Where is Guyana located?

What countries border Guyana?

Guyana Weather

What is the current weather in Guyana?


Guyana Facts and Culture

What is Guyana famous for?

  • Family: Guyanese consider family to mean an extended family of parents, children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts and cousins. Families often picnic in... More
  • Fashion: Business dress is moderately casual, appropriate for a tropical climate, usually shirt and tie or “shirtjac” for men and light... More
  • Visiting: It is customary for whole families to drop in unexpectedly to visit relatives. The visitors are always welcomed and are... More
  • Recreation: Cricket is the national sport of Guyana and is played and enjoyed by both men and women. Football (soccer), is... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Guyanese have a great sense of humor and love to tease one another. This is seen at social gatherings and... More
  • Diet: Pepperpot is traditionally served during the Christmas holiday.

    Breakfast usually consists of homemade bread with eggs, cheese, butter or a cooked... More

Guyana Facts

What is the capital of Guyana?

Capital Georgetown
Government Type parliamentary republic
Currency Guyana Dollar (GYD)
Total Area 83,000 Square Miles
214,969 Square Kilometers
Location Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Language English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
GDP - real growth rate 3.2%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $7,200.00 (USD)

Guyana Demographics

What is the population of Guyana?

Ethnic Groups East Indian 50%, black 36%, Amerindian 7%, white, Chinese, and mixed 7%
Nationality Adjective Guyanese
Nationality Noun Guyanese (singular and plural)
Population 750,204
Population - note note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Population Growth Rate -0.21%
Population in Major Urban Areas GEORGETOWN (capital) 127,000
Predominant Language English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
Urban Population 28.4%

Guyana Government

What type of government does Guyana have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015); Vice Presidents Sydney ALLICOCK, Carl Barrington GREENIDGE, Moses Veerasammy NAGAMOOTOO,... More
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: yes citizenship by descent: yes dual citizenship recognized: no residency requirement for naturalization: na More
  • National Holiday: Republic Day, 23 February (1970) More
  • Constitution: history: several previous; latest promulgated 6 October 1980 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles such... More
  • Independence: 26 May 1966 (from the UK) More

Guyana Geography

What environmental issues does Guyana have?

  • Overview: Guyana lies on the northern coast of South America. Its 285-mile coastline extends from Punta Playa (near the mouth of... More
  • Climate: Guyana's climate is typical of most tropical countries. Humidity ranges from an average low of 68% in October to 77%... More
  • Border Countries: Brazil 1,119 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km More
  • Environment - Current Issues: water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation More
  • Environment - International Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection,... More
  • Terrain: mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south More

Guyana Economy

How big is the Guyana economy?

Guyana News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Guyana?
Source: Google News

Interesting Guyana Facts

What unique things can you discover about Guyana?

  • Chicken, duck or lamb curry with rice are the main dishes at the birthday celebration. A family member usually bakes a fruit, black or sponge for the birthday boy/girl to cut. The person celebrating their birthday will wear something fancy.
  • Canaima National Park is spread over 3 million ha in south-eastern Venezuela along the border between Guyana and Brazil. Roughly 65% of the park is covered by table mountain (tepui) formations. The tepuis constitute a unique biogeological entity and are of great geological interest. The sheer cliffs and waterfalls, including the world's highest (1,000 m), form a spectacular landscape.
  • Aloe is a common medicine in Guyana and is used for a variety of ailments such as skin rashes, stomach ulcers, cuts, burns, sores, coughs and colds.
  • Canada is currently the number one foreign investor in Guyana. It has been trading with Guyana since the 1920s.
  • During Christmas, the celebration transcends all ethnic, religious and social definition as Christians and non-Christians alike dance in the streets or share their caring for one another with gifts and feasting.
  • E. R. Braithwaite's story To Sir, with Love, became internationally known as a result of the very popular film version of the book, which starred Sidney Poitier and whose title song was sung by the 1960s pop star, Lulu.
  • Georgetown has a vibrant and varied music scene where people enjoy listening to western, Caribbean and East Indian music.
  • Guyana's most famous tourist attraction, the Kaieteur Falls, is among the five biggest waterfalls in the world. It is 250 m high, higher than Niagara Falls, and 100 m wide in the rainy season. It is surrounded by thick forest.
  • Guyana's Omai Gold Mine is the largest open-pit gold mine in South America.
  • Guyana has the most unusual racial mix in South America. It is woven into every aspect of life in Guyana. For example, there are places with Dutch and Spanish names. Hindu temples and mosque domes can be seen, and you can hear calypso music, which is a blend of African rhythm and Spanish and native melodies.
  • St. George's Anglican Cathedral in Georgetown is the largest wooden free-standing building in the world.
  • The brightest elementary students enter certain prestigious schools based on the results of a national entrance examination taken at age 11 or 12. National scholarship winners for university studies are usually graduates of these prestigious schools.
  • The famous English explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh, visited Guyana in 1595. He believed that El Dorado, a legendary city where even the streets were made of gold, existed somewhere in Guyana. His book describing Guyana's riches inspired many Europeans to seek their fortunes there.
  • The same grammatical structure is used for both questions and statements. The difference is conveyed in the tone and pitch of the words. The statement “John mother sick”, spoken in a flat even tone, means that John's mother is ill. The same words said in a higher pitch and a questioning tone means “s John's mother sick?”
  • The word Guyana takes its name from a Native word, Guyana, meaning, land of many waters.

