Guyanese-born, Roxanne Persaud, senator of the 19th Senatorial district in Brooklyn, on Friday, Nov. 11, encouraged nationals to work with the Guyana Consulate, New York, and implored them (nationals) to refrain from negative feedback, stating, “for us to grow as Guyanese, we must support the staff of the consulate, to better serve the community.”
Persaud, who was recently elected to serve a full term in the senate, added, “We will not be acknowledged as a people, if we don’t ‘toot’ our own horn in a positive way.” She called on compatriots to continue to dialogue with the consulate.
Senator Persaud made these remarks at the consulate’s first town hall meeting in Brooklyn that was hosted at the Woodbine Banquet Ballroom, and where, newly appointed Consul General, Hon. Barbara Atherly was formally introduced to the community.
Deputy Consul General Jacqueline Hamer and Consular Beverly McDonald joined CG Atherly to address several concerns raised by expats, that included professionals seeking information on how they could return to their homeland to share their skills, towards Guyana’s development.
Hamer, who runs the operations of the consulate and make recommendations, began an outreach program which takes consular services to the elderly and bedridden. To date, the outreach has serviced citizens in Queens, the Bronx, Connecticut, Schenectady and Brooklyn.
Noting that Guyanese are one of the largest immigrant groups in the US totaling some 400,000 documented and undocumented persons, CG Atherly, encouraged expats to become skilled in preparation for Guyana’s predicted oil sector workforce.
The meeting, moderated by Jonathan Locke, addressed the issue of bribery for a plot of land in their homeland. CG Atherly said this was an illegal act, and appealed to citizens to apply through the Housing Ministry, and its website www.chpa.gov.gy. She said the consulate would assist in this regard so that citizens are not misled.
American-born children of Guyanese parentage are entitled to Guyanese citizenship, however, applicants must go through the consulate, said Mrs. Atherly, who also clarified that persons receiving National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pension benefits, must submit a notarized form to the office in Georgetown to receive the benefit. Any notary public could notarize the document in New York.
Consular McDonald made it clear, that citizens from countries such as China must apply for a visa in their own country in order to transact business in Guyana. The New York consulate only issue visitors visa for citizens from countries that require documents to enter the Republic.
Attorney-at-law Colin Moore questioned what part the consulate could play in Eco Tourism as a way to promote Guyana tourist industry, and urged CG Atherly to move this initiative forward. The diplomat did not have the needed information and said she would discuss it with the Ministry of Tourism in Georgetown and pass on the information to the community.
The nationals expressed concern about the ill-treatment Guyanese being deported to Guyana face — a grave injustice to families, many who are not notified when their loved ones are processed for deportation. The CG said she was not aware of this problem and plans to make recommendation to the Guyana government to deal with the matter.
To address these issues, the consulate promised to constantly update its website to keep the diaspora informed.
However, Aquafie Monroe, consular clerk and website specialist, warned citizens against websites with similar names that are not affiliated with the diplomatic office. The correct site is www.guyan
The newly built state-of-the site is user friendly and interactive and allows applicants access to view passport application status by simply entering a receipt number.
This, and other services such as youth initiatives, the registering of organizations and alumni associations, consular services, such as birth certificates, travel documents, marriage licenses, powers of attorney, and life certificates could be obtained from the consulate.
In addition to providing a reliable and regular news source that reaches nationals in New York, the Consulate plans to implement an undergraduate internship program to facility the exchange of ideas and values to educate and bring about awareness of Guyana’s rich traditions, in order to promote the country’s national interests.
The consulate is located at 308 W. 38th Street, Manhattan. Phone: 212-947-5110-9 – www.guyan