Guyana

Guyana

Overview
Guyana officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana
British Guiana
British Guiana was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, now the independent nation of Guyana.The area was originally settled by the Dutch at the start of the 17th century as the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice...

, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean
Anglophone Caribbean
The term Commonwealth Caribbean is used to refer to the independent English-speaking countries of the Caribbean region. Upon a country's full independence from the United Kingdom, Anglophone Caribbean or Commonwealth Caribbean traditionally becomes the preferred sub-regional term as a replacement...

. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and (for over 200 years) of the British. It is the only state of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 on mainland South America, and it is also a member of the Caribbean Community
Caribbean Community
The Caribbean Community is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy...

 (CARICOM), which has its secretariat headquarters in Guyana's capital, Georgetown
Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, estimated population 239,227 , is the capital and largest city of Guyana, located in the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.' Georgetown is located at . The city serves...

.
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Encyclopedia
Guyana officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana
British Guiana
British Guiana was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, now the independent nation of Guyana.The area was originally settled by the Dutch at the start of the 17th century as the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice...

, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean
Anglophone Caribbean
The term Commonwealth Caribbean is used to refer to the independent English-speaking countries of the Caribbean region. Upon a country's full independence from the United Kingdom, Anglophone Caribbean or Commonwealth Caribbean traditionally becomes the preferred sub-regional term as a replacement...

. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and (for over 200 years) of the British. It is the only state of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 on mainland South America, and it is also a member of the Caribbean Community
Caribbean Community
The Caribbean Community is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy...

 (CARICOM), which has its secretariat headquarters in Guyana's capital, Georgetown
Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, estimated population 239,227 , is the capital and largest city of Guyana, located in the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.' Georgetown is located at . The city serves...

. Guyana is one of the very few Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 nations that is not an island. Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 on 26 May 1966, and became a Republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 on 23 February 1970.

Historically, the region known as "Guiana" or "Guayana" comprised the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River
Amazon River
The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...

 and east of the Orinoco River known as the "Land of many waters". Historic Guyana is made up of three Dutch colonies: Essequibo
Essequibo (colony)
Essequibo was from 1616 to 1814 a Dutch colony in the region of the Essequibo river on the north coast of South America. The colony formed a part of the colonies that are known under the collective name of Dutch Guyana.- History :...

, Demerara
Demerara
Demerara was a region in South America in what is now Guyana that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British invaded and captured the area in 1796...

, and Berbice
Berbice
Berbice is a region along the Berbice River in Guyana, which was between 1627 and 1815 a colony of the Netherlands. After having been ceded to the United Kingdom in the latter year, it was merged with Essequibo and Demerara to form the colony of British Guiana in 1831...

. Modern Guyana is bordered to the east by Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, to the South and southwest by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, to the west by Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

.

At 215,000 km2, Guyana is the third-smallest independent state on the mainland of South America (after Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 and Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

). Its population is approximately 770,000 (2002 demographic data
Demographics of Guyana
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Guyana, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

) of which the majority are of East Indian decent (43.5%) and African descent (30.2%).

Etymology


The name "Guyana" is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that now includes Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and parts of Venezuela and Brazil. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the name comes from an Amerindian word meaning "land of many waters".

History



Guyana was inhabited by the Arawak and Carib tribes of Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

. Although Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 sighted Guyana during his third voyage (in 1498), the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 were the first to establish colonies: Essequibo
Essequibo (colony)
Essequibo was from 1616 to 1814 a Dutch colony in the region of the Essequibo river on the north coast of South America. The colony formed a part of the colonies that are known under the collective name of Dutch Guyana.- History :...

 (1616), Berbice
Berbice
Berbice is a region along the Berbice River in Guyana, which was between 1627 and 1815 a colony of the Netherlands. After having been ceded to the United Kingdom in the latter year, it was merged with Essequibo and Demerara to form the colony of British Guiana in 1831...

 (1627), and Demerara
Demerara
Demerara was a region in South America in what is now Guyana that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British invaded and captured the area in 1796...

 (1752). The British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 assumed control in the late 18th century, and the Dutch formally ceded the area in 1814. In 1831 the three separate colonies became a single British colony known as British Guiana
British Guiana
British Guiana was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, now the independent nation of Guyana.The area was originally settled by the Dutch at the start of the 17th century as the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice...

.
Since Independence in 1824, Venezuela has claimed the area of land to the west of the Essequibo river. Letters from Simon Bolivar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

 warned the British government about the Berbice and Demerara settlers settling on land the Venezuelans claimed was theirs. In 1899, an international tribunal, ruled the land belonged to Great Britain.


Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966 and became a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. The US State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 and the US Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA), along with the British government, played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time. The American government supported Forbes Burnham
Forbes Burnham
Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was the leader of Guyana from 1964 until his death, first as Premier from 1964 to 1966, then as the Prime Minister from 1966 to 1980 and finally as President from 1980 to 1985....

 during the early years of independence because Cheddi Jagan
Cheddi Jagan
Cheddi Berret Jagan was a Guyanese politician who was first elected Chief Minister in 1953 and later Premier of British Guiana from 1961 to 1964, prior to independence. He later served as President of Guyana from 1992 to 1997.- Biography :The son of ethnic Indian sugar plantation workers, Jagan...

 was a self-declared Marxist. They provided secret financial support and political campaign advice to Burnham's People's National Congress
People's National Congress
The People's National Congress is a socialist political party in Guyana led by Robert Corbin. The party currently holds 22 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly.-History:...

 to the detriment of the Jagan-led People's Progressive Party
People's Progressive Party (Guyana)
The People's Progressive Party is a political party in Guyana led by Bharrat Jagdeo. The party has been in power since the 1992 elections and currently holds 36 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly.-History:...

, mostly supported by Guyanese of Indian descent.

In 1978, Guyana received considerable international attention when 918 members, almost entirely American, (more than 300 of whom were children) of the Jim Jones
Jim Jones
James Warren "Jim" Jones was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 mass suicide of 909 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana along with the killings of five other people at a nearby airstrip.Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple in...

-led Peoples Temple
Peoples Temple
Peoples Temple was a religious organization founded in 1955 by Jim Jones that, by the mid-1970s, included over a dozen locations in California including its headquarters in San Francisco...

 died in a mass murder/suicide in Jonestown
Jonestown
Jonestown was the informal name for the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, an intentional community in northwestern Guyana formed by the Peoples Temple led by Jim Jones. It became internationally notorious when, on November 18, 1978, 918 people died in the settlement as well as in a nearby...

a settlement created by the Peoples Temple. An attack by Jim Jones' bodyguards at a small remote airstrip close to Jonestown resulted in the murder of five people, including Leo Ryan
Leo Ryan
Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr. was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He served as a U.S. Representative from California's 11th congressional district from 1973 until he was murdered in Guyana by members of the Peoples Temple shortly before the Jonestown Massacre in 1978.After the Watts Riots...

, the only congressman
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 ever murdered in the line of duty in US history.

In May 2008, President Bharrat Jagdeo
Bharrat Jagdeo
Bharrat Jagdeo is a Guyanese politician who has been President of Guyana since 11 August 1999. Prior to his presidency he was Minister of Finance and became President after Janet Jagan resigned for health reasons; subsequently he won two elections, in 2001 and 2006.Jagdeo was born in Unity Village...

 was a signatory to The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. Guyana has ratified the treaty.

Geography



The territory controlled by Guyana lies between latitudes
1st parallel north
The 1st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 1 degree north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 9°N
9th parallel north
The 9th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 9 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Indian Ocean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, South America and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 56°
56th meridian west
The meridian 56° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, South America, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 62°W
62nd meridian west
The meridian 62° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, South America, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

The country can be divided into five natural regions; a narrow and fertile marshy plain along the Atlantic coast (low coastal plain) where most of the population lives; a white sand belt more inland (hilly sand and clay region), containing most of Guyana's mineral deposits; the dense rain forests (Forested Highland Region) in the southern part of the country; the desert savannah
Savannah
Savannah or savanna is a type of grassland.It can also mean:-People:* Savannah King, a Canadian freestyle swimmer* Savannah Outen, a singer who gained popularity on You Tube...

 in the southern west; and the smallest interior lowlands (interior savannah) consisting mostly of mountains that gradually rise to the Brazilian border.

Some of Guyana's highest mountains are Mount Ayanganna
Mount Ayanganna
Mount Ayanganna is a sandstone tepui in the Pakaraima Mountains of western Guyana, 85 kilometres east of Mount Roraima at . With a height of 2,041 metres it is the easternmost tepui taller than 2,000 metres...

