Guyana

Guyana (pronounced /ɡaɪˈɑːnə/ or /ɡaɪˈænə/),[7][8] officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana,[9] is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is often considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With an area of 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.

The region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters". Major rivers in Guyana include the Essequibo, the Berbice, and the Demerara. Originally inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as British Guiana, with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.

Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language. The majority of the population, however, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.

Coordinates: 5°00′N 58°45′W / 5°N 58.75°W

Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Motto: "One People, One Nation, One Destiny"
Location of Guyana (dark green) in South America (grey)
Location of Guyana (dark green)

in South America (grey)

Location of Guyana
Capital
and largest city
Georgetown
6°46′N 58°10′W / 6.767°N 58.167°W
Official languagesEnglish
Recognised regional languages
Vernacular
language
Guyanese Creole
Other languages
Ethnic groups
(2012)
Religion
Demonym(s)Guyanese
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional socialist republic[2]
• President
David Granger
Moses Nagamootoo
LegislatureNational Assembly
Formation
1667–1814
1814–1966
• Independence from the United Kingdom becoming Guyana
26 May 1966
• Republic
23 February 1970
6 October 1980
Area
• Total
214,970 km2 (83,000 sq mi) (83rd)
• Water (%)
8.4
Population
• 2016 estimate
783,769[3] (165th)
• 2012 census
747,884[4]
• Density
3.502/km2 (9.1/sq mi) (232nd)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$6.668 billion[5] (163rd)
• Per capita
$8,524[5] (117th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$3.636 billion[5] (160th)
• Per capita
$4,648[5] (100th)
HDI (2017)Steady 0.654[6]
medium · 125th
CurrencyGuyanese dollar (GYD)
Time zoneUTC-4 (Atlantic Standard Time)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+592
ISO 3166 codeGY
Internet TLD.gy

Etymology

The name "Guyana" derives from Guiana, the original name for the region that formerly included Guyana (British Guiana), Suriname (Dutch Guiana), French Guiana, and parts of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Guyana" comes from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "land of many waters".[10]

History

LocationNetherlandsGuiana
A map of Dutch Guiana 1667–1814

There are nine indigenous tribes residing in Guyana: the Wai Wai, Macushi, Patamona, Lokono, Kalina, Wapishana, Pemon, Akawaio and Warao.[11] Historically the Lokono and Kalina tribes dominated Guyana. Although Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight Guyana during his third voyage (in 1498), and Sir Walter Raleigh wrote an account in 1596, the Dutch were the first Europeans to establish colonies: Essequibo (1616), Berbice (1627), and Demerara (1752). After the British assumed control in 1796,[12] the Dutch formally ceded the area in 1814. In 1831 the three separate colonies became a single British colony known as British Guiana.

Boundary lines of British Guiana 1896
Map of British Guiana from 1896.

Since its independence in 1824 Venezuela has claimed the area of land to the west of the Essequibo River. Simón Bolívar wrote to the British government warning against the Berbice and Demerara settlers settling on land which the Venezuelans, as assumed heirs of Spanish claims on the area dating to the sixteenth century, claimed was theirs. In 1899 an international tribunal ruled the land belonged to Great Britain. The British territorial claim stemmed from Dutch involvement and colonization of the area also dating to the sixteenth century, which was ceded to the British.

Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966 and became a republic on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth. The US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with the British government, played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time.[13] The American government supported Forbes Burnham during the early years of independence because Cheddi Jagan was identified as a Marxist. They provided secret financial support and political campaign advice to Burnham's People's National Congress, to the detriment of the Jagan-led People's Progressive Party, which was mostly supported by Guyanese of East Indian background.

In 1978, Guyana received international notice when 918 members of the American cult, Peoples Temple, died in a mass murder/suicide drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. However, most of the suicides were by Americans and not Guyanese. More than 300 children were killed; the people were members of a group led by Jim Jones in Jonestown, the settlement which they had created. Jim Jones's bodyguards had earlier attacked people taking off at a small remote airstrip close to Jonestown, killing five people, including Leo Ryan, a US congressman.

In May 2008, President Bharrat Jagdeo was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. Guyana has ratified the treaty.

Geography

The territory controlled by Guyana lies between latitudes and 9°N, and longitudes 56° and 62°W.

The country can be divided into five natural regions; a narrow and fertile marshy plain along the Atlantic coast (low coastal plain) where most of the population lives; a white sand belt more inland (hilly sand and clay region), containing most of Guyana's mineral deposits; the dense rain forests (Forested Highland Region) in the southern part of the country; the drier savannah areas in the south-west; and the smallest interior lowlands (interior savannah) consisting mostly of mountains that gradually rise to the Brazilian border.

Some of Guyana's highest mountains are Mount Ayanganna (2,042 metres or 6,699 feet), Monte Caburaí (1,465 metres or 4,806 feet) and Mount Roraima (2,772 metres or 9,094 feet – the highest mountain in Guyana) on the Brazil-Guyana-Venezuela tripoint border, part of the Pakaraima range. Mount Roraima and Guyana's table-top mountains (tepuis) are said to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World. There are also many volcanic escarpments and waterfalls, including Kaieteur Falls which is believed to be the largest water drop in the world.[14] North of the Rupununi River lies the Rupununi savannah, south of which lie the Kanuku Mountains.

The four longest rivers are the Essequibo at 1,010 kilometres (628 mi) long, the Courentyne River at 724 kilometres (450 mi), the Berbice at 595 kilometres (370 mi), and the Demerara at 346 kilometres (215 mi). The Courentyne river forms the border with Suriname. At the mouth of the Essequibo are several large islands, including the 145 km (90 mi) wide Shell Beach along the northwest coast, which is also a major breeding area for sea turtles (mainly leatherbacks) and other wildlife.

The local climate is tropical and generally hot and humid, though moderated by northeast trade winds along the coast. There are two rainy seasons, the first from May to mid-August, the second from mid-November to mid-January.

Guyana has one of the largest unspoiled rainforests in South America, some parts of which are almost inaccessible by humans. The rich natural history of Guyana was described by early explorers Sir Walter Raleigh and Charles Waterton and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell. In 2008, the BBC broadcast a three-part programme called Lost Land of the Jaguar which highlighted the huge diversity of wildlife, including undiscovered species and rare species such as the giant otter and harpy eagle.

