Cassiri is a fermented beverage the Amerindians make from fresh cassava and often colored a deep purple with sweet potato. Cassiri is a favorite among Amerindians in both Surinam and Guyana.


A popular creek near to the national airport is known as Cola Creek. People go there to swim and bathe and generally have a good time. The dark but clean cola-colored water gives it its name, while the color comes from the vegetation on the banks of the creek.


The languages spoken in Surinam reflect the origins of its multi-ethnic population. Dutch (introduced by the colonists from Holland) is the official language of Surinam. It is used by the government and in schools.  However, the language which practically all Surinamese speak in everyday communication is Sranantongo or Sranan, the main creole language. Sranan contains elements of English, Dutch, Portuguese, African languages, Hindi, and Amerindian languages.  East Indians also speak Sarnami Hindi (from India), Javanese (from Indonesia), Chinese (from China), Maroon and Amerindian languages.


The most curious aspect of the Surinam Toad's life is the way it produces and raises its young. First the female deposits her eggs near the surface of the water. The male then fertilizes them and distributes them over the back of the female. Gradually the back of the female forms pockets, one for each egg, so that her back looks somewhat like a honeycomb. In 12 to 20 weeks the young toads break the membranes covering the pockets and emerge into the world.

The adult Surinam Toad is 4 to 8 inches long with a darkish gray-brown to black, mottled body shaped like roughly square pancakes. Its head is triangular and flat on top.

The Surinam toad has large powerful rear legs with webbed toes, and tiny lidless black eyes. 

It is found in Surinam, of course, but also in Guyana, Peru, Brazil and other areas in the Amazon region of South America. It lives at the bottom of muddy water and surfaces as necessary for air.

The scientific name of the Surinam Toad is Pipa Pipa.


Pipa toad mother with babies in its back

Pipa toad babies emerging