higher education

  • Not enough education opportunities in our region

  • High migration rate to Brazil and to other part of the country.

  • Loss of human resource.

  • High drop out at secondary school.

  • To have education institution built at Bina hill, region 9,to accommodate students for higher learning.

  • Community consultation meeting.

  • Identifying the education problems.

  • How can the community help to solve these problems?

  • Finding a suitable organization to assist with funding.

  • Supporting the N.R.D.D.B. to have these institutions built.

  • Person or organization responsible; the leader of education, the village council and N.R.D.D.B.

  • Requirement; land space, funding, materials, equipment, labour and trained professionals.



Proper Health Care System

Trained Medex in every health post

Infrastructure-waterways and drainage, roads, bridges, buildings, sewage

  • Airstrip- for emergency-also for tourism business

  • New office building-the new building will be built to house the senior councilor and councilor.

-- Visitors will have to report whenever they inter into the village.

--meeting and other activities shall be kept there

--Records and other important materials shall be stored there.


  • Cultural continuity

  • Need to learn about the cultural aspects also while also the Education is vital during their schooling

  • Need to keep the culture

  • Need to be proud of the Makushi culture

  • Vibrant culture group

  • Language-need to teach young generation in Makushi-also the older folks for better communication

  • Makushi Culture Museum

  • Rediscovery Centre in Surama



Radio – improved radio communication (broadcasts)


Finance –

  • Job opportunities and creation

  • Develop cottage industries – Eco tourism

  • Saving scheme

  • Banking system

Water –

  • Improved water supply for the community- potable water, pure water supply

Recreation –

  • -sports: activities for young people, summer camps, use sports as a medium for discipline and use it as opportunities for young people to gain experience and education


Security- Need a gate at the entrance to the village

Documentation –

  • History, future plans, culture, natural resources,

  • Rules and regulation to be implemented in the villages by the council


Communication –

  • Maintain the HF radio network.

  • Separate the internet and HF radio system

Ground plan

  • Map of the community –

  • Houses, roads, water supply route



  • Proper diet – different foods available for community- vegetables, fruits, greens etc