Quick Facts

  • Officially the Department of Guiana (an overseas department of France)
  • Mostly an unsettled wilderness – the only non-independent portion of the South American continent
  • Location:  Northern South America, bordering the North Athlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
  • Area:  32,253 sq. miles, slightly smaller than the state of Indiana
  • Population:  approximately 217,000
  • Capital:  Cayenne
  • Climate:  tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
  • Terrain:  low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
  • Nationality:  French Guianese
  • Ethnic groups:  black or mulatto 66%, white 12%, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
  • Language:  French
  • Religion:  Roman Catholic
  • Literacy:  83% of those over the age of 15 can read and write
  • Eonomy:  The economy is tied closely to the French economy through subsidies and imports.  Fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities.  Heavily dependent on imports of food and energy.  A large part of the departments economy derives from the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, the European Space Agencys primary launch site.
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • French Guiana is an overseas department of France
  • The President of France appoints a prefect as his representative to head the local government


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy:  76.69 years
  • Medical care in French Guiana is limited.  Patients rooms in hospitals are primarily open-air facilities
  • Physicians density:  6.9 physicians/10,000 population
  • Portions of French Guiana periodically experience outbreaks of malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever
  • Food or waterborne diseases:  bacterial diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis A, and Chagas disease
  • Hepatitis B is endemic
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm


Images From the Field

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