Deafeningly loud country music came through the speakers as cowboys entered the arena to kickstart this year’s Rupununi Ranchers Rodeo in Lethem, southwest Guyana.
Thousands of visitors travelled from the capital and abroad to attend the two-day annual event that celebrates the cowboy lifestyle of the Rupununi ranchers.
Rodeo participants are mainly local cowboys and cowgirls, with very few professional rodeo riders.
Popular events include bareback bronco, saddle bronco, steer roping, ribbon roping, and wild cow milking, and cowboys and cowgirls pit their skills against one another in a friendly competition.
Rancher Ian Rodriguez is a native of Rupununi and owns the lot of land where the rodeo festival is held.
Rodriguez's father had a ranch and was Chief Judge of the Rupununi Rodeo. After his father died, the 60-year-old rancher continued in the steps of his father. He now serves as an alternate judge in the rodeo.
“Rupununi was known as one of the biggest livestock-rearing regions. We had a lot of good ranchers, and cattle. And we do it for personal gain, commercial business," he said.
This event is seen as a focal point for continuing the traditions of the Rupununi, but also is a growing tourism attraction.
Watch the video above.