Watch video on Guyana

What can you learn about Guyana in this video?

Canaima National Park YouTube: Unesco

Guyana Travel Information

What makes Guyana a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Guyana is a developing nation on the north coast of South America. Tourist facilities are generally not developed, except for a few hotels in the capital city of Georgetown and a limited number of eco-resorts. The vast majority of Guyanese nationals live along the coast, leaving the interior largely unpopulated and undeveloped. Travel in the interior of Guyana can be difficult; many interior regions can only be reached by plane or boat, and the limited roads are often impassable in the rainy seasons.

Crime

Serious crime, including murder and armed robbery, continues to be a major problem. The murder rate in Guyana is three times higher than the murder rate in the United States.

Armed robberies continue to occur intermittently, especially in major business and shopping districts. Hotel room strong-arm break-ins also occur; you should use caution when opening your hotel room doors and should safeguard any valuables left in hotel rooms. Criminals may act brazenly, and police officers themselves have been the victims of assaults and shootings. When traveling in a vehicle you should keep the doors locked and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Pick pocketing, purse snatching, assault, and robbery can occur in all areas of Georgetown. The sea wall, from east of the Pegasus Hotel extending to Sheriff Street and adjacent areas, has been the site of several crimes; you should avoid these areas after dark. As cars parked in Georgetown have been subject to theft, you are urged to avoid leaving any valuables in vehicles left unattended and are encouraged to lock your vehicles at all times (when in or out of the vehicle). The National Park in Georgetown and the seawall from Sheriff Road to UG Road are frequented by joggers, dog walkers, and families and are generally considered safe during daylight hours but are not recommended at all after dusk.

Petty crimes also occur in the general area of Stabroek Market and to a lesser extent in the area behind Bourda Market. Care should be taken to safeguard personal property when shopping in these markets. The area around St. George's cathedral is known for having pickpockets and should be avoided after dark. Guyana's commercial downtown between Main Street and Water Street from Lamaha Road to Stabroek Market, including "Tiger Bay," is largely deserted outside of business hours and should be avoided after dark. U.S. passports and permanent residency cards are prized by thieves, as they may be used for smuggling and identity theft.

You should avoid walking around Georgetown alone, even in the main areas and especially after dark. Although bandits have been known to attack taxis, they are generally safe and remain the safest means of getting around town and to and from the airport. Only use taxis that are connected to major hotels or are painted yellow. All yellow taxies are registered with the Government of Guyana's licensing office. Exercise constant vigilance, and prior to entering any taxi, make note of the vehicle's license plate. This can be used to track down the driver in the event of being overcharged or if luggage is lost. Do not dress ostentatiously, as there have also been reports of gold chains or other jewelry being snatched off of pedestrians.

Local law-enforcement authorities are generally cooperative but lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Nevertheless, if you are a victim of crime you are encouraged to contact the police as well as the American Citizens Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy's Consular Section.

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Guyana, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In Guyana you may be taken in for questioning if you don't have your passport with you. It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, especially government buildings. Repercussions for driving under the influence result in a fine for the initial offense, a suspension of your license for the second offence and a jail term for succeeding offenses. It's very important to know what's legal and what's not where you are going.

Criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

If you break local laws in Guyana, your U.S. passport won't help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Persons violating Guyanese laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Guyana are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Incarceration time prior to conviction and sentencing does not count toward time served.

