World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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French Guiana Travelling Guide
French Guiana Travelling Guide

General background: First settled by the French in 1604, French Guiana was the site of notorious penal settlements until 1951. The European Space Agency launches its communication satellites from Kourou.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Indiana.

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation.

Terrain: Low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains.

Population: 182,333 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Black or Mulatto 66%, White 12%, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian 12%, other 10%

Religions: Roman Catholic

Language: French

Government type: NA

Capital: Cayenne

Legal system: French legal system

Economic overview: The economy is tied closely to the French economy through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space centre at Kourou, fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities. Forest and woodland cover 90% of the country. The large reserves of tropical hardwoods, not fully exploited, support an expanding sawmill industry that provides sawn logs for export. Cultivation of crops is limited to the coastal area, where the population is largely concentrated; rice and manioc are the major crops. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.

Communication/Telephone system: Fair open wire and microwave radio relay system.

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