In 2012, Guyana received a $45 million reward from Norway for its rainforest protection efforts. This stems from a 2009 agreement between the nations for a total of $250 million for protecting and maintaining the natural habitat. Thus far, the country has received $115 million of the total grant.

Regions and Neighbourhood Councils

Guyana is divided into 10 regions:[15][16]

No Region Area km2 Pop.
(2012 Census)
Pop. Density
per km2
1 Barima-Waini 20,339 26,941 1.32
2 Pomeroon-Supenaam 6,195 46,810 7.56
3 Essequibo Islands-West Demerara 3,755 107,416 28.61
4 Demerara-Mahaica 2,232 313,429 140.43
5 Mahaica-Berbice 4,190 49,723 11.87
6 East Berbice-Corentyne 36,234 109,431 3.02
7 Cuyuni-Mazaruni 47,213 20,280 0.43
8 Potaro-Siparuni 20,051 10,190 0.51
9 Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo 57,750 24,212 0.42
10 Upper Demerara-Berbice 17,040 39,452 2.32
Total 214,999 747,884 3.48

The regions are divided into 27 neighbourhood councils.[17]

Boundary disputes

Essequiborivermap
Map of Guyana, showing the Essequibo River and (shaded dark) the river's drainage basin. Venezuela claims territory up to the western bank of the river. The historical claim by the UK included the river basin well into current-day Venezuela.

Guyana is in border disputes with both Suriname, which claims the area east of the left bank of the Corentyne River and the New River in southwestern Suriname, and Venezuela which claims the land west of the Essequibo River, once the Dutch colony of Essequibo as part of Venezuela's Guayana Essequiba.[18][19][20][21] The maritime[22][23] component of the territorial dispute with Suriname was arbitrated by the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, and a ruling was announced on 21 September 2007. The ruling concerning the Caribbean Sea north of both nations found both parties violated treaty obligations and declined to order any compensation to either party.[24]

When the British surveyed British Guiana in 1840, they included the entire Cuyuni River basin within the colony. Venezuela did not agree with this as it claimed all lands west of the Essequibo River. In 1898, at Venezuela's request, an international arbitration tribunal was convened, and in 1899 the tribunal issued an award giving about 94% of the disputed territory to British Guiana. The arbitration was concluded, settled and accepted into International law by both Venezuela and the U.K. Venezuela brought up again the settled claim, during the 1960s cold war period, and during Guyana's Independence period. This issue is now governed by the Treaty of Geneva of 1966, which was signed by the Governments of Guyana, Great Britain and Venezuela, and Venezuela continues to claim Guayana Esequiba.[25] Venezuela calls this region "Zona en Reclamación" (Reclamation Zone) and Venezuelan maps of the national territory routinely include it, drawing it in with dashed lines.[26]

Specific small disputed areas involving Guyana are Ankoko Island with Venezuela; Corentyne River[27] with Suriname; and Tigri Area or New River Triangle[28] with Suriname. In 1967 a Surinamese survey team was found in the New River Triangle and was forcibly removed. In August 1969 a patrol of the Guyana Defence Force found a survey camp and a partially completed airstrip inside the triangle, and documented evidence of the Surinamese intention to occupy the entire disputed area. After an exchange of gunfire, the Surinamese were driven from the triangle.

Environment and biodiversity

Guyana BMNG
Satellite image of Guyana from 2004
Golden frog Kaieteur (2)
Anomaloglossus beebei (Kaieteur), specific to the Guianas
Rurrenabaque Bolivia - The Amazon
The hoatzin is the national bird of Guyana.

The following habitats have been categorised for Guyana: coastal, marine, littoral, estuarine palustrine, mangrove, riverine, lacustrine, swamp, savanna, white sand forest, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, moist lowland and dry evergreen scrub forests (NBAP, 1999). About 14 areas of biological interest have been identified as possible hotspots for a National Protected Area System. More than 80% of Guyana is still covered by forests, those forest also contains the worlds rarest orchids ranging from dry evergreen and seasonal forests to montane and lowland evergreen rain forests. These forests are home to more than a thousand species of trees. Guyana's tropical climate, unique geology, and relatively pristine ecosystems support extensive areas of species-rich rain forests and natural habitats with high levels of endemism. Approximately eight thousand species of plants occur in Guyana, half of which are found nowhere else.

Guyana has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. With 1,168 vertebrate species and 814 bird species, it boasts one of the richest mammalian fauna assemblages of any comparably sized area in the world. The Guiana Shield region is little known and extremely rich biologically. Unlike other areas of South America, over 70% of the natural habitat remains pristine.

The rich natural history of British Guiana was described by early explorers Sir Walter Raleigh and Charles Waterton and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell.

In February 2004, the Government of Guyana issued a title to more than 1 million acres (4,000 km2) of land in the Konashen Indigenous District declaring this land as the Konashen Community-Owned Conservation Area (COCA), to be managed by the Wai Wai. In doing so Guyana created the world's largest Community-Owned Conservation Area.[29]

This important event followed a request made by the Wai Wai community to the government of Guyana and Conservation International Guyana (CIG) for assistance in developing a sustainable plan for their lands in Konashen. The three parties signed a Memorandum of Cooperation which outlines a plan for sustainable use of the Konashen COCA's biological resources, identifies threats to the area's biodiversity, and helps develop projects to increase awareness of the COCA as well as generate the income necessary to maintain its protected status.

The Konashen Indigenous District of Southern Guyana houses the headwaters of the Essequibo River, Guyana's principal water source, and drains the Kassikaityu, Kamoa, Sipu and Chodikar rivers. Southern Guyana is host to some of the most pristine expanses of evergreen forests in the northern part of South America. Most of the forests found here are tall, evergreen hill-land and lower montane forests, with large expanses of flooded forest along major rivers. Thanks to the very low human population density of the area, most of these forests are still intact. The Smithsonian Institution has identified nearly 2,700 species of plants from this region, representing 239 distinct families, and there are certainly additional species still to be recorded.

The diversity of plants supports diverse animal life, recently documented by a biological survey organised by Conservation International. The reportedly clean, unpolluted waters of the Essequibo watershed support a remarkable diversity of fish and aquatic invertebrates, and are home to giant otters, capybaras, and several species of caimans.

On land, large mammals, such as jaguars, tapirs, bush dogs, giant anteaters, and saki monkeys are still common. Over 400 species of birds have been reported from the region, and the reptile and amphibian faunas are similarly rich. The Konashen COCA forests are also home to countless species of insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates, many of which are still undiscovered or unnamed.

