WHEN Janet Jagan, an immigrant from America, made history by becoming Guyana’s prime minister in 1997, she was thought to be the country’s only Jew.
In fact, another Jew had recently purchased an island off the coast of Guyana and, 25 years later, there are at least two Jews living in the tiny oil-rich South American nation.
One is a Guyanese-British-Israeli guesthouse operator who has been working in Guyana since the 1970s.
The other is a former marketing executive from Chicago who until recently ran the country’s largest tour operator.
Both offer a window into three dynamics that define Guyana — a government that embraces all faiths, an economy based on extractive industries and an expansive rainforest the country hopes will be a draw for its growing ecotourism industry.
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