Guyana (// or //), officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is the only English speaking country in South America, and is culturally considered part of the Anglophone-Caribbean sphere. In addition it is one of the founding member countries of the Caribbean Community organization (CARICOM). Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With an area of 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.
Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Motto: "One People, One Nation, One Destiny"
Location of Guyana (dark green)
in South America (grey)
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages|
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional socialist republic|
|David A. Granger (PNC/APNU)|
• Prime Minister
|Moses V. Nagamootoo (AFC/APNU)|
|26 May 1966|
|23 February 1970|
|6 October 1980|
|214,970 km2 (83,000 sq mi) (83rd)|
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
• 2012 census
|3.502/km2 (9.1/sq mi) (232nd)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|$7.137 billion (163rd)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
|$3.875 billion (160th)|
• Per capita
medium · 123th
|Currency||Guyanese dollar (GYD)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (AST)|
|ISO 3166 code||GY|
The region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters". Major rivers in Guyana include the Essequibo, the Berbice, and the Demerara. Originally inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as British Guiana, with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.
Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language. The majority of the population, however, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is considered part of the Anglophone Caribbean. CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.
The name "Guyana" derives from Guiana, the original name for the region that formerly included Guyana (British Guiana), Suriname (Dutch Guiana), French Guiana, and parts of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Guyana" comes from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "land of many waters".
There are nine indigenous tribes residing in Guyana: the Wai Wai, Macushi, Patamona, Lokono, Kalina, Wapishana, Pemon, Akawaio and Warao. Historically the Lokono and Kalina tribes dominated Guyana. Although Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight Guyana during his third voyage (in 1498), and Sir Walter Raleigh wrote an account in 1596, the Dutch were the first Europeans to establish colonies: Essequibo (1616), Berbice (1627), and Demerara (1752). After the British assumed control in 1796, the Dutch formally ceded the area in 1814. In 1831 the three separate colonies became a single British colony known as British Guiana.
Since its independence in 1824 Venezuela has claimed the area of land to the west of the Essequibo River. Simón Bolívar wrote to the British government warning against the Berbice and Demerara settlers settling on land which the Venezuelans, as assumed heirs of Spanish claims on the area dating to the sixteenth century, claimed was theirs. In 1899 an international tribunal ruled the land belonged to Great Britain. The British territorial claim stemmed from Dutch involvement and colonization of the area also dating to the sixteenth century, which was ceded to the British.
Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom as a dominion on 26 May 1966 and became a republic on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth. The US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency (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 during the early years of independence because Cheddi Jagan was identified as a Marxist. They provided secret financial support and political campaign advice to Burnham's People's National Congress, to the detriment of the Jagan-led People's Progressive Party, which was mostly supported by Guyanese of East Indian background.
In 1974, the Guyana government leased 3,800 acres of land to Peoples Temple, an American new religious movement, led by pastor Jim Jones. The settlement, informally called "Jonestown", eventually grew to a population of about 1,000 people, mostly emigrated from the United States. In 1978, Guyana received worldwide attention when 909 people died in a mass murder/suicide in Jonestown by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. A day prior, U.S. congressman Leo Ryan had visited and toured the settlement as part of an investigation. As he was preparing to leave at the Port Kaituma airstrip, a group of Peoples Temple members pulled up and opened fire on the visiting delegation, killing Ryan and four other people.
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 drier savannah areas in the south-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 (2,042 metres or 6,699 feet), Monte Caburaí (1,465 metres or 4,806 feet) and Mount Roraima (2,772 metres or 9,094 feet – the highest mountain in Guyana) on the Brazil-Guyana-Venezuela tripoint border, part of the Pakaraima range. Mount Roraima and Guyana's table-top mountains (tepuis) are said to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World. There are also many volcanic escarpments and waterfalls, including Kaieteur Falls which is believed to be the largest single-drop waterfall in the world. North of the Rupununi River lies the Rupununi savannah, south of which lie the Kanuku Mountains.
