Guyana, or the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, was a former British colony and gained its independence in 1966. However, it is still a member of the Commonwealth and the only one situated in South America. Located in the tropics but north of the equator, Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (north), Suriname (east), Brazil (south) and Venezuela (west).
Guyana is home to about 800,000 inhabitants, of which 51% are native to India, 30% are from Africa and 11% from an Indo-European mixture. The remaining 8% of the population is made up of indigenous people, including American Indians.
Guyana has a hot and humid climate, which is moderated by exchange winds from the northeast, from along the coast. There are two rainy seasons, from May to mid-August and from mid-November to mid-January.
Guyana's economy is primarily based on agriculture (cultivating crops such as rice, sugarcane, coffee, and citrus) and the export of mineral resources (such as bauxite, manganese and precious stones). Initiatives to develop sustainable tourism are growing.
Protestantism is the first religion of the country (31%). Other major religions are Hinduism (29%), Catholicism (8%) and Islam (7%).
Did You Know?
Guyana is the only South American country whose official language is English and one of only two countries on the continent with left-hand driving.
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