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Prince Harry visits Guyana

Published 3 December 2016

Prince Harry visits Guyana, as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence, on the final stop of his Caribbean visit. 

Situated on the Northern shoulder of South America, Guyana is part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical and political ties with the wider Caribbean community. Part of the Commonwealth, Guyana has an incredibly diverse population, and is the only South American nation in which English is the official language. The fourth smallest country in South America, Guyana is covered by a dense forest, something wildlife enthusiasts are taking notice of as Guyana becomes a top ecotourism destination.

Prince Harry arrived at Eugene F. Correia airport in Georgetown, the Capital of Guyana. His Royal Highness made his way to the centre of the capital, calling on President David Granger.

He then travelled on to lay a wreath at the Independence Monument, before arriving at Camp Ayanganna, the Headquarters of the Guyana Defence Force.

Here His Royal Highness met officer cadets, serving officers and veterans, who took The Prince on a tour of the Base. Before returning to his hotel, Prince Harry laid a wreath at Georgetown's Commonwealth War Graves, in honour of those who lost their lives during the two World Wars and the pre-independence period.

That evening the Prince will attend a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner Greg Quinn.

The following day Prince Harry took to the skies to reach the remote wilderness of the Hinterland. Over 80% of Guyana's land mass is covered by the Amazon rainforest, and tucked away beneath these incredible canopies are indigenous communities surviving and thriving in the jungle.

His Royal Highness visited one such community; where he was met by village elders, who led Prince Harry to the centre of this indigenous community.

Prince Harry received an official welcome from the Surama villagers, around the gathering point of the village Totem Pole. His Royal Highness heard more about traditional village life, and took a short trip to the village's Eco Lodge to see how the community is embracing eco-tourism.

From this friendly welcome, visited the Iwokrama International Centre, which has a close link to Prince Harry; his father The Prince of Wales, has been the organisation's Patron since 2000.

Prince Harry met with rangers to learn about the forest, and the steps being taken to protect this important reserve, and the broader conservation efforts of the Amazon. Before arriving at the reserve, Prince Harry called into Fairview Village and pay his respects to the village Elders, as well as visiting the local school.

The final stop of the day was Kaieteur Falls. This magnificent waterfall is the single largest free-fall waterfall in the world. It has a drop of 741 feet, making it nearly five times as high as Niagara Falls in Canada.

The last day of Prince Harry's Caribbean tour finished with a visit to Joshua House Children's Centre, in the centre of Georgetown.

The charity, established in 1977, is currently home to more than 70 children, both girls and boys, typically aged between 5 and 12. The mission of the home is to rescue children who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances and whilst living here, have access to computers and libraries, daily meals and can learn skills like how to prepare those same meals, or even grow the ingredients used to create them.

The charity manages to make a big impact on the lives of children who depend on vital services like those provided. Prince Harry heard of this first-hand from the children living there, and the staff and volunteers who together make it all possible.