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French Guiana ( or ; french: link=no, Guyane ) is an overseas department/region and
single territorial collectivity A single territorial collectivity (french: collectivité territoriale ''unique'') is a chartered subdivision of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in ...
of France on the northern
Atlantic
Atlantic
coast of South America in
the Guianas The Guianas, sometimes called by the Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (ma ...

the Guianas
. It borders Brazil to the east and south and
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...

Suriname
to the west. With a land area of , French Guiana is the second-largest
region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wo ...
of France (more than one-seventh the size of
Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (french: France métropolitaine or ''la Métropole''), also known as European France, is the area of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily l ...

Metropolitan France
) and the largest within the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
. It has very low population density, with only . (Its population is less than that of Metropolitan France.) Half of its 294,071 inhabitants in 2021 lived in the metropolitan area of
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
, its
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of which is primeval
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
. The
Guiana Amazonian Park Guiana Amazonian Park (french: Parc amazonien de Guyane) is the largest List of national parks of France, National Park of France, aiming at protecting part of the Amazonian forest located in French Guiana which covers 41% of the region of Franc ...
, which is the largest
national park#REDIRECT National park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state dec ...

national park
in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory. Since December 2015, both the region and department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new
territorial collectivity A territorial collectivity (or territorial authority, french: collectivité territoriale, previously ') is a chartered subdivision Subdivision may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Subdivision (metre), in music * Subdivision (film), ''Subdivisi ...
, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity (french: collectivité territoriale de Guyane, links=no). This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly (french: assemblée de Guyane, links=no), replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of regional and departmental government. Its president is
Gabriel Serville Gabriel Serville (born 27 September 1959 in Cayenne) is a France, French politician of the Guianese Socialist Party who was elected to the French National Assembly on 16 June 2012 representing French Guiana, French Guiana's French Guiana's 1st const ...

Gabriel Serville
. Fully integrated in the
French Republic France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of severa ...

French Republic
since 1946, French Guiana is a part of the European Union, and its official currency is the
euro The euro (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. Al ...

euro
. A large part of French Guiana's economy depends on jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the
Guiana Space Centre The Guiana Space Centre (french: links=no, Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG), also called Europe's Spaceport, is a and to the northwest of in , a region of France in South America. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a locat ...
, now the
European Space Agency , owner = , headquarters = Paris, Île-de-France, France , coordinates = , spaceport = Guiana Space Centre , seal = File:ESA emblem seal.png , seal_size = 130px , image = ESA Headquarters in Paris, France, 2 ...

European Space Agency
's primary launch site near the equator. As elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which
French Guianese Creole Image:French Guiana CIA.gif, French Guiana, where French Guianese Creole originates. French Guianese Creole ( gcr, Kriyòl; also called variously Guianan Creole, Guianese Creole in English and Créole guyanais or Guyanais in French) is a French l ...
, a French-based
creole language A creole language, or simply creole, is a stable natural language In neuropsychology, linguistics, and the philosophy of language, a natural language or ordinary language is any language that has linguistic evolution, evolved naturally in hu ...
, is the most widely spoken.


Name

The addition of the adjective "French" in most languages other than French is rooted in colonial times, when five such colonies (
The Guianas The Guianas, sometimes called by the Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (ma ...

The Guianas
) had been named along the coast, subject to differing powers: namely (from west to east) Spanish Guiana (now
Guayana Region 250px, Canaima Lagoon, Guayana Region, Venezuela. The Guayana Region is an regions of Venezuela, administrative region of eastern Venezuela. History In the 1970s, after the process of forming the Political-Administrative Regions through ' ...
in Venezuela),
British Guiana British Guiana was a British colony, part of the mainland British West Indies, which resides on the northern coast of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere ...
(now
Guyana Guyana ( or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be ...

Guyana
), Dutch Guiana (now
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...

Suriname
), French Guiana, and Portuguese Guiana (now
Amapá Amapá () is a States of Brazil, state located in the North Region, Brazil, northern region of Brazil. It is the List of Brazilian states by population, second least populous state and the List of Brazilian states by area, eighteenth largest by ar ...
in Brazil). French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west, Guyana and Suriname, are still often collectively referred to as "the Guianas" and constitute one large landmass known as the
Guiana Shield The Guiana Shield (french: Plateau des Guyanes, Bouclier guyanais; nl, Hoogland van Guyana, Guianaschild; pt, Planalto das Guianas, Escudo Guianês; es, Escudo guayanés) is one of the three craton A craton (, , or ; from el, κράτος ...
.


History

French Guiana was originally inhabited by
indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct et ...

indigenous people
: Kalina,
Arawak The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The t ...

Arawak
,
Galibi The Kalina, also known as the Caribs, mainland Caribs and several other names, are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capita ...
, Palikur, Teko, Wayampi and
Wayana The Wayana (alternate names: Ajana, Uaiana, Alucuyana, Guaque, Ojana, Orcocoyana, Pirixi, Urukuena, Waiano etc.) are a Carib languages, Carib-speaking people located in the south-eastern part of the Guiana highlands, a region divided between Brazi ...
. The French attempted to create a colony there in the 16th century in conjunction with its settlement of some Caribbean islands, such as Guadeloupe and
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now an island that hosts two countries; the Dominican Republic and Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ); french: Haïti ; officially the ...
. Prior to
European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. Ancient and medieval colonialism was practiced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ...
, the territory was originally inhabited by
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
, most speaking the
Arawak language Arawak (Arowak/Aruák), also known as Lokono (Lokono Dian, literally 'people's talk' by its speakers), is an Arawakan language spoken by the Lokono (Arawak) people of South America in eastern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. It is th ...
, of the Arawakan language family. The people identified as
Lokono The Lokono or Arawak are an Arawak The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who ...
. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
in 1643. Guiana was developed as a slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved labourers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. The system of slavery in French Guiana continued until the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, when the
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was a parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (poli ...
voted to abolish the French slave trade and slavery in France's overseas colonies in February 1794, months after enslaved Haitians had started a
slave rebellion A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by enslaved people, as a way of fighting for their freedom. Rebellions of enslaved people have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery or have practiced slavery in the past. A desire for freedo ...

