Guyana Facts

Location

Guyana is located on the northeast corner of South America between latitude 1 & 9 N and longitude 56 & 62 W. It borders Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south, Suriname to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north.

Geography

Guyana is 216,000 square kilometers in area (83,000 square miles). The country has four distinct geographical areas: the coastal belt, the forested interior, the savannah zone, and the sandy zone. More than 80% of the land area is still forested, and only 2.5% is cultivated. The country's coastline lies 1 to 1.5 meters below sea level at high tide, necessitating elaborate systems of drainage canals. The most valuable mineral deposits are bauxite, gold and diamonds. The main rivers are the Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo.

Population

Approximately 750,000 people, with most living along the coastal strip and banks of the major rivers.

Language

The official language is English, often spoken with a Caribbean Creole flavour.

Climate

Guyana's climate is equatorial: hot but pleasant for most of the year, with a mean shade temperature of 27°C (81°F) and an average temperature range of 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 87°F). The heat is tempered by the sea breezes along the coast. An umbrella is useful during the two wet seasons, extending roughly from May through July, and from December to the end of January. Rainfall is 2,300mm a year in Georgetown.

Economy

The agricultural sector accounts for half of the national GDP, producing sugar and rice for export, with extensive timber operations and a range of other products, from coffee to fish and fruit, and well-respected brands of rum. Gold, bauxite and diamonds are mined.

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