The Konashen COCA contains a high level of biological diversity and richness that remains in nearly pristine condition; such places have become rare on earth. This fact has given rise to various non-exploitative, environmentally sustainable industries such as ecotourism, successfully capitalising on the biological wealth of the Konashen COCA with comparatively little enduring impact.

World Heritage sites

GuyanaKaieteurFalls2004
Kaieteur Falls is the world's largest single-drop waterfall by volume.

Guyana signed the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage treaty in 1977, the first Caribbean country to do so. In the mid-1990s, Guyana began the process of selecting sites for World Heritage nomination, and three sites were considered: Kaieteur National Park, Shell Beach and Historic Georgetown. By 1997, work on Kaieteur National Park was started, and in 1998 work on Historic Georgetown was begun. To date, however, Guyana has not made a successful nomination.

Guyana submitted the Kaieteur National Park, including the Kaieteur Falls, to UNESCO as its first World Heritage Site nomination. The proposed area and surrounds have some of Guyana's most diversified life zones with one of the highest levels of endemic species found in South America. The Kaieteur Falls are the most spectacular feature of the park, falling a distance of 226 metres. The nomination of Kaieteur National Park as a World Heritage Site was not successful, primarily because the area was seen by the evaluators as being too small, especially when compared with the Central Suriname Nature Reserve that had just been nominated as a World Heritage Site (2000). The dossier was thus returned to Guyana for revision.

Guyana continues in its bid for a World Heritage Site. Work continues, after a period of hiatus, on the nomination dossier for Historic Georgetown. A tentative list indicating an intention to nominate Historic Georgetown was submitted to UNESCO in December 2004. In April 2005, two Dutch experts in conservation spent two weeks in Georgetown supervising architecture staff and students of the University of Guyana in a historic building survey of the selected area. This is part of the data collection for the nomination dossier.

Meanwhile, as a result of the Kaieteur National Park being considered too small, there is a proposal to prepare a nomination for a Cluster Site that will include the Kaieteur National Park, the Iwokrama Forest and the Kanuku Mountains. The Iwokrama rain forest, an area rich in biological diversity, has been described by Major General (Retired) Joseph Singh as "a flagship project for conservation." The Kanuku Mountains area is in a pristine state and is home to more than four hundred species of birds and other animals.

Guyana holds two of the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 eco-regions, the Guianan and Guiana Highlands moist forests. It is also home to several endemic species including the greenheart tree.

Landmarks

St George's Anglican Cathedral
A historic Anglican Cathedral made of wood.
Demerara Harbour Bridge
The world's fourth-longest floating bridge.
Berbice Bridge
The world's sixth-longest floating bridge.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Building
Houses the headquarters of the largest and most powerful economic union in the Caribbean.
Providence Stadium
Situated on Providence on the north bank of the Demerara River and built in time for the ICC World Cup 2007, it is the largest sports stadium in the country. It is also near the Providence Mall, forming a major spot for leisure in Guyana.
Guyana International Conference Centre
Presented as a gift from the People's Republic of China to the Government of Guyana. It is the only one of its kind in the country.
Stabroek Market
A large cast-iron colonial structure that looked like a statue was located next to the Demerara River.
City Hall
A beautiful wooden structure also from the colonial era.
Takutu River Bridge
A bridge across the Takutu River, connecting Lethem in Guyana to Bonfim in Brazil.Takutu River Bridge
Umana Yana
An Amerindian benab, that is a national monument built in 1972, for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned nations (It was rebuilt in 2016).

Economy

Tractor in field of rice by Khirsah1
A tractor in a rice field on Guyana's coastal plain
Guyana Export Treemap
Graphical depiction of Guyana's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories

The main economic activities in Guyana are agriculture (production of rice and Demerara sugar), bauxite and gold mining, timber, shrimp fishing and minerals. The sugar industry, which accounts for 28% of all export earnings, is largely run by the company GuySuCo, which employs more people than any other industry. Many industries have a large foreign investment. For example, the American company Reynolds Metals and the British-Australian Rio Tinto's Rio Tinto Alcan subsidiary are heavily invested in Guyana's mineral industry; the Korean/Malaysian Barama Company has a large stake in the logging industry. Since 2015, foreign companies have made several significant deep water oil discoveries.

Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labour, deficient infrastructure, and until recently, sizable external debt. Low prices for key mining and agricultural commodities, combined with troubles in the bauxite and sugar industries, had threatened the government's tenuous fiscal position and dimmed prospects for the future. However, the Guyanese economy has rebounded slightly and exhibited moderate economic growth since 1999, thanks to an expansion in the agricultural and mining sectors, a more favourable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation, and the continued support of international organisations. In 2008, the economy witnessed a 3% increase in growth amid the global economic crisis. It grew 5.4% in 2011 and 3.7% in 2012.

The production of balatá (natural latex) was once big business in Guyana. Most of the balata bleeding in Guyana took place in the foothills of the Kanuku Mountains in the Rupununi. Early exploitation also took place in the North West District, but most of the trees in the area were destroyed by illicit bleeding methods that involved cutting down the trees rather than making incisions in them. Uses of balatá included the making of cricket balls, the temporary filling of troublesome tooth cavities, and the crafting of figurines and other decorative items (particularly by the Macushi people of the Kanuku mountains).

Major private sector organisations include the Private Sector Commission (PSC)[30] and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI);[31]

The government initiated a major overhaul of the tax code in early 2007. A Value Added Tax (VAT) replaced six different taxes. Prior to the implementation of the VAT, it had been relatively easy to evade sales tax, and many businesses were in violation of tax code. Many businesses opposed VAT introduction because of the extra paperwork required; however, the Government has remained firm on the VAT. By replacing several taxes with one flat tax rate, it will also be easier for government auditors to spot embezzlement. This was prevalent under the former PPP/C government who authorised the VAT to be equal to 50% of the value of the good.

President Bharrat Jagdeo had made debt relief a priority. He convinced the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to write off US$800 million of debt, and millions more owed to industrial nations. Jagdeo was lauded by IDB President Moreno for his strong leadership and negotiating skills.

