Queens Courier reporter Anthony Giudice joined a walking tour June 25 of major Indo-Caribbean cultural spots in Richmond Hill, home to a “booming” enclave of Indo-Caribbean residents, many of them immigrants. Richard David, co-founder of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance (ICA), led the walk, which also served as an information session to help a community with relatively few resources.
“The Indo-Caribbean community in Richmond Hill has exploded in the past 10 years, growing an estimated 23 percent from 2000 to 2010 and having the third highest foreign-born population in NYC,” said Joo Han, program and communications manager for the Asian American Federation (AAF). “However, the community has received little government funding due to its lack of visibility, despite its being the largest Indo-Caribbean community in NYC.”
The tour included a stop at Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, one of the oldest Hindu temples in NYC and a place in which organizers want to hold community programs and other initiatives.
“There is no community center in the neighborhood,” said Varuna Sahabir, organizing secretary at the Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. “Since there is no official place for the community to gather, it is a struggle to get people to come out to vote. The community needs to come together. That is why we are trying to reach out and help the people of the community.”
David addressed a particular issue deserving attention.
“We’re a community that can do a lot with a little support, but we have a lot of service needs,” David said. “Our youth are dropping out at unprecedented rates; we’re now faced with a generation of young people who have actually achieved less education than their parents. We need to address those needs.”
Read more from Queens Courier on ICA’s civic advocacy efforts and DACA program, and see photos from the tour.