If you are arrested in Guyana, Guyanese authorities are required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Notification to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request that police or prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical care in Guyana does not meet U.S. standards. Care is available for minor medical conditions, although quality is very inconsistent. Emergency care and hospitalization for major medical illnesses or surgery are very limited, due to a lack of appropriately trained specialists, below standard in-hospital care, and poor sanitation. There are very few ambulances in Guyana. Ambulance service is limited to transportation without any medical care and is frequently not available for emergencies. An MRI (linked to the United States for interpretation) has been installed and is operational, but results may take up to 4 days. It is located on the compound of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, immediately behind the Embassy on Parade Street.

In the event of an emergency, the number for an ambulance is 913, but this number is not always operational and an ambulance may not be available. You are advised to bring prescription medicine sufficient for your length of stay and should be aware that Guyana's humid climate may affect some medicines. Some prescription medicines (mainly generic rather than name-brand) are available.

Special attention should be paid to HIV/AIDS in Guyana. In addition to elevated infection rates among high-risk populations, such as commercial sex workers, and mobile populations such as miners or loggers, data from the World Health Organization estimate that Guyana has among the highest prevalence rates in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Insect borne illnesses are common and include malaria, dengue, Leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease.

Safety and Security

Demonstrations and protests are rare in Georgetown. Past demonstrations have not been directed at U.S. citizens, and violence against U.S. citizens in general is not common. You should nevertheless remain alert and take prudent personal security measures to deal with the unexpected while in Guyana. It is advisable to avoid areas where crowds have congregated and to maintain a low profile when moving about Georgetown and other Guyanese locales. As with any elections, demonstrations and protests can occur. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to be cautious and vigilant, particularly near any sites associated with political activity.

Most major eco-tourist resorts and hotels in Guyana do not have written emergency plans in place, and many of them have safety deficiencies, including a lack of easily identifiable lifeguards, or none at all. Many of these resorts also do not have adequately stocked first aid supplies.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in a Guyana, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Guyana is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Guyana can be potentially very hazardous. The rate of traffic accident fatalities in Guyana is higher than in the United States. Cars, large commercial vehicles, horse drawn carts, bicyclists, motorcycles, free range livestock, stray dogs, pedestrians, aggressive "mini-buses" and sleeping animals all share narrow, poorly maintained roads. Aggressive, speeding vehicles on the same roads with slow-moving vehicles makes driving in Guyana especially dangerous. Driving at unsafe speeds, reckless driving, tail-gating, quick stops without signaling, passing at intersections, and passing on crowded streets is commonplace. Driving at night poses additional concerns as many roads are not lit, some drivers do not lower high beam lights, livestock sleep on the road and many pedestrians congregate by the roadside. You should exercise caution at all times while driving and avoid driving outside of Georgetown at night when possible.

The Traffic Division of Guyana's National Police Force is responsible for road safety but is ill-trained and ill-equipped. The Department of State recommends that Embassy staff travel in groups of two or more vehicles when traveling outside Georgetown.

You are advised to use caution traveling to and from Cheddi Jagan International Airport, especially at night. The Embassy requires its staff to use official vehicles when traveling this route between dusk and dawn due to a combination of most of the aforementioned characteristics of driving in Guyana.

Penalties for drivers involved in an accident resulting in injury or death are severe, including life imprisonment. If involved in an accident, call 911 for police and 913 for an ambulance. Please note that these numbers are not always operational, police may be slow to respond and an ambulance may not be available.

Drivers use the left side of the road in Guyana. Seatbelt use is required by law and is enforced; failure to use a seatbelt when riding in the front seat of any vehicle can result in a fine. There presently are no laws in Guyana concerning use of child car seats, but the use of age-appropriate seats is strongly recommended for child passengers. Both drivers of and passengers on motorcycles must wear protective helmets that meet certain specifications. Talking on cellular telephones while driving is illegal; however, it is legal if a driver uses a hands free set. Mini-buses (small 12- to 15-passenger vans) ply various routes both within and between cities. Mini-bus drivers have come under severe criticism from the government, press, and private citizens for speeding, aggressive and reckless driving, overloading of vehicles, poor vehicle maintenance and repair, and offensive remarks directed at passengers, but little change in their driving behavior has been noted. Mini-buses have been involved in the majority of fatal vehicular accidents in recent years, and official Americans are barred from using them. You should use taxis for transportation.

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