The four longest rivers are the Essequibo at 1,010 kilometres (628 mi) long, the Courentyne River at 724 kilometres (450 mi), the Berbice at 595 kilometres (370 mi), and the Demerara at 346 kilometres (215 mi). The Courentyne 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 along the northwest coast, which is also a major breeding area for sea turtles (mainly leatherbacks) and other wildlife.
The local climate is tropical 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 rainforests 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 and Charles Waterton and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell. In 2008, the BBC broadcast 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 and harpy eagle.
In 2012, Guyana received a $45 million reward from Norway for its rainforest protection efforts. This stems from a 2009 agreement between the nations for a total of $250 million for protecting and maintaining the natural habitat. Thus far, the country has received $115 million of the total grant.
Regions and Neighbourhood Councils
|Pop. Density |
|3||Essequibo Islands-West Demerara||3,755||107,416||28.61|
|9||Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo||57,750||24,212||0.42|
Guyana is in border disputes with both Suriname, which claims the area east of the left bank of the Corentyne River and the New River in southwestern Suriname, and Venezuela which claims the land west of the Essequibo River, once the Dutch colony of Essequibo 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 21 September 2007. The ruling concerning the Caribbean Sea 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 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 was convened, and in 1899 the tribunal issued an award giving about 94% of the disputed territory to British Guiana. The arbitration was concluded, settled and accepted into International law by both Venezuela and the U.K. Venezuela brought up again the settled claim, during the 1960s cold war period, and during Guyana's Independence period. This issue is now governed by the Treaty of Geneva of 1966, which was signed by the Governments of Guyana, Great Britain and Venezuela, and Venezuela 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 with Venezuela; Corentyne River with Suriname; and Tigri Area or New River Triangle with Suriname. In 1967 a Surinamese survey team was found in the New River Triangle and was forcibly removed. In August 1969 a patrol of the Guyana Defence Force found a survey camp and a partially completed airstrip inside the triangle, and documented evidence of the Surinamese intention to occupy the entire disputed area. After an exchange of gunfire, the Surinamese were driven from the triangle.
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, those forest also contains the world's rarest orchids 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 in the world. With 1,168 vertebrate species and 814 bird species, it 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 and Charles Waterton and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell.
In February 2004, the Government of Guyana issued a title to more than 1 million acres (4,000 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.
The diversity of plants supports diverse animal life, recently documented by a biological survey organised by Conservation International. The reportedly clean, unpolluted waters of the Essequibo watershed support a remarkable diversity of fish and aquatic invertebrates, and are home to giant 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 or unnamed.
The Konashen COCA 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 capitalising on the biological wealth of the Konashen COCA with comparatively little enduring impact.
World Heritage sites
Guyana signed the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage treaty in 1977, the first South American country to do so. In the mid-1990s, Guyana began the process of selecting sites for World Heritage nomination, and three sites were considered: Kaieteur National Park, Shell Beach 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, 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 in South America. The Kaieteur Falls are the most spectacular feature of the park, falling a distance of 226 metres. The nomination of Kaieteur National 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. In April 2005, two Dutch experts in conservation spent two weeks in Georgetown supervising architecture staff and students of the University of Guyana 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 and the Kanuku Mountains. 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.
- St George's Anglican Cathedral
- A historic Anglican Cathedral made of wood.
- Demerara Harbour Bridge
- The world's fourth-longest floating bridge.
- Berbice Bridge
- The world's sixth-longest floating bridge.
- Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Building
- Houses the headquarters of the largest and most powerful economic union in the Caribbean.
- Providence Stadium
- Situated on Providence on the north bank of the Demerara River 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.
- Arthur Chung 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
- A large cast-iron colonial structure that looked like a statue was located next to the Demerara River.
- City Hall
- A beautiful wooden structure also from the colonial era.
- Takutu River Bridge
- A bridge across the Takutu River, connecting Lethem in Guyana to Bonfim in Brazil.Takutu River Bridge
- Umana Yana
- An Amerindian benab, that is a national monument built in 1972, for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned nations (It was rebuilt in 2016).
