French Guiana

By Wyatt Adkins


Currently 240,000 people live in French Guiana.

The official language of the island is French, other groups who used the island include French Guiana Creole, Amerindian languages, Maroon dialects, Hmong Njua, Portuguese, Hakka, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Dutch, and English.

most of French Guiana is a dense, tropical rain forest.

The highest peak is Bellevue de l’lnini which is 851 metres or 2,792 feet above sea level.

There are about 100,000 people that visit French Guiana every year, attractions includes the beaches and the many ecotourism opportunities, and Devils island.

Holidays include New Year's Day, Carnival Monday, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Victory Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Adlition Day, Quartorze Juillet , and Assumption Day.


Christopher Columbus sighted the Guiana coast in 1498 during his third trip to the New World. The French first settled the land one hundred years later, calling it Guiana, the French form of an American Indian word that means "land of waters."

There are three main regions: the coastal plain in the north, a hilly plateau in the middle, and the Tumac-Humac Mountains in the south. Most of the interior (83 percent of it) is dense tropical rain forest. There are more than twenty rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean from French Guiana. The most important of these are the Oyapock, which forms the southeastern border with Brazil, and the Maroni, which forms the border with Suriname.

The native tribes in the interior, however, use their own language, and the African tribes use Taki-Taki, a pidgin English.

The Arawak Indians are the people first known to inhabit French Guiana. The next major wave of people were the Caribs. These peoples came from the Amazon and traveled to the Antilles (most of the islands of the West Indies). The Caribs displaced many of the Arawak. During the age of discovery and Christopher Columbus's journeys, the Caribs were still traveling through the Caribbean.

The French were the first Europeans to settle in French Guiana. They arrived in the early 1600's, when many of the European powers were colonizing the Americas and looking for the lost city of gold, El Dorado. Between the climate and Indian attacks the first settlement was a failure. In 1634 the French settled again and this time they did not leave. Cayenne was founded as the capital some time later and it has remained the country's largest city.

temp. and destination

French Guiana is on the northern coast of South America. It is nestled between Suriname to the west and Brazil to the east and south. It covers approximately 34,750 square miles (90,000 square kilometers), about the same size as Indiana. The close proximity of the equator (which lies a few degrees south) contributes to the hot and humid climate, which averages 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) all year round.


The economy is tied closely to the much larger French economy through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou (which accounts for 25% of gross domestic product (GDP)), fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities. Forests and woodlands cover 90% of the country. The large reserves of tropical hardwoods, that are not fully exploited, support an expanding sawmill industry that provides sawn logs for export. Cultivation of crops is limited to the coastal area, where the population is largely concentrated; rice and manioc are the major crops. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.

Exports - commodities: shrimp, timber, gold, rum, rosewood essence, clothing

Agriculture - products: rice, sugar, cocoa, vegetables, bananas; cattle, pigs


French Guiana is governed by the provisions of the French Constitution as an overseas département of France and, as such, forms an integral part of the French Republic. It sends two elected representatives to the National Assembly and one to the Senate. Local government is headed by a prefect and by a 19-member General Council and a 31-member Regional Council; members of both are elected by universal adult suffrage. There is a local court of appeal. The principal political party is the Guianese Socialist Party. Other political parties operate freely and include the Union for a Popular Movement, the Union for French Democracy, the Guiana Democratic Forces, and the Left Radical Party, a part of the Walwari movement.

On 29 January 2010, the General Council  of the overseas department of French Guiana unilaterally adopted a flag of French Guiana.The departmental flag adopted by the General Council is composed by the following colours: Green represents the forests, yellow represents gold and other minerals of the region, while the red star represents socialism

Bad History

French Guiana is the most feared country on earth.  The hole country had vast prisons from 1852-1947.  Over 70,000 people were sent to French Guiana and three forths of them died of  diseases, hunger, mistreatment.  Others were beaten, and tied up to a chair and whipped. Only 5,000 were freed from the prison system.

When the settlers  first came 1200 died in the first year. Those who survived fled to three of the off shore islands. For 80 years people tried to settle there and in 1883 an Emperor Louis the 3rd began sending  criminals there. Some of the prisoners included over 1000 woman.

Every man and woman dreamed of escaping. If you escaped once they would add 2 years to your time in the prison. If you escaped twice then they added 5 years to your time there. City people were sent to the jungle to cut down huge trees and move them to build the prisons. Half of them died because of spiders,  snakes, bats, and diseases. Treatment was so bad in some of the prisons that the guards would not let the prisoners talk.

When a prisoner would die, they would feed him or her to the sharks then they would catch the sharks and feed them to the prisoners. Only 50 criminals were sent to Devils island. All of the prisoners would have shackles which were attached to there beds so they could not escape from there cells. Some of the prisoner were forced to stand for hours at a time.                          


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