Guyana is rich in gold, diamonds and minerals however,
explorers searching for the legendary El Dorado, City of Gold, never found it. Gold,
diamonds, bauxite and manganese are mined in riverbeds and river basins. Smaller amounts
of silver, zinc and copper are also found. A few towns have sprung up in these mining
areas. Rice and sugar cane are cultivated. Cattle, pigs and poultry are reared for local
consumption and for export. Many cattle are raised on the Rupununi Savannah for export
to Brazil. The farms Of Guyana are on a narrow strip of land along the coast.
Most of the sugar cane is cultivated on large plantations, while rice farms are small and family-owned.
All members of a farming family, including children, are busy all the year round. The mothers of these families have a challenging job. Not only must they put in a full day's work in the field, but they must also cook meals, look after the house and attend to the children's needs. The government employs many civil servants, teachers, and financial service providers. Besides farming and fishing, many Guyanese work in large retail businesses or in manufacturing goods for export. Others sell in local markets or run cottage industries such as pottery and basket weaving.
The workday for public-sector employees begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. Government business is conducted Monday to Friday and commercial businesses usually Monday to Saturday. Some small family-owned businesses may be open all week. Business dress is moderately casual, appropriate for a tropical climate, usually shirt and tie or shirtjac for men and light business suits for women.