The main economic activities in Guyana are agriculture (production of rice and Demerara sugar), bauxite and gold mining, timber, shrimp fishing and minerals. 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 American company Reynolds Metals and the British-Australian Rio Tinto's Rio Tinto Alcan subsidiary are heavily invested in Guyana's mineral industry; the Korean/Malaysian Barama Company has a large stake in the logging industry. Since 2015, foreign companies have made several significant deep water oil discoveries.
Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labour, deficient infrastructure, and until recently, sizable external debt. Low prices for key mining and agricultural commodities, combined with troubles in the bauxite and sugar 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 and mining sectors, a more favourable atmosphere for business initiatives, a more realistic exchange rate, fairly low inflation, and the continued support of international organisations. In 2008, the economy witnessed a 3% increase in growth amid the global economic crisis. It grew 5.4% in 2011 and 3.7% in 2012.
The production of balatá (natural latex) 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 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 organisations 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. A Value Added Tax (VAT) replaced 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 opposed 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. This was prevalent under the former PPP/C government who authorised the VAT to be equal to 50% of the value of the good.
President Bharrat Jagdeo had made debt relief a priority. He convinced the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to write off US$800 million of debt, and millions more owed to industrial nations. Jagdeo was lauded by IDB President Moreno for his strong leadership and negotiating skills.
International and regional relations
The Organisation of American States (OAS)
Indigenous Leaders Summits of America (ILSA)
Agreements which affect financial relationships
The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994
This treaty covered taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas.
On 30 June 2014, Guyana signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America in relation to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This Model 1 agreement includes a reference to the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (Clause 3) which was signed on 22 July 1992 in Georgetown, Guyana intending to exchange Tax information on an automatic basis.
The chief majority (about 90%) of Guyana's 773,000 population lives along a narrow coastal strip which ranges from a width of 16 to 64 kilometres (10 to 40 mi) inland and which makes up approximately only 10% of the nation's total land area.
The present population of Guyana is racially and ethnically heterogeneous, with ethnic groups originating from India, Africa, Europe, and China, as well as indigenous or aboriginal peoples. Despite their diverse ethnic backgrounds, these groups share two common languages: English and Creole.
The largest ethnic group is the Indo-Guyanese (also known as East Indians), the descendants of indentured laborers from India, who make up 43.5% of the population, according to the 2002 census. They are followed by the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of slaves from Africa, who constitute 30.2%. The Guyanese of mixed heritage make up 16.7%, while the indigenous peoples (known locally as Amerindians) make up 9.1%. The indigenous groups include the Arawaks, the Wai Wai, the Caribs, the Akawaio, the Arecuna, the Patamona, the Wapixana, the Macushi and the Warao. The two largest groups, the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese, have experienced some racial tension.
The distribution pattern in the 2002 census was similar to those of the 1980 and 1991 censuses, 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 overall 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 number of Portuguese people (4.3% of the population in 1891) has been declining constantly over the decades.
|3||New Amsterdam||East Berbice-Corentyne||35,039|
|9||Parika||Essequibo Islands-West Demerara||4,081|
|10||Vreed en Hoop||Demerara-Mahaica||3,073|
English is the official language of Guyana and is used for education, government, media, and services. The vast majority of the population speaks Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole with slight African and East Indian influence, as their native tongue. In addition, Cariban languages (Akawaio, Wai-Wai, and Macushi) are spoken by a small minority, while Indic languages are retained for cultural and religious reasons.
According to a 2002 nationwide census on religious affiliation, 57.4% of the population was Christian, 28.4% was Hindu, 7.2% was Muslim, 1.9% adhered to other religions, while 2.3% of the population did not profess any.
Among Christians, most are Protestants (34.8%) or other Christian (20.8%), but there is also a minority of Roman Catholics (7.1%). Among Hindu, Vaishnavism is the major tradition. Among Muslims, Sunni are in the majority, while there are also Shia and Ahmadiyya minorities. Among other religions, the Rastafari movement, Buddhism, and the Baha'i Faith are the most popular.
