Understanding French Guiana’s Location
French Guiana is a small overseas department and region located in South America. Despite being a part of South America, it is an overseas region of France and is therefore a part of the European Union. French Guiana is situated on the northeastern coast of South America, bordered by Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. Its capital city is Cayenne, which is also the largest city in the region.
Geographical Location: Where is French Guiana?
French Guiana is located in the northernmost part of South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north and northeast. It is situated between latitudes 2° and 6° N and longitudes 51° and 54° W. The region covers an area of approximately 83,534 square kilometers (32,253 square miles) and is mostly covered by dense rainforest.
French Guiana’s Borders: Neighboring Countries
French Guiana is bordered by two countries: Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. The border with Brazil is approximately 730 kilometers (454 miles) long, while the border with Suriname is approximately 520 kilometers (323 miles) long. The region also has a coastline that stretches for approximately 378 kilometers (235 miles) along the Atlantic Ocean.
Climate: Weather in French Guiana
French Guiana has a tropical climate with high humidity throughout the year. The region experiences two distinct seasons: a rainy season from December to June and a dry season from July to November. The average temperature in French Guiana ranges from 26°C (79°F) to 30°C (86°F), with little variation throughout the year.
Topography: Landscape of French Guiana
French Guiana is predominantly covered by dense, tropical rainforest. The region is also home to several rivers, including the Maroni, Oyapock, and Approuague rivers, which flow through the region and into the Atlantic Ocean. The highest peak in French Guiana is Bellevue de l’Inini, which stands at 851 meters (2,792 feet) tall.
Fauna and Flora: Biodiversity of French Guiana
French Guiana is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including many species that are endemic to the region. The rainforest is home to a large number of species of primates, such as the howler monkey and the spider monkey, as well as jaguars, tapirs, and giant otters. The region is also home to a variety of bird species, including the Harpy eagle and the Blue-and-yellow macaw.
Administrative Divisions: Regions and Communes
French Guiana is divided into two administrative divisions: the department and the region. The department is further divided into four arrondissements, which are subdivided into 22 communes. The region is made up of a single territorial collectivity, which encompasses the entire region.
Population: Demographics of French Guiana
French Guiana has a population of approximately 298,682 people, according to the most recent estimates. The population is diverse, with a mix of different ethnic groups, including people of African, European, and Amerindian descent. The largest ethnic group in French Guiana is the Creole population, followed by the Maroon population.
Language: Official and Commonly Spoken Languages
The official language of French Guiana is French, which is also the most commonly spoken language in the region. However, many people also speak regional Creole languages, such as Guianese Creole. Other languages spoken in French Guiana include Portuguese, Spanish, and Amerindian languages such as Wayana and Arawak.
Culture: Influence of French and Indigenous Cultures
French Guiana has a rich cultural heritage, shaped by the influence of the region’s indigenous and French populations. Indigenous traditions, such as the use of medicinal plants and hunting practices, are still a significant part of the region’s culture. The French influence is reflected in the region’s cuisine, music, and art.
Economy: Key Industries in French Guiana
The economy of French Guiana is largely dependent on the service sector, with the government being the biggest employer in the region. The region is also home to a significant gold mining industry, as well as a spaceport that launches satellites for the European Space Agency. Agriculture, particularly the production of bananas and rice, is also an important industry in French Guiana.
Tourism: Exploring French Guiana’s Attractions
French Guiana offers a unique travel experience, with its diverse range of wildlife, rainforest, and indigenous cultures. Popular attractions in the region include the Guiana Space Centre, the Kaw Nature Reserve, and the infamous Devil’s Island, which was once a French penal colony. The region is also home to several festivals throughout the year, celebrating the region’s culture and history.