French Guiana Facts

French Guiana Facts and History

South America

There are a total of three countries that can be referred to as ” Guiana “; these are Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

The country is often referred to as Guyana – from the French name for the country: “La Guyane”.

The country is located on the northeast coast of South America and borders Brazil to the south and east, Suriname to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. French Guiana is part of France and therefore part of the EU’s external border is also in South America.

Thanks to the help of the mother country, French Guiana is a country of great contrasts.

An advertising slogan of the tourism authority is therefore: “When you return, no one will believe you.” However, it should also be noted that a not inconsiderable part of the people there would rather live on support from France and the EU than lend a hand to earn money.

Many people are probably familiar with the country thanks to the Kourou spaceport of the European Space Agency. It is from here that ESA launches its launch vehicles into space.

The border with Brazil is 730 km long, so Brazil has a 730 km long border with the EU.

Name of the country French Guiana Overseas Department (French: La Guyane)
Form of government Region of the Presidential Republic of France
Geographical location around between 04 ° and 06 ° north latitude and 53 ° and 58 ° west longitude
National anthem the French national anthem, the “Marseillaise”
Population around 268,500 (Credit: Countryaah: French Guiana Facts)
Ethnicities around 70% are Creoles, 10% Europeans, 8% Brazilians, 8% Asians and 4% Indians
Religions predominantly Roman Catholics, natural religions and Jews as small minorities
Languages French is the official language; English and Sranang Tongo are also spoken
Capital Cayenne
Surface 86,504 km²
Highest mountain Mont Bellevue de Inini with a height of 850 m
Longest river Chestnuts with a length of 726 km
International license plate F.
National currency Euro (EUR)
Time difference to CET – 3 h
International phone code/mobile network +594/GSM network (digital cellular network)
Mains voltage, frequency 220Volt/50Hz, adapters may be required
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .fr

French Guiana: History

Before the year 1498

The Guiana region has probably been around since around 1,000 BC. been populated. Semi -settled Indians of the Karib and Aruak tribes populated the country long before the arrival of the Spanish and Dutch.

European colonial period from 1498 to 1604

According to Abbreviationfinder website, Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) discovered the country in 1498. However, the Spanish did not find it interesting enough to use as a colony. Later, in the early seventeenth century, Dutch trading companies established bases on the coast of the country. From 1604 the coast was successfully colonized by the French by building and operating plantations with slaves.

French colonial period from 1604 to 1947

After the Napoleonic Wars, in which the area was occupied by the British, France received the eastern part, the center, today’s Suriname, went to the Netherlands and the western part, today’s Guiana, became an English colony. Under the French administrators, slavery was abolished in the years of the 1848 revolution. While the hard work on the sugar cane plantations was previously done by African slaves, guest workers from Asia have now taken on the task. Even so, the local economy collapsed. French Guiana became notorious for the archipelago of the damned on the Îles du Salut, a French penal colony that was relocated to the colony from 1852 to 1951 for cost reasons. Up to 7. 000 inmates had to live and work in inhumane conditions. In 1947 the colony received the same rights as the motherland and became an autonomous region with self-government.

Overseas Department since 1947

From 1947, French Guiana began to become a real part of France. In addition to the usual subsidies, additional and considerable funds flowed into the Kourou spaceport of the European Space Agency ESA from 1968 onwards. ESA launches its launch vehicles from here. Due to the proximity to the equator, the rockets require less energy to reach orbit. Booming industries are the timber industry, “soft” tourism, gold mining and shrimp fishing. Since the regionalization laws of France in 1982, the country has been a region and a department at the same time.

French Guiana Facts