Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Building a School in Guiledje, Guinea Bissau, Africa

Announcing our next village
It Takes a Village goes to Guiledje, Guinea Bissau

First of all here's a couple of very interesting facts about the village of Guiledje.
Number one - It's historic and Number Two -  you can actually find it on Google!

When we were in Guinea Bissau in February we went through the village of Guiledje. I previously posted some pictures and a little story about an incident that happened in Guiledje.  Remember the story of the pregnant woman we met on the road to Djati? She is from the village of Guiledje.

Guiledje is a Fula village at the crossroads. It is about an hour from Quebo (Quebo is about 3 hrs from the capital of Bissau). You can actually find Guiledje on the map. Yep check it out google earth. (If you'd like to look at it: Go to Guinea Bissau, there is a straight line from Quebo to Buba (the village where we spent the night in a hotel) seven miles from Quebo on the same road towards Buba there is a crossroads that goes to Cacine, look closely and you should be able to locate the village of Guiledje). Let me know if you find it!

Ethnic Makeup
The village has 5 ethnic groups.  The two biggest groups are the Fula and the Balanta (Djati is a Balanta village).

I'm not sure of exact figures, but I'm told that the region has around about 33 villages with approximately 16,000 people. I also don't have the exact population of Guiledje, but will let you know when I find out.
History of Guiledje
Guiledje was a Portuguese fort in the middle of a village. There was strong fighting between the Portuguese and the Guineans in their struggle for the War of Independence. The villages around Guiledje on the Crossroads were known as the "Corridor of Death". This is where many Guineans fought. There is even a Guiledje Historical Museum (although I think it contains only a few bombs, an old army tank and a few videos which are available on display to the public) There are also many landmines in the area as you might imagine. They are slowly being detected and cleaned up.

Life in Guiledje
The houses in Guiledje and the entire region, for that matter, are all similar to the houses in Djati  -- except that you will find some traditional Fula homes in Guiledje (round adobe homes with thatched roofs)
House in Guiledje 

Round Fula building Guiledje

House in Djati

Come back tomorrow for more about "life in Guiledje"

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