Summary

Thatched roof houses in Guyana-
Thatched roof houses in Guyana
GDP/PPP (2007 estimate) 
US$3.082 billion (US$4,029 per capita)
Real growth rate
3.6%
Inflation
12.3%
Unemployment
11.0% (2007)[32]
Arable land
2%
Labour force
418,000 (2001 estimate)
Agricultural produce
sugar, rice, vegetable oils, beef, pork, poultry, dairy products, fish, shrimp
Industrial production
bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Natural resources
bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Exports
US$621.6 million (2006 estimate)
sugar, gold, bauxite/alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber, citrus fruits.
Imports
US$706.9 million (2006 estimate)
manufactured items, machinery, petroleum, food.
Major trading partners
Canada, US, UK, Portugal, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, China, Cuba, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, Suriname (2009)

International and regional relations

The Organisation of American States (OAS)

Guyana entered the Inter–American system in 1991.[33]

Indigenous Leaders Summits of America (ILSA)

With Guyana having many groups of indigenous persons and given the geographical location of the country, the contributions of the Guyanese to the OAS respecting indigenous people may be significant.[34]

The position of the OAS respecting indigenous persons developed over the years. "The "OAS has supported and participated in the organisation of Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)"[35]

The Draft American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Persons appears to be a working document[36]

Agreements which affect financial relationships

The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994

At a CARICOM Meeting, representatives of Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana respectively signed The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994 on 19 August 1994.[37]

This treaty covered taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas.

FATCA

On 30 June 2014, Guyana signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America in relation to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).[38] This Model 1 agreement includes a reference to the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (Clause 3) which was signed on 22 July 1992 in Georgetown, Guyana intending to exchange Tax information on an automatic basis.

Demographics

Guyana population density
Guyana's population density in 2005 (people per km2)
Population Guyana
A graph showing the population of Guyana from 1961 to 2003. The population decline in the 1980s can be clearly seen.

The chief majority (about 90%) of Guyana's 773,000 population lives along a narrow coastal strip which ranges from a width of 16 to 64 kilometres (10 to 40 mi) inland and which makes up approximately only 10% of the nation's total land area.[39]

The present population of Guyana is racially and ethnically heterogeneous, with ethnic groups originating from India, Africa, Europe, and China, as well as indigenous or aboriginal peoples. Despite their diverse ethnic backgrounds, these groups share two common languages: English and Creole.

The largest ethnic group is the Indo-Guyanese (also known as East Indians), the descendants of indentured laborers from India, who make up 43.5% of the population, according to the 2002 census. They are followed by the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of slaves from Africa, who constitute 30.2%. Guyanese of mixed heritage make up 16.7%, while the indigenous peoples (known locally as Amerindians) make up 9.1%. The indigenous groups include the Arawaks, the Wai Wai, the Caribs, the Akawaio, the Arecuna, the Patamona, the Wapixana, the Macushi and the Warao.[32] The two largest groups, the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese, have experienced some racial tension.[40][41][42]

The majority of Indo-Guyanese are descended from indentured laborers who came from Bhojpuri-speaking areas of North India.[43] A sizable minority are South Indian, largely of Tamil and Telugu descent.[44]

The distribution pattern in the 2002 census was similar to those of the 1980 and 1991 censuses, but the share of the two main groups has declined. Indo-Guyanese made up 51.9% of the total population in 1980, but by 1991 this had fallen to 48.6%, and then to 43.5% in the 2002 census. Those of African descent increased slightly from 30.8% to 32.3% during the first period (1980 and 1991) before falling to 30.2% in the 2002 census. With small growth in the overall population, the decline in the shares of the two larger groups has resulted in the relative increase of shares of the multiracial and Amerindian groups. The Amerindian population rose by 22,097 people between 1991 and 2002. This represents an increase of 47.3% or annual growth of 3.5%. Similarly, the multiracial population increased by 37,788 persons, representing a 43.0% increase or annual growth rate of 3.2% from the base period of 1991 census.

The number of Portuguese people (4.3% of the population in 1891) has been declining constantly over the decades.[45]

Largest cities

Largest cities and towns of Guyana[46]
Rank Name Region Population
1 Georgetown Demerara-Mahaica 235,017
2 Linden Upper Demerara-Berbice 44,690
3 New Amsterdam East Berbice-Corentyne 35,039
4 Anna Regina Pomeroon-Supenaam 12,448
5 Bartica Cuyuni-Mazaruni 11,157
6 Skeldon East Berbice-Corentyne 5,859
7 Rosignol Mahaica-Berbice 5,782
8 Mahaica (village) Demerara-Mahaica 4,867
9 Parika Essequibo Islands-West Demerara 4,081
10 Vreed en Hoop Demerara-Mahaica 3,073

Languages

English is the official language of Guyana and is used for education, government, media, and services. The vast majority of the population speaks Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole with slight African and East Indian influence, as their native tongue.[47] In addition, Cariban languages (Akawaio, Wai-Wai, and Macushi) are spoken by a small minority, while Indic languages are retained for cultural and religious reasons.

Religion

Religion in Guyana (2012 census)[48]

  Pentecostal (23%)
  Anglican (5%)
  Methodist (1%)
  Other Christians[a] (21%)
  Hindu (25%)
  Muslim (7%)
  Other (3%)
  Irreligious (3%)

According to a 2002 nationwide census on religious affiliation, 57.4% of the population was Christian, 28.4% was Hindu, 7.2% was Muslim, 1.9% adhered to other religions, while 2.3% of the population did not profess any.[49]

Among Christians, most are Protestants (34.8%) or other Christian (20.8%), but there is also a minority of Roman Catholics (7.1%). Among Hindu, Vaishnavism is the major tradition. Among Muslims, Sunni are in the majority, while there are also Shia and Ahmadiyya minorities. Among other religions, the Rastafari movement, Buddhism, and the Baha'i Faith are the most popular.

Government and politics

Old residence
The State House, Guyana's presidential residence
Cottage of city Georgetown
The Supreme Court of Guyana
Parliament building, Guyana
Guyana's parliament building since 1834

The politics of Guyana takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, in which the President of Guyana is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the President and the National Assembly of Guyana. Historically, politics are a source of tension in the country, and violent riots have often broken out during elections. During the 1970s and 1980s, the political landscape was dominated by the People's National Congress.

In 1992, the first "free and fair" elections were overseen by former United States President Jimmy Carter, and the People's Progressive Party led the country until 2015. The two parties are principally organised along ethnic lines and as a result often clash on issues related to the allocation of resources. In the General Elections held on 28 November 2011, the People's Progressive Party (PPP) retained a majority, and their presidential candidate Donald Ramotar was elected as President.