 (2042 metres (6,699 ft)), Monte Caburaí
Monte Caburaí
Monte Caburaí is a mountain located on the border between the South American countries of Brazil and Guyana standing at above sea level. The source of the Uailã or Ailã river, located on the mountain, is the northernmost point of Brazil....

 (1465 metres (4,806 ft)) and Mount Roraima (2810 metres (9,219 ft) – the highest mountain in Guyana) on the Brazil-Guyana-Venezuela tripoint
Tripoint
A tripoint, or trijunction , is a geographical point at which the borders of three countries or subnational entities meet....

 border, part of the Pakaraima range. Mount Roraima and Guyana's table-top mountains (tepui
Tepui
A tepui , or tepuy, is a table-top mountain or mesa found in the Guiana Highlands of South America, especially in Venezuela. The word tepui means "house of the gods" in the native tongue of the Pemon, the indigenous people who inhabit the Gran Sabana....

s) are said to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World
The Lost World (Arthur Conan Doyle)
The Lost World is a novel released in 1912 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle concerning an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals still survive. It was originally published serially in the popular Strand Magazine during the months of April 1912-November 1912...

. There are also many volcanic escarpments and waterfalls, including Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls is a high-volume waterfall on the Potaro River in central Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni region. It is located inKaieteur National Park. It is 226 meters high when measured from its plunge over a sandstone and conglomerate cliff to the first break...

. North of the Rupununi River lies the Rupununi savannah
Rupununi savannah
The Rupununi savannah is a savanna plain in Guyana, in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region. It is an ecoregion of the Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Biome.-Description:...

, south of which lie the Kanuku Mountains
Kanuku Mountains
The Kanuku Mountains are a group of mountains in Guyana, located in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region. The name means 'forest' in the Wapishana language, a reference to the rich diversity of wildlife found there...

.

The four longest rivers are the Essequibo
Essequibo River
The Esequibo River is the largest river in Guyana, and the largest river between the Orinoco and Amazon. Rising in the Acarai Mountains near the Brazil-Guyana border, the Essequibo flows to the north for 1,010 km through forest and savanna into the Atlantic Ocean.-Geography:There are countless...

 at 1010 kilometres (628 mi) long, the Courantyne River
Courantyne River
The Corentyne / Courantyne / Corantijn River is a river in northern South America in the country of Suriname, it is the longest river in the state. The river originates in the Acarai Mountains and flows northward for approximately between Guyana and Suriname, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near...

 at 724 kilometres (450 mi), the Berbice
Berbice River
The Berbice River, located in eastern Guyana, rises in the highlands of the Rupununi region. The Berbice flows northward for 370 miles through dense forests to the coastal plain...

 at 595 kilometres (370 mi), and the Demerara
Demerara River
The Demerara River is a river in eastern Guyana that rises in the central rainforests of the country and flows to the north for 346 kilometres until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Georgetown, Guyana's largest seaport and capital, is situated on the east bank of the river's mouth. The Demerara's...

 at 346 kilometres (215 mi). The Courantyne river forms the border with Suriname. At the mouth of the Essequibo are several large islands, including the 145 km (90 mi) wide Shell Beach
Shell Beach, Guyana
Shell Beach, located on the Atlantic coast of Guyana in the Barima-Waini Region, near the Venezuelan border, is a nesting site for four of the eight sea turtle species - the Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback. Shell Beach extends for approximately 140km....

 lies along the northwest coast, which is also a major breeding area for sea turtle
Sea turtle
Sea turtles are marine reptiles that inhabit all of the world's oceans except the Arctic.-Distribution:...

s (mainly Leatherbacks
Leatherback Sea Turtle
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its...

) and other wildlife.

The local climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 is tropical
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

 and generally hot and humid, though moderated by northeast trade winds along the coast. There are two rainy seasons, the first from May to mid-August, the second from mid-November to mid-January.

Guyana has one of the largest unspoiled rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

s in South America, some parts of which are almost inaccessible by humans. The rich natural history of Guyana was described by early explorers Sir Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England....

 and Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton was an English naturalist and explorer.-Heritage and Life:"Squire" Waterton was born at Walton Hall, Wakefield, Yorkshire to Thomas Waterton and Anne Bedingfield. He was of a Roman Catholic landed gentry family descended from Reiner de Waterton...

 and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough
David Attenborough
Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA is a British broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years...

 and Gerald Durrell
Gerald Durrell
Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell, OBE was a naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author and television presenter...

. In 2008, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 ran a three-part programme called Lost Land of the Jaguar which highlighted the huge diversity of wildlife, including undiscovered species and rare species such as the giant otter
Giant Otter
The giant otter is a South American carnivorous mammal. It is the longest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, a globally successful group of predators. Unusually for a mustelid, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members...

 and harpy eagle.

Regions and Neighbourhood Councils


Guyana is divided into 10 regions:
No Region Area km² Population Population
per km²
1 Barima-Waini
Barima-Waini
Barima-Waini is a region of Essequibo, Guyana, a territory in dispute by Guyana and Venezuela, located in the northwest of the country. It covers an area of 20,339 km²...

 
20,339 24,275 1.2
2 Pomeroon-Supenaam
Pomeroon-Supenaam
Pomeroon-Supenaam is a region in Guyana, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the region of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara to the east, the region of Cuyuni-Mazaruni to the south and the region of Barima-Waini to the west...

 
6,195 49,253 8.0
3 Essequibo Islands-West Demerara
Essequibo Islands-West Demerara
Essequibo Islands-West Demerara is a region of Guyana, split in two by the Essequibo River. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the region of Demerara-Mahaica to the east, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice to the south and the regions ofIt contains the towns of Parika, Schoon Ord...

 
2,232 103,061 46.2
4 Demerara-Mahaica
Demerara-Mahaica
Demerara-Mahaica is a region of Guyana, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the region of Mahaica-Berbice to the east, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice to the south and the region of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara to the west....

 
1,843 310,320 168.4
5 Mahaica-Berbice
Mahaica-Berbice
Mahaica-Berbice is a region of Guyana, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the region of East Berbice-Corentyne to the east, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice to the south and the region of Demerara-Mahaica to the west....

 
3,755 52,428 14.0
6 East Berbice-Corentyne
East Berbice-Corentyne
East Berbice-Corentyne is one of ten regions in Guyana covering the whole of the east of the country. It borders the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Suriname to the east, Brazil to the south and the regions of Mahaica-Berbice, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Potaro-Siparuni and Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo...

 
36,234 123,695 3.4
7 Cuyuni-Mazaruni
Cuyuni-Mazaruni
Cuyuni-Mazaruni is a region of Esequiban Guyana, a territory in dispute by Guyana and Venezuela, bordering the regions of Barima-Waini, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara and Pomeroon-Supenaam to the north, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice to the east, the region of Potaro-Siparuni and Brazil to...

 
47,213 17,597 0.3
8 Potaro-Siparuni
Potaro-Siparuni
Potaro-Siparuni is a region in Guyana, bordering the region of Cuyuni-Mazaruni to the north, the regions of Upper Demerara-Berbice and East Berbice-Corentyne to the east, the region of Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo to the south and Brazil to the west.The main towns in the region are Kangaruma,...

 
20,051 10,095 0.5
9 Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo
Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo
Upper Takutu-Upper Esequibo is a region of Guyana in the Zona de Reclamación by Venezuela, bordering the region of Potaro-Siparuni to the north, the region of East Berbice-Corentyne to the east and Brazil to the south and west. It contains the towns Lethem, Isherton, Good Hope and Surama. It is...

 
57,750 19,387 1.3
10 Upper Demerara-Berbice
Upper Demerara-Berbice
Upper Demerara-Berbice is a region of Guyana, bordering the regions of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Demerara-Mahaica and Mahaica-Berbice to the north, the region of East Berbice-Corentyne to the east, and the regions of Potaro-Siparuni and Cuyuni-Mazaruni to the west.It contains Guyana's...

 
19,387 41,112 2.1
Guyana 214,999 751,223 3.49


The regions are divided into 27 neighbourhood councils.

Boundary disputes




Guyana was in border disputes
Territorial dispute
A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states or over the possession or control of land by a new state and occupying power after it has conquered the land from a former state no longer currently recognized by the new state.-Context and...

 with both Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, which claimed the land east of the Corentyne River in southeastern Guyana, and Venezuela which claims the land west of the Essequibo River, once the Dutch colony of Essequibo
Essequibo (colony)
Essequibo was from 1616 to 1814 a Dutch colony in the region of the Essequibo river on the north coast of South America. The colony formed a part of the colonies that are known under the collective name of Dutch Guyana.- History :...

 as part of Venezuela's Guayana Essequiba. The maritime component of the territorial dispute with Suriname was arbitrated by the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, and a ruling was announced on September 21, 2007. The ruling concerning the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....

 north of both nations found both parties violated treaty obligations and declined to order any compensation to either party.