slave rebellion
in the colony of
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now an island that hosts two countries; the Dominican Republic and Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ); french: Haïti ; officially the ...
. However, the 1794 decree was only implemented in Saint-Domingue,
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and Overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre Island, Bas ...
and French Guiana, while the colonies of
Senegal Senegal (; french: link=no, Sénégal; : ''Senegaal''; : السنغال ''As-Sinighal''), officially the Republic of Senegal (french: link=no, République du Sénégal; : ''Réewum Senegaal''; : جمهورية السنغال ''Jumhuriat As-Sin ...

Senegal
,
Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=, Moris ]), officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an in the about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of . It includes the main isla ...

Mauritius
, Réunion and
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and v ...

Martinique
and
French India French India, formally the ( en, French Settlements in India), was a French colony comprising five geographically separated enclaves on the Indian Subcontinent that had initially been factories of the French East India Company. Beginning in ...
resisted the imposition of these laws. Bill Marshall, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the
University of Stirling The University of Stirling (, gd, Oilthigh Shruighlea (abbreviated as Stir or Shruiglea, in post-nominals) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives signif ...

University of Stirling
wrote of French Guiana's origins: '' Île du Diable'' (Devil's Island) was the site of a small prison facility, part of a larger penal system by the same name, which consisted of prisons on three islands and three larger prisons on the mainland. This was operated from 1852 to 1953. In addition, in the late nineteenth century, France began requiring forced residencies by prisoners who survived their hard labour. A Portuguese-British naval squadron took French Guiana for the
Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas Colonialism, colonies, Factory ( ...
in 1809. It was returned to France with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1814. Though Portugal returned the region to France, it kept a military presence until 1817. After French Guiana was established as a penal colony, officials sometimes used convicts to catch butterflies. The sentences of the convicts were often long, and the prospect of employment very weak, so the convicts caught butterflies to sell in the international market, both for scientific purposes as well as general collecting. A border dispute with Brazil arose in the late 19th century over a vast area of jungle, resulting in the short-lived, pro-French, independent state of Counani in the disputed territory. There was some fighting among settlers. The dispute was resolved largely in favour of Brazil by the
arbitration upright=1.5, The London Court of International Arbitration Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or external dispute resolution (EDR), typically denotes a wide range of dispute resolu ...
of the Swiss government. The territory of
Inini Inini was an inland territory of French Guiana, administered separately between 6 June 1930 and 19 March 1946, after which all of French Guiana became a Department (country subdivision), department of France. The territory remained governed as a ...

Inini
consisted of most of the interior of French Guiana when it was created in 1930. It was abolished in 1946, the year that French Guiana as a whole was formally established as an
overseas department The overseas departments and regions of France (french: départements et régions d'outre-mer, ; ''DROM'') are departments of France In the administrative divisions of France, the department (french: département, ) is one of the three level ...
of France. In 1936,
Félix Éboué Adolphe Sylvestre Félix Éboué (; 1 January 1884 – 17 May 1944) was a French colonial administrator and Free French Free France and its Free French Forces (french: France Libre et les ) was the government-in-exile led by Charles ...
from Cayenne became the first black man to serve as governor in a French colony. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and the fall of France to Nazi German forces, French Guiana became part of
Vichy France Vichy France (french: Régime de Vichy; 10 July 1940 – 9 August 1944) is the common name of the French State (') headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), generally known a ...
. Guiana officially rallied to
Free France Free France and its Free French Forces (french: France Libre et les ) was the government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was ...
on 16 March 1943. It abandoned its colony status and once again became a French
department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and administrative division within a country, for e ...
on 19 March 1946. Following the French withdrawal from Vietnam in the 1950s and subsequent warfare conducted in the region by the United States, France helped resettle several hundred to French Guiana during the 1970s and 80s, who were fleeing displacement after the communist takeover of Laos by
Pathet Lao The Pathet Lao ( lo, ປະເທດລາວ , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recogni ...
in 1975. In the late 1980s, more than 10,000
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...

Suriname
se refugees, mostly
Maroons Maroons are descendants of Africans in the Americas who formed settlements away from slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person ...

Maroons
, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Civil War. More recently, French Guiana has received large numbers of Brazilian and Haitian
economic migrant An economic migrant is someone who emigrates from one region to another, including crossing international borders, seeking an improved standard of living, because the conditions or job opportunities in the migrant's own region are insufficient. The ...
s. Illegal and ecologically destructive
gold mining Gold mining is the extraction of gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisti ...
by Brazilian is a chronic issue in the remote interior rain forest of French Guiana. The region still faces such problems as illegal immigration, poorer infrastructure than mainland France, higher costs of living, higher levels of crime and more common social unrest. In 1964, French president
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led against in and chaired the from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in . In 1958, he came out of retire ...
decided to construct a space-travel base in French Guiana. It was intended to replace the Sahara base in
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
and stimulate economic growth in French Guiana. The department was considered suitable for the purpose because it is near the
equator The Equator is a , about in circumference, that divides into the and hemispheres. It is an located at 0 degrees , halfway between the and poles. In , as applied in , the equator of a rotating (such as a ) is the parallel (circle of l ...

equator
and has extensive access to the ocean as a buffer zone. The
Guiana Space Centre The Guiana Space Centre (french: links=no, Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG), also called Europe's Spaceport, is a and to the northwest of in , a region of France in South America. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a locat ...
, located a short distance along the coast from
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
, has grown considerably since the initial launches of the Véronique rockets. It is now part of the European space industry and has had commercial success with such launches as the
Ariane 4 The Ariane 4 was a European expendable ''Expendable'' is a science fiction novel by the Canadian author James Alan Gardner, published in 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers under its various imprints.Avon Books; HarperCollins Canada; SFBC/AvoNova ...
,
Ariane 5 Ariane 5 is a European heavy-lift space launch vehicle developed and operated by Arianespace Arianespace SA is a European company founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial launch service provider. It undertakes the operation and market ...