Government and politics
The politics of Guyana takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, in which the President of Guyana is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the President and the National Assembly of Guyana. 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, and the People's Progressive Party led the country until 2015. The two parties are principally organised along ethnic lines and as a result often clash on issues related to the allocation of resources. In the General Elections held on 28 November 2011, the People's Progressive Party (PPP) retained a majority, and their presidential candidate Donald Ramotar was elected as President.
On 11 May 2015, early general elections were held. A coalition of the A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU-AFC) parties won 33 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly. On 16 May 2015, retired army general David A. Granger became the eighth President of Guyana. However, on 21 December 2018, a vote of confidence was called for, regarding terms under which the government granted a franchise for offshore oil exploration. Legislator Charrandass Persaud defected from the coalition and the vote failed, requiring new elections. The governing coalition litigated this result for the entire 90 days allowed for new elections.
Public procurement in Guyana is overseen by the Public Procurement Commission, appointed under the Public Procurement Commission Act 2003. Due to lengthy delay in identifying and agreeing commission members, the commission was not appointed until 2016.
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is the military service of Guyana.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Guyana.
Infrastructure and telecommunications
There are a total of 187 kilometres (116 mi) of railway, all dedicated to ore transport. There are 7,969 kilometres (4,952 mi) of highway, of which 591 kilometres (367 mi) are paved. Navigable waterways extend 1,077 kilometres (669 mi), including the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers. There are ports at Georgetown, Port Kaituma, and New Amsterdam. There are two international airports (Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri and Eugene F. Correira International Airport (formerly Ogle Airport); along with about 90 airstrips, nine of which have paved runways. Guyana, Suriname and the Falkland Islands are the only three regions in South America which drive on the left.
The electricity sector in Guyana is dominated by Guyana Power and Light (GPL), the state-owned vertically integrated utility. Although the country has a large potential for hydroelectric and bagasse-fueled power generation, most of its 226 MW of installed capacity correspond to inefficient diesel-engine driven generators.
Several initiatives are in place to improve energy access in the hinterland.
Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 67.39 years for both males and females in 2012. The PAHO/ WHO Global Health Report 2014 (using statistics of 2012) ranked the country as having the highest suicide rate in the world, with a mortality rate of 44.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. According to 2011 estimates from the WHO, HIV prevalence is 1.2% of the teen/adult population (ages 15–49).
The educational system does not sufficiently focus on the training of Guyanese in science and technology, technical and vocational subjects, business management, or computer sciences. The Guyanese education system is modelled on the former British education system. Students are expected to take the NGSA (National Grade Six Assessment) for entrance into high school in grade 7. They take the CXC at the end of high school. Schools have introduced the CAPE exams which all other Caribbean countries have introduced. The A-level system, inherited from the British era, is offered only in a few schools.
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|Spring||Youman Nabi (Mawlid)|
|23 February||Republic Day / Mashramani|
|March / April||Good Friday|
|March / April||Easter Sunday|
|1 May||Labour Day|
|5 May||Indian Arrival Day|
|26 May||Independence Day|
|First Monday in July||CARICOM Day|
|1 August||Emancipation Day|
|October / November||Diwali|
|26 or 27 December||Boxing Day|
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 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, 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, the international football federation for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Guyana is home to more than 900 species of birds; 225 species of mammals; 880 species of reptiles and more than 6,500 different species of trees and plants. Among these wildlife categories the most notably famous are the Arapaima, which is the world's largest scaled freshwater fish, Giant Anteater, the largest anteater, Giant River Otter, the world's largest and rarest river otter and lastly the most notably famous of birds, cock of the rock (Rupicola rupicola).
The major sports in Guyana are cricket (Guyana is part of the West Indies as defined for international cricket purposes), basketball, football, and volleyball. Minor sports include softball cricket (beach cricket), field hockey, netball, rounders, lawn tennis, table tennis, boxing, squash, rugby, horse racing and a few others.
