About Guyana

Centuries ago the forces of nature came together and created the  continent of South America including this beautiful land of Guyana. The  fascinating movement of the earth’s crust resulted in Guyana being a  land with imposing rock formations and outstanding mountain ranges.   It’s the source of thunderous volumes of water, flowing from the  highlands and meandering its way through the lowlands, cascading across  mountain tops and valleys towards the coastline and, finally, the  Atlantic Ocean. With stunning waterfalls, great rivers, a network of  smaller rivulets and creeks, this water’s journey results in a maze of  waterways that crisscross the entire country.

This base of rivers, waterfalls and mountains, over time, have produced a  stunning variety of natural landscapes of highlands, lowlands, valleys,  gorges and vast savannahs. Boasting a tropical lush environment, these  lands also provide a natural habitat for numerous world famous species  of flora and fauna, indigenous to Guyana, including many of the world’s  endangered species.

With the discovery of the New World by the Spanish Conquistadors in the  eighteenth century, the secret of this fabulous country in the Guianas  was revealed. Here the mineral wealth was in such abundance that there  was a city of gold called “El Dorado”. This tale caused a rush of  European explorers, including the famed British explorer Sir Walter  Raleigh, to make many voyages across the Atlantic Ocean in the hopes of  laying claim to this land as part of their colonial empires.

The battle for Guyana shows the dominance of the Dutch and the British  who became the ultimate colonial power with sovereignty over Guyana. In  the search for El Dorado they discovered the Amerindians — the first  peoples have settled in this beautiful land. Unable to find this city of  gold, many of the Europeans who settled in Guyana then turned to  cultivating sugar, where the richness of the vast flat lands and water  from the large rivers as litigation were perfect for agriculture. The  success of sugar generated a new wave of settlers, primarily from  England, who came to Guyana acquiring and developing huge plantations  based on producing sugar for export.

The unsuitability of the  native Amerindians to work on the plantations Resulted in the  establishment of the African slave trade and importation of loge  populations of Africans. With the abolition of Slavery, new immigrants  needed to be imported to replace the freed African slaves’ places as  workers RRI the plantations. These new workers were indentured from  Portugal, China and India. These groups brought with them a myriad of  unique cultures and Myles which have allowed Guyana to establish itself  as a multi-ethnic community in today’s world, thus boasting of being “A  Nation of Six Races”. The cultural diversity of music, food, festivals,  theatre, dress and others are jint some of the proud legacies of our  forebears which Guyanese of today *are with the wider world.

The  legacies of the Dutch and British can be identified readily in the  landscape across Guyana in many ways, including the names of plantations,  villages and the architecture of buildings. The most famous legacy of  the Dutch was the construction of the long standing Sea Wall, built  along the entire coastline of the country, along with the system of  canals and sluices that support the irrigation of the plantations,  controlling the flow of water across the land. This function is  essential as Guyana is below sea level. The British, on the other hand,  left us the legacy of English as our official language, governance and  national infrastructure. In addition, as part of the British Empire, we  became intricately connected to the English-speaking Caribbean islands.  Today, Guyana is “The only English speaking country in all of South  America”.

Independence from the British in 1966 created the new  “Guyana” n independent country now challenged to carve its place amongst  nations of the world. We then saw aggressive development of as  hinterland with our Porkknockers continuing the search for Dorado” and  discovering the gems of our great rivers and mountains mold and  diamonds. Our craftsmen mastered the art of jewelery production and  today produce some outstanding gold and diamond creations, readily  available through our many specialty jewelery stores across the  country.

Over the years, our Guyanese hinterland pioneers ventured further  inland. Following the great rivers and mountains, they discovered many  Amerindian settlements and their unique way of life which are primarily  positioned close to the banks of our many rivers, creeks and waterways.  In addition, the early adventurers also uncovered many undiscovered  natural treasures to Guyana, including Kaieteur Falls,  Mount Roraima,  Rupununi Savannahs, the Arapaima and a wide array of flora and fauna  existent in our tropical rain forests.

Tourism has since become a major area of emphasis on Guyana’s economy,  where the country is positioned as a nature based tourism market. While  on trips to the interior, visitors to Guyana are overawed by the sights  and sounds of the many flowers and plant life, birds and animal life,  large rivers and giant mountains, numerous waterfalls and the unique  lifestyle of our Amerindian communities.
We are proud to share  our lifestyle and the undiscovered treasures of our great rivers and  mountains with the world. Our fun-loving people are happy and excited to  welcome you to our home and ensure you enjoy our world renowned  “Guyanese Hospitality”.

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One Response to About Guyana

  • M. Sahr Nouwah says:

    this is a great work. it has helped me to trace the origin of one of the greatest daughters of Guyana, Valerie Amos.

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Guyana Facts

Official Name
The Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Georgetown is the capital city.

National Symbols
Coat of ArmsNational Flag

 

Population

Approximately 751,223 (Census 2002) of which 90% live along the coastal strip and banks of the three major rivers. The ethnic composition of the population is as follows:

  • East Indian 43.5%
  • Black (African) 30.2%
  • Mixed 16.7%
  • Amerindian 9.1%
  • Other 0.5%

Location

North East of South America between 1o & 9o North Latitude and 57o & 61o West Longitude, bordering Venezuela to the West, Brazil to the South, Suriname to the East.

Language

The official language is English. Often spoken with a Caribbean Creole flavour. Guyana is also the only English speaking country in South America.

Government

Guyana became independent from Britain in 1966 and a “Cooperative Republic in 1970, when a non executive President replaced the Governor-General. A new constitution in 1980 gave the President wide executive powers. The Cabinet is headed by the President, and there is a 65-member National Assembly elected by proportional representation.

President: Bharat Jagdeo
Prime Minister: Samuel Hinds

Other information

Currency: Guyana Dollar
Time Zone: GMT – 04:00
Area: 214,970 km2 or 83,000 sq mi
Country Code: 592
We drive on the left side of the road.

More information about Guyana | World Cities: Georgetown

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