Guyana is a sovereign state located on the northern coast of South America, to the north of Equator, between latitudes 1° and 9°N and longitudes 56° and 62°W. This land was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498 A.D. after which, in 1616 A.D., it became a Dutch colony. British established their power in Guyana in 18th century and the country remained a British colony till 1966 and gained independence on 26th of May in 1966. This country shares international borders with Brazil in the south and southwest, Suriname in the east and Venezuela in the west. Guyana is known by the name ‘Land of Six People’, because of its peculiar population which comprises of people with different ancestry. The population comprises of descendants of African slaves, indigenous Amerindians, Chinese, Indians, Portuguese and European people. Culturally, it is part of Anglophone Caribbean. There are many facts associated with this country. Browse through the next section for more information.
Official Name: Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Continent: South America
Language(s) Spoken: English, Hindi, Guyanese Creole
Area: 214,970 sq. km
Population: 752,940 (as of 2010 census)
Currency: Guyanese Dollar
Interesting And Fun Facts About Guyana
- Guyana is officially called ‘Co-operative Republic of Guyana’.
- Guyana ranks third among the smallest countries on the South American mainland.
- A former British colony, this is the only state of the “Commonwealth of Nations” located on the South American mainland.
- It is also the only English-speaking country in South America, along with being one of the four non-Spanish speaking regions, and is the only South-American country to have English as its official language.
- The first group of people to settle in Guyana was Amerindians.
- Guyana was inhabited by tribes like Arawak, Warrau and Carib before Europeans reached there.
- Georgetown is the capital city of Guyana and is also the most populous city of this country.
- Guyana’s national motto is “One People, One Nation, One Destiny”.
- English, Amerindian dialects, Hindi, Creole and Urdu are the major languages spoken here.
- Although, most of the people follow Christianity, Hinduism and Islam are also equally important religions of the country.
- Guyana has vast areas of rainforests which are considered to be the most unspoiled rainforests in the world. Almost 80% of this country is covered by forests which boast of rich biodiversity with some endemic and some atypical species of plants and animals.
- Essequibo River is the longest river in Guyana.
- Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls are 741 feet high, which is about five times more than the height of Niagara Falls.
- Mount Romania, with a height of 2,835 meters, marks the highest point in this country.
- The system of Dykes in the coastal areas of Guyana was introduced by the Dutch to prevent flooding.
- One of the largest open-pit gold mines in the continent of America, The Omai gold mine, is located in Guyana.
- The official currency of this country is Guyanese Dollar.
- The national flower of this country is Victoria Amazonia and National Bird is Hoatzin.
- Guyana’s National flag is known as “The Golden Arrow Head”.
- The Cheddi Jagan International Airport is the main airport of this country.
- Guyana is rich in water with many rivers traversing through its length and breadth and hence, Guyana is known as “Land of waters”.
- The major agricultural products of the country include rice, timber, sugarcane and fruits.
- Guyana is one of the most sought after tourist destination owing to its scenic landscapes, sandy beaches and rich biodiversity.
- The Guyanese economy depends upon Bauxite, rice mill, sugar, timber and textile industries.
- Guyana is geographically located to the North of Equator, on the northern coastal regions of South America.
- The government of Guyana is Republic government.
- On November 18, 1978, American religious cult leader Jim Jones, along with his 909 followers, committed mass suicide in Jonestown in Guyana which threw the country into sudden attention worldwide. This mass suicide, done for political reasons, was considered the greatest loss of American civil life in a single non-natural event until the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- The first post-independence decade in Guyana was not peaceful owing to constant unrest between Indian-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese. Economic depression was also a reason behind these unrests.
- Average life expectancy of a Guyanese is 63 years.
- Guyana is a founding member of Union of South American Nations since 2008.
- Mount Ayanganna, Monte Caburaí and Mount Roraima are the highest mountain ranges in Guyana.
- Mount Roraima and Guyana’s table-top mountains (Tepuis) are believed to be the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novel “The Lost World”.
- BBC telecasted a programme called ‘Lost Land of the Jaguar’, which emphasized the huge biodiversity of Guyana.
- Giant otter and harpy eagle are the two rarest species found in Guyana.
- Guyana has different types of habitats such as marine, coastal, littoral, swamp, estuarine, palustrine, riverine, mangrove, lacustrine, savanna, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, white sand forest, moist lowland and dry evergreen scrub forests.
- Military of Guyana is called the Guyana Defense Force which comprises of Air Corps, Ground Forces and Coast Guards.
- Cricket is a major sport here and it is a part of the West Indies Cricket team. Soft ball cricket (beach cricket) and soccer are other two major sports.
- Guyana hosted international cricket matches as part of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.