Congresswoman Jackie Speier, representative of California’s 14th Congressional District, a survivor of the Jonestown tragedy in the Port Kaituma Jungle of Guyana, where 914 Americans died in a mass murder suicide on Nov. 18, 1978, met with Guyanese Captain Gerry Gouveia 38 years after, to say thanks for saving her life.
Captain Gouveia, CEO of the Georgetown Roraima Tours conglomerate, a then pilot in the Guyana Defense Force (GDF), who had an emotional meeting with the lawmaker earlier this year in her Capital Hill office, will begin regular trips to the site of the catastrophe where the Guyana government erected a monument.
Inspired by the Congresswoman’s book — “This Is Not the Life I Ordered” that recounts the tragedy where Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered by Jim Jones’ gunmen — Captain Gouveia said he owed it to Speier, and victims of Jonestown to personally fly people interested in paying tribute to the monument.
Captain Gouveia added that the decision to offer visits to what remains of the area, also, is based on the need for people with varying interests, including the families of the victims, to have an opportunity to see first hand the location “of this” historic tragedy, and to where necessary, help them to have closure.
Congresswoman Speier, back then an aide to Congressman Ryan, was critically wounded, but went on to win Congressman Ryan’s seat. She autographed a copy of her book for Captain Gouveia, and extended a handwritten note of thanks, stating that the airman and his team of Guyanese soldiers, had saved her life.
Captain Gouveia’s Roraima Tours plan to hold a ceremony in the very near future in Georgetown to announce his company’s periodic flights to the Jonestown monument to honor the victims of the tragedy.
While doing so, Roraima’s aim is to carry out the private sector’s desire to market Guyana’s rich tourism package abroad.