On 11 May 2015, early general elections were held. A coalition of the A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU-AFC) parties won 33 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly. On 16 May 2015, retired army general David A. Granger became the eighth President of Guyana. However, on 21 December 2018, a vote of confidence was called for, regarding terms under which the government granted a franchise for offshore oil exploration. Legislator Charrandass Persaud defected from the coalition and the vote failed, requiring new elections. The governing coalition litigated this result for the entire 90 days allowed for new elections.[50]

Public procurement

Public procurement in Guyana is overseen by the Public Procurement Commission, appointed under the Public Procurement Commission Act 2003. Due to lengthy delay in identifying and agreeing commission members, the commission was not appointed until 2016.[51]

Military

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is the military service of Guyana.

Human rights

Homosexual acts are illegal in Guyana.[52]

Infrastructure and telecommunications

Transport

LethemBridge
Cross-border bridge from Guyana to Brazil near Lethem

There are a total of 187 kilometres (116 mi) of railway, all dedicated to ore transport. There are 7,969 kilometres (4,952 mi) of highway, of which 591 kilometres (367 mi) are paved. Navigable waterways extend 1,077 kilometres (669 mi), including the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers. There are ports at Georgetown, Port Kaituma, and New Amsterdam. There are two international airports (Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri and Eugene F. Correira International Airport (formerly Ogle Airport); along with about 90 airstrips, nine of which have paved runways. Guyana, Suriname and the Falkland Islands are the only three regions in South America which drive on the left.

Electricity

The electricity sector in Guyana is dominated by Guyana Power and Light (GPL), the state-owned vertically integrated utility. Although the country has a large potential for hydroelectric and bagasse-fueled power generation, most of its 226 MW of installed capacity correspond to inefficient diesel-engine driven generators.

Several initiatives are in place to improve energy access in the hinterland.

Health

Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 67.39 years for both males and females in 2012.[53] The PAHO/ WHO Global Health Report 2014 (using statistics of 2012) ranked the country as having the highest suicide rate in the world, with a mortality rate of 44.2 per 100,000 inhabitants.[54][55] According to 2011 estimates from the WHO, HIV prevalence is 1.2% of the teen/adult population (ages 15–49).[56]

Education

Queens College Guyana

Guyana lacks a critical mass of expertise in many of the disciplines and activities on which it depends. At 88.5%, Guyana's literacy rate is the lowest in South America.[57]

The educational system does not sufficiently focus on the training of Guyanese in science and technology, technical and vocational subjects, business management, or computer sciences. The Guyanese education system is modelled on the former British education system. Students are expected to take the NGSA (National Grade Six Assessment) for entrance into high school in grade 7. They take the CXC at the end of high school. Schools have introduced the CAPE exams which all other Caribbean countries have introduced. The A-level system, inherited from the British era, is offered only in a few schools.

Culture

Holidays
1 January New Year's Day
Spring Youman Nabi (Mawlid)
23 February Republic Day / Mashramani
March Phagwah
March / April Good Friday
March / April Easter Sunday
1 May Labour Day
5 May Indian Arrival Day
26 May Independence Day
First Monday in July CARICOM Day
1 August Emancipation Day
October / November Diwali
25 December Christmas
26 or 27 December Boxing Day

Guyana's culture is very similar to that of the English-speaking Caribbean, and has historically been tied to the English-speaking Caribbean as part of the British Empire when it became a possession in the nineteenth century. Guyana is a founding member of the Caricom (Caribbean Community) economic bloc and also the home of the Bloc's Headquarters, the CARICOM Secretariat.

Guyana's geographical location, its sparsely populated rain-forest regions, and its substantial Amerindian population differentiate it from English-speaking Caribbean countries. Its blend of Indo-Guyanese (East Indian) and Afro-Guyanese (African) cultures gives it similarities to Trinidad and distinguishes it from other parts of the Americas. Guyana shares similar interests with the islands in the West Indies, such as food, festive events, music, sports, etc.

Guyana plays international cricket as a part of the West Indies cricket team, and the Guyana team plays first-class cricket against other nations of the Caribbean. In March and April 2007 Guyana co-hosted the Cricket World Cup 2007. In addition to its CARICOM membership, Guyana is a member of CONCACAF, the international football federation for North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Events include Mashramani (Mash), Phagwah (Holi), and Deepavali (Diwali).

Wildlife

Among the birds found on Guyana is cock of the rock (Rupicola rupicola).[58]

Sports

Providence Stadium outside
Providence Stadium as seen from the East Bank Highway

The major sports in Guyana are cricket (Guyana is part of the West Indies as defined for international cricket purposes[59]), basketball, football (soccer), and volleyball.[60] Minor sports include softball cricket (beach cricket), field hockey, netball, rounders, lawn tennis, table tennis, boxing, squash, rugby, horse racing and a few others.

Guyana played host to international cricket matches as part of the 2007 Cricket World Cup (CWC 2007). The new 15,000-seat Providence Stadium, also referred to as Guyana National Stadium, was built in time for the World Cup and was ready for the beginning of play on 28 March. At the first international game of CWC 2007 at the stadium, Lasith Malinga of the Sri Lankan team took four wickets in four consecutive deliveries.[61]

For international football purposes, Guyana is part of CONCACAF. The highest league in their club system is the GFF Elite League.

Guyana also has five courses for horse racing.[62]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Mostly made up of other Protestants, but also Eastern Orthodox, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and other Christians.