Guyana played host to international cricket matches as part of the 2007 Cricket World Cup (CWC 2007). The new 15,000-seat Providence Stadium, also referred to as Guyana National Stadium, was built in time for the World Cup and was ready for the beginning of play on 28 March. At the first international game of CWC 2007 at the stadium, Lasith Malinga of the Sri Lankan team took four wickets in four consecutive deliveries.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Article Preamble, Section Preamble of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (20 February 1980)
- ""World Population prospects – Population division"". population.un.org. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- ""Overall total population" – World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision" (xslx). population.un.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- Guyana 2012 Census Archived 6 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine GeoHive– Guyana. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2018". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- "2019 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-05383-0. entry "Guyana"
- "Guyana – Dictionary definition and pronunciation – Yahoo! Education". Education.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Independent States in the World". state.gov. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- "Guyana". Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Ministry of Amerindian Affairs – Georgetown, Guyana". Amerindian.gov.gy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "South America 1744–1817 by Sanderson Beck". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- US Declassified Documents (1964–1968). guyana.org Archived 12 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Rowe, Mark (14 November 2004). "South America: Do the continental: The best of what's new; spectacular waterfalls, forgotten cities, pre-Inca trails". The Independent. p. Features, page 3.
- Bureau of Statistics – Guyana Archived 2 September 2012 at WebCite, CHAPTER III: POPULATION REDISTRIBUTION AND INTERNAL MIGRATION, Table 3.4: Population Density, Guyana: 1980–2002
- Guyana – Government Information Agency, National Profile. gina.gov.gy Archived 14 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Government of Guyana, Statistics" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Guyana ponders judicial action in border dispute with Venezuela". FoxNews Latino. 23 December 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- "Tribunal decision tentatively set for August". Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). guyanachronicle.com, Archives for 17 June 2007
- "Guyana to experience 'massive' oil exploration this year". Landofsixpeoples.com. 5 February 2007. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "News in the Caribbean". Caribbean360.com. 27 April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Foreign affairs minister reiterates Guyana's territorial sovereignty Archived 12 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine. CaribbeanNetNews.com (17 February 2010).
- POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Guyana clears air on Suriname border talk. Caribbean News Agency (17 February 2010).
- "official site of the Permanent Court of Arbitration". Pca-cpa.org. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Ishmael, Odeen (1998, rev. 2006) "The Trail Of Diplomacy: A Documentary History of the Guyana-Venezuela Border Issue" Archived 28 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Dr. Ishmael was Ambassador of Guyana to Venezuela when this was written.
- "Mapa Politico de Venezuela". A-venezuela.com. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Ramjeet, Oscar (28 October 2008). "Guyana and Suriname border dispute continues despite UN findings". Caribbean Net News. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Rodrigues-Birkett, Carolyn (24 October 2008). "There is no agreement recognizing Suriname's sovereignty over the Corentyne River". Stabroek Newspaper. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- "Biodiversity in the Konashen Community-Owned Conservation Area, Guyana" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Arthur Chung Conference Centre". Ministry of Public Telecommunications | Republic of Guyana. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- RedSpider, Romona Khan. "Private Sector Commission". Psc.org.gy. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI)". Georgetownchamberofcommerce.org. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "The World Factbook: Guyana". CIA. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- OAS (1 August 2009). "OAS – Organization of American States: Democracy for peace, security, and development". oas.org. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- OAS (1 August 2009). "OAS – Organization of American States: Democracy for peace, security, and development". oas.org. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Indigenous Peoples". summit-americas.org. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Events OAS Indigenous Special Events". oas.org. Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "IRD Trinidad and Tobago – CARICOM Treaties" (PDF). ird.gov.tt. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- "Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)". treasury.gov. Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Guyana General Information". Geographia.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Guyana turns attention to racism Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine". BBC News. 20 September 2005.
