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French Guiana ( or ; french: Guyane ) is an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...
on the northern
Atlantic
Atlantic
coast of
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It can also be described as a southern Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent ...
in the Guianas. It borders
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 milli ...
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 of France (it is more than one-seventh the size of Metropolitan France) and the largest
outermost region
outermost region
within the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...
. It has a 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, its capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of which is primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, which is the largest
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 declares or owns. Although ...
in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory. Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity (french: collectivité territoriale de Guyane, links=no). This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly (french: assemblée de Guyane, links=no), has replaced the former Regional Council of French Guiana, regional council and General Council of French Guiana, departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of regional and departmental government. Its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. Fully integrated in the France, French Republic in the 21st century, French Guiana is a part of the European Union, and its official currency is the euro. A large part of French Guiana's economy depends on jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator. As elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French language, French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which French Guianese Creole, a French-based creole language, 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) had been named along the coast, subject to differing powers: namely (from west to east) Spanish Guiana (now Guayana Region in Venezuela and Guayana Esequiba in Guyana), British Guiana (now Guyana), Surinam (Dutch colony), 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 Brazilian Guiana, Portuguese Guiana (now Amapá 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.


History

French Guiana was originally inhabited by indigenous people: Kalina people, Kalina, Arawak, Galibi, Palikur, Teko, tribe, Teko, Wayampi and Wayana. 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. Before European contact, the territory was originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples of South America, Native Americans, most speaking the Arawak language, of the Arawakan language family. The people identified as Lokono. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded Cayenne in 1643. Guiana was developed as a Atlantic slave trade, slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved labourers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. Abolitionism, Slavery was abolished in the colonies at the time of the French Revolution. During the Revolution, the National Convention voted to abolish slavery in February 1794, months after the rebelling slaves had already announced the abolition of slavery in Saint-Domingue. However, the 1794 decree was only implemented in Saint-Domingue, Guadeloupe and Guyane; it was a dead letter in Senegal, Mauritius and Réunion, Reunion. Martinique had been conquered by the British, who maintained slavery there. Bill Marshall, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the 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 Portugal, Portuguese-British naval squadron Invasion of Cayenne (1809), took French Guiana for the Portuguese Empire in 1809. It was returned to France with the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1814), 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 Republic of Independent Guyana, Counani in the disputed territory. There was some fighting among settlers. The dispute was resolved largely in favour of Brazil by the arbitration of the Switzerland, Swiss government. The territory of 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 of France. In 1936, Félix Éboué from Cayenne became the first black man to serve as governor in a French colony. During World War II and the fall of France to Nazi German forces, French Guiana became part of Vichy France. Guiana officially rallied to Free France on 16 March 1943. It abandoned its colony status and once again became a French Overseas department and region, department on 19 March 1946. After de Gaulle was elected as president of France, he established the Guiana Space Centre in 1965. It is now operated by the CNES, Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA). 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 Hmong people, Hmong refugees from Laos to French Guiana during the 1970s and 80s, who were fleeing displacement after the History of Laos since 1945#Communist Laos (1975–1991), communist takeover of Laos by Pathet Lao 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, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Interior War, Surinamese Civil War. More recently, French Guiana has received large numbers of
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 milli ...
ian and Haitian economic migrants. Illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining 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 decided to construct a space-travel base in French Guiana. It was intended to replace the Sahara base in Algeria and stimulate economic growth in French Guiana. The department was considered suitable for the purpose because it is near the equator and has extensive access to the ocean as a buffer zone. The Guiana Space Centre, located a short distance along the coast from Kourou, has grown considerably since the initial launches of the Véronique (rocket), Véronique rockets. It is now part of the European space industry and has had commercial success with such launches as the Ariane 4 and Ariane 5. The Guianese General Council officially adopted a Departments of France, departmental flag in 2010. In a 2010 French Guianan status referendum, referendum that same year, French Guiana voted against autonomy. On March 20, 2017, French Guianese workers began 2017 social unrest in French Guiana, going on strike and demonstrating for more resources and infrastructure. March 28, 2017 was the day of the largest demonstration ever held in French Guiana. French Guiana has been impacted severely by the COVID-19 pandemic in French Guiana, COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 1% of French Guianese testing positive by the end of June 2020.


Geography

French Guiana lies between latitudes 3rd parallel north, 3° and 6th parallel north, 6° N, and longitudes 51st meridian west, 51° and 55th meridian west, 55° W. It consists of two main geographical regions: a coastal strip where the majority of the people live, and dense, near-inaccessible rainforest which gradually rises to the modest peaks of the Tumuk Humak Mountains, Tumuc-Humac mountains along the Brazilian frontier. French Guiana's highest peak is Bellevue de l'Inini in Maripasoula (). 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, 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, 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, "dry" season with rainfall below occurring in September and October, causing eastern French Guiana to be classed 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 rainforests 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), 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 Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...
(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; 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 Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 milli ...
. 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 Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...
and the Eurozone; its currency is the 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 (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 has played a significant role in the local economy since it was established in 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, livestock raising (essentially beef cattle and pigs) in the coastal savannas between Cayenne 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, 3.0% were born in the French Caribbean departments of France, departments and Overseas collectivity, collectivities (Guadeloupe, Martinique), 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 Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 milli ...
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, Zhejiang Province and Guangdong, Guangdong Province 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 (now called the Kaliña), Palikur people, Palikur, Wayampi and Wayana. As of the late 1990s, there was evidence of an Uncontacted peoples, uncontacted group of Wayampi.


Immigration


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 language, 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 (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 language, English, Portuguese language, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole language, Haitian Creole, Spanish language, 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 Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...
– 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 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 Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 milli ...
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

French Guiana's main international airport is Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport, located in the communes of France, commune of Matoury, a southern suburb of Cayenne. There are two flights a day to Paris (Orly Airport (Paris), Orly Airport), served by Air France and Air Caraïbes. The flight time from Cayenne to Paris is 8 hours and 10 minutes, and from Paris to Cayenne it is 8 hours and 30 minutes. There are also flights to Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, Belém, and Fortaleza. French Guiana's main seaport is the port of Dégrad des Cannes, located on the estuary of the Mahury River, in the commune of Remire-Montjoly, a south-eastern suburb of Cayenne. Almost all of French Guiana's imports and exports pass through the port of Dégrad des Cannes. Built in 1969, it replaced the old harbour of Cayenne which was congested and could not cope with modern traffic. Route nationale 1 (French Guiana), RN1 connects Cayenne with Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. Route nationale 2 (French Guiana), RN2 from Régina to Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock (a town by the
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 milli ...
ian border) was opened in 2004, completing the road from Cayenne to the Brazilian border. It is now possible to drive on a fully paved road from Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni on the
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 border to Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock on the Brazilian border. 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 in Brazil.


Main settlements

Population figures are those recorded in the 2018 census. * Cayenne: 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: 24,959 * Maripasoula: 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) of Kourou (French Foreign Legion, Legion). * The 9th Marine Infantry Regiment (9e RIMa) of Cayenne, the Madeleine. * The National Gendarmerie (France), gendarmerie and the French National Police, police, divided into 16 brigades. These serve Cayenne, Remire-Montjoly, Cacao, French Guiana, Cacao, Régina, Saint-Georges-de-l'Oyapock, Camopi, Macouria, Kourou, Sinnamary, Iracoubo, Mana, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Apatou, Grand-Santi, Papaïchton, Maripasoula 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.


Culture


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 March (month), March. Groups disguised according to the theme of the year parade around decorated floats to the rhythm of Percussion instrument, 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 bleacherss arranged for the occasion. Brazil, 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, 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. At Easter, Guianan people eat a traditional dish called Awara broth. This southern Caribbean territory also 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).


Sports

As a French Overseas department, French 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. The Ligue de Football de la Guyane is a member of CONCACAF but not of FIFA, and the French Guiana national football team, French Guiana football team finished third in the 2017 Caribbean Cup. The French Guiana Honor Division is the main football club tournament. Starting in 1960, the Tour of Guiana, an annual stage race, multiple stage bicycle racing, bicycle race, is held.


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


Worldover.com: French Guiana


from the United States Department of State
Ethnologue French Guiana page

Silvolab Guyanae – scientific interest group in French Guiana

Article on separatism in French Guiana



French Guiana Travel Guide, Good Addresses and Tips

Officials reports, thesis, scientific papers about French Guiana (en, fr)

Training legionnaires to fight in French Guiana

The IRD's database AUBLET2 stores information about botanical specimens collected in the Guianas, mainly in French Guiana
* James Rogers and Luis Simón
The Status and Location of the Military Installations of the Member States of the European Union and Their Potential Role for the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
Brussels: European Parliament, 2009. 25 pp. {{Authority control French Guiana, 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