By Michel Outridge
THIS week the Pepperpot Magazine visited the farming community of Ruby Backdam, East Bank Essequibo.
There, the team spoke with residents, all of whom are farmers, who highlighted their way of life and development within the community.
Ruby Backdam is between Parika and Farm villages. From the Public Road, the community can be accessed by road which is about three miles long.
Within the Ruby Backdam main road, there is a road that takes you to Parika Backdam, a relatively large village of mostly farmers too.
The village has electricity but up to a certain point and two wells that supply the nursery and primary schools which are located in one building. Residents would make use of the black water canal or store rainfall water and some would buy drinking water.
The village has a good asphalt road which was paved about five years ago and most residents have their own vehicles.
The people of Ruby Backdam are predominantly Indo-Guyanese and they are friendly and welcoming.
Ruby Backdam also has a health post where a doctor would visit every second Wednesday in the month.
It has one Mandir and two churches and less than 100 residents with about 50 houses and the place has vast lands, all owned by the state and leased to farmers.
Upon arrival in the community, the team met Jagranie Versa who was living in Venezuela but returned home six months ago. She has erected a small house and is residing in Ruby Backdam with her husband and two sons.
Versa told the Pepperpot Magazine that she was forced to return to her home country after working and living in Venezuela for more than 20 years due to the hardships there.
Now, Versa said she has to start building her life from scratch. She said that her husband is working on a chicken farm right next door and her sons are also employed.
“I have 11 children in total, some of whom born in Venezuela and are still there but I had to come home and re-start my life and we are making it possible,” she said.
The 63-year-old has a garden of calaloo and corilla which is used for her kitchen and while, the men are away at work she takes care of the household chores and ensures they get a hot meal when they return home.
“We are trying to make a life for ourselves and we will make it better in time, as is, we are good and happy to be back,” she said.
Versa added that Ruby Backdam is a good place to live but it entails hard work and the life of a farmer is not easy.
When the Pepperpot Magazine visited she was babysitting her niece’s baby and had just returned home from shopping in Parika, the nearest central point of businesses.
Her husband was home from work for lunch and was resting before he returned to work and her sons were away at work on a large farm right in the village.