St. Ignatius 1909 had a few family houses around the area. Near to the farms and hunting ground located at the crook of the Kanuku Mountains. Father Kerry Elwes was also a Jesuit Priest who  came  to establish a nation to the Amerindians of the Rupununi. The spot chosen was Ariwa – a Makushi word which is a name of a particular fish – which is located on the right bank of the Takatutu Riveron the Brazilian border. The missionaries established a base and dedicated it to the founder of the Jesuits and became known as St. Ignatius mission.

Today St. Ignatius village is one of the largest Amerindian communities in the central Rupununi, which accommodates over 1,000 residents. This is governed by an elected village council made up a Toshao, Deputy and Councilors.

NameSt. Ignatius
Satellite/sKumu and Quarrie
Area of Land6,986 sq miles (homestead)
Name of Former ToshaoWilson Laurintino
Name of Current Toshao (2012)Ms. Yusa Xavier
Total Number of Councillors15 (3 Senior Councillors)
Number of CSO’s19
Total Population 1625
Number of households400
1 st LanguageWapichan / Makushi / Patemonia
2 nd LanguageEnglish/Portuguese
ReligionPredominantly Roman Catholic/Christian
Means of communicationMobile phones, landline phones, radio sets
Means of Electricity Generator, Solar Panels
Types of TransportationBus, trucks, cars, tractor, land cruiser, jeep
Nearest Town/Main Village for Market CentreLethem
Soil TypeLaterite, Loam, Sandy, Clay, and Mixed soil
Source of Water Supply Hand dug wells, potable water – exposed water hole
Major economic activitiesBrick making, farming, fishing, construction,
Name of Nursery SchoolSt. Ignatius Nursery School
Number of Nursery School Students81
Name of Primary SchoolSt. Ignatius Primary school
Number of Primary School Students258
Name of Secondary SchoolSt. Ignatius Secondary school
Number of Secondary School Students772
Type of Health Facilitynil
Health Personnelnil
Village Benab, Multi-Purpose Building, Village Office, Presbytery training Centre (run by Jesuit priests), Sport Pavilion, Roman Catholic Church and Presbytery (where priests live)
Roads, Culverts, Bridge, Electricity
Other InfrastructureCommercial Business
Tractor/ Trailer, Brush cutter (1), Radio Set (1)
St. Ignatius Sports Club, Shine Youth Group, Helping Hands Women’s Group – P.P.P.