When the British surveyed British Guiana in 1840, they included the entire Cuyuni River
Cuyuni River
The Cuyuni River is a South American river and a tributary of the Essequibo River. It rises in the Guiana Highlands of Venezuela where it descends northward to El Dorado, and turns eastward to meander through the tropical rain forests of Guayana Esequiba...

 basin within the colony. Venezuela did not agree with this as it claimed all lands west of the Essequibo River. In 1898, at Venezuela's request, an international arbitration tribunal
Arbitral tribunal
An arbitral tribunal is a panel of one or more adjudicators which is convened and sits to resolve a dispute by way of arbitration. The tribunal may consist of a sole arbitrator, or there may be two or more arbitrators, which might include either a chairman or an umpire...

 was convened, and in 1899 they issued an award giving about 94% of the disputed territory to British Guiana.

Venezuela and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 accepted the award by treaty in 1905, but Venezuela raised the issue again at the time of Guyana's independence and continues to claim Guayana Esequiba.
Venezuela calls this region "Zona en Reclamación" (Reclamation Zone), and Venezuelan maps of the national territory routinely include it, drawing it in with dashed lines.

Specific small disputed areas involving Guyana are Ankoko Island
Ankoko Island
Ankoko Island is located at the confluence of the Cuyuni River and Wenamu River, at , on the border between Venezuela and the disputed area of Guayana Esequiba, Guyana....

 with Venezuela; Corentyne River with Suriname; and New River Triangle with Suriname.

Environment and biodiversity




The following habitats have been categorised for Guyana: coastal, marine, littoral, estuarine palustrine, mangrove, riverine, lacustrine, swamp, savanna, white sand forest, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, moist lowland and dry evergreen scrub forests (NBAP, 1999). About 14 areas of biological interest have been identified as possible hotspots for a National Protected Area System.

More than 80% of Guyana is still covered by forests, ranging from dry evergreen and seasonal forests to montane and lowland evergreen rain forests. These forests are home to more than a thousand species of trees. Guyana's tropical climate, unique geology, and relatively pristine ecosystems support extensive areas of species-rich rain forests and natural habitats with high levels of endemism. Approximately eight thousand species of plants occur in Guyana, half of which are found nowhere else.

Guyana has one of the highest levels of biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 in the world. Guyana, with 1,168 vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

 species, 1,600 bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 species, boasts one of the richest mammalian fauna assemblages of any comparably sized area in the world. The Guiana Shield region is little known and extremely rich biologically. Unlike other areas of South America, over 70% of the natural habitat remains pristine.

The rich natural history of British Guiana was described by early explorers Sir Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England....

 and Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton was an English naturalist and explorer.-Heritage and Life:"Squire" Waterton was born at Walton Hall, Wakefield, Yorkshire to Thomas Waterton and Anne Bedingfield. He was of a Roman Catholic landed gentry family descended from Reiner de Waterton...

 and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough
David Attenborough
Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA is a British broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years...

 and Gerald Durrell
Gerald Durrell
Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell, OBE was a naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author and television presenter...

.

In February 2004, the Government of Guyana issued a title to more than 1 million acres (4,046.9 km²) of land in the Konashen Indigenous District declaring this land as the Konashen Community-Owned Conservation Area (COCA), to be managed by the Wai Wai. In doing so Guyana created the world's largest Community-Owned Conservation Area.

This important event followed a request made by the Wai Wai community to the government of Guyana and Conservation International Guyana (CIG) for assistance in developing a sustainable plan for their lands in Konashen. The three parties signed a Memorandum of Cooperation which outlines a plan for sustainable use of the Konashen COCA’s biological resources, identifies threats to the area’s biodiversity, and helps develop projects to increase awareness of the COCA as well as generate the income necessary to maintain its protected status.


The Konashen Indigenous District of Southern Guyana houses the headwaters of the Essequibo River, Guyana’s principal water source, and drains the Kassikaityu, Kamoa, Sipu and Chodikar rivers. Southern Guyana is host to some of the most pristine expanses of evergreen forests in the northern part of South America. Most of the forests found here are tall, evergreen hill-land and lower montane forests, with large expanses of flooded forest along major rivers. Thanks to the very low human population density of the area, most of these forests are still intact. The Smithsonian Institution has identified nearly 2,700 species of plants from this region, representing 239 distinct families, and there are certainly additional species still to be recorded.

Such incredible diversity of plants supports even more impressive diversity of animal life, recently documented by a biological survey organised by Conservation International. The clean, unpolluted waters of the Essequibo
Essequibo River
The Esequibo River is the largest river in Guyana, and the largest river between the Orinoco and Amazon. Rising in the Acarai Mountains near the Brazil-Guyana border, the Essequibo flows to the north for 1,010 km through forest and savanna into the Atlantic Ocean.-Geography:There are countless...

 watershed support a remarkable diversity of fish and aquatic invertebrates, and are home to giant river otters, capybaras, and several species of caimans.

On land, large mammals, such as jaguars, tapirs, bush dogs, giant anteaters, and saki monkeys are still common. Over 400 species of birds have been reported from the region, and the reptile and amphibian faunas are similarly rich. The Konashen COCA forests are also home to countless species of insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates, many of which are still undiscovered and unnamed.

The Konashen COCA is relatively unique in that it contains a high level of biological diversity and richness that remains in nearly pristine condition; such places have become rare on earth. This fact has given rise to various non-exploitative, environmentally sustainable industries such as ecotourism, successfully capitalizing on the biological wealth of the Konashen COCA with comparatively little enduring impact.

World Heritage Site status


Many countries interested in the conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage sites of the world accede to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage that was adopted by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1972. Guyana signed the treaty in 1977, the first Caribbean State Party to do so. In the mid-1990s, Guyana seriously began the process of selecting sites for World Heritage nomination, and three sites were considered: Kaieteur National Park
Kaieteur National Park
Kaieteur National Park is a National Park located in the Potaro-Siparuni Region of Guyana. The Park's boundaries and purpose are defined in the Kaieteur National Park Act, and was created to preserve the natural scenery , and its fauna and flora...

, Shell Beach
Shell Beach, Guyana
Shell Beach, located on the Atlantic coast of Guyana in the Barima-Waini Region, near the Venezuelan border, is a nesting site for four of the eight sea turtle species - the Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback. Shell Beach extends for approximately 140km....

 and Historic Georgetown. By 1997, work on Kaieteur National Park was started, and in 1998 work on Historic Georgetown was begun. To date, however, Guyana has not made a successful nomination.
Guyana submitted the Kaieteur National Park, including the Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls is a high-volume waterfall on the Potaro River in central Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni region. It is located inKaieteur National Park. It is 226 meters high when measured from its plunge over a sandstone and conglomerate cliff to the first break...

, to UNESCO as its first World Heritage Site nomination. The proposed area and surrounds have some of Guyana's most diversified life zones with one of the highest levels of endemic species found anywhere in South America. The Kaieteur Falls is the most spectacular feature of the park, falling a distance of 226 metres. The nomination of Kaieteur Park as a World Heritage Site was not successful, primarily because the area was seen by the evaluators as being too small, especially when compared with the Central Suriname Nature Reserve that had just been nominated as a World Heritage Site (2000). The dossier was thus returned to Guyana for revision.

Guyana continues in its bid for a World Heritage Site. Work continues, after a period of hiatus, on the nomination dossier for Historic Georgetown. A Tentative List indicating an intention to nominate Historic Georgetown was submitted to UNESCO in December 2004. There is now a small committee put together by the Guyana National Commission for UNESCO to complete the nomination dossier and the management plan for the site. In April 2005, two Dutch experts in conservation spent two weeks in Georgetown supervising architecture staff and students of the University of Guyana
University of Guyana
The University of Guyana, in Georgetown, Guyana is a public university established in 1963 by the Guyanese government.-History:Cheddi Jagan, then Premier of British Guiana considered that the University of the West Indies, to which his government had contributed since 1948, was not meeting the...

 in a historic building survey of the selected area. This is part of the data collection for the nomination dossier.