References

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (20 February 1980)
  3. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
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  5. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2018". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  6. ^ "2018 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  7. ^ Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-05383-0. entry "Guyana"
  8. ^ "Guyana – Dictionary definition and pronunciation – Yahoo! Education". Education.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Independent States in the World". state.gov. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Guyana". Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Ministry of Amerindian Affairs – Georgetown, Guyana". Amerindian.gov.gy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  12. ^ "South America 1744–1817 by Sanderson Beck". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  13. ^ US Declassified Documents (1964–1968). guyana.org Archived 12 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Rowe, Mark (14 November 2004). "South America: Do the continental: The best of what's new; spectacular waterfalls, forgotten cities, pre-Inca trails". The Independent. p. Features, page 3.
  15. ^ Bureau of Statistics – Guyana Archived 2 September 2012 at WebCite, CHAPTER III: POPULATION REDISTRIBUTION AND INTERNAL MIGRATION, Table 3.4: Population Density, Guyana: 1980–2002
  16. ^ Guyana – Government Information Agency, National Profile. gina.gov.gy Archived 14 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Government of Guyana, Statistics" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  18. ^ "Guyana ponders judicial action in border dispute with Venezuela". FoxNews Latino. 23 December 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Tribunal decision tentatively set for August". Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). guyanachronicle.com, Archives for 17 June 2007
  20. ^ "Guyana to experience 'massive' oil exploration this year". Landofsixpeoples.com. 5 February 2007. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  21. ^ "News in the Caribbean". Caribbean360.com. 27 April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  22. ^ Foreign affairs minister reiterates Guyana's territorial sovereignty Archived 12 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine. CaribbeanNetNews.com (17 February 2010).
  23. ^ POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Guyana clears air on Suriname border talk. Caribbean News Agency (17 February 2010).
  24. ^ "official site of the Permanent Court of Arbitration". Pca-cpa.org. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  25. ^ Ishmael, Odeen (1998, rev. 2006) "The Trail Of Diplomacy: A Documentary History of the Guyana-Venezuela Border Issue" Archived 28 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Dr. Ishmael was Ambassador of Guyana to Venezuela when this was written.
  26. ^ "Mapa Politico de Venezuela". A-venezuela.com. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  27. ^ Ramjeet, Oscar (28 October 2008). "Guyana and Suriname border dispute continues despite UN findings". Caribbean Net News. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  28. ^ Rodrigues-Birkett, Carolyn (24 October 2008). "There is no agreement recognizing Suriname's sovereignty over the Corentyne River". Stabroek Newspaper. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  29. ^ "Biodiversity in the Konashen Community-Owned Conservation Area, Guyana" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
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  32. ^ a b "The World Factbook: Guyana". CIA. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
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  34. ^ OAS (1 August 2009). "OAS – Organization of American States: Democracy for peace, security, and development". oas.org. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  35. ^ "Indigenous Peoples". summit-americas.org. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Events OAS Indigenous Special Events". oas.org. Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  37. ^ "IRD Trinidad and Tobago – CARICOM Treaties" (PDF). ird.gov.tt. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  38. ^ "Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)". treasury.gov. Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  39. ^ "Guyana General Information". Geographia.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  40. ^ "Guyana turns attention to racism Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine". BBC News. 20 September 2005.
  41. ^ "Conflict between Guyanese-Indians and Blacks in Trinidad and Guyana Socially, Economically and Politically Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine". Gabrielle Hookumchand, Professor Moses Seenarine. 18 May 2000.
  42. ^ International Business Times: "Guyana: A Study in Polarized Racial Politics" Archived 15 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine 12 December 2011
  43. ^ Helen Myers (1999). Music of Hindu Trinidad. ISBN 978-0-226-55453-2.
  44. ^ Indian Diaspora (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  45. ^ "Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana Archived 18 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine"
  46. ^ "Biggest Cities Guyana". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  47. ^ Damoiseau, Robert (2003) Eléments de grammaire comparée français-créole guyanais Ibis rouge, Guyana, ISBN 2-84450-192-3
  48. ^ "Data" (PDF). state.gov. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  49. ^ "Final 2002 Census Compendium 2" (PDF). gov.gy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2017.
  50. ^ Svetlana Marshall (21 March 2019). "Ruling on confidence vote appeal Friday". Guyana Chronicle.
  51. ^ After 14 years, Guyana establishes procurement commission Archived 21 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, "Supply Management", 12 August 2016, accessed 1 October 2016
  52. ^ "LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds". The Independent. 17 May 2016. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  53. ^ Life Expectancy ranks Archived 21 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. CIA World Factbook
  54. ^ "WHO Report 2014 Preventing suicide: A global imperative" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 June 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  55. ^ "Desperate measures". 13 September 2014. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017 – via The Economist.
  56. ^ WHO Health-Related Millennium Development Goals Report 2011 Archived 17 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Part1
  57. ^ UIS. "Education". data.uis.unesco.org. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  58. ^ Attenborough, S. 1998 BBC. The Life of Birds. p. 211. ISBN 0563-38792-0
  59. ^ "Composition and countries". W.I Cricket team. West Indies Cricket Board. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  60. ^ "SPORTS, LITERATURE". Guyana News and Information. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  61. ^ "Providence stadium – Records and statistics". Cricket World 4U. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  62. ^ Service, K News (11 July 2013). "Guyana Horse Racing Authority continues its drive to regularize the sport". Kaiteur News. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.

Further reading

  • Brock, Stanley E. (1999). All the Cowboys Were Indians (Commemorative, illustrated (reprint of Jungle Cowboy) ed.). Lenoir City, TN: Synergy South, Inc. ISBN 978-1-892329-00-4. OCLC 51089880. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  • Brock, Stanley E. (1972). Jungle Cowboy (illustrated ed.). London: Robert Hale Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7091-2972-1. OCLC 650259. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  • Donald Haack, Bush Pilot in Diamond Country
  • Hamish MacInnes, Climb to the Lost World (1974)
  • Andrew Salkey, Georgetown Journal (1970)
  • Marion Morrison, Guyana (Enchantment of the World Series)
  • Bob Temple, Guyana
  • Noel C. Bacchus, Guyana Farewell: A Recollection of Childhood in a Faraway Place
  • Marcus Colchester, Guyana: Fragile Frontier
  • Matthew French Young, Guyana: My Fifty Years in the Guyanese Wilds
  • Margaret Bacon, Journey to Guyana
  • Father Andrew Morrison SJ, Justice: The Struggle For Democracy in Guyana 1952–1992
  • Daly, Vere T. (1974). The Making of Guyana. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-14482-4. OCLC 1257829. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  • D. Graham Burnett, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography and a British El Dorado
  • Ovid Abrams, Metegee: The History and Culture of Guyana
  • Waugh, Evelyn (1934). Ninety-two days: The account of a tropical journey through British Guiana and part of Brazil. New York: Farrar & Rinehart. OCLC 3000330. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  • Gerald Durrell, Three Singles To Adventure
  • Cheddi Jagan. The West on Trial: My Fight for Guyana's Freedom
  • Cheddi Jagan. My Fight For Guyana's Freedom: With Reflections on My Father by Nadira Jagan-Brancier.
  • Colin Henfrey, Through Indian Eyes: A Journey Among the Indian Tribes of Guiana.
  • Stephen G. Rabe, US Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story.
  • Charles Waterton, Wanderings in South America.
  • David Attenborough, Zoo Quest to Guiana (Lutterworth Press, London: 1956).
  • John Gimlette, Wild Coast: Travels on South America's Untamed Edge, 2011.
  • Clementi, Cecil (1915). The Chinese in British Guiana (PDF). Georgetown, British Guiana: The Argosy Company Limited. Retrieved 27 October 2015.

