Long-anticipated return of rodeo pumps millions into Reg. 9


By Vishani Ragobeer


The Rupununi rodeo made its return last weekend after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down events over the past two years and Mayor of Lethem John Macedo said the return of the anticipated two-day event has pumped millions into the region’s economy.

“Rodeo has always been a stimulus for the local economy of the region,” Macedo, who also served as the rodeo coordinator this year, told the News Room on Monday.

The Mayor explained that when visitors travel to the region for this event, at minimum, they spend on accommodation, food and fuel. Many travellers, he said, also take the opportunity to travel to other parts of the scenic region or neighbouring Brazil.

“If each vehicle that comes to Lethem spends $200,000 then 100 vehicles would be $20 million,” Macedo explained, noting that he was using a conservative sum.

A section of the gathering at the Rupununi rodeo (Photo: Vishani Ragobeer/April 16, 2022)

But he estimates that there were more than 700 vehicles in the region for the two-day event; that excludes the people who travelled in buses or by plane.

“So, you have nearly a quarter of a billion dollars or close to half of a billion dollars being pumped into the local economy,” Mayor Macedo posited.

At the Triple ‘R’ rodeo ground in Lethem, where the activities were held, dozens of stalls featured food, craft and other items made in the region. The ground itself transformed into a festival filled with attractions and festivities for individuals of all ages to enjoy.

Action at the Rupununi Rodeo (Photo: Vishani Ragobeer/April 16, 2022)

Macedo explained that this was done to provide farmers and producers from each sub-district in the region with an avenue to market their produce and earn revenue.

On Tuesday, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond told the News Room that an audit on the rodeo would be conducted to ascertain the number of visitors who visited the region and the overall economic impact of the activity.


Aishalton Toshao Michael Thomas at the Aishalton rodeo (Photo: Aishalton Village/ Facebook/ April 18, 2022)

She, however, noted that rodeo is indeed seen as a major boost to the regional economy.


Meanwhile, the Toshao of Aishalton Michael Thomas explained to the News Room that his community is hoping to initiate its own set of rodeo activities because of the economic benefits the villagers believe can be garnered.

“Aishalton is a central village and it (will) boost up the village economy.

“Farmers, cattle ranchers fishermen (and) hunters are all excited to get their products marketed,” Toshao Thomas said on Saturday.

Aishalton’s rodeo, which returned after years, was held on Monday. And the Toshao said that the villagers have all asked for this to become an annual event for the community; as such, this event has been included in both Aishalton’s village improvement plan and calendar of activities.

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