Guyana is one of the smallest countries, both in terms of surface and population, located on the South American mainland. Guyana claimed its independence from the United Kingdom in 1966 and it is nowadays a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is from the British that the Guyanese have inherited their love of cricket, which is currently the most popular sport in the country. Guyana is also a member of the Caribbean Community, being one of the few non-island nations in this organisation.
Guyana is the only South American country that has English as an official language. Nonetheless, most of its 770,000 people speak Creole and there are 11 other recognized languages, including Spanish and Portuguese. Guyana’s largest city, Georgetown, is also its capital. Other large cities include, in order: Linden, New Amsterdam, and Anna Regina.
Throughout most of the country, the climate is hot and humid tropical and there are two rainy seasons: May-August and November-January. Much of the country is covered by forests, and Guyanese officials are currently bidding to have several locations recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. There are a variety of animal and plant species unique to Guyana.
Currently, Guyana’s economy is on the rise and it is mainly supported by agriculture, mining, and shrimp fishing. The country’s main exports include sugar, bauxite, shrimp, gold, and rice. The local currency is the Guyanese Dollar (GYD). Guyana is also home to one of the largest open gold mines on the continent, the Omai gold mine.