External links

British Guiana

British Guiana was the name of the British colony, part of the British West Indies (Caribbean), on the northern coast of South America, now known as the independent nation of Guyana (since 1966).

The first European to discover Guiana was Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer. The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle there, starting in the early 17th century, when they founded the colonies of Essequibo and Berbice, adding Demerara in the mid-18th century. In 1796, Great Britain took over these three colonies during hostilities with the French, who had occupied the Netherlands. Britain returned control to the Batavian Republic in 1802, but captured the colonies a year later during the Napoleonic Wars. The colonies were officially ceded to the United Kingdom in 1814, and consolidated into a single colony in 1831. The colony's capital was at Georgetown (known as Stabroek prior to 1812).

As the British developed the colony for sugarcane plantations, they imported many Africans as slave labour. The economy has become more diversified since the late 19th century, but has relied on resource exploitation. Guyana became independent of the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966.

Economy of Guyana

With a per capita gross domestic product of $8,300 in 2016 and an average GDP growth of 4.2% over the last decade. Guyana is one of the fastest developing countries in the Western Hemisphere. This is evident from the contrast between poor slum areas and elite residential areas with imperious mansions, often built within a few kilometers of one another.

French Guiana

French Guiana (pronounced or , French: Guyane; French pronunciation: ​[ɡɥijan]) is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas that is still part of a European country.

With a land area of 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi), French Guiana is the second-largest region of France (it is more than one-seventh the size of Metropolitan France) and the largest outermost region within the European Union. It has a very low population density, with only 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.3/sq mi). (Its population is less than 1/200 the population of Metropolitan France.) Half of its 296,711 inhabitants in 2019 lived in the metropolitan area of Cayenne, its capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of which is primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, which is the largest national park in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory.

Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity (French: collectivité territoriale de Guyane). This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly (French: assemblée de Guyane), has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of regional and departmental government. Its president is Rodolphe Alexandre.

Before European contact, the territory was originally inhabited by Native Americans, most speaking the Arawak language, of the Arawakan language family. The people identified as Lokono. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded Cayenne in 1643. Guiana was developed as a slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved laborers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. Slavery was abolished in the colonies at the time of the French Revolution. Guiana was designated as a French department in 1797. But, after France gave up its territory in North America in 1803, it developed Guiana as a penal colony, establishing a network of camps and penitentiaries along the coast where prisoners from metropolitan France were sentenced to forced labor.

During World War II and the fall of France to German forces, Félix Éboué was one of the first to support General Charles de Gaulle of Free France, as early as June 18, 1940. Guiana officially rallied Free France in 1943. It abandoned its status as a colony and once again became a French department in 1946.

After De Gaulle was elected as president of France, he established the Guiana Space Centre in 1965. It is now operated by the CNES, Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA).

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several hundred Hmong refugees from Laos immigrated to French Guiana, fleeing displacement after United States involvement in the Vietnam War. In the late 1980s, more than 10,000 Surinamese refugees, mostly Maroons, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Civil War. More recently, French Guiana has received large numbers of Brazilian and Haitian economic migrants. Illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining by Brazilian garimpeiros is a chronic issue in the remote interior rain forest of French Guiana.Fully integrated in the French central state in the 21st century, Guiana is a part of the European Union, and its official currency is the euro. The region has the highest nominal GDP per capita in South America. A large part of Guiana's economy derives from jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator. As elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which French Guianese Creole, a French-based creole language, is the most widely spoken.

The region still faces such problems as poor infrastructure, high costs of living, high levels of crime and common social unrest.

Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown is a city and the capital of Guyana, located in Region 4, which is also known as the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is the country's largest urban centre. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed the 'Garden City of the Caribbean.'

Georgetown serves primarily as a retail and administrative centre. It also serves as a financial services centre. The city recorded a population of 200,500 in the 2016 census.

Guyana national cricket team

The Guyana cricket team is the representative first class cricket team of Guyana.

It does not take part in any international competitions, but rather in inter-regional competitions in the Caribbean, such as the West Indies' Professional Cricket League (which includes Regional Four Day Competition and the NAGICO Regional Super50), and the best players may be selected for the West Indies team, which plays international cricket. The team competes in the Professional Cricket League under the franchise name Guyana Jaguars.Guyana has won the domestic first class title seven times since its inception in 1965–66, which is the third highest number of wins, behind Barbados and Jamaica.

In one-day cricket, Guyana reached the final of the domestic competition four times in the early 2000s, but the last victory was in 2005–06. They have won the KFC Cup a total of nine times – including two shared titles – which is the most by any competing team, Trinidad and Tobago coming closest with seven (including one shared).

The cricket team has been known under two other names – they were first known as Demerara when they played in the first first-class cricket game of the West Indies, against Barbados in 1865, and they retained that name until 1899, when it was finally changed to British Guiana (they had also played first-class cricket in 1895 as British Guiana). The name of British Guiana stuck until 1965–66, when the nation and thus the team changed to its current name. From 1971 until the mid-1980s two regional sides competed in an annual first class match for the Jones Cup and later the Guystac Trophy.

The list of prominent cricketers who have played for Guyana includes Basil Butcher, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Colin Croft, Roy Fredericks, Lance Gibbs, Roger Harper, Carl Hooper, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd and Ramnaresh Sarwan.

In June 2018, Guyana was named the Best First-Class Team of the Year at the annual Cricket West Indies' Awards.

Guyana national football team

The Guyana national football team, nicknamed the Golden Jaguars, represents Guyana in international football and is controlled by the Guyana Football Federation. It is one of three South American nations to be a member of the Caribbean Football Union of CONCACAF alongside Suriname and French Guiana. Until the independence of Guyana in 1966, it competed as British Guiana. They qualified for the Caribbean Nations Cup in 1991, coming fourth, and in 2007. Guyana has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, but on 23 March 2019 they qualified for the first time for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Guyana–United States relations

Guyana–United States relations are the bilateral relations between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the United States of America.