Ariane 5
and Ariane flight VA256 which launched the
James Webb Space Telescope The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope developed by NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The telescope is named after James E. Webb, who was the List of adminis ...

James Webb Space Telescope
into space. The Guianese General Council officially adopted a departmental flag in 2010. In a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
that same year, French Guiana voted against autonomy. On 20 March 2017, French Guianese workers began going on strike and demonstrating for more resources and infrastructure. 28 March 2017 was the day of the largest demonstration ever held in French Guiana. French Guiana has been impacted severely by the COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 1% of French Guianese testing positive by the end of June 2020.


Geography

French Guiana lies between latitudes and N, and longitudes 51° and 55° W. It consists of two main geographical regions: a coastal strip where the majority of the people live, and dense, near-inaccessible
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
which gradually rises to the modest peaks of the Tumuc-Humac mountains along the Brazilian frontier. French Guiana's highest peak is
Bellevue de l'Inini Bellevue de l'Inini, also known as ''Mont Bellevue'', ''Montagne Bellevue'', and ''Montagne Bellevue de l'Inini'', is the highest point of French Guiana, an overseas department of France, with an elevation of 851 metres (2,792 ft). See ...
in
Maripasoula Maripasoula is a Communes of France, commune of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America on the northern Atlantic coast. With a land area of , Maripasoula is the largest commune of Fr ...
(). Other mountains include Mont Itoupé (), Cottica Mountain (), Pic Coudreau (), and Kaw Mountain (). Several small islands are found off the coast: the three Salvation's Islands which include Devil's Island (Kourou), Devil's Island, and the isolated Îles du Connétable bird sanctuary further along the coast towards Brazil. The Petit-Saut Dam, a Dam#Power generation plant, hydroelectric dam in the north of French Guiana forms an Reservoir, artificial lake and provides hydroelectricity. There are many rivers in French Guiana, including the Waki (river), Waki River. , the Amazonian forest, located in the most remote part of the department, is protected as the
Guiana Amazonian Park Guiana Amazonian Park (french: Parc amazonien de Guyane) is the largest List of national parks of France, National Park of France, aiming at protecting part of the Amazonian forest located in French Guiana which covers 41% of the region of Franc ...
, one of the ten national parks of France. The territory of the park covers some upon the Communes of the Guyane department, communes of Camopi,
Maripasoula Maripasoula is a Communes of France, commune of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America on the northern Atlantic coast. With a land area of , Maripasoula is the largest commune of Fr ...
, Papaïchton, Saint-Élie and Saül.


Climate

French Guiana has a tropical rainforest climate predominant. Located within six degrees of the Equator and rising only to modest elevations, French Guiana is hot and oppressively humid all year round. During most of the year, rainfall across the country is heavy due to the presence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and its powerful thunderstorm cells. In most parts of French Guiana, rainfall is always heavy especially from December to July – typically over can be expected each month during this period throughout the department. Between August and November, the eastern half experiences a dry season, "hot and dry" season with rainfall below and average high temperatures above occurring in September and October, causing eastern French Guiana to be classified as a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Am''); Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni in the west has a tropical rainforest climate (''Af'').


Environment

French Guiana is home to many different ecosystems: tropical rainforests, coastal mangroves, savannahs, inselbergs and many types of wetlands. It lies within three ecoregions: Guayanan Highlands moist forests, Guianan moist forests, and Guianan mangroves. French Guiana has a high level of biodiversity of both flora and fauna. This is due to the presence of primary forest, old-growth forests (i.e., ancient/primary forests), which are biodiversity hotspots. The
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
s of French Guiana provide shelter for many species during dry periods and terrestrial glaciation. These forests are protected by a national park (the
Guiana Amazonian Park Guiana Amazonian Park (french: Parc amazonien de Guyane) is the largest List of national parks of France, National Park of France, aiming at protecting part of the Amazonian forest located in French Guiana which covers 41% of the region of Franc ...
), seven additional nature reserves, and 17 List of protected areas of French Guiana, protected sites. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
(EU) have recommended special efforts to protect these areas. Following the Grenelle Environnement, Grenelle Environment Round Table of 2007, the Grenelle Law II was proposed in 2009, under law number 2010–788. Article 49 of the law proposed the creation of a single organization responsible for environmental conservation in French Guiana. Article 64 proposes a "departmental plan of mining orientation" for French Guiana, which would promote mining (specifically of gold) that is compatible with requirements for environmental protection. The coastal environment along the Route nationale 1 (French Guiana), RN1 has historically experienced the most changes, but development is occurring locally along the Route nationale 2 (French Guiana), RN2, and also in western French Guiana due to gold mining. 5,500 plant species have been recorded, including more than a thousand trees, along with 700 species of birds, 177 species of mammals, over 500 species of fish including 45% of which are endemism, endemic and 109 species of amphibians. The micro-organisms would be much more numerous, especially in the north, which competes with the Brazilian Amazon, Borneo and Sumatra. Threats to the ecosystem are: habitat fragmentation from roads, which remains very limited compared to other forests of South America; immediate and deferred impacts of Electricite de France, EDF's Petit-Saut Dam;
gold mining Gold mining is the extraction of gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisti ...
; poor control of hunting and poaching, facilitated by the creation of many tracks; and the introduction of all-terrain vehicles. Logging remains moderate due to the lack of roads, difficult climate, and difficult terrain. The Forest Code of French Guiana was modified by ordinance on 28 July 2005. Logging concessions or free transfers are sometimes granted by local authorities to persons traditionally deriving their livelihood from the forest. The beaches of the Amana Nature Reserve are an exceptional marine turtle nesting site. This is one of the largest worldwide for the leatherback turtle.


