Guyana is a typical developing country. There are farm animals all over the streets, fields, lawns, and anywhere else you can imagine. For the most part, on any given day, one will run into chickens, a cow or two, goats, and even the occasional pig being trailed by a handful of piglets. All of these animals have obvious uses, and they roam about freely because that is legal here. The animals can figure out how to stay alive on their own and the owners can feed them when time and money allow.
One animal that, perhaps, is a little less conventional to see wandering around is the horse. Here in Georgetown–Guyana’s largest city, mind you–they roam around the streets like any other kind of animal. Actually, they roam around more like they own the city rather than are just visiting. Most of the other farm animals are found in the outskirts of the city, but the horses are right in the middle of all of the action. I’ve grown accustomed to these large beasts now, but it did take a little while to get used to.
Despite their wildness, these are still magnificent creatures that grace GT everyday. They are a radiant brown color and, as far as I can tell, are completely gentle, harmless. It’s sometimes kind of fun to take note of which little ‘herd’ of horses is hanging around in certain neighborhoods. For a while, I was able to keep track of where one group of five horses and one colt were spending their time. I’ve lost them now, they’ve probably taken us residence in a part of GT that I don’t frequent. I know that there is plenty for these animals to eat around the city, but I still find it troubling that there is no one who cares for them. I get especially sad when I see them eating out of garbage piles on the side of the street.
This is just one more special thing about Guyana. I think wild horses would be a bit more of a spectacle if they were wandering around in a city in the developed world. Here’s to the cultural differences…