Indo-Guyanese

Indo-Guyanese or Indian-Guyanese, are Guyanese nationals with heritage from South Asia. Most of the Indian indentured laborers who came to Guyana were from North India, specifically from the Bhojpur and Awadh regions in the Hindi Belt in the present-day states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. A significant minority of the indentured laborers came from South India, especially from places in present-day Tamil Nadu. Indo-Guyanese are the largest ethnic group in Guyana identified by the official census, making up 39.8% of the population in 2012. There is also a large Indo-Guyanese diaspora in countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Jim Jones

James Warren Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was an American religious cult leader who, along with his inner circle, initiated a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult which he began in Indiana during the 1950s. He was officially ordained in 1956 by the Independent Assemblies of God and in 1964 by the Disciples of Christ. He moved the Temple to California in 1965 and gained notoriety with its activities in San Francisco in the early to late 1970s. He then relocated to Guyana.

In 1978, media reports surfaced that human rights abuses were taking place in the Peoples Temple in Jonestown. U.S. Representative Leo Ryan led a delegation to the commune to investigate what was going on, but he and others were murdered by gunfire while boarding a return flight with some former cult members who had wished to leave. Jones then committed a mass murder–suicide of 918 of his followers, 304 of whom were children, almost all by cyanide-poisoned Flavor Aid.

Jonestown

The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, better known by its informal name "Jonestown", was a remote settlement established by the Peoples Temple, a predominantly African American cult under the leadership of Jim Jones, in northwestern Guyana. It became internationally known when, on November 18, 1978, a total of 918 people died in the settlement, at the nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, and at a Temple-run building in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city. The name of the settlement became synonymous with the incidents at those locations.In total, 909 individuals died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed "revolutionary suicide" by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions. The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at Port Kaituma, including United States Congressman Leo Ryan, an act that Jones ordered. Four other Temple members committed murder-suicide in Georgetown at Jones' command. 68% of the members of Jonestown were African Americans, and for a year, the commune was run solely through social security checks received by them.While some refer to the events in Jonestown as mass suicide, many others, including Jonestown survivors, regard them as mass murder. As many as 70 people may have been injected with poison, and a third of the victims (304) were minors. It was the largest such event in modern history and resulted in the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until September 11, 2001.

Languages of Guyana

English is the official language of Guyana, which is the only South American country with English as the official language.Guyanese Creole (an English-based creole with African and East Indian syntax) is widely spoken in Guyana.A number of Amerindian languages are also spoken by a minority of the population. These include Cariban languages such as Macushi, Akawaio and Wai-Wai; and Arawakan languages such as Arawak (or Lokono) and Wapishana.

List of Prime Ministers of Guyana

This is a list of the Prime Ministers of Guyana, from the establishment of the office of Chief Minister of British Guiana in 1953 to the present day.

List of airlines of Guyana

This is a list of airlines which have an Air Operator Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Guyana.

Miss Guyana

Miss Guyana is the national competition in Guyana where the Titleholder/National Winner represents Guyana at the Miss World competition. Guyana first placed at the Miss World competition in 1966 which was the first of six consecutive placements from semifinalist to top 3 finish from 1966 to 1971.[3] The Miss Guyana trademark is under Natasha Martindale directorship.

National Assembly (Guyana)

The National Assembly is one of the two components of the Parliament of Guyana. Under Article 51 of the Constitution of Guyana, the Parliament of Guyana consists of the President and the National Assembly. The National Assembly has 65 members elected using the system of proportional representation. Twenty five are elected from the ten geographical constituencies and forty are awarded at the national level on the basis of block votes secured, using the LR-Hare Formula as prescribed by the elections Laws (Amendment) Act 15 of 2000 (Sections 11 and 12).The Ninth Parliament came to an end in September 2011 before the holding of the 2011 General Elections, and was followed by the Tenth Parliament of Guyana, whose first sitting was held on January 12, 2012, following a proclamation by President Donald Ramotar. In this sitting the Speaker (Raphael Trotman of the AFC) and Deputy Speaker (Deborah Backer of APNU) were elected, and MPs sworn in. Deborah Backer resigned from the National Assembly and was replaced as deputy speaker by Basil Williams of the same party.On November 10, 2014, President Ramotar, by proclamation under Article 70 (1) of the Constutiton, prorogued the National Assembly. President Ramotar announced that General and Regional Elections would be held on May 11, 2015. The president will issue the relevant proclamations within the constitutionally prescribed time for the 2015 Elections.On February 28, 2015, the Tenth Parliament was dissolved by Proclamation issued by the President.

The Eleventh Parliament was officially summoned to meet on June 10, 2015, by Proclamation issued by President David A. Granger. The 33 elected members of the A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance for Change, in addition to three technocrat (non-elected and non-voting) members took their oaths of office. At this, the First Sitting of the Eleventh Parliament, civil servant Barton Scotland was elected Speaker of the House. The Deputy Speaker was not elected at that time, and absent from the sitting were members of the Opposition People's Progressive Party. The President delivered his address during this ceremonial opening of the Eleventh Parliament.

Outline of South America

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to South America.

South America is the southern continent of the two Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly (about 3/4) in the Southern Hemisphere. It lies between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The continent is culturally, ethnically and racially diverse, home to indigenous peoples and to descendants of settlers from Europe, Africa and Asia. Due to its history of colonialism most South Americans speak Spanish or Portuguese, and its societies and states are commonly modeled after Western traditions.

The Guianas

The Guianas, sometimes called by the Spanish loan-word Guayanas (Las Guayanas), are a region in north-eastern South America which includes the following three territories:

French Guiana, an overseas department of France

Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana from 1831 until 1966, after the colonies of Berbice, Essequibo, and Demerara, taken from the Netherlands in 1814, were merged into a single colony

Suriname, formerly Dutch Guiana, until 1814 together with Berbice, Essequibo and Demerara.In the wider context the Guianas also additionally include:

Guayana Region in Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar, and Delta Amacuro states) formerly the Guayana Province, alternatively known as Spanish Guyana

Portuguese Guiana (or Brazilian Guiana), corresponding to the state of Amapá in northern Brazil.

Visa policy of Guyana

The Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana exempts visa requirements for nationals of specific countries or territories. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months.

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