Agriculture

French Guiana has some of the poorest soils in the world. The soil is low in nutrients (e.g., nitrogen, potassium) and organic matter. Soil acidity is another cause of the poor soils, and it requires farmers to Liming (soil), add lime to their fields. The soil characteristics have led to the use of slash and burn agriculture. The resulting ashes elevate soil pH (i.e., lower soil acidity), and contribute minerals and other nutrients to the soil. Sites of Terra preta (human impact on the environment, anthropogenic soils) have been discovered in French Guiana, particularly near the border with Brazil. Research is being actively pursued in multiple fields to determine how these enriched soils were historically created, and how this can be done in modern times.


Economy

As a part of France, French Guiana is part of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
and the Eurozone; its currency is the
euro The euro (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. Al ...

euro
. The country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for French Guiana is .gf, but .fr is generally used instead. In 2019, the GDP of French Guiana at market exchange rates was US$4.87 billion (€4.35 billion), ranking as the 2nd largest economy in the The Guianas, Guianas after
Guyana Guyana ( or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be ...

Guyana
(which discovered large oil fields in 2015 and 2018), and the 12th largest in South America. French Guiana is heavily dependent on mainland France for subsidies, trade, and goods. The main traditional industries are fishing (accounting for 5% of exports in 2012), gold mining (accounting for 32% of exports in 2012) and timber (accounting for 1% of exports in 2012). In addition, the
Guiana Space Centre The Guiana Space Centre (french: links=no, Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG), also called Europe's Spaceport, is a and to the northwest of in , a region of France in South America. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a locat ...
has played a significant role in the local economy since it was established in
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
in 1964: it accounted directly and indirectly for 16% of French Guiana's GDP in 2002 (down from 26% in 1994, as the French Guianese economy is becoming increasingly diversified). The Guiana Space Centre employed 1,659 people in 2012. There is very little manufacturing. Agriculture is largely undeveloped and is mainly confined to the area near the coast and along the Maroni (river), Maroni River. Sugar and bananas were traditionally two of the main cash crops grown for export but have almost completely disappeared. Today they have been replaced by livestock raising (essentially beef cattle and pigs) in the coastal savannas between
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
and the second-largest town, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, and market gardening (fruits and vegetables) developed by the Hmong people, Hmong communities settled in French Guiana in the 1970s, both destined to the local market. A thriving rice production, developed on polders near Mana, French Guiana, Mana from the early 1980s to the late 2000s, has almost completely disappeared since 2011 due to marine erosion and new Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, EU plant health rules which forbid the use of many pesticides and fertilizers. Tourism, especially ecotourism, eco-tourism, is growing. Unemployment has been persistently high in the last few decades: 20% to 25% (22.3% in 2012). In 2019, the list of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita, GDP per capita of French Guiana at market exchange rates, not at purchasing power parity, PPP, was US$17,099 (€15,272), only 41.7% of metropolitan France's average GDP per capita that year, and 49.0% of the metropolitan French regions outside the Île-de-France, Paris Region. 2017 social unrest in French Guiana, Social unrest in 2017 paralyzed the economy for several weeks and led to an economic recession (−3.5% in Real versus nominal value (economics), real terms), which sunk the GDP per capita that year. The economy rebounded in 2018 (+2.8%) and in 2019 (+4.1%).


Demographics

French Guiana's population of 294,071 (Jan. 2021 estimate), most of whom live along the coast, is substantially ethnically diverse. At the 2014 census, 57.3% of the inhabitants of French Guiana were born in French Guiana, 9.3% were born in
Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (french: France métropolitaine or ''la Métropole''), also known as European France, is the area of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily l ...

Metropolitan France
, 3.0% were born in the French Caribbean departments of France, departments and overseas collectivity, collectivities (
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and Overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre Island, Bas ...
and
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and v ...

Martinique
etc.), and 30.2% were born in foreign countries (primarily
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...

Suriname
, Brazil, and Haiti). Estimates of the percentages of French Guiana ethnic composition are difficult to produce due to the presence of a large proportion of immigrants. People of mixed African and French ancestry are the largest ethnic group, though estimates vary as to the exact percentage, depending upon whether the large Haitians, Haitian community is included as well. Generally, the Creole population is judged to be about 60–70% of the total population if Haitians (comprising roughly one-third of Creoles) are included, and 30–50% otherwise. There are also smaller groups from various Caribbean islands, mainly Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Saint Lucia. Roughly 14% of the population is of European ancestry. The vast majority of these are of French ancestry, though there are also people of Spanish and Portuguese people, Portuguese ancestry. The main Asian communities are the Overseas Chinese, Chinese (about 3–4%, primarily from Zhejiang and Guangdong in mainland China) and Hmong people, Hmong from Laos (1–2%). Other groups from Asia include Indians in French Guiana, East Indians, Lebanese people, Lebanese and Vietnamese people, Vietnamese. The main groups living in the interior are the Maroon (people), Maroons who are of African descent, and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Amerindians. The Maroons, descendants of escaped African slaves, live primarily along the Maroni River. The main Maroon groups are the Saramaca, Aucan (both of whom also live in
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...

Suriname
), and Boni (Aluku). The main Amerindian groups (forming about 3–4% of the population) are the Arawaks, Arawak, Kalina people, Carib, Emerillon people, Emerillon (now called the Teko people, Teko),
Galibi The Kalina, also known as the Caribs, mainland Caribs and several other names, are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capita ...
(now called the Kaliña), Palikur people, Palikur, Wayampi and
Wayana The Wayana (alternate names: Ajana, Uaiana, Alucuyana, Guaque, Ojana, Orcocoyana, Pirixi, Urukuena, Waiano etc.) are a Carib languages, Carib-speaking people located in the south-eastern part of the Guiana highlands, a region divided between Brazi ...
. As of the late 1990s, there was evidence of an Uncontacted peoples, uncontacted group of Wayampi.


