GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) _ Britain's Prince Charles visited charity groups for the poor and battered women in a depressed area of Guyana's capital on Friday, continuing his tour of three former colonies in the Caribbean.

Hundreds turned out in Albouystown, a former sugar plantation, to see Charles. Guyana, located on the shoulder of South America, became independent from Britain in 1966.

Resident George Fletcher, 58, was among those who stood behind police barricades, hoping to see Charles pass by.

``I was born in British Guiana in the colonial times and so I consider myself a British subject,'' Fletcher said. ``If I had only a few minutes with the prince, I would have asked him to allow the British to return. This place is not being properly run.''

Guyana has had its share of economic troubles and has been following a recovery plan with the International Monetary Fund since 1987. The country's politics have been charged with racial tensions between Guyanese of African and East Indian heritage.

On Friday, Charles visited local groups that offer hot meals to children and the elderly, and toured the Help and Shelter organization, one of Guyana's largest facilities for battered women.

Charles also is meeting with former President Desmond Hoyte, head of the opposition People's National Congress, which is supported mostly by Guyanese of African descent.

Party executives said Hoyte might talk with the prince about allegations of racial discrimination by the East Indian-dominated People's Progressive Party that is currently in power.

Charles will spend three days in Guyana before finishing up his tour in Jamaica. He started off his trip in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday.