Questions About Guyana

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Guyana

11 mins read

You may have been surprised by how little people know about Guyana. But for nature lovers, it is known as South America’s best kept secret.

Guyana gained political independence in 1966. Prior to independence the country was knows as British Guiana. The country is in the central north of the South American continent, on a coastline at the North of the Atlantic Ocean.

Guyana Parliament

The country shares international borders with Brazil, Suriname, and Venezuela, and maritime borders with Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America, spoken languages are English (official), but the vast majority of the population speaks Guyanese Creole, an English based Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indo-Guyanese people also speak Hindi.

In terms of size, Guyana is a little bit smaller than the United Kingdom, or slightly smaller than that of the U.S. state of Idaho. The majority of Guyana is covered by dense rain forests in the southern part of the country. However, most of Guyana’s population (90%) lives in the narrow, fertile plain along the Atlantic coast to the east of the country.

As of 2020, the population of Guyana 786,552. Georgetown with a population of 240,000, or 355,000 in the metro area is the largest city in Guyana and the next largest city is Linden with just under 45,000 people.

Political system

Guyana is a presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. Head of government is the president.

1.Are There Beaches in Guyana?

If you are looking for large strip of white sand beaches, Guyana will disappoint you. Guyana is not Jamaica, Turks and Caicos or Bahamas.

There are several good beaches in Guyana, but they tend to be inland and not on the coast. Here is a list of notable beaches to check out

Shell Beach

With more than 90 miles of untouched coastline in northwest Guyana, Shell Beach is Guyana’s best known and arguable the most beautiful beach. You can swim at Shell Beach but you should be aware that this is surrounded by mangrove forests.

Shell Beach is unique because of its diverse ecosystem. This is a popular nesting spot for endangered turtles. There are also a wide variety of birds, manatees, monkeys, and jaguars.

63 Beach Berbice

Located close to Suriname, 63 Beach Berbice is about 10 miles long and connects several villages along the Corentyne River. This is a popular place to hang out on weekends with locals enjoying swimming, fishing, and playing beach sports like soccer and volleyball.

If you are planning to stay overnight, the nearest accommodations can be found in the town of Corriverton, which is about 60 miles from the beach. You can get there by car, 2-hour public bus ride that runs from Georgetown to Beach Berbice, or by private tours.

Bartica Beach

In the small town of Bartica on the north side of the Essequibo River, you will find Bartica Beach. This is a popular laid-back spot for locals that often extend beyond the day. Bartica is accessible by road and the Essequibo River, and it is easy to get to from Georgetown. You can get to the beach by taking a bus which leaves Georgetown regularly for the port town of Parika, and from there, speed boats or ferries will take you to Bartica. The total trip takes about three hours.

Saxacalli Beach

Just south of Bartica, where the river narrows, you will find Saxacalli, another river beach on the Essequibo River. This is an easy day trip if you are leaving from Georgetown, at just 50 miles away. Many visitors consider Saxacalli Beach as one of the prettiest inland beaches in Guyana.

A notable highlight of Saxacalli Beach is the Saxacalli Rainforest Centre, where it is possible to organize canoe rides or guided hikes up the river.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgUm__uXB-g

2.Why is the water brown in Guyana?

Silt carried on the rivers that drain into the Atlantic Ocean keeps the water off Guyana a brown churning mass of sandbars and mud. Guyana’s seacoast, much of which lies below sea level, is in danger of being submerged if the ocean levels rise due to global warming.

3.What is Guyana best known for?

It is the only English-speaking country of South America. Since Guyana gained its independence in 1966, the country’s chief economic assets have been its natural resources, mainly its pristine rainforests, sugarcane plantations, rice fields, and bauxite and gold reserves.

4.Why is Guyana a Caribbean country?

It is considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community (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.

5.Does Guyana have hurricanes?

Guyana is outside of the path of hurricanes, which pass to the north, on the Caribbean Sea, however, it can not be ruled out that some of the rare hurricanes that pass at a very low latitude, affecting Trinidad and Tobago and the northeastern coast of Venezuela, may also produce some effects on Guyana, in terms of rain

6.Which airlines fly to Guyana?

Skyscanner allows you to find the cheapest flights to Georgetown (from hundreds of airlines including Copa, Caribbean Airlines, LIAT) without having to enter specific dates or even destinations, making it the best place to find cheap flights for your trip.

7.What race is Guyanese?

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.

The largest ethnic group are the Indo-Guyanese, the descendants of indentured laborers from India, who make up 39.8% of the population, according to the 2012 census. They are followed by the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of enslaved laborers from Africa, who constitute 29.3. Guyanese of mixed heritage make up 19.9% while the indigenous peoples (known locally as Amerindians) make up 10.5% 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.

Most Indo-Guyanese are descended from indentured laborers who migrated from North India, especially the Bhojpur and Awadh regions of the Hindi Belt in the present-day states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. A significant minority of Indo-Guyanese are also descended from indentured migrants who came from the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

8.How Many Guyanese Live Overseas?

Overseas Guyanese communities mainly exist in the United States (86,120 Guyanese born), United Kingdom (20,872 Guyanese born), Canada (14,560 Guyanese born), and the Netherlands (328 Guyanese born), although the total populations (i.e. people of Guyanese descent born in that country) are much higher.

9.Did They Find Oil in Guyana?

Guyana has a history of petroleum exploration. Guyana’s offshore Guyana Basin and the inland Takatu Basin have attracted companies such as Shell, Total and Mobil since the 1940s, who completed much geological surveyance of the area and drilled several wells.

Guyana gained attention in the world in May 2015 when ExxonMobil announced the discovery of more than 90 metres of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs about 200 km off its coastline [2]. The Liza-1 well was drilled to 5,433 metres in 1,742 metres of water, and was the first well on the Stabroek block, which is 26,800 square kilometres in size. The well may start producing by the end of the decade, could potentially produce 700 million barrels of oil equivalent — that would make it worth $40 billion at today’s international crude price. The discovery could be significant for Guyana, which currently does not produce any oil and could use the economic boost.

10.Which country did the indentured workers who migrated to Guyana come from?

For over three-quarters of a century (1838-1917), Indian indentured labourers were imported from the sub-continent of India to the West Indian colonies, ostensibly to fill the void created as a result of the mass exodus of ex-slaves from plantation labour following the abolition of the despicable system of slavery, and more so the premature termination of the apprenticeship scheme in 1838.

Guyana was the recipient of 238,909 East Indian immigrants up to the termination of the system in 1917.

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