Meanwhile, as a result of the Kaieteur National Park being considered too small, there is a proposal to prepare a nomination for a Cluster Site that will include the Kaieteur National Park, the Iwokrama Forest
Iwokrama Forest
The Iwokrama Forest is nearly 3710 square kilometres of central Guyana located in the heart of the Guiana Shield, one of the four last pristine tropical forests in the world,...

 and the Kanuku Mountains
Kanuku Mountains
The Kanuku Mountains are a group of mountains in Guyana, located in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region. The name means 'forest' in the Wapishana language, a reference to the rich diversity of wildlife found there...

. The Iwokrama Rain Forest, an area rich in biological diversity, has been described by Major General (Retired) Joseph Singh as “a flagship project for conservation.” The Kanuku Mountains area is in a pristine state and is home to more than four hundred species of birds and other animals.

There is much work to be done for the successful nomination of these sites to the World Heritage List. The state, the private sector and the ordinary Guyanese citizens each have a role to play in this process and in the later protection of the sites. Inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage will open Guyana to more serious tourists thereby assisting in its economic development.

Guyana exhibits two of the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200
Global 200
The Global 200 is the list of ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund as priorities for conservation. According to the WWF, an ecoregion is defined as a "relatively large unit of land or water containing a characteristic set of natural communities that share a large majority of their...

 eco-regions most crucial to the conservation of global biodiversity, Guianan moist forests and Guiana Highlands moist forests and is home to several endemic species including the tropical hardwood Greenheart
Chlorocardium
Chlorocardium rodiei is a member of the family Lauraceae. It is one of two species in the genus Chlorocardium, and was formerly classified in either of the genera Nectandra or Ocotea, as Nectandra rodiei or Ocotea rodiei. Other local names include sipiri, bebeeru and bibiru...

.

Landmarks



St. George's Anglican Cathedral
St. George's Anglican Cathedral
St. George's Anglican Cathedral in Georgetown, Guyana is one of the tallest wooden churches in the world, at a height of .St. George's was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield and opened on 24 August 1892. The building was completed in 1899...

 : One of the tallest wooden church structures in the world and the second tallest wooden house of worship after the Todaiji Temple in Japan.
Demerara Harbour Bridge
Demerara Harbour Bridge
The Demerara Harbour Bridge is a long floating toll bridge. It was commissioned on 2 July 1978. The bridge crosses the Demerara River south of the Guyanese capital Georgetown, from Peter's Hall, East Bank Demerara to Schoon Ord, West Bank Demerara. There is a pedestrian footwalk. A raised...

 : The world's fourth-longest floating bridge.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Building
Secretariat of the Caribbean Community
The Secretariat of the Caribbean Community is the principal administrative organ for the Caribbean Community and is headed by the Secretary General who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community....

: Houses the Headquarters of the largest and most powerful economic union in the Caribbean.
Providence Stadium
Providence Stadium
The Providence Stadium is a sports stadium in Guyana, replacing Bourda as the national stadium. The stadium was built specifically to host Super Eight matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, held in March and April 2007...

 : Situated sat on Providence on the north bank of the Demerara River
Demerara River
The Demerara River is a river in eastern Guyana that rises in the central rainforests of the country and flows to the north for 346 kilometres until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Georgetown, Guyana's largest seaport and capital, is situated on the east bank of the river's mouth. The Demerara's...

 and built in time for the ICC World Cup 2007, it is the largest sports stadium in the country. It is also near the Providence Mall, forming a major spot for leisure in Guyana.
Guyana International Conference Centre: Presented as a gift from the People's Republic of China to the Government of Guyana. It is the only one of its kind in the country.
Stabroek Market
Stabroek Market
Stabroek Market is a large market located in the capital city of Guyana, Georgetown.In 1842, the Georgetown Town Council designated the current location of the market on Water St., officially recognizing it as a market despite the fact that it had served such a capacity for quite some time...

: A large cast-iron colonial structure that looked like a statue was located next to the Demerara River.
City Hall
Georgetown City Hall
The Georgetown City Hall, located in Georgetown, Guyana, was completed in 1889. Its architecture is described as Danube Gothic in timber, largely due to its stylized tower, with wrought-iron crenelations at the very apex....

: A beautiful wooden structure also from the colonial era.
Queen's College
Queen's College, Guyana
Queen's College is the top secondary school in Guyana;Situated at the South-Easterly Junction of Camp Street and Thomas Lands. Alumni can enter the school through the National Grade Six Assessment and at the Lower 6th Form Level if the academic performance of the student at the Caribbean Secondary...

: Top secondary school in the country.

Economy



The main economic activities in Guyana are agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 (production of rice and Demerara sugar
Natural brown sugar
Natural brown sugar is brown sugar made by partially refining sugar cane extract, whereas most brown sugar is made by adding molasses to fully refined sugar, which may come from sugar beet....

), bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 mining, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 mining, timber, shrimp fishing and minerals. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labour and a deficient infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

. In 2008, the economy witnessed a 3% increase in growth amid the global economic crisis and is expected to grow further in 2009.

Until recently, the government was juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. Low prices for key mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 and agricultural commodities combined with troubles in the bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 and sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 industries had threatened the government's tenuous fiscal position and dimmed prospects for the future. However, the Guyanese economy has rebounded slightly and exhibited moderate economic growth since 1999, thanks to an expansion in the agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

, and the continued support of international organizations.

The sugar industry, which accounts for 28% of all export earnings, is largely run by the company Guysuco, which employs more people than any other industry. Many industries have a large foreign investment. For example, the mineral industry is heavily invested in by the American company Reynolds Metals
Reynolds Metals
Reynolds Group Holdings is an American packaging company with its roots in the Reynolds Metals Company, was the second largest aluminum company in the United States, and the third largest in the world...

 and the British-Australian Rio Tinto's
Rio Tinto Group
The Rio Tinto Group is a diversified, British-Australian, multinational mining and resources group with headquarters in London and Melbourne. The company was founded in 1873, when a multinational consortium of investors purchased a mine complex on the Rio Tinto river, in Huelva, Spain from the...

 Rio Tinto Alcan subsidiary; the Korean/Malaysian Barama Company has a large stake in the logging industry.
The production of balatá
Balatá
Manilkara bidentata is a species of Manilkara native to a large area of northern South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Common names include balatá, ausubo, massaranduba, and "cow-tree"....

 (natural latex
Latex
Latex is the stable dispersion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. Latexes may be natural or synthetic.Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants . It is a complex emulsion consisting of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins,...

) was once big business in Guyana. Most of the balata bleeding in Guyana took place in the foothills of the Kanuku Mountains in the Rupununi. Early exploitation also took place in the North West District, but most of the trees in the area were destroyed by illicit bleeding methods that involved cutting down the trees rather than making incisions in them. Uses of balatá included the making of cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 balls, the temporary filling of troublesome tooth cavities, and the crafting of figurines and other decorative items (particularly by the Macushi people of the Kanuku mountains).

Major private sector
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 organizations include the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI);

The government initiated a major overhaul of the tax code in early 2007. The Value Added Tax
Value added tax
A value added tax or value-added tax is a form of consumption tax. From the perspective of the buyer, it is a tax on the purchase price. From that of the seller, it is a tax only on the "value added" to a product, material or service, from an accounting point of view, by this stage of its...

 (VAT) was brought into effect, replacing six different taxes. Prior to the implementation of the VAT, it had been relatively easy to evade sales tax, and many businesses were in violation of tax code. Many businesses were very opposed to VAT introduction because of the extra paperwork required; however, the Government has remained firm on the VAT. By replacing several taxes with one flat tax rate, it will also be easier for government auditors to spot embezzlement
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

. While the adjustment to VAT has been difficult, it may improve day-to-day life because of the significant additional funds the government will have available for public spending.

President Bharrat Jagdeo
Bharrat Jagdeo
Bharrat Jagdeo is a Guyanese politician who has been President of Guyana since 11 August 1999. Prior to his presidency he was Minister of Finance and became President after Janet Jagan resigned for health reasons; subsequently he won two elections, in 2001 and 2006.Jagdeo was born in Unity Village...

 has made debt relief
Debt relief
Debt relief is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations. From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particular agricultural debts and freeing of debt slaves...

 a foremost priority of his administration. He has been quite successful, getting US$800 million of debt written off by the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF), the World Bank
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...

 and the Inter-American Development Bank
Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean...

 (IDB), in addition to millions more from other industrial nations. Mr. Jagdeo was lauded by IDB President Moreno for his strong leadership and negotiating skills in pursuing debt relief for Guyana and several other regional countries.

