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French Guiana

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Leo from French Guiana

Léo from French Guiana

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Introduction to French Guiana

Introduction

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France, located on the northeastern coast of South America. It is the only territory of the mainland Americas to have full integration in a European country. An important part of the French Republic, French Guiana is covered by thick tropical rainforests and has a very diverse flora and fauna.

Geography

French Guiana is bordered by Brazil to the south and east, Suriname to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. It is characterized by a hot, humid climate with two main seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The territory is predominantly covered by rainforest, with the Tumuc-Humac mountains and the Maroni River being notable geographical features.

Population and Culture

As of 2021, French Guiana has a population of approximately 300,000 people. The population is highly multicultural, with ethnic groups including Creoles, Chinese, Amerindians, Hmong, and people of African and Indian descent. The official language is French, but many other languages are spoken due to the diverse population. The culture is a blend of Native American, African, Indian, Chinese, and French influences.

Economy

The economy of French Guiana is largely supported by the French government and the European Space Agency’s spaceport at Kourou. Other significant sectors include fishing, gold mining, and forestry. Despite these resources, French Guiana has a high unemployment rate and relies heavily on imports for goods and services.

Education

Education in French Guiana is mandatory from ages 6 to 16 and follows the French education system. The territory has a number of primary and secondary schools, as well as a university, the University of French Guiana. Despite this, the education system faces challenges due to the remote location of some communities and a high dropout rate.

Government and Politics

As an overseas department of France, French Guiana is governed as part of the French Republic. It is represented in the French National Assembly, the Senate, and the Economic and Social Council. Locally, it is governed by a General Council and a Regional Council. The official currency is the Euro.

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