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French Guiana

French Guiana

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Population: 236,250 (est.)

Language(s): French

Capital: Cayenne

Interesting Fact:

  • The Euro (€) is the official currency of French Guiana.
  • The dominant religion of French Guiana is Roman Catholicism; the Maroons and some Amerindian people maintain their own religions. The Hmong people are also mainly Catholic.
  • French Guiana is heavily dependent on mainland France for subsidies, trade, and goods. The main industries are fishing (accounting for three-quarters of foreign exports), gold mining and timber.
  • Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is growing.
  • Unemployment is a major problem, running at about 20% to 30%.
  • The Guiana Space Centre is now the European Space Agency’s primary launch site near the equator.
  • Cayenne pepper is named after Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana.
  • Prisons were also established on other islands and in Saint Laurant de Maroni.

French Guiana is an overseas region of France on the North Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations: Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west. Its 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi) have a very low population density of less than 3 /km2 (7.8 /sq mi), with half of its 236,250 people in 2011 living in the metropolitan area of Cayenne, its capital.

The addition of the adjective “French” in English comes from colonial times when five such colonies existed (The Guianas), namely from west to east: Spanish Guiana (now Guayana Region in Venezuela), British Guiana (now Guyana), Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), French Guiana, and Portuguese Guiana (now Amapá, a state in far northern Brazil). French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west, Guyana and Suriname, are still often collectively referred to as the Guianas and comprise one large shield landmass.

A large part of the department’s economy derives from the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency’s primary launch site near the equator.

Source: Wikipedia

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