Brief History

Guyana was originally inhabited by Arawak and Carib tribes. They named this area “Guiana,” meaning “land of many waters.” In 1448, Christopher Columbus sighted Guyana’s coast and claimed the region for Spain. However, the first European settlers were the Dutch who came in the late 1500s. The Dutch set up sugarcane plantations in the 1600s and imported slaves from Africa to do the work. Guyana was taken over by the British in 1776, and the colony of British Guiana was formed in 1831. Guyana was granted independence from Britain in 1966 and became a republic in 1970. Since then, Guyana has had border disputes with Venezuela and Suriname––and has dealt with political turbulence.

National Flag

The national flag of Guyana was adopted on May 26, 1966, when the country was granted independence from Britain. It was designed by Whitney Smith who was from the United States. It consists of a green background, a golden triangle, and a red triangle.


Guyana is located on the northern coast of the South American continent. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the southwest, Suriname to the east, and Venezuela to the northwest. The main geographic regions of Guyana are a swampy coastal plain, a hilly sandy area, tropical rainforests, and interior highlands.

World Land Mass Ranking: 85th

Highest Mountain: Mount Roraima 2,910 m (9,220 ft)

Longest River: Essequibo River 1,014 km (630 mi)

Main Languages


Guyana Population: 809,000 (as of 2022)

Capital City: Georgetown

Capital City Population: 240,000(as of 2022)


Guyana has a wet tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round, and abundant rainfall. Guyana never deals with extreme hot or cold temperatures. There are just two seasons in Guyana: rainy and dry.

Key People

Eddy Grant

CCH Pounder

Valorie Amos

Wilson Harris

  • Cuisine

    The cuisine of Guyana has been influenced by its ethnic populations and colonial history. As a result of this melting pot of cultures, Guyanese cuisine is very diverse. Root vegetables, such as cassava and sweet potato, are common in Guyanese dishes. Seafood is also a staple of Guyanese cuisine. Often, dishes will be seasoned with a green seasoning made of herbs, hot peppers, onions, and garlic. The national dish of Guyana is pepperpot, which is a meat stew flavored with cinnamon, clove, thyme, and wiri wiri peppers.

  • Sports

    Sports and activities are an important part of Guyanese culture. The most popular sport in Guyana is cricket, which was first introduced to the area by British soldiers. Cricket is the national sport of Guyana, and is played by both men and women at all levels. The second-most popular sport in Guyana is football. Other common sports in Guyana include field hockey, basketball, squash, boxing, horse racing, and rugby.

  • Culture

    Guyana has a rich and diverse culture that reflects the influence of African, Indian, Amerindian, Dutch, British, and Creole cultures. Guyanese culture, especially in the coastal areas, is quite similar to that of the West Indies. As a result, Guyana is considered a Caribbean nation despite being located in South America. Arawak and Carib crafts, including textiles, baskets, and paintings, are sold in markets throughout the country. Other Important aspects of Guyanese culture include music, dance, film, and religion.

10 facts about Guyana

1. Guyana’s motto is: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny.”
2. The jaguar is Guyana’s national animal.
3. Almost 80% of Guyana is rainforest.
4. Guyana is the third-smallest country in South America.
5. The world’s largest single-drop waterfall is in Guyana.
6. Guyana is the third-smallest country in mainland South America.
7. There are more than 276 waterfalls in Guyana
8. Gold is one of Guyana’s main exports.
9. The life expectancy in Guyana is 69 years.
10. The Canje Pheasant is Guyana’s national bird.

Q&A Corner

1. Name a country that borders Guyana? +
2. What is the national dish of Guyana? +
3. What is the tallest mountain in Guyana? +
4. Name a sport that is popular in Guyana? +
5. What is the population of Guyana (as of 2022)? +
6. What is the longest river in Guyana? +
7. Name a key/famous person from Guyana? +
8. What is the capital city of Guyana? +
9. When did Guyana become an independent nation? +
10. What colors make up the Guyanese flag? +