Summary



Cost of living


The cost of living in Guyana is high. This is because most of the items used in daily life are imported with high transportation costs involved. Monopoly in some business sectors also causes higher profit booking and further raising of prices. For example, approximate prices (as of January, 2010) of gasoline (petrol) is US$ 5 per gallon, and electricity prices are close to US$ 0.33 per unit. A domestic gas bottle (or gas cylinder) is slightly over US$ 20. Rent for average family accommodation may exceed US$ 100 per month in safe urban locations,but most people have their own homes and do not rent, and personal income tax, which is 33.33% (one third) of total taxable income makes the cost of living higher. An employee's salary is normally paid in Guyanese dollars (1 US Dollar = 200 Guyanese Dollars approx.) and income tax is deducted by the employer.

Demographics


The population of Guyana is approximately 770,000, of which 90% reside on the narrow
coastal strip (approximately 10% of the total land area of Guyana). Guyana's coastal strip ranges from between 10 to 40 mi (16.1 to 64.4 ) in width.

The present population of Guyana is racially and ethnically heterogeneous, composed chiefly of the descendants of immigrants who came to the country as either enslaved or indentured labourers respectively, from Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. The population therefore is made up of groups with ethnic backgrounds from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, with Aboriginal
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

. These groups of diverse nationality backgrounds have been fused together by a common language, i.e., English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Creole. There has been racial tension between the majority Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese .

The largest ethnic group is that of the descendants of immigrants from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 also known as East Indians
Indo-Guyanese
Indo-Guyanese are mostly descendants of indentured labourers from India who are citizens or nationals of Guyana. They are often referred to as Indians or East Indians...

 (Indo-Guyanese), comprising 43.5% of the population in 2002. They are followed by people of African
Afro-Guyanese
Afro-Guyanese people are the inhabitants of Guyana of Black African origin...

 heritage (Afro-Guyanese) (30.2%). The third in number are those of mixed heritage (16.7%), while Aboriginals (Arawak, Wai Wai, Carib, Akawaio, Arecuna, Patamona, Wapixana, Macushi
Macushi
The Macuxi are an ethnic group of southern Guyana and northern Brazil. There are approximately 15,000 Macushi speakers in Brazil and 9,000 in Guyana.-Origins:...

 and Warao
Warao
The Warao are an indigenous people inhabiting northeastern Venezuela and western Guyana. Alternate common spellings of Warao are Waroa, Guarauno, Guarao, and Warrau. The term Warao translates as "the boat people," after the Warao's lifelong and intimate connection to the water...

) are fourth making up close to 10% of the population. The smallest groups are the Europeans (including Portuguese
Portuguese immigrants in Guyana
The history of Portuguese Guyanese community is relates directly with the end of slavery. After the abolition of slavery in 1807, the planters of British Guiana sought alternative sources of labour...

), who number at 1,600 individuals, and the Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

, who number at 1,400 persons. A small group (fewer than 1%) were unable to be classified.
The population distribution in 2002 was determined by ethnic background. The distribution pattern has been similar to those of the 1980 and 1991 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

es, but the share of the two main groups has declined. Indo-Guyanese made up 51.9% of the total population in 1980, but by 1991 this had fallen to 48.6%, and then to 43.5% in the 2002 census. Those of African descent increased slightly from 30.8% to 32.3% during the first period (1980 and 1991) before falling to 30.2% in the 2002 census. With small growth in the population, the decline in the shares of the two larger groups has resulted in the relative increase of shares of the multiracial and Amerindian groups.

The Amerindian population rose by 22,097 people between 1991 and 2002. This represents an increase of 47.3% or annual growth of 3.5%. Similarly, the multiracial population increased by 37,788 persons, representing a 43.0% increase or annual growth rate of 3.2% from the base period of 1991 census. The European and Chinese populations which declined between 1980 and 1991 regained in numbers by the 2002 census by 54.4% (168 persons) and 8.1% (105 persons) respectively. However, because of their relatively small sizes, the increase has little effect on the overall change. The number of Portuguese (4.3% of the population in 1891) has been declining constantly over the decades.

Most Indo-Guyanese are descended from Bhojpuri-speaking Bihari
Bihari people
The Biharis are an ethnic group originating from the present state of Bihar with a history going back three millennia...

 and Uttar Pradesh migrants. Many Indo-guyanese are also Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 speaking Tamils from Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, and Telugus of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 of South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

.

Language



English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 is the official language of Guyana and used in its schools. In addition, Cariban languages
Cariban languages
The Cariban languages are an indigenous language family of South America. They are widespread across northernmost South America, from the mouth of the Amazon River to the Colombian Andes, but also appear in central Brazil. Cariban languages are relatively closely related, and number two to three...

 (Akawaio
Akawaio language
Akawaio is a Cariban language spoken mainly in Guyana, most commonly in the region of the Upper Mazaruni. Though many speakers don't live in villages, there are a number of population centers, notably Kamarang, Jawalla, Waramadong, and Kako. Some 6,000 people speak Akawaio...

, Wai-Wai, Arawak and Macushi
Macushi
The Macuxi are an ethnic group of southern Guyana and northern Brazil. There are approximately 15,000 Macushi speakers in Brazil and 9,000 in Guyana.-Origins:...

) are spoken by a small minority, while Guyanese Creole (an English-based creole with African and/or East Indian syntax whose grammar is not standardised.) is widely spoken.

Religion



Data from a 2002 census on religious affiliation indicates that approximately 57% of the population are Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

. Approximately 28% are Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, 9% are Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

. An estimated 4% of the population does not profess any religion.

Most Guyanese Christians are either Protestants or Roman Catholics and include a mix of all races. Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 is dominated by the Indians who came to the country in the early 19th century, while Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 varies between Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese.

Government and politics





Politics of Guyana
Politics of Guyana
Politics of Guyana takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Guyana is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and...

 takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

 representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, whereby the President of Guyana is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, and of a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 and the National Assembly of Guyana
National Assembly of Guyana
The National Assembly is the parliament of Guyana. It has 65 members, 53 members elected for a five-year term by proportional representation and 12 members delegated by local government councils...

.

Historically, politics are a source of tension in the country, and violent riots have often broken out during elections. During the 1970s and 1980s, the political landscape was dominated by the People's National Congress.

In 1992, the first "free and fair" elections were overseen by former United States President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, and the People's Progressive Party has led the country since. The two parties are principally organised along ethnic lines and as a result often clash on issues related to the allocation of resources.

Military



The military of Guyana consists of the Guyana Defence Force
Guyana Defence Force
The Guyana Defence Force is the military service of Guyana.-History:The GDF was formed on November 1, 1965. Members of the new Defence Force were drawn from the British Guiana Volunteer Force , Special Service Unit , British Guiana Police Force BGPF and civilians...

 (GDF), which includes Ground Forces, Coast Guard, and Air Corps.

Transport




There are a total of 116 miles (187 km) of railway, all dedicated to ore transport. There are 4,952 miles (7,970 km) of highway, of which 367 miles (590 km) are paved. Navigable waterways extend to 669 miles (1,077 km), including the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers.
There are ports at Georgetown, Port Kaituma, and New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam, Guyana
New Amsterdam , located in the East Berbice-Corentyne Region, 62 miles from the capital, Georgetown, is one of the largest towns in Guyana. It is located four miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean mouth of the Berbice River, on its eastern bank, immediately south of the Canje River...

. There is 1 international airport (Cheddi Jagan International Airport
Cheddi Jagan International Airport
Cheddi Jagan International Airport , formerly Timehri International Airport, is the national airport of Guyana. The airport is located on the right bank of the Demerara River in the city of Timehri, south of Guyana's capital, Georgetown.-History:...

, Timehri); 1 regional airport (Ogle Airport
Ogle Airport
Ogle Airport is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Guyana, 6 miles east of the capital, Georgetown.In 2003 the airport was a local hub shuttling some 50,000 passengers and 1,800 tons of cargo annually. Construction began that year to expand the facility to an international airport with...

); and about 90 airstrips, 9 of which have paved runways. Guyana and Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

 are the only two countries in South America which drive on the left.

Electricity



The electricity sector in Guyana is dominated by Guyana Power and Light
Guyana Power and Light
Guyana Power and Light is a utility company in Guyana, providing electric power in the country. Its distribution system is unique because it is supplied with 50 and 60 cycle power. Domestic voltage can be 110 or 220 depending on the area....

 (GPL), the state-owned vertically integrated utility. Although the country has a large potential for hydroelectric and bagasse
Bagasse
Bagasse is the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. It is currently used as a biofuel and as a renewable resource in the manufacture of pulp and paper products and building materials....