- "Conflict between Guyanese-Indians and Blacks in Trinidad and Guyana Socially, Economically and Politically Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine". Gabrielle Hookumchand, Professor Moses Seenarine. 18 May 2000.
- International Business Times: "Guyana: A Study in Polarized Racial Politics" Archived 15 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine 12 December 2011
- Helen Myers (1999). Music of Hindu Trinidad. ISBN 978-0-226-55453-2.
- Indian Diaspora (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- "Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana Archived 18 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine"
- "Biggest Cities Guyana". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Damoiseau, Robert (2003) Eléments de grammaire comparée français-créole guyanais Ibis rouge, Guyana, ISBN 2-84450-192-3
- "Data" (PDF). state.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- "Final 2002 Census Compendium 2" (PDF). gov.gy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2017.
- Svetlana Marshall (21 March 2019). "Ruling on confidence vote appeal Friday". Guyana Chronicle.
- After 14 years, Guyana establishes procurement commission Archived 21 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, "Supply Management", 12 August 2016, accessed 1 October 2016
- "LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds". The Independent. 17 May 2016. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
- Life Expectancy ranks Archived 21 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. CIA World Factbook
- "WHO Report 2014 Preventing suicide: A global imperative" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 June 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "Desperate measures". 13 September 2014. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017 – via The Economist.
- WHO Health-Related Millennium Development Goals Report 2011 Archived 17 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Part1
- UIS. "Education". data.uis.unesco.org. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- Tavani, Claudia (14 August 2018). "The Most Amazing Wildlife In Guyana". My Adventures Across the World. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
- Attenborough, S. 1998 BBC. The Life of Birds. p. 211. ISBN 0563-38792-0
- "Composition and countries". W.I Cricket team. West Indies Cricket Board. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "SPORTS, LITERATURE". Guyana News and Information. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "Providence stadium – Records and statistics". Cricket World 4U. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Service, K News (11 July 2013). "Guyana Horse Racing Authority continues its drive to regularize the sport". Kaiteur News. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Brock, Stanley E. (1999). All the Cowboys Were Indians (Commemorative, illustrated (reprint of Jungle Cowboy) ed.). Lenoir City, TN: Synergy South, Inc. ISBN 978-1-892329-00-4. OCLC 51089880. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Brock, Stanley E. (1972). Jungle Cowboy (illustrated ed.). London: Robert Hale Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7091-2972-1. OCLC 650259. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Donald Haack, Bush Pilot in Diamond Country
- Hamish MacInnes, 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
- Daly, Vere T. (1974). The Making of Guyana. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-14482-4. OCLC 1257829. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- D. Graham Burnett, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography and a British El Dorado
- Ovid Abrams, Metegee: The History and Culture of Guyana
- Waugh, Evelyn (1934). Ninety-two days: The account of a tropical journey through British Guiana and part of Brazil. New York: Farrar & Rinehart. OCLC 3000330. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Gerald Durrell, 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, Wanderings in South America.
- David Attenborough, Zoo Quest to Guiana (Lutterworth Press, London: 1956).
- John Gimlette, Wild Coast: Travels on South America's Untamed Edge, 2011.
- Clementi, Cecil (1915). The Chinese in British Guiana (PDF). Georgetown, British Guiana: The Argosy Company Limited. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- News, Sports, Tourism, Businesses, History and Culture.
- Office of the President, Republic of Guyana (official website).
- Petroleum exploration in Guyana
- Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (official website).
Wikimedia Atlas of Guyana
- Outsourcing in Guyana from news publication, Nearshore Americas.
Geographic data related to Guyana at OpenStreetMap
- "Guyana". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
- Country Profile from the BBC News.
- Guyana from the Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Guyana at UCB Libraries GovPubs.
- (in Spanish) Derechos Venezolanos de Soberania en el Esequibo, Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores.
- Venezuelan rights of sovereignty in the Essequibo, Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs (translated by Google).
- Guyana at Curlie
- The State of the World's Midwifery, Guyana Country Profile.
- Key Development Forecasts for Guyana from International Futures.