Immigration

In recent years, French Guiana has seen an increase in Syrian refugees trying to escape the Syrian Civil War. For them and other groups of migrants, the majority arriving from Latin American and Middle Eastern countries (especially Cuba, Yemen, and State of Palestine, Palestine), its status as French territory makes it a "gateway" to Europe. Many live in crowded refugee camps with poor conditions and little protection from the elements. Neither local authorities nor the French government have made significant efforts to help the situation.


Religion

The dominant religion of French Guiana is Roman Catholicism; the Maroons and some Amerindian peoples maintain their own religions. The Hmong people are also largely Catholic owing to the influence of missionaries who helped bring them to French Guiana. Catholic Church in French Guiana, Guianan Catholics are part of the Diocese of Cayenne.


Fertility

The total fertility rate in French Guiana has remained high and is today considerably higher than that of metropolitan France, as well as most of the other Overseas department, French overseas departments. It is largely responsible for the rapid population growth of French Guiana.


Languages

The official language of French Guiana is French, and it is the predominant language of the department, spoken by most residents as a first or second language. In addition, a number of other local languages exist. Regional languages include
French Guianese Creole Image:French Guiana CIA.gif, French Guiana, where French Guianese Creole originates. French Guianese Creole ( gcr, Kriyòl; also called variously Guianan Creole, Guianese Creole in English and Créole guyanais or Guyanais in French) is a French l ...
(not to be confused with Guyanese Creole), six Indigenous languages of the Americas, Amerindian languages (Arawakan languages, Arawak, Palikur language, Palijur, Carib language, Kali'na, Wayana language, Wayana, Wayampi language, Wayampi, Emerillon language, Emerillon), four Maroon (people), Maroon creole languages (Saramaka language, Saramaka, Paramaccan language, Paramaccan, Aluku language, Aluku, Ndyuka language, Ndyuka), as well as Hmong Njua. Other languages spoken include English, Portuguese language, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole language, Haitian Creole and Spanish.


Politics

French Guiana, as part of France, forms part of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
– the largest landmass for an area outside of Europe (since Greenland left the European Community in 1985), with one of the longest EU external boundaries. It is one of only three Special member state territories and the European Union, European Union territories outside Europe that is not an island (the others being the Spanish Autonomous Cities in Africa, Ceuta and Melilla). As an integral part of France, its head of state is the President of France, President of the French Republic, and its head of government is the Prime Minister of France. The French Government and its agencies have responsibility for a wide range of issues that are reserved to the national executive power, such as defense and external relations. The President of France appoints a Prefect (France), prefect (resident at the Prefectures in France, prefecture building in Cayenne) as his representative to head the local government of French Guiana. There is one elected, local executive body, the Assemblée de Guyane. French Guiana sends two Member of Parliament, deputies to the National Assembly of France, French National Assembly, one representing the Communes of France, commune (municipality) of
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
and the commune of Macouria, and the other representing the rest of French Guiana. This latter constituency is the largest in the French Republic by land area. French Guiana also sends two senators to the Senate of France, French Senate. The Guianese Socialist Party dominated politics in French Guiana until 2010. A chronic issue affecting French Guiana is the influx of illegal immigrants and clandestine gold prospecting, gold prospectors from Brazil and
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...

Suriname
. The border between the department and Suriname, the Maroni River, flows through rain forest and is difficult for the Gendarmerie Nationale (France), Gendarmerie and the French Foreign Legion to patrol. There have been several phases launched by the French government to combat illegal gold mining in French Guiana, beginning with Operation Anaconda beginning in 2003, followed by Operation Harpie in 2008 and 2009 and Operation Harpie Reinforce in 2010. Colonel François Müller, the commander of French Guiana's gendarmes, believes these operations have been successful. However, after each operation ends, Brazilian miners, , return. Soon after Operation Harpie Reinforce began, an altercation took place between French authorities and Brazilian miners. On 12 March 2010 a team of French soldiers and border police were attacked while returning from a successful operation, during which "the soldiers had arrested 15 miners, confiscated three boats, and seized 617 grams of gold... currently worth about $22,317". Garimpeiros returned to retrieve their lost loot and colleagues. The soldiers fired warning shots and rubber "flash balls", but the miners managed to retake one of their boats and about 500 grams of gold. "The violent reaction by the garimpeiros can be explained by the exceptional take of 617 grams of gold, about 20 percent of the quantity seized in 2009 during the battle against illegal mining", said Phillipe Duporge, the director of French Guiana's border police, at a press conference the next day.


Administrative divisions

French Guiana is divided into 2 Arrondissements of the Guyane department, arrondissements and 22 Communes of the Guyane department, communes:


Transport

The Transportation system in French Guiana is deficient compared to
Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (french: France métropolitaine or ''la Métropole''), also known as European France, is the area of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily l ...

Metropolitan France
, being concentrated in the coastal zone of the territory, while the inland municipalities are poorly connected and often difficult to access.


