Winnipeg Cayenne

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About French Guiana

South America

French Guiana (pronounced or , French: Guyane française; French pronunciation: ​[ɡɥijan fʁɑ̃sɛz]), officially called Guiana (French: Guyane), is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas that is still part of a European country. With a land area of 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi), French Guiana is the second-largest region of France and the largest outermost region within the European Union. It has a very low population density of only 3.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (8.8/sq mi), with half of its 281,612 inhabitants in 2018 living in the metropolitan area of Cayenne, its capital. Both the region and the department have been ruled since December 2015 by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity (French: collectivité territoriale de Guyane). This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly (French: assemblée de Guyane), has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of regional and departmental government. Its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. The territory was originally inhabited by Native Americans. The first French establishment ... [read more]

French Guiana (pronounced or , French: Guyane française; French pronunciation: ​[ɡɥijan fʁɑ̃sɛz]), officially called Guiana (French: Guyane), is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas that is still part of a European country. With a land area of 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi), French Guiana is the second-largest region of France and the largest outermost region within the European Union. It has a very low population density of only 3.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (8.8/sq mi), with half of its 281,612 inhabitants in 2018 living in the metropolitan area of Cayenne, its capital. Both the region and the department have been ruled since December 2015 by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity (French: collectivité territoriale de Guyane). This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly (French: assemblée de Guyane), has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of regional and departmental government. Its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. The territory was originally inhabited by Native Americans. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but the French presence did not become durable until the foundation of Cayenne in 1643. Guiana then became a slave colony and saw its population increase until the official abolition of slavery at the time of the French Revolution. Guiana temporarily became a French department in 1797 but was gradually transformed into a penal colony with the establishment of a network of camps and penitentiaries spread over the coast where prisoners were sentenced to forced labor. During World War II, Guianan Félix Éboué was one of the first to stand behind General de Gaulle as early as June 18, 1940. Guiana officially rallied Free France in 1943. It abandoned its status as a colony and once again became a French department in 1946. De Gaulle, who became president, decided to establish the Guiana Space Centre in 1965. It is now operated by the CNES, Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA). Several thousand Hmong refugees from Laos migrated to French Guiana in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Nowadays fully integrated in the French central state, Guiana is a part of the European Union, and its official currency is the euro. The region is the most prosperous territory in South America with the highest nominal GDP per capita. A large part of Guiana's economy derives from the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator. As elsewhere in France, the official language is French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which Guianan Creole is the most widely spoken. [read less]