-fueled power generation, most of its 226 MW of installed capacity correspond to inefficient thermoelectric diesel-engine driven generators.

Several initiatives are in place to improve energy access in the hinterland. Please visit the article Hinterland energy in Guyana
Hinterland energy in Guyana
This article deals with Hinterland energy issues. For electricity in general, see the article Electricity sector in Guyana.- Background :About 80% of the population in Guyana live along the coastal plain, with access to the electricity grid. The areas outside the coastal plain are referred to as...


Water supply and sanitation


Key issues in the water
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

 and sanitation
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

 sector in Guyana are poor service quality, a low level of cost recovery and low levels of access. A high-profile management contract with the British company Severn Trent
Severn Trent
Severn Trent plc is a British public utility. It is traded on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.Severn Trent is a group of companies employing more than 15,000 people across the UK, US and mainland Europe, with some involvement in the Middle East.The main...

 was cancelled by the government in February 2007. In 2008 the public utility Guyana Water Inc implemented a Turnaround Plan (TAP) to reduce non-revenue water
Non-revenue water
Non revenue water is water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real losses or apparent losses . High levels of NRW are detrimental to the financial viability of water utilities, as well to the quality of water itself...

 and to financially consolidate the utility. NRW reduction is expected to be 5% per annum for the three-year period of the plan, A mid term review is now due to examine the success of the TAP.

Telephone system

  • Telephones : 110,120 main telephone lines (2005)
  • Telephones – mobile cellular: 281,400 (2005)
  • Domestic: microwave radio relay network for trunk lines; fixed-line teledensity is about 15 per 100 persons; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services; mobile-cellular teledensity reached 37 per 100 persons in 2005
  • International: country code – 592; tropospheric scatter to Trinidad; satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)


Guyana Telephone & Telegraph (GT&T) is the main mobile phone provider

Television broadcast stations


Television broadcast was officially introduced to Guyana in 1991.
  • 15 (1 public station (channel 11); 14 private stations which relay on US satellite services) (1997)


Of which are;
L.R.T.V.S-Little Rock Television Station channel 10 (New Amsterdam, Berbice)
H.G.P-Halagala General Productions television (Beterverwagting Village, Demerara)

Internet system

  • Internet country code: .gy
  • Internet hosts: 6,218 (2008)
  • Internet users: 225,129 (2010)

Service delivery


The delivery of health services is provided at five different levels in the public sector:
  • Level I: Local Health Posts (166 in total) that provide preventive and simple curative care
    Curative care
    Curative care or curative medicine is the kind of health care traditionally oriented towards seeking a cure for an existent disease or medical condition...

     for common disease
    Disease
    A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

    s and attempt to promote proper health practices. Community health worker
    Community health worker
    Community health workers are members of a community who are chosen by community members or organizations to provide basic health and medical care to their community...

    s staff them.
  • Level II: Health Centres (109 in total) that provide preventive and rehabilitative care and promotion activities. These are ideally staffed with a medical extension worker or public health nurse, along with a nursing assistant, a dental nurse and a midwife.
  • Level III: Nineteen District Hospitals (with 473 beds) that provide basic in-patient and outpatient care (although more the latter than the former) and selected diagnostic services. They are also meant to be equipped to provide simple radiological and laboratory services, and to be capable of gynecology, providing preventive and curative dental care. They are designed to serve geographical areas with populations of 10,000 or more.
  • Level IV: Four Regional Hospitals (with 620 beds) that provide emergency services, routine surgery and obstetrical and gynecological care, dental services, diagnostic services and specialist services in general medicine and pediatrics. They are designed to include the necessary support for this level of medical service in terms of laboratory and X-ray facilities, pharmacies and dietetic expertise. These hospitals are located in Regions 2, 3, 6 and 10.
  • Level V: The National Referral Hospital (937 beds) in Georgetown that provides a wider range of diagnostic and specialist services, on both an in-patient and out-patient basis; the Psychiatric Hospital in Canje
    Čanje
    Čanje is a settlement in the hills above Blanca in the Sevnica municipality in central Slovenia. The area is part of the historical region of Lower Styria. The municipality is now included in the Lower Sava statistical region....

    ; and the Geriatric Hospital in Georgetown. There is also one children’s rehabilitation centre.


This system is structured so that its proper functioning depends intimately on a process of referrals. Except for serious emergencies, patients are to be seen first at the lower levels, and those with problems that cannot be treated at those levels are referred to higher levels in the system. However, in practice, many patients by-pass the lower levels.

The health sector is currently unable to offer certain sophisticated tertiary services and specialised medical services, the technology for which is unaffordable in Guyana, or for which the required medical specialists are not available. Even with substantial improvements in the health sector, the need for overseas treatment for some services might remain. The Ministry of Health provides financial assistance to patients requiring such treatment, priority being given to children whose condition can be rehabilitated with significant improvements to their quality of life.

There are 10 hospitals belonging to the private sector and to public corporations, plus diagnostic facilities, clinics and dispensaries in those sectors. These ten hospitals provide for 548 beds. Eighteen clinics and dispensaries are owned by GUYSUCO.

The Ministry of Health and Labour is responsible for the funding of the National Referral Hospital in Georgetown, which has recently been made a public corporation managed by an independent Board. Region 6 is responsible for the management of the National Psychiatric Hospital. The Geriatric Hospital, previously administered by the Ministry of Labour, became the responsibility of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of Guyana in December 1997.

Health conditions


One of the most unfortunate consequences of Guyana's economic decline in the 1970s and 1980s was that it led to very poor health conditions for a large part of the population. Basic health services in the interior are primitive to non-existent, and some procedures are not available at all. The US State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 Consular Information Sheet warns "Medical care is available for minor medical conditions. Emergency care and hospitalization for major medical illnesses or surgery is limited, because of a lack of appropriately trained specialists, below standard in-hospital care, and poor sanitation. Ambulance service is substandard and may not routinely be available for emergencies." Many Guyanese seek medical care in the United States, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

 or Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

.
Maternal and Child Health Care

In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Population Fund
The United Nations Population Fund is a UN organization. The work of the UNFPA involves promotion of the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. This is done through major national and demographic surveys and with population censuses...

 released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Guyana is 270. This is compared with 143.1 in 2008 and 162.3 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 36 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 60. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

 can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Guyana the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is unavailable and 1 in 150 shows us the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women.


Compared with other neighbouring countries, Guyana ranks poorly in regard to basic health indicators. In 1998, life expectancy at birth was estimated at 66.0 years for Guyana, which is much less than surrounding countries. Although Guyana's health profile falls short in comparison with many of its Caribbean neighbours, there has been remarkable progress since 1988, and the Ministry of Health is working to upgrade conditions, procedures, and facilities.


The leading causes of mortality for all age groups are cerebrovascular diseases (11.6%); ischemic heart disease (9.9%); immunity disorders (7.1%); diseases of the respiratory system (6.8%); diseases of pulmonary circulation and other forms of heart disease (6.6%); endocrine and metabolic diseases (5.5%); diseases of other parts of the Digestive System (5.2%); violence (5.1%); certain condition originating in the prenatal period (4.3%); and hypertensive diseases (3.9%).
The ten leading causes of morbidity for all age groups are, in decreasing order: malaria; acute respiratory infections; symptoms, signs and ill defined or unknown conditions; hypertension; accident and injuries; acute diarrhoeal disease; diabetes mellitus; worm infestation; rheumatic arthritis; and mental and nervous disorders.

This morbidity profile indicates that it can be improved substantially through enhanced preventive health care, better education on health issues, more widespread access to potable water and sanitation services, and increased access to basic health care of good quality. A number of non-governmental organisations, including Health and Educational Relief for Guyana (HERG, INC) and Guyana Medical Relief (GMR, INC) are currently working to address these issues by improving healthcare access and educational infrastructure.

Guyana has experienced an upswing in violent crime and homicide in 2007 while the numbers of murders reported actually dropped in 2007 over the previous few years, with a murder rate of 15.1 people for each 100,000, in contrast to 2008 (up to the end of July) that number has risen to 26 per 100,000 similar to the rate experienced in 2003.
Guyana suffers from the highest suicide rate of any South American country. Guyana Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy estimates that at least 200 people commit suicide each year in Guyana, or 27.2 people for each 100,000 people each year.

Education



Guyana's educational system is considered to be among the best in the Caribbean, but it significantly deteriorated in the 1980s because of the emigration of highly educated citizens and the lack of appropriate funding. Although the education system has recovered somewhat in the 1990s, it still does not produce the quality of educated students necessary for Guyana to modernise its workforce. The country lacks a critical mass of expertise in many of the disciplines and activities on which it depends.