Road system

French Guiana has about 2,200 km of roads, which are divided into: * National roads (440 km), divided into RN1, RN2, RN3 and RN4 (the last two downgraded to departmental roads during Raffarin's tenure), which connect the main coastal towns, forming a corridor that crosses the coastal strip from the border with Suriname to that of Brazil: RN1, completed in the 1990s, links
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
to Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, crossing the municipalities of Macouria,
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
, Sinnamary (the stretch of road between Kourou and Sinnamary is locally called Route de l'espace, "space road") and Iracoubo, while RN2 runs from Cayenne to Saint-Georges-de-l'Oyapock, where it continues on BR-156 across the bridge over the Oyapock. Today, all rivers are crossed by road by bridges, some of them quite long (e.g. the bridge over the Cayenne River is 1225 m long), whereas until 2004 (the year of completion and inauguration of the Approuague bridge) many rivers were crossed by Canoes and barges. Transport on national roads is restricted during the rainy season (from 48 to a maximum of 32 tons), while the maximum speed (monitored by the National Gendarmerie posts at Régina and Iracoubo, which are also in charge of controlling the possible flow of illegal traffic and irregular immigrants) is 90 km/h; * Departmental roads (408 km), subdivided into urban and rural departmental roads (rural roads), which serve the coastal Villages, 90% of which have no street lighting; * Communal roads or forest tracks (1. 311 km), most of which are closed to ordinary traffic and reserved for authorized personnel (employees of authorized mining or logging companies, forest rangers): the longest tracks are the Bélizon track in the commune of Saül (Guiana) (150 km), the Saint-Élie-diga track in Petit-Saut (26 km), the Coralie track (the oldest in the department, created to reach the Boulanger mine) and the Maripasoula-Papaïchton track. The communal roads are not usually paved and often go into the forest from the departmental roads; Despite the existence of numerous projects to upgrade and asphalt roads (such as the Bélizon road or the Apatou-Maripasoula-Saül axis), which are often opposed by environmental movements because of environmental fragmentation and problems for Amerindian and Maroon communities, several French Guiana municipalities (Ouanary, Camopi, Saül, Saint-Élie, Grand-Santi, Papaïchton, Maripasoula, Apatou) still do not have road access. Following a treaty between France and Brazil signed in July 2005, the Oyapock River Bridge over the Oyapock River was built and completed in 2011, becoming the first land crossing ever between French Guiana and the rest of the world (there exists no other bridge crossing the Oyapock River, and no bridge crossing the Maroni River marking the border with Suriname, although there is a ferry crossing to Albina, Suriname). The bridge was officially opened on 18 March 2017, however the border post introduction on the Brazilian caused additional delays. As of 2020, it possible to drive uninterrupted from Cayenne to Macapá, the capital of the state of
Amapá Amapá () is a States of Brazil, state located in the North Region, Brazil, northern region of Brazil. It is the List of Brazilian states by population, second least populous state and the List of Brazilian states by area, eighteenth largest by ar ...
in Brazil.


Railway system

At present, French Guiana does not have a railway system, with the exception of a small section in the Centre Spatial Guyanais used for the transport of components: when the territory was a penal colony, there were some railroad lines built by the Prisoners themselves to connect the various baths with each other, the remains of which (now disused and mostly engulfed by the jungle) are still visible in some areas. These lines include the section from Montsinéry-Tonnegrande to the so-called bagne des Annamites, the section from Saint-Élie to the Saut du Tigre labor camp (now submerged by the artificial lake created by the Petit-Saut dam) and the section from Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni-Mana-Saint-Jean-du-Maroni.


Ports

Transportation by boat is quite widespread in French Guiana: among the most important Ports are the port of Dégrad-Des-Cannes, located at the mouth of the Mahury River, in the commune of Rémire-Montjoly, through which most of the imported or exported goods of the territory pass and where the local detachment of the Marine nationale is housed, and the port of Larivot, located in Matoury, where the Guyanese fishing fleet is concentrated. The port of Dégrad-Des-Cannes, built in 1969 to cope with the impossibility of the former port of Cayenne to decongest the growing maritime traffic, has a rather limited draft, and larger ships often prefer to dock at Ile du Salut to unload people and goods (which are then transported to the mainland by smaller ships) to avoid running aground. The port of Pariacabo in Kourou is home to the Colibri and Toucan ships, which carry components for Ariane missiles. The inland rivers are heavily traversed by canoes and other small boats, linking the villages on the Marowijne, Oyapock and Approuague Rivers, which often cannot be reached in any other way; the lake created by the Petit-Saut dam is also frequently crossed, although it is officially forbidden to cross the body of water. In the department, 460 km of aquatic environment are considered navigable.


Airports

French Guiana is served by Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport, located in Matoury. There are also several Aerodrome, airstrips in the department, located in Camopi, Maripasoula, Ouanary, Saint-Georges-de-l'Oyapock, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and Saül, for a total of eleven hubs (four paved and seven unpaved). From the main airport, there are two daily direct flights to Paris (Paris Orly airport, with an average flight time of about 8 hours and 25 minutes from Guyana to the capital and 9 hours and 10 minutes vice versa), offered by Air France and Air Caraïbes, as well as other flights to Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, Port-au-Prince, Miami and Belém: The regional carrier Air Guyane Express also offers daily flights to Maripasoula and Saül, as well as more sporadic flights (mainly related to postal deliveries) to Saint-Georges-de-l'Oyapock and Camopi.


Public transportation

There is a public bus service that currently only covers the municipality of
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
and is run by the SMTC (Syndicat Mixte de Transport en Commun, now changed to Régie Communautaire des Transports – RCT) and consists of seven lines. For connections between the coastal towns (except Montsinéry-Tonnegrande), the "collective cab" (Taxis Co) method is quite widespread, which are minibuses with a capacity of about ten people that leave as soon as there is a certain number of users on board. In 2010, the general council reached an agreement with some of the operators of this service to make it at least partially public under the name of TIG (Transporte Interurbano de la Guiana), with fixed departure times and predefined stops. On the main rivers (Marowijne and Oyapock), there are pirogue services (called pirogues cabs), which go both to inland centers and across the border (such as Albina in Suriname or Oiapoque in Brazil).


