French Guiana

Flag of French Guiana

Scenery of French Guiana

 

Country French Guiana – a country easily confused with the other 5 contiguous Guyanas:  Dutch Guiana now called Suriname, British Guiana now called Guyana, and Spanish Guyana and Portuguese Guyana which are now parts of Venezuela and Brazil

In 1946 Guiana ceased being a French colony and became an overseas department and region of France – Euro is the currency and French culture is evident throughout

(Link to map of French Guiana)

Continent South America
Capital Cayenne
Population 250,377 (2014)

Ethnicity is Creole 75%, European 14% Asian 6%

Language French and Guainan Creole
Religion Roman Catholic
Terrain Most is wilderness made up of dense jungle, Amazon rain forest and many rivers.  It is hot and humid and 90% of the people live in the narrow strip of land along the Atlantic Ocean

Severe thunderstorms and flooding are always a threat

Sports Soccer and water sports – fishing, swimming boating
Animals The pale-throated sloth, 700 bird species, 177 species of mammals, 109 species of amphibians, 500 species of fish.
Facts of Interest In 1498 Columbus was here and as word of his discoveries spread, Dutch and French citizens attempted to build settlements here in the 16th century. They were unprepared for the jungle conditions, the local Indians and tropical diseases.  However by the mid-1800’s several French plantations were operating with African slaves.  France ended slavery in 19th century and the plantations collapsed.

Because of severe overcrowding of jails in France, over 70,000 prisoners were housed on Devil’s Island as a penal colony from 1852 until 1953

A large part of their economy is from the Guiana Space Centre which has the European Space Agency’s primary satellite launch site.

Forestry and fishing are major industries as is rum

Rice is a staple as are seafood and fresh vegetables with plenty of hot peppers and spices

Bigi Poloe and Aleke are their traditional music

Concerns Poverty – malaria – prostitution – illicit drugs – unemployment

Illegal gold mining causing huge environmental issues with use of mercury, explosives, and dirt polluting the rivers.  The impenetrable forest makes control of this impossible.

Mission pcusa has communication there  through their  missions in France
Sources www.worldatlas;  en.wikipedia;  www.theguardian.com;  cia.com; www.everyculture.com