The educational system does not sufficiently focus on the training of Guyanese in science and technology, technical and vocational subjects, business management, nor computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

s. The Guyanese education system is modeled after the former British education system. Students are expected to write NGSA[National Grade Six Assessment] for entrance into high school in grade 7. They write CXC at the end of high school. Recently they have introduced the CAPE exams which all other Caribbean countries have introduced. The A-level system left over from the British era has all but disappeared and is offered only in a few schools.

Further adding to the problems of the educational system, many of the better-educated professional teachers have emigrated to other countries over the past two decades, mainly because of low pay, lack of opportunities and crime. As a result, there is a lack of trained teachers at every level of Guyana's educational system. There are however several very good private schools that have sprung up over the last fifteen years. Those schools offer a varied and balanced curriculum. However, the top government schools have nonetheless continued their dominance in academic performance outshining these private schools over the years.

Culture

Holidays
1 January New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

Spring Youman Nabi
23 February Republic Day
Republic Day
Republic Day is the name of a holiday in several countries to commemorate the day when they became republics.-1 January in the Republic of Slovakia:This was the day of creation of the Republic of Slovakia. A national holiday since 1993...

/Mashramani
Mashramani
Mashramani, often abbreviated to "Mash", is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on 23 February – Guyanese Republic Day – includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the "Birth of the...

March Phagwah
March/April Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

March/April Easter Monday
Easter Monday
Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures...

5 May Indian Arrival Day
Indian Arrival Day
Indian Arrival Day is a holiday celebrated on various days around the world, usually commemorating the arrival of people from the Indian subcontinent to that nation.-Guyana:...

26 May Independence Day
Independence Day
An Independence Day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of a nation's assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a colony or part of another nation or state, and more rarely after the end of a military occupation...

First Monday in July CARICOM Day
1 August Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates in observance of the emancipation of slaves of African origin. It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of...

November Eid-ul-Adha
October/November Diwali
Diwali
Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

25 December Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...


Guyana, along with Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

, and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, is one of the four non-Hispanic nations in South America. Guyana's culture is very similar to that of the English-speaking Caribbean, and has historically been tied to the English-speaking Caribbean as part of the British Empire when it became a possession in the nineteenth century. Guyana is a founding member of the Caricom (Caribbean Community) economic bloc and also the home of the Bloc's Headquarters, the CARICOM Secretariat.

Guyana's geographical location, its sparsely populated rain-forest regions, and its substantial Amerindian population differentiate it from English-speaking Caribbean countries. Its blend of Indo-Guyanese (East Indian) and Afro-Guyanese (African) cultures gives it similarities to Trinidad
Trinidad
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. With an area of it is also the fifth largest in...

 and distinguishes it from other parts of the Americas. Guyana shares similar interests with the islands in the West Indies, such as food, festive events, music, sports, etc.

Guyana plays international cricket as a part of the West Indies cricket team
West Indian cricket team
The West Indian cricket team, also known colloquially as the West Indies or the Windies, is a multi-national cricket team representing a sporting confederation of 15 mainly English-speaking Caribbean countries, British dependencies and non-British dependencies.From the mid 1970s to the early 1990s,...

, and the Guyana team plays first-class cricket against other nations of the Caribbean. In March and April 2007 Guyana co-hosted the Cricket World Cup 2007. In addition to its CARICOM membership, Guyana is a member of CONCACAF
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

, the international football federation for North and Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and the Caribbean.

Events include Mashramani
Mashramani
Mashramani, often abbreviated to "Mash", is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on 23 February – Guyanese Republic Day – includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the "Birth of the...

 (Mash), Phagwah (Holi
Holi
Holi , is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United...

), and Deepavali (Diwali
Diwali
Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

).

Sports



The major sports in Guyana are cricket
Guyana national cricket team
The Guyana cricket team is the representative first class cricket team of Guyana.It does not take part in any international competitions, but rather in inter-regional competitions in the Caribbean, such as the Carib Beer Cup and the KFC Cup, and the best players may be selected for the West Indies...

 (Guyana is part of the West Indies
West Indian cricket team
The West Indian cricket team, also known colloquially as the West Indies or the Windies, is a multi-national cricket team representing a sporting confederation of 15 mainly English-speaking Caribbean countries, British dependencies and non-British dependencies.From the mid 1970s to the early 1990s,...

 as defined for international cricket purposes), softball cricket (beach cricket)
Beach cricket
Backyard cricket, street cricket, beach cricket, gully cricket, corridor cricket, deef or garden cricket is an informal ad hoc variant of the game of cricket, played by people of both sexes and all ages in gardens, back yards, on the street, in parks, carparks, beaches or any deef arena not...

 and football (soccer)
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

. Minor sports include netball
Netball
Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

, rounders
Rounders
Rounders is a game played between two teams of either gender. The game originated in England where it was played in Tudor times. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a round wooden, plastic or metal bat. The players score by...

, lawn tennis, basketball
Guyana national basketball team
- GABA DIV 1 :* Pacesetters* Ravens* Nets* Colts* Scorpions* Sonics* Maccabees* Legends* Disciples* Eagles- LABA DIV 1 :* Kings* Raiders* Pistons* Royals* Bulls* Jets* Scheme Unit* Panthers* Patriots-Current national team:...

, table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

, boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

, rugby
Guyana national rugby union team
The Guyana national rugby union team represents Guyana in the sport of rugby union. They have thus far not qualified for a Rugby World Cup, but have participated in qualifying tournaments.-History:...

 and a few others.

Guyana played host to international cricket matches as part of the 2007 Cricket World Cup
2007 Cricket World Cup
The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the ninth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament that took place in the West Indies from 13 March to 28 April 2007, using the sport's One Day International format...

. The new 15,000-seat Providence Stadium
Providence Stadium
The Providence Stadium is a sports stadium in Guyana, replacing Bourda as the national stadium. The stadium was built specifically to host Super Eight matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, held in March and April 2007...

, also referred to as Guyana National Stadium, was built in time for the World Cup and was ready for the beginning of play on March 28. At the first international game of CWC 2007 at the stadium, Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga
Separamadu Lasith Malinga is a Sri Lankan cricketer. He is a fast bowler with a rare round-arm action, sometimes referred to as a sling action, which leads to his nickname, "Slinga Malinga"...

 of the Sri Lankan team took four wickets in four consecutive deliveries.

For international football (soccer)
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 purposes, Guyana
Guyana national football team
The Guyana national football team, nicknamed the Golden Jaguars, is the national team of Guyana and is controlled by the Guyana Football Federation. Although the former British colony is located in South America, it competes in CONCACAF, together with Suriname and French Guiana. Until the...

 are part of CONCACAF
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

.

Notable people


  • John Agard
    John Agard
    John Agard is an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in the United Kingdom.-Background:...

    , poet.
  • Valerie Amos, British politician and member of the UK House of Lords.
  • E. R. Braithwaite
    E. R. Braithwaite
    Edward Ricardo Braithwaite is a Guyanese novelist, writer, teacher, and diplomat, best known for his stories of social conditions and racial discrimination against black people...

    , writer of the novel To Sir, With Love.
  • Forbes Burnham
    Forbes Burnham
    Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was the leader of Guyana from 1964 until his death, first as Premier from 1964 to 1966, then as the Prime Minister from 1966 to 1980 and finally as President from 1980 to 1985....

    , Former president of Guyana.
  • Horace Edwin Caines, Former Ambassador to U.K. 1961
  • Shakira Caine
    Shakira Caine
    Shakira Caine , is a Guyanese-British former fashion model and actress of Indian descent....

    , former Miss Guyana and wife of actor Michael Caine.
  • Martin Carter
    Martin Carter
    Martin Wylde Carter was a Guyanese poet, who has been compared in stature to W. B. Yeats and Pablo Neruda, as well as being called "the most Caribbean of Caribbean poets". Of mixed European, East Indian, and African descent, he began publishing in 1950 in Thunder Martin Wylde Carter (June 7,...

    , writer and poet.
  • David Case
    David Case
    Air Commodore David Case is the highest ranking black officer in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom, and as of 2000, at the age of 47, he became the highest ranking black officer ever to serve in Britain's armed forces. He was born in Guyana, and immigrated to Britain at the age of 5...

    , the highest ranking black officer in the British Armed Forces.
  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul
    Shivnarine Chanderpaul
    Shivnarine "Shiv" Chanderpaul is a cricketer, and former captain of the West Indies cricket team. He is the first Indo-Caribbean in the West Indies team to play 100 Tests for the West Indies and has captained them in 14 Tests and 16 One Day Internationals...

