This article was first created on the 24th of November, 2016 and last updated on the 24th of April, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.
The town of Lethem is located in the county of Essequibo, Region No. 9, in the country of Guyana. At the time of this writing, Lethem is officially a town, having been granted township in 2016 by the present APNU/AFC government in adherence to a promise made during elections campaigning.
Lethem is located in the south of Guyana. It forms the most accessible border between Guyana and Brazil. The Brazilian city of Bonfim is on the other side of the border.
Guyanese who wish to travel to Brazil often travel first to Lethem, either by plane or by bus. Travelers need to check in at the Guyana Immigration Department in Lethem to “stamp out” of Guyana before leaving Guyana. However, it should be noted that stamping of passports is not necessary for travelers who are only reaching the neighboring Brazilian cities of Bonfim or Normandy. In order to travel further into Brazil, Guyanese, and travelers of other nationalities passing through Guyana, need to have their passports stamped by both the Guyana Immigration Department in Lethem and the Federal Police in Bonfim.
Lethem was named after the British Governor Sir Gordon James Lethem, who governed Guyana from 1941 to 1947.
Commercial Activities in Lethem
The commercial zone in Lethem starts from the junction of the main road (Barrack Retreat) with the road branching off to Georgetown. The Lethem Power Company is the last building going south along Barrack retreat and a Chinese Business is the last one going north (towards Georgetown). Along this road, there are many Chinese stores as well as other businesses. The two commerical banks in Lethem are the Republic Bank and The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.
Bus Services in Lethem
Carly Bus Service
Hotels in Lethem
The Takutu Hotel
Tour Operators in Lethem
People of Lethem
Most of the people of Lethem are very nice and friendly and very hard working.
Population of Lethem
The population of Lethem stands at around 20,000 at the time of this writing.
Racial Composition of Lethem
Mixed Races: 35%
East Indian: 10%
What To Do When You Are In Lethem
Some of my readers ask me “what are some things to do when I come to Lethem”. So I decided to include this section. Here are my suggestions:
Visit the Moco Moco Waterfalls.
Tour the Rupununi Savannahs
Visit the Kumu Waterfalls.
Visit the Brazilian city of Bonfim, or go further to Boa Vista.
The Takutu River Bridge in Lethem
The Takutu River separates Guyana from Brazil on Guyana’s southern border. The Takutu River Bridge is a 230 meters bridge which crosses over the Takutu River and connects the Brazilian city of Bonfim with the Guyanese town of Lethem.
Criminal Activities and Violence in Lethem
In July, 2016 a young girl was kidnapped from a night club and brutally gang-raped by four men. The criminals were arrested and transported to the Georgetown lockups.
In early 2016, a young man was killed by a stab wound to the neck allegedly while attempting to rape a young woman near to a night club.
In early 2016 there have been numerous reports of arson and arson attempts in Lethem. Several houses were burnt by a mysterious figure who has never been apprehended.
There has been at least five or six reported gun-point robberies of businesses reported in the year 2015.
Around April 19, 2017, a popular security guard of the GBTI bank in Lethem was killed by robbers while returning from a party late in the night. Raj Persaud, then 31 years old, and his wife were walking home when two bandits pulled up with a motorcycle. They attempted to take the woman’s bag and Raj, being a military trained person, entered into a physical combat with the robbers. However, having been a bit intoxicated, he probably was not able to take control of the situation. The criminals stabbed him to the left chest. He was rushed to the Lethem Hospital but died hours later. This incident left the whole of Lethem in a state of shock and sadness, as Raj was well loved by all.
As of April, 2017, after several knife point robberies, Lethem has been considered a very dangerous place to walk at nights.