A small former colony of France in South America, French Guiana is still largely under the influence of Paris. French is still commonly spoken, the French government is the main ruler of the country, and French economic support keeps the country afloat. Here are five interesting facts about French Guiana.
5 Facts You Might Not Know
The capital of French Guiana
French Guiana is still under the government of France as an overseas department, making it one of the few countries in South America without autonomous government. During the 1970s and 1980s, political factions pushed for increased independence, but the movement faded and there has been no recent interest in reviving it, probably because France provides financial support and economic trades.
The Devil's Island, an infamous prison that ran from 1852 to 1946, was located on an island off the coast of French Guiana. Brutal conditions including disease epidemics and hard labor killed over ninety percent of the prison population, and escape was almost impossible given the surrounding sea. The Devil's Island has a prominent place in popular culture, and today the run-down buildings have been restored and more than half a million tourists visit the prison grounds every year.
The Guiana Space Center, used by the European Space Agency and the French government, provides approximately 25 percent of French Guiana's GDP. The center's location was chosen because of its proximity to the equator and large bodies of water than enable easy landings.
As expected, the official language is French. A few citizens speak English, especially among the upper class. Some Spanish and Portuguese phrases are understood. Taki-taki, an indigenous language, is used in parts of the country, as small pockets of indigenous groups remain.
French Guiana, as a territory of France, is considered a member of the European Union. Visitors from the EU do not need visas or work permits to visit, and it is difficult for residents from neighboring South American countries to get inside the country. Consulate services are provided in Paris, making the loss of a passport an extreme inconvenience.
The currency of French Guiana
is the Euro(EUR)
French Guiana belongs to the South American continent
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Airports in French Guiana
Map of French Guiana
Languages spoken in French Guiana
Animals native to French Guiana / which animals live in French Guiana?
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Animals in French Guiana
Airlines in French Guiana
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Coordinates (in Latitude & Longitude) of French Guiana
4 00 N, 53 00 W
Kilometers of coastline
Square kilometers of land
Square kilometers of water
1,850 square kilometers
20.46 / 1000 population
4.88 / 1000 population
20 sq km
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