    , professional cricketer for the West Indies Cricket Team
  • Bernie Grant
    Bernie Grant
    Bernard Alexander Montgomery Grant , known simply as Bernie Grant, was a politician in the United Kingdom, and was Labour member of Parliament for Tottenham at the time of his death....

    , British politician and Member of Parliament
  • Laura Creavalle
    Laura Creavalle
    Laura Cordelia Creavalle is an IFBB professional female bodybuilder, originally from Guyana.-Background:Creavalle was born on January 25, 1959 in Essequibo, Guyana. Laura was one of the most successful female bodybuilders of the 1990s. Creavalle earned her pro card by winning the heavyweight...

    , an IFBB pro female bodybuilder
  • Cuffy
    Cuffy (person)
    Cuffy, or Kofi , was an Akan person who was captured in his native West Africa and sold into slavery to work in the plantations of the Dutch colony of Berbice in present-day Guyana. He became famous because in 1763 he led a revolt of more than 2,500 slaves against the colony regime...

    , Leader of the Berbice Slave Uprising.
  • Dwayne De Rosario
    Dwayne De Rosario
    Dwayne Anthony De Rosario is a Canadian soccer player who currently plays for D.C. United in Major League Soccer. He also plays for the Canadian national team.-Early career:...

    , Professional soccer player on MLS-Toronto FC team
  • Charley Charles, born Hugh Glenn Mortimer Charles, 1945. Drummer of The Blockheads
    The Blockheads
    The Blockheads are an English rock and roll band. Originally fronted by vocalist Ian Dury as Ian Dury and the Blockheads, the band has continued to perform since Dury's death in 2000. Current members include Chaz Jankel , Norman Watt-Roy , Mick Gallagher , John Turnbull and Davey Payne...


  • Clotilda Parks Caines, Writer, Women's leader activist for the farmers of Pomeroon-Supernaam
  • Eddy Grant
    Eddy Grant
    Edmond Montague "Eddy" Grant is a musician, born in Plaisance, Guyana.- Life and career :When he was still a young boy, his parents emigrated to London, UK, where he settled. He lived in Kentish Town and went to school at the Acland Burghley Secondary Modern at Tufnell Park...

    , musician.
  • Wilson Harris
    Wilson Harris
    Sir Theodore Wilson Harris is a Guyanese writer. He initially wrote poetry, but has since become a well-known novelist and essayist. His writing style is often said to be abstract and densely metaphorical, and his subject matter wide-ranging.Wilson Harris was born in New Amsterdam in what was then...

    , writer (The Palace of the Peacock, 1960).
  • Ezekiel Jackson, professional wrestler.
  • Cheddi Jagan
    Cheddi Jagan
    Cheddi Berret Jagan was a Guyanese politician who was first elected Chief Minister in 1953 and later Premier of British Guiana from 1961 to 1964, prior to independence. He later served as President of Guyana from 1992 to 1997.- Biography :The son of ethnic Indian sugar plantation workers, Jagan...

    , President from 1992–97.
  • Rohit Jagessar, Film director, Broadcast Personality.
  • Clive Lloyd
    Clive Lloyd
    Clive Hubert Lloyd CBE AO is a former West Indies cricketer. He captained the West Indies between 1974 and 1985 and oversaw their rise to become the dominant Test-playing nation, a position that was only relinquished in the latter half of the 1990s...

    , former West Indies cricket Captain.
  • Rohan Kanhai
    Rohan Kanhai
    Rohan Bholalall Kanhai is a former West Indian Cricket player of Indo-Guyanese descent. He is widely considered as one of the best batsmen of the 1960s. Kanhai featured in several great West Indian teams, playing with, among others, Sir Garfield Sobers, Roy Fredericks, Lance Gibbs, and Alvin...

    , former West Indies cricket Captain.
  • Edgar Mittelholzer
    Edgar Mittelholzer
    Edgar Mittelholzer was a Guyanese novelist. Born in New Amsterdam, the country's second largest town, he was the son of William Austin Mittelholzer and his wife Rosamond Mabel, née Leblanc...

    , author.
  • Grace Nichols
    Grace Nichols
    Grace Nichols is a Guyanese poet. She was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1950. After working in Guyana as a teacher and journalist, she emigrated to the UK in 1977. Much of her poetry is characterised by Caribbean rhythms and culture, and influenced by Guyanese and Amerindian folklore.Her first...

    , poet.
  • CCH Pounder
    CCH Pounder
    Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder , known professionally as C. C. H. Pounder , is a Guyanese-American film and television actress...

    , an Emmy nominated actress and activist
  • Walter Rodney
    Walter Rodney
    Walter Rodney was a prominent Guyanese historian and political activist, who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980.-Career:...

    , a Pan-Africanist and socialist politician.
  • Ivan Van Sertima
    Ivan van Sertima
    Ivan Gladstone Van Sertima was an associate professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University in the United States....

    , an Afro-centric historian
  • Lloyd Sewrattan, Professor at the University of Toronto (U of T) and a real estate agent.
  • Peter Davison
    Peter Davison
    Peter Davison is a British actor, best known for his roles as Tristan Farnon in the television version of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small and the fifth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, which he played from 1982 to 1984.-Early life:Davison was born Peter Moffett in Streatham,...

    , played the Doctor in Doctor Who, has a Guyanese father.
  • David Dabydeen
    David Dabydeen
    David Dabydeen is a Guyanese-born critic, writer and novelist.Dabydeen was born in Berbice, Guyana, his birth registered at New Amsterdam Registrar of Births as David Horace Clarence Harilal Sookram...

    , Professor at the University of Warwick (UK) and a Historian.
  • Mark Teixeria, MLB American Baseball Player 1st Baseman of the New York Yankees
  • Janet Jagan, president 97-99
  • David Gir, IT Systems Specialist
  • Rudy Grant, reggae DJ, singer
  • Shridath Ramphal, former Commonwealth General Secretary
  • Frank Woon-A-Tai, Karate Expert, founder of the International Karate Daigaku
  • Colleen Braithwaite, Author - At Your Service.
  • Andrew Shiwpershad, well-known Canadian entrepreneur.
  • Hatim Yassim, IT Specialist
  • Vivek Ramnarain, Infectious Disease Doctor

See also


  • Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...


  • LGBT rights in Guyana
    LGBT rights in Guyana
    According to the penal code of Guyana, "gross indecency" committed by a man upon another man, either in public or private, will be punished with imprisonment for up to 2 years. For attempted anal sex the punishment is 10 years, and for anal sex, imprisonment for life is possible...



  • South America Life Quality Rankings
  • South America Life Quality Rankings - Economy and Finance
  • South America Life Quality Rankings - Law and Justice


Further reading

  • Donald Haack, Bush Pilot In Diamond Country
  • Hamish McInnes, Climb To The Lost World (1974)
  • Andrew Salkey, Georgetown Journal (1970)
  • Marion Morrison, Guyana (Enchantment of the World Series)
  • Bob Temple, Guyana
  • Noel C. Bacchus, Guyana Farewell: A Recollection of Childhood in a Faraway Place
  • Marcus Colchester, Guyana: Fragile Frontier
  • Matthew French Young, Guyana: My Fifty Years in the Guyanese Wilds
  • Margaret Bacon, Journey to Guyana
  • Father Andrew Morrison SJ, Justice: The Struggle For Democracy in Guyana 1952–1992
  • D. Graham Burnett, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography and a British El Dorado
  • Ovid Abrams, Metegee: The History and Culture of Guyana
  • Gerald Durrell
    Gerald Durrell
    Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell, OBE was a naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author and television presenter...

    , Three Singles To Adventure
  • Cheddi Jagan – The West on Trial, My Fight for Guyana’s Freedom
  • Cheddi Jagan – My Fight For Guyana’s Freedom- with reflections on my father by Nadira Jagan-Brancier
  • Colin Henfrey, Through Indian Eyes: A Journey Among the Indian Tribes of Guiana
  • Stephen G. Rabe, US Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story
  • Charles Waterton
    Charles Waterton
    Charles Waterton was an English naturalist and explorer.-Heritage and Life:"Squire" Waterton was born at Walton Hall, Wakefield, Yorkshire to Thomas Waterton and Anne Bedingfield. He was of a Roman Catholic landed gentry family descended from Reiner de Waterton...

    , Wanderings in South America
  • David Attenborough
    David Attenborough
    Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA is a British broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years...

    , Zoo Quest to Guiana (Lutterworth Press, London: 1956)

External links





Related information