There are a total of three countries that can be referred to as
"Guyana". These are French Guiana, Suriname (the former Dutch Guiana) and the
cooperative Republic of Guyana presented below, the third smallest country in
South America after Suriname and Uruguay, which lies
between Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname and the Atlantic Ocean.
Guyana hit the headlines of the world in 1978 when the preacher Jim Jones
(1931-1978) committed mass suicide in the jungle of Guyana with at least 900
members of his "Peoples Temple" sect, including 270 children.
The former "British Guiana" is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and
CARICOM, the "Caribbean Community and Common Market", which is based in the
capital of Guyana (Georgetown). The name of the former socialist state comes
from Arawak and means something like “land of many waters.” And in fact, Guyana
has many large and navigable rivers, the largest of which is the Essequibo,
which rises in the country and extends to the north pours the Atlantic. The
mighty rivers, to which the Demerara and Berbice also belong, are vital “roads”
into the rainforest and form impressive waterfalls such as the Orinduik Falls,
the Marshall Falls and of course the Kaieteur Falls in the Potaro National Park.
The rest of the country is determined on the one hand by a wide coastal
plain, which largely disappears below sea level, and on the other hand by
savannahs (Rupununi), which spread in southwestern Guyana. About 4/5 of the area
of the small republic in northern South America is covered by the dense
tropical rainforest, which is home to more than 700 native bird species. It
stretches into the centrally located mountainous region, where the 2,875 meter
high Roraima rises, the highest mountain in the country.
About 20% of the residents of Guyana are concentrated in the region around
the capital Georgetown, which is the cultural and economic center of the
country, but like the other cities in the country is anything but large. But it
offers a special charm with its diversity, in which the most modern hotels
contrast with magnificent colonial buildings. The city's amazing wooden
structures are reminiscent of the time when Guyana was first a Dutch and later a
The country is actually only inhabited in the coastal area. Isolated Indian
tribes live in the highlands. The native residents of the country, the
"Amerindians", can be found almost only in the southwest of Guyana and are
controlled by the chiefs or elders (captains). You can only legally get there
with a permit from the Amerindian Affairs Office in Georgetown. The majority of
the Guyans, however, have an Indian origin, which also explains why the culture
of the state is determined in particular by Hindu and other Indian traditions
and why Hindi is widely spoken in addition to Creole English.
The Guyanese economy that made its independence from Great Britain
achieve in 1966, relies mainly on the export of sugar, gold, rice, bauxite and
wood. Despite the incredible charm that the South American country exerts on
many potential visitors because of its extraordinary natural beauty, it is not
very well developed for tourism and is anything but safe. The crime rate in this
country, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, is alarmingly high,
which also applies to the gap between rich and poor. Many areas, such as the
hinterland of Guyana, are controlled by the military, who first have to approve
travel to areas where border disputes with Suriname and Venezuela have been
going on for a long time.
|Name of the country
||Cooperative Republic of Guyana
|Form of government
||Presidential Republic in the Commonweal
||30 ° 05 'to 34 ° 58' south latitude and 53 ° 07 'to 58 ° 28' west
||"Dear Land of Guyana"
||around 52% are of Indian descent, 30% African, 5% Indian and 10%
mestizo or mulatto
||about 30% Protestants, 30% Hindus, 25% Roman Catholics, 8% Muslims
and natural religions as minorities
||English is the official language, Hindi, Urdu, Creole and Indian
languages such as Aruak are still spoken
||Roraima 2,810 m
||Essequibo 1,010 km
|International license plate
||Guyana Dollar (G $)
|Time difference to CET
||- 5 h
|International phone code/mobile network
|Mains voltage, frequency
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Before the year 1499
The Guyana region is believed to have been around since around 1,000 BC. been
populated. Semi-settled Indians of the Warrau, Carib and Aruak tribes populated
the country long before the arrival of the Spanish and Dutch.
European colonial period from 1499 to 1816
Abbreviationfinder website, the Spaniards discovered the country as early as 1499. However, they didn't find it interesting as a colony. As a result, Dutch trading companies established bases on the coast of the
country in the sixteenth century.
From the 17th century the interior of the country was populated by the Dutch,
English and French. The Netherlands obtained the colony by ceding their rights
in New Amsterdam (New York) to Great Britain.
In 1816 the region was divided. The colonial power France received the
eastern part, the center, called Surinam, went to the Netherlands and the
western part, today's Guyana, became an English colony.
British colonial period from 1816 to 1966
In 1831, British Guyana became a British Crown Colony. Slavery was abolished
by British administrators as early as 1834-1838. If the hard work on the sugar
cane plantations was previously done by African slaves, this has now been done
by guest workers from India and Portugal.
This economic change led to the immigration of 300,000 people within almost
In 1892 the colony received some self-government rights. Venezuela
has claimed two thirds (!) Of the territory of Guyana since 1895.
A new constitution made the parliamentary election of 1951 possible. The
result was a left-wing government of the People's Progressive Party (PPP) led
by Cheddi Jagan, which, however, did not find approval in the
mother country. As a result, Great Britain abolished the constitutional rights
of citizens. When the constitution came into force again in 1957, the PPP had
already split. The People's National Congress (PNC) now represented the
Afro-Guyanese population, while the PPP tended to represent the Indian
population. Racial riots have been a recurring event ever since.
Independence since 1966 and until today
England gave the country independence in 1966. However, remaining in the
Commonwealth stabilized the ties to the motherland.
In 1970 the republic was transformed into a "Cooperative Republic". The
ruling PNC sought socialism for the country. Parts of the economy were
nationalized. The PNC was accused of forgery in elections. In 1980 the country
received a new constitution. The republic was transformed into a socialist
The president was given more power. In the following years there was an
economic crisis and under President Hugh Desmond Hoyte (1985-1992) the country
was reopened to foreign capital and some socialist reforms reversed. The 1992
election was under observation by the UN. The People's National Congress, which
had ruled from 1964, lost power to the PPP for the first time. The economic data
on average per capita income and foreign trade are sobering.
The country hit the headlines of the world when the preacher Jim Jones
(1931-1978) drove around 900 members of the sect - including 270 children - to
mass suicide in the Guyanese jungle on November 18, 1978. The sect named
"Peoples Temple" was founded by Jones in 1956 in the USA was founded and
initially lived according to a socialist and Christian belief in
redemption. Since he saw no future for his sect in the USA, he moved with
numerous members to Guyana in 1977. When he came into the sights of public
investigations there, too, Jones, who had become more and more paranoid, saw
only the way out in mass suicide, which was carried out with fruit drinks
containing cyanide. However, many sect members were also murdered against their