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Guyana, a country on South America’s North Atlantic coast, is defined by its dense rainforest. English-speaking, with cricket and calypso music, it's culturally connected to the Caribbean region. Its capital, Georgetown, is known for British colonial architecture, including tall, painted-timber St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. A large clock marks the facade of Stabroek Market, a source of local produce.

Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to settlement of urban areas by former slaves and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations.  Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments.

Population

735,909


Capital City

Georgetown

Ethnic Groups

East Indian 43.5%, black (African) 30.2%, mixed 16.7%, Amerindian 9.1%, other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, white) (2002 est.)

Religions

Protestant 30.5% (Pentecostal 16.9%, Anglican 6.9%, Seventh Day Adventist 5%, Methodist 1.7%), Hindu 28.4%, Roman Catholic 8.1%, Muslim 7.2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other Christian 17.7%, other 1.9%, none 4.3%, unspecified 0.9% (2002 est.)

Languages

English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)​

Weather

tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons

(May to August, November to January)

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