Here are top 33 fun and interesting facts about Guyana:
#1 Christopher Columbus sighted this country in 1498 and was also explored in 1595 by Sir Francis Drake (an English privateer, captain, and navigator) whilst searching for the city of Manoa (better known as El Dorado).
#2 In 1616, it was the Dutch who 1st establish colonies here. Guyana is an indigenous word symbolizing “the land of many waters.”
#3 By 1815 it had become a British possession during the Napoleonic Wars. This is the only state located on the South American mainland of the “Commonwealth of Nations” (a voluntary association of 52 sovereign and independent states).
#4 It gained independence in 1966. In 1980, the constitution of this country, under the National Congress of Local Democratic Organs, made provisions to be divided into 10 administrative regions.
#5 In 1992, Cheddi Jagan was elected president and it was the country’s 1st fair and free election since independence. Furthermore, in August 2006, representing the Indo-Guyanese Progressive People’s Party, Bharrat Jagdeo won the elections. Presently, president David Granger led a multiracial coalition government and won the elections in 2015.
#6 It is the 3rd smallest country in South America and is bordered by Suriname (along the Courantyne River) to the east, Atlantic Ocean to the north, by Venezuela to the west, and by Brazil to the southwest and south.
#7 This country is a member of the Association of Caribbean States, African and Pacific Group of States, Non-Aligned Movement, Caribbean Community, Organization of American States, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, World Trade Organization, and United Nations.
Georgetown, the capital
#8 Georgetown, nicknamed the ”Garden City of the Caribbean,” is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast, close to the Demerara River. This capital lies below the high-tide level and is protected by a seawall with numerous canals crisscrossing the city. Also, the city is served by several international airlines and steamship lines.
#9 The Dutch had named this city – Stabroek, however, the British changed it to Georgetown. In the 2012 census, it recorded a population of 131,395 and contains many wooden colonial markets and buildings. It also has an abundance of tree-lined avenues and streets.
#10 The current flag, also known as The Golden Arrow, has been the national flag since May 1966. The pole side of the flag has a base of a red triangle with black trim and its base consists of a green leaf to whose right edge a yellow shape with white trimming that reminds an arrow expands.
#11 The main religions of this country are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. In addition, there are small communities of Jews and Baha’is.
#12 The official currency is the Guyanese dollar.
#13 It is the only country on this continent in which English is the official language. Nevertheless, the main percentage of the population speak as a first language – Guyanese Creole, which is an English-based creole language.
#14 The population is made up of 5 ethnic groups: Africans, East Indians, Chinese, Amerindians, and Portuguese.
#15 Guyanese generally cook 3 full meals daily. The local cuisine is a culinary hybrid with East Indian, African, Chinese, and Portuguese influences.
#16 Slavery was outlawed in 1834,
#17 The main airport of this country is Cheddi Jagan International Airport, named after the ex-president – Cheddi Jagan.
#18 This country is a tropical destination which is warm and pleasant for most time of the year with 2 rainy seasons (November to January and May to mid-August).
#19 In 2005, it experienced its worst natural disaster which affected more than 1/3 of the population by devastating flooding. President Jagdeo made State House the operation center from which he would manage the national response to the disaster and declared the main affected regions national disaster areas.
#20 The longest river in this country is the Essequibo River. It flows northward for around 1,010 km (630 miles) through forests and savannas to the Atlantic Ocean and rises in the Acarai Mountains on the Brazilian border.
Kaieteur Falls – the most impressive waterfall
#21 At Kaieteur Falls, the water flows over a series of cascades which bring the total height of the falls to 822 feet (251 meters). Visitors typically visit the Kaieteur Falls by chartered aircraft from Georgetown, however, a river and road expedition is also possible.
At the base of this amazing waterfall, the force of the falling water creates a constant hurricane. Furthermore, the nearly pristine rainforest which the falls was nestled within had an ancient geologic history.
#22 Shell Beach is a nesting site (extends for nearly 145 km) for 4 of the 8 sea turtle species – the Hawksbill, Green, Olive Ridley, and Leatherback.
#23 In 1978, the largest mass suicide in modern history was in Jonestown, when approximately 900 followers of cult leader Jim Jones died. Jim Jones was a churchman who established a Christian sect in Indianapolis in the 1950s, called – the Peoples Temple.
#24 This country mainly trades with Canada, the EU, the US, and the Caribbean community. Gold, sugar, bauxite, shrimp, and rice lead among exports. Interestingly, commercial logging is currently limited by high harvesting costs, lack of infrastructure, the dispersal of valuable tree stocks over a wide zone, and political uncertainties.
#25 The harpy eagle and giant otter are the rarest species found in these lands. Furthermore, at Iwokrama rainforest, giant anacondas and exotic jaguars attract naturalists and tourists.
#26 Hoatzin, also known as the stinkbird, is the national bird and is a species of tropical bird found in riparian forests, swamps, and mangroves of the Amazon.
#27 Mashramani, celebrated every year on February 23, translates as the “celebration after hard work.” It includes music, a parade, cooking, and games and is intended to commemorate the “Birth of the Republic.”
#28 In 1980, this country has won a single Olympic medal (bronze), by Michael Anthony.
#29 Cricket is the main sport in this country.
#30 ”One People, One Nation, One Destiny” is the national motto.
#31 It is the only country on the South American continent which still criminalizes same-sex intimacy.
#32 The Government of Guyana will equip all local prisons with scanners in a bid to substantially reduce contraband from entering them.
#33 Mashramani (often abbreviated to “Mash”) is an annual festival celebrated in this country in commemoration of the Birth of the Republic. The celebration typically includes a parade, music, games, cooking, and traditional dances.