RICHMOND HILL, Queens — The contributions of the Guyanese community in New York City were recognized in Queens on Saturday.
The city co-named the corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard “Little Guyana Avenue.”
“We’re recognized, we’re here, we made a difference, uplifted the community,” said Bihari Lall, of the Gitto Farmers Market. “There’s little Italy, Chinatown, now there’s Little Guyana.”
According to the latest census data, Richmond Hill has the largest Guyanese community outside of Guyana. The community is made up of immigrants who have businesses, big and small, along Liberty Avenue and neighboring streets.
Many of them give back every opportunity they can.
“Today’s a special day, because it brought recognition to my community,” said Ryan Koobial, of Kaieteur Liberty Restaurant. “I gotta’ thank my parents for coming to this country and building a foundation for us.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the festivities, and even sported some Guyanese gear.
“I thought I’d throw on a mask today, something high-fashioned,” de Blasio joked.
He addressed the hundreds of attendees who were waving their flags, celebrating in the rain.
“A community so worthy of respect, of appreciation in this finally being seen, finally being understood, finally being acknowledged, finally being understood… this is your day for all you’ve done for this city and nation,” the mayor said.
De Blasio marched with them and other elected officials to the drums and sounds of Guyanese culture before and after the street sign unveiling.
“We brag about how we come from all over the world,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks. “Your presence here in Richmond Hill has made Queens a better place.”
The event was made possible by Councilmember Adrienne Adams and District Leader Richard David.
Kwame McCoy, the minister of public affairs in Guyana, also made it to the event.
“The recognition for the work that has been done by my Guyanese brothers and sisters who reside here is a fitting tribute,” said McCoy.
And now one of the first things people will see once they get off the subway station is the “Little Guyana Avenue” sign, something the Guyanese community here is so proud of.