Main settlements

Population figures are those recorded in the 2018 census. *
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
: 63,652 inhabitants in the commune; 122,737 inhabitants in the urban area (which includes the communes of Cayenne, Matoury, and Remire-Montjoly); 144,501 in the metropolitan area (which additionally includes the communes of Macouria, Montsinéry-Tonnegrande, and Roura, French Guiana, Roura) * Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni: 45,576 *
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
: 24,959 *
Maripasoula Maripasoula is a Communes of France, commune of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America on the northern Atlantic coast. With a land area of , Maripasoula is the largest commune of Fr ...
: 11,994 * Mana, French Guiana, Mana: 11,234 * Apatou: 9,381 * Grand-Santi: 8,698 * Papaïchton: 6,212 * Saint-Georges, French Guiana, Saint-Georges: 4,188


Military, police and security forces

The commander of the French armed forces in French Guiana since July 2009 has been General Jean-Pierre Hestin. The military there is currently 1,900 strong, expected to increase enrollment in 2014–2015.Journal of Guyana RFO TV 18 August 2009 Among the military, police and security forces in French Guiana, are the following: * The 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (3e REI) in
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
. * The 9th Marine Infantry Regiment (9e RIMa) in
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
, the Madeleine. * The National Gendarmerie (France), gendarmerie and the French National Police, police, divided into 16 brigades. These serve
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
, Remire-Montjoly, Cacao, French Guiana, Cacao, Régina, Saint-Georges-de-l'Oyapock, Camopi, Macouria,
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
, Sinnamary, Iracoubo, Mana, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Apatou, Grand-Santi, Papaïchton,
Maripasoula Maripasoula is a Communes of France, commune of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America on the northern Atlantic coast. With a land area of , Maripasoula is the largest commune of Fr ...
and Matoury. * The RSMAG Regiment (Adapted Military Service) of Guyana, located in Saint-Jean-du-Maroni, with a detachment in Cayenne. * Various detachments corps: ** A French Air Force platoon based at the Felix Eboué airport. ** The platoon of the French Navy, based at the naval base of Dégrad des Cannes. ** A detachment of the Paris Fire Brigade in Kourou, ensuring the protection of the
Guiana Space Centre The Guiana Space Centre (french: links=no, Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG), also called Europe's Spaceport, is a and to the northwest of in , a region of France in South America. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a locat ...
.


Culture


Architecture

The local architecture is characterized by its Guianan Creole, Creole, Amerindian and Bushinenge influences. The main towns contain predominantly Creole-style architecture, with some Western-style buildings and forts. In the communes with the black maroon populations one can see houses of bushinengue styles. And the Amerindian communes are recognized for their pre-colonial type carbets. Most of these buildings were designed with local materials, such as wood from the Amazonian forests and bricks made on site. These local architectures blend with contemporary style buildings.


Festivities

The Carnival is one of the major events in French Guiana. Considered the longest in the world, it takes place on afternoon of Sunday, between Epiphany (holiday), Epiphany at the beginning of January and Ash Wednesday in February or (month). Groups disguised according to the theme of the year parade around decorated floats to the rhythm of percussion and brass. The preparation of the groups starts months before the carnival. The groups parade in front of thousands of spectators who gather on the sidewalks and bleachers arranged for the occasion. Brazilian groups identical to those in the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Rio carnival are also appreciated for their rhythms and their alluring costumes. The Chinese community of Cayenne also participates in the parades, bringing its characteristic touch, dragons. At the start of the evening, the Touloulous, typical characters of the Guianan carnival, go to the Nightclub, dancings to participate in the famous Masquerade ball#Contemporary era, paré-masked balls.


Cuisine

Guianan cuisine is rich in the different cultures that mix in French Guiana. Creole restaurants rub shoulders with Chinese restaurants in large cities such as
Cayenne Cayenne (; ) is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and Overseas department, department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ...
,
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. The local culinary art originally brought together Guianan Creole, Bushinengue and Indigenous peoples of South America, Native American cuisines. All of these cuisines have several ingredients in common: * Manioc; * Smoked meats and fish. This southern Caribbean territory has many typical dishes, such as Awara broth, Galette#Creole galette, Creole galette, Dizé milé, Countess (cake), Countess, Cramanioc pudding, Kalawanng, Couac gratin and salad, Fricasse of iguana or its famous Pimentade (fish or chicken court-bouillon). Atipas are local fishes beloved by the French Guianese often prepared with coconut milk. At Easter, Guianan people eat a traditional dish called Awara broth. For weddings, locals traditionally eat Colombo, which is a type of curry that has become a staple of the French Guianese cuisine.


Literature

French Guiana literature includes all works written by local authors or persons related to French Guiana. It is expressed both in French and in French Guianese Creole, Guianan Creole. Local literature is a literature closely related to that of the French West Indies: especially the List of Caribbean islands, Caribbean islands of
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and v ...

Martinique
and
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and Overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre Island, Bas ...
. For some, it is an Antilles, Antillean-Guiana Shield, Guyanese literature in relation to the themes addressed, which are mainly related to slavery and other social problems. Thus, this literature takes several forms. First, orality, because it is a characteristic element of Guianan literature, as in many countries of Black America. In this connection, we can consider tales, Legends, fables and, in another form, Novels. Nineteenth century French Guiana is marked by a weak presence of writers. At that time, writers only published a few scattered poems in local Newspapers. Today, however, it is difficult to trace the writings of some French Guianan poets: Ho-A-Sim-Elosem, Munian, R. Octaville, etc. Two Guianan poets are the exception. According to Ndagano (1996), Ismaÿl Urbain and Fabien Flavien would be considered the first French Guianan poets. However, Alfred Parépou is a writer who marked his era with his work Atipa (1885). The period from 1900 to 1950 constitutes an important stage in local literature insofar as it gave birth to numerous writers who had a considerable impact, such as those of Négritude, Negritude (Négritude). The Guianan of the 1950s and 1960s is notable for writing about the black cause. Serge Patient and Elie Stephenson did address this issue in their writings. Since 1970 different generations of writers have become aware of the black cause or slavery. Whether through their writings or their political activities, they take into account this painful period that had serious consequences on the local society and on the black world in general. For this generation, Christiane Taubira remains the figurehead. Other writers are interested in other types of themes, such as regional nature, etc.


