CAMBRIDGE — Whenever anyone asks Priscilla Gonsalves whether it is worth it — and they always ask when they learn she is a child protection worker in some of the grittiest communities in the South American nation of Guyana — she begins her reply with: “There is this 14-year-old girl . . . ”
In her job, Gonsalves said, she travels from Georgetown, Guyana’s capital city, by bus and rickety boat to small villages where child abuse is alleged or suspected. Alone, she patrols hundreds of communities whose combined population tops 7,000, farming hamlets that dot the countryside and fishing villages bordering the massive Essequibo River.