7 Facts about Guyana

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1. According to the Worldwide Waterfall Database’s rankings of the top waterfalls in the world, Guyana is home to the No. 2 waterfall — Kaieteur Falls. Kaieteur Falls in Guyana is around 741ft (226m) high and this means it’s over four times higher than the Niagara Falls (51m).

2. It is the only English-speaking country in South America, along with being one of the four non-Spanish speaking regions, and is the only South-American country to have English as its official language (the others are Brazil, Suriname, and French Guiana).

3. Guyana has vast areas of rainforests which are considered to be the most unspoiled rainforests in the world. Almost 80% of this country is covered by forests which boast of rich biodiversity with some endemic and some atypical species of plants and animals.

4. On November 18, 1978, American religious cult leader Jim Jones, along with his 909 followers, committed mass suicide in Jonestown in Guyana which threw the country into sudden attention worldwide. This mass suicide, done for political reasons, was considered the greatest loss of American civil life in a single non-natural event until the September 11, 2001 attacks.

5. The capital of Guyana is Georgetown, which lies at the mouth of the Demerara River on the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded in 1781 and is named after the British King George III. It was renamed by the French to Longchamps and the Dutch to Stabroek, by retaken by the British in 1814 and called Georgetown again.

6. Guyana has a large Indian (South Asian) population. Nearly half of its population is of Indian heritage, and nearly thirty percent of Guyanese practice Hinduism. Slavery was outlawed in 1834, and the great need for plantation workers led to a large wave of immigration, primarily of East Indians.

7. Guyana has two of the world’s longest floating bridges. Among the world’s longest bridges is the Demerara Harbor Bridge, which is 1,851 meter long, and the Berbice River Bridge 1,570 meters both of these bridges are pontoon floating bridges which stretches across two of the main three rivers of Guyana.

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