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Guyana Snapshot: A Quick Look

Guyana Snapshot We're taking a quick look at the country of Guyana, a Guyana Snapshot if you will, for those of you that aren't familiar or would like to learn more.

Guyana Snapshot, a photo of City Hall

Guyana Guyana is a small English-speaking country on the northern mainland of South America. Georgetown, its capital, is well known for its culture, heritage, and its beautiful vegetation. The name Guyana comes from an Amerindian word meaning “land of waters.” Guyana might be South American, but it's culturally connected with the Caribbean.

Geography The country of Guyana covers 215,000 square kilometers and shares its borders with three countries and the Atlantic Ocean; the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Venezuela to the west, Suriname to the east and Brazil to the south and southwest. According to the 2012 census, Guyana has an estimated population of 747,884. The population is consists of Indo-Guyanese, Afro-Guyanese, and the indigenous people know as Amerindians.

History Guyana was originally settled by the Dutch before coming under a British colony in the late 18th century. During its 150 years of colonial rule, the country was called the British Guiana, but the name changed to Guyana after achieving independence in 1966. The country’s official name is the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. Guyana remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Climate Guyana has a warm and tropical climate throughout the year, stable weather mostly and little seasonal change in temperature. Guyana has a high humidity and two rainy seasons. The savanna region has its rainy season from April to September and the coastal area, which has the largest population, receives rainfall from April to August and November to January. The climate is temperate in the coastal regions due to the ocean breeze.

Natural Resources Guyana is supple with fertile agricultural lands, gold, bauxite, other natural resources, and vast tropical rainforest, which occupy over 80% of the county. With 90% of Guyana forest still intact, Guyana has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the whole world. A valuable mineral deposit in Guyana is bauxite, used for making aluminum. Others are gold and diamond, and timber is also an important resource for the country.

Economy Agriculture and natural resources are the main sources of economic activities in Guyana. Regarding agriculture, Guyana grows vast amounts of sugarcane and rice. Rice makes up 13% of the country's exports while sugar and raw sugarcane account for 12%. Bauxite and gold mining, timber, shrimp fishing, and other minerals also contribute to economically. Gold and bauxite make up 58% of exports. Guyana economy continues to improve over time; it grew an impressive 4.7% between 2005 and 2013 and with the country's plan to increase production of gold the Guyanese economy is expected to increase by around 4% from 2016 to 2017.

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