20+ Interesting Facts About Guyana

  1. Guyana is a small country in South America. However, it is also considered part of the Caribbean region due to its geographical, cultural, and historical ties.
  2. Caribbean Community (CARICOM) represents 15 Caribbean nations. The headquarter of CARICOM is in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital.
  3. Guyana is one of the most forested countries in South America. More than 87% area of Guyana has forests. 11% of the country’s population is indigenous that owns 18% of these forests. (Source)
  4. Guyana has the highest percentage of people living abroad. More than 36% of Guyanese reside in other countries. (Source)
  5. Guyana is a word taken from the Native American language, which means “land of many waters.”
  6. Guyana has the second highest suicide rate in the world. Its suicide rate (40.3/100,000 people) is only below Lesotho (72.4/100,000 people). (Source)
  7. St. George Cathedral in Georgetown is one of the tallest wooden churches in the world. This Anglican Church is 143 feet tall. (Source)
  8. Kaieteur Falls in western Guyana is the world’s largest single-drop waterfall according to the volume of water. The height of this waterfall is 226 meters (741 feet).
    Kaieteur Falls in Guyana
    World's largest single-drop waterfall is in Guyana

  9. Guyana is one of the most ethnically diverse countries, with a mixed population of South Asian Indians (40%), Africans (30%), and Indigenous Amerindians (11%).
  10. Guyana is the place of one of the largest religiously motivated mass murder (or mass suicide) events in the American history. More than 900 people (most of them citizens of the USA) of a Christian cult (commonly known as Peoples Temple) were murdered (or committed suicide) on the orders of their leader Jim Jones in Jonestown. The event is known as the Jonestown massacre.
  11. The majority of the population of Guyana is composed of descendants of former bonded laborers from (northern) India and slaves from (sub-Saharan) Africa. They were brought here by the British and Dutch to work in agriculture.
  12. Guyana and other British colonies got rid of slavery in 1834 after the approval of the Emancipation Act.
  13. Arthur Chung was the first president of Guyana. He was also the first ethnic Chinese head of state in a non-Asian country.
  14. Guyana is also home to multiple religions. Christianity and Hinduism are the two most prominent religions in the country.
  15. Guyana is the only country in South America with English as the official languageHowever, most people speak Guyanese Creole. 
  16. Dutch were the first Europeans to establish colonies during the 16th Century in the area known today as Guyana. Britain captured this area in 1796. British Guiana was formed as a British colony in 1831 after uniting three former Dutch colonies.
  17. Guyana is the only South American member of the British Commonwealth. The country joined this organization in 1966. (Source)
  18. Guyana has constructed the 4th (Demarara Harbour Bridge) and 6th (Berbice Bridge) longest floating bridges in the world. (Source) 
  19. Homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment in Guyana. It is also prohibited for the local population to wear dress of opposite gender in public. (Source
  20. In 1493, Christopher Columbus claimed to see mermaids off the coast of Guyana. However, he was not much impressed with their beauty. (Source)
  21. There are just two rum-producing firms in Guyana. Even then, the country is the 14th largest exporter of rum in the world. (Source)
  22. In 1848, Guyana became the first country in South America to establish a railway system. But the South American nation scrapped its railway system in 1972. (Source  
  23. Demerara sugar is healthier than white sugar due to its nutrition and relatively less processing. The original place of demerara sugar is in Guyana. (Source)

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