Voices from Guyana

Citizenship

ExxonMobil’s discovery of more than 8 billion barrels of oil offshore Guyana is creating new economic opportunities in this small South American country.

Investments on and offshore are expanding career paths, conserving and protecting the country’s rich biodiversity and helping develop and produce energy.

Local small businesses are growing to support the country’s oil production and increased industry activity, and students are expanding their career horizons to include engineering and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

Local leaders from Georgetown, Guyana, reflect on the sense of empowerment they’re experiencing and seeing in others.

REFLECTING ON GROWTH and empowerment

From educators to business owners, many in Guyana are seeing new opportunities across the country brought on by offshore energy production. Here, three local voices share their experiences and hopes for empowering others.

Jennifer’s company, Falcon Logistics, which helps manage immigration and customs logistics, was one of the first to provide services to the new industries putting down roots in Guyana. As she continues to grow her business, she also is changing the perceptions of women business leaders.

Double quoteOne of the things that I have encountered, especially since starting Falcon, is that there is this perception that this is very much a man's industry. And I hope that me owning Falcon and being such an integral part of what we do demonstrates that there are opportunities for women, and the idea is, don't be intimidated. Be very confident in what it is you know and what you do, and opportunities are there.

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Paloma is the first woman to be appointed vice chancellor at the university. She works tirelessly for her students and is blazing a path for young women and men to embrace ambitious professional careers, including as engineers supporting the country’s energy industry.

Double quoteBefore 2016, faculties like the faculty of engineering and technology, physics, chemistry, mathematics... those schools basically struggled for students. And in this year, the applications for those programs have gone from 30, 40, 60 to hundreds. Hundreds, literally two, three hundred. So it's really amazing. And it's also wonderful to see our young people really be able to do what they really wanted to do.

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Andrew leads his family’s 52-year-old industrial supply company, Farfan & Mendes. He invests in his community by employing and training men and women locally, empowering them to meet the welcome new challenges of the energy industry.

Double quoteFirst and foremost, what I hope for in the oil industry and what we're seeing is it does drive a meritocracy. And I think that can only benefit Guyana because the standards you bring and, obviously, because of what you're doing offshore, nobody can afford mistakes. And I think that will challenge us all to raise our game. It's about trying to develop our employees at all levels, so they can meet that challenge.

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