Guyana is a nation located in South America that neighbors Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. It is one of the smallest nations in South America both in terms of land size and population. Guyana gained independence from Britain in 1966. How many of these fun Guyana facts that we’ve collected did you know?
- Out of all the nations in South America, Guyana is the only one that has English as its official language: This is largely due to the fact that Britain colonised Guyana. However, Guyanese Creole is more commonly spoken within Guyana.
- The name of the country stems from a local word, Guiana: This translates into English as ‘land of many waters’, a reference to Guyana’s proximity to the coast.
- A great tragedy occurred in Guyana in 1978 when a group of cult members – mostly Americans – committed mass suicide: Members of the Peoples Temple religious group drank a poisoned beverage, and over 900 were killed.
- Guyana is famous for its rainforest areas, and among other South American nations the majority of it is untouched by mankind: In fact, Guyana was awarded a prize of US$45 million in 2012 for efforts to protect the rainforest.
- Mount Roraima is the nation’s tallest peak, and it is on the border with Brazil and Venezuela: The mountain is one of the earth’s oldest geological formations and reaches a height of 2,810 metres (9,219 ft), although this is on the Venezuelan side of the border.
- Guyana is home to some of the world’s longest floating bridges (also known as pontoon bridges): The Demerara Harbour Bridge is the fourth-longest in the world, while the Berbice Bridge is the sixth-longest.
- Agriculture is the major driver of Guyana’s economy, although mining for bauxite and gold are also significant contributors: In terms of agriculture, Guyana’s top crops include rice and Demerara sugar – with sugar accounting for nearly a third of all exports.
Fun Guyana Facts:
- Over 90% of Guyana’s population live in a narrow strip of land around the nation’s east coast, which accounts for only around 10% of the nation’s size: The inland regions are typically mountainous and less suitable for human habitation.
- Cricket is the nation’s favourite sport, and players from Guyana compete within the West Indies team that features players from 15 other nations in the region: The West Indies are one of cricket’s elite teams, and have enjoyed Cricket World Cup success on two occasions.
- Guyana’s flag, which was adopted upon the nation receiving independence in 1966, is known as the The Golden Arrowhead: It was designed by American Whitney Smith, a famous flag expert.