Guyana, on the northern coast of South America, is the third smallest country on the continent. Below is a look at this nearly untouched country's history, economy, and some things to know when visiting.
History and geography
Guyana has, in the past, been both a British and a Dutch colony.
The Dutch first established the colony of Essequibo in 1716, and the British formally assumed control in 1814, renaming the entire area British Guinea.
Achieving in in 1966, Guyana became a republic in 1970.
Population The Guyanese population is divided between the descendants of African and Indian peoples brought over as slaves and indentured servants to work the plantations, and the areas indigenous tribes( Carib and Arawak). There can be, at times, some racial tension between the African and Indian peoples.
Borders Over the years, Guyana has had border disputes with Suriname and Venezuela. The dispute with Suriname was settled by the UN in 2007, and the dispute with Venezuela, though settled with the British in 1905, was raised again when Guyana achieved independence and remains in dispute. Environment Over 80% of Guyana is covered in forest with nearly 90% of the population living in a narrow strip along the coast. What little infrastructure there is, 116 miles of railway and 367 miles of paved road, is dedicated to the transportation of ore and agricultural goods. The nearly untouched interior has one of the highest densities of biodiversity in the world with 1,100 vertebrate species, 1,600 bird species, and over 8,000 varieties of plant life. Three sites, Kiaeteur National Forest, Shell Beach, and Historic Georgetown have been nominated as World Heritage Sites.
Economy and cost of living
The major economic forces in Guyana are mining, agriculture, timber, and fishing. Because of the difficulty and high cost of importing goods used in daily life, such as gasoline, the cost of living in Guyana is high. Add to this a critical shortage of skilled and educated labour, and Guyana faces real hurdles in its future economic development
Things to consider
Other features to consider
If travelling to Guyana, be aware that the medical infrastructure is extremely limited, and for most complex procedures people travel to other countries.
It is expected that, even with major improvements and modernisation, they will still depend on overseas assistance.
Final word Malaria and respiratory infections are the leading killers among all age groups Murder and suicide rates have recently spiked as high as 26 and 27.2 per 100,000, respectively.
If you plan on visiting the country, note that it is extremely easy to find a Guyana map online.