Sport

Sport in French Guiana dates back to long before the colonial period. Popularized since the 19th century, the first sports competition organized to commemorate 14 July was held in 1890. At that time, there were already physical activities favorable to the inhabitants of this Amazon rainforest, Amazonian territory, but also sports coming from Europe, which favored the Colonization, colonizers. There were: foot races, donkey races, canoe races, bicycle races, tricycle races, nautical regattas in the ports and traditional popular games. The most popular sport in French Guiana today is soccer, followed by basketball, cycling, swimming and handball, although there are some canoeing, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, aikido, karate, fencing, horseback riding, rowing and volleyball clubs in the department. As a French Overseas department, Guiana is not a member of the Pan American Sports Organization; rather, athletes compete within the French National Olympic and Sports Committee and are governed by the Ligue d'Athlétisme de la Guyane, a sub-unit of the Fédération française d'athlétisme. Starting in 1960, the Tour of Guiana, an annual stage race, multiple stage bicycle racing, bicycle race, is held.


Football

The territory has its own local team the French Guiana national football team, French Guiana national football team. A regional football league, the French Guiana Football League, was established in October 1962. It is currently not affiliated to FIFA, but has been affiliated to the FFF since 27 April 1963 and has been an associate member of CONCACAF (North, Central American and Caribbean League) since 1978. Despite being geographically in the subcontinent of South America, the local sports authorities chose to participate in the competition where most of the countries and Dependent territory, dependent territories of the Caribbean area are located, and not in CONMEBOL as it would correspond to it in terms of Geography. In April 2013, the LFG became a full member of CONCACAF. The French Guiana Football Team, also known as Yana Dòkò, is a selection of the best local players under the auspices of the Guiana Football League. It is not recognized by FIFA, but participates in CONCACAF competitions. It played its first match against Dutch Guiana national football team, Dutch Guiana (now
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Suriname
) in 1936 losing 1 to 3. It had its biggest victory on 26 September 2012 against Saint Pierre and Miquelon, St. Pierre and Miquelon (11 to 1) and its biggest defeat was also against Dutch Guiana, losing 9 to 0 on 2 March 1947. The team has participated in events such as the CONCACAF Nations Cup / 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Gold Cup, Caribbean Cup, Caribbean Nations Cup (between 1978 and 2017), CONCACAF Nations League, Overseas Cup (Coupe de l'Outre-Mer, 2008–2012) and the Tournament of 4 (Tournoi des 4).


Tour

The Tour of Guiana (locally: Tour de Guyane), formerly known as "Le Tour du Littoral" (the Littoral Tour) or more rarely as "La Grande Boucle Guayanaise", is a road bicycle racing, cycling stage race that takes place mainly in French Guiana each year, although it occasionally crosses neighbouring countries. It takes place in nine stages, with a route linking the main towns of the department: Cayenne,
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
, and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. It was created in 1950 and is organised by the Comité Régional de Cyclisme de la Guyane (French Guiana Cycling Committee). The tour has been international since 1978. Over the years it has gained in importance and popularity and its duration has increased. The participation has grown from a mostly French Guianan group in the first editions to editions with more than 10 different nationalities. The 2020 edition of the Tour could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also the case for the Tour in 2021.


In popular culture

The novel ''Papillon (book), Papillon'', by the French convict Henri Charrière, is set in French Guiana. It was first published in France in 1969, describing his escape from a penal colony there. Becoming an instant bestseller, it was translated into English from the original French by June P. Wilson and Walter B. Michaels for a 1970 edition, and by author Patrick O'Brian. Soon afterward the book was adapted for a Hollywood Papillon (1973 film), film of the same name. Charrière stated that all events in the book are truthful and accurate, allowing for minor lapses in memory. Since its publication there has been controversy over its accuracy.Randall, Colin (27 June 2005
Ex-convict aged 104 claims to be Papillon
Telegraph.co.uk


See also

* Index of French Guiana-related articles * List of colonial and departmental heads of French Guiana * Republic of Independent Guiana


References


Further reading

* Robert Aldrich and John Connell. ''France's Overseas Frontier : Départements et territoires d'outre-mer'' Cambridge University Press, 2006. . * René Belbenoit. ''Dry guillotine: Fifteen years among the living dead'' 1938, Reprint: Berkley (1975). . * René Belbenoit. ''Hell on Trial'' 1940, translated from the original French manuscript by Preston Rambo. E. P Dutton & Co. Reprint by Blue Ribbon Books, New York, 194 p. Reprint: Bantam Books, 1971. * Henri Charrière. ''Papillon'' Reprints: Hart-Davis, MacGibbon Ltd. 1970. (hbk); Perennial, 2001. (sbk). * John Gimlette, ''Wild Coast: Travels on South America's Untamed Edge'' 2011 * * Peter Redfield. ''Space in the Tropics: From Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana'' . * Miranda Frances Spieler. ''Empire and Underworld: Captivity in French Guiana'' (Harvard University Press; 2012) studies slaves, criminals, indentured workers, and other marginalized people from 1789 to 1870.


External links


Official government site

French Guiana Travel Guide, Good Addresses and Tips
{{Authority control French Guiana, The Guianas Overseas departments of France Former colonies in South America Former French colonies French colonization of the Americas Departments of France Regions of France Outermost regions of the European Union French Caribbean, Guiana French Union, Guiana French-speaking countries and territories States and territories established in 1946 1946 establishments in the French Union 1946 establishments in South America Dependent territories in South America