By: Kizzy ColemanA village transcending expectations in terms of development, Leonora, West Coast Demerara, formerly called Plantation Leonora is situated in Region 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).Leonora Police StationLeonora Secondary SchoolA now thriving village with modern establishments, Leonora can be described as one of the most exciting villages in Guyana.Neighboured by Anna Catherina and Stewartville, Leonora is a clear standout.There are a number of villages in Guyana with great historical significance, and Leonora is among them.The name Leonora is derived from the Dutch who were once occupants of this country.Leonora Synthetic Race TrackIt originated from the names of two Dutch children, a boy named Leon and girl, Nora.Leonora encompasses an area of five square miles, and was once part of the Parish of St Luke.Being a close-knit community, the three leading religions (Christianity, Hinduism and Islamism) are practiced without prejudice.HistoryVisiting Leonora, the older folks were eager to delve into the history of their now modernised village.Tales were told of the old estate, the workers, and the logies.The Leonora estate which was closed down in December 1986, was ran by various proprietors, attorneys and administrators.The labour force on the estate was supplied by indentured labourers brought to then British Guiana by various countries, including India.These workers were all housed in logies that were divided into two rooms. These logies were poorly made insanitary houses built close to the estate so the workers could have easy access to plantations and for the owners to have easy access to the workers.The majority of the workers laboured in the cane fields from early morning till night—every day.Apart from the estate location in those days, Leonora was comprised of Groenveldt and pasture lands. These two areas stretched mainly along the public road, and away from the sugar estate. The rest of land that made up the area of Leonora was used for pasture, rice plots and limited farmlands. As time went by, the estate allowed some of the labourers to cultivate rice on the plots and to do limited farming.With development in the community today, those rice plots have been turned into thriving housing schemes.Leonora todayEntering Leonora today oh, how things have changed. The village has been made into one of the most developed on the WCD.Leonora is home to one of the leading hospitals in the country, the Leonora Cottage Hospital. It also houses many schools, a Magistrate Court, Fire Station, Police Station, Market and now the newly built Synthetic Race Track, the first ever in Guyana.Costing $1.084 billion, Guyana’s first Synthetic Track and Field facility was officially opened in April of 2015.Since the opening there have been major activities hosted in Leonora. It is the hope that one day Olympians will excel on the track as Guyana hopes to host the Olympics in the future.Walking around the community, excited and smiling faces could be seen as the people of the community are ready and waiting to welcome all who visit.