French Guiana – 37 Fascinating Facts, History, and Culture Life

On the northeastern coast of South America, French Guiana is a territory part of France. It is made up of tropical rainforests. Before the French took over the land, it was used mainly by native Americans. People who live in Cayenne, the capital of this French territory, live in beautiful Creole homes and shop on the streets. The central plaza, Places des Palmistes, is lined with stores and restaurants. Don’t mix it up with Guyana if you want to go to French Guiana. 

This is how Guiana looked when it was made up of enslaved people from Africa who worked on the plantations. Different European countries were also interested in the resources of Guiana, so they took over the natives and made them their people as well. After the French Revolution, Guiana became a French department in 1797. A lot can be learned about Guiana.


The first French immigrants came in the early 1700s. Then, in 1652, they gave up the colony. In 1654, it was taken over by the Dutch. Portuguese and British rule over French Guiana were both brief periods. French Guiana was renamed French Guiana in 1817, and in 1946, it became a department of the government of France. French Guiana is a kaleidoscope of ethnic groupings, ethnicities, and nations, where numerous cultures mix and interact.

One of the world’s most essential spaceports, French Guiana also has another claim to fame. In 1852, the French decided to establish a prison colony here. Convicts & deportees were housed at Saint Laurant de Maroni, Royal and St Joseph islands, whereas political prisoners were housed on Devil’s Island, immortalised in Henri Charrière’s Papillon. In 1947, the doors of the notorious prison colony slammed shut for good for the last time. Now, the islands are one of the main things to see and do in French Guiana. They also house some of the region’s exciting and unique animals.

Cultural Life

French Guiana’s culture reflects the different backgrounds of the people who live there. Indigenous and African crafts, traditions, and arts are the most common in their own countries. A mixed-Creole culture is influential in the cities, with brightly coloured and uniquely patterned clothes, dances that show African, Indian, French 18th-century influences, and festivals like the pre-Lenten Carnival, where many people spend their time making costumes, writing music, and dancing. Negritude was a literary trend in the Caribbean that began in the 1930s with Léon Damas, the French Guianese poet.

37 Fascinating Facts

In 1500, Spaniards went to the coast of Guiana. In 1503 they moved to the Cayenne area.
In 1500, Spaniards went to the coast of Guiana. In 1503 they moved to the Cayenne area.
The Treaty of Breda gave the land to France in 1667. The Dutch, who had been in charge of Cayenne in 1664, was kicked out in 1676.
After 1877, the territory residents became French citizens, and they had a seat in the French Parliament.
With Father Francis Libermann, Anne-Marie Javouhey developed one of the earliest educational schools for formerly enslaved Africans and women.
It became a part of France in 1946, and in 1974, it became a part of South America.
In 1968, the European Space Agency set up a rocket-launching base and built a new town in Kourou. In the late 1970s, the country adopted the Plan Vert (Green Plan), which encouraged more agricultural and forestry production.
Economic gains were not long-term, and unemployment rates stayed high, making many Frenc Guianeans unhappy with the French government.
A French subsidy and technical aid are helping French Guiana create its own market economy, modelled after metropolitan France's.
The European Space Agency's rocket-launching foundation in Kourou is fundamental to the country's economy. It accounts for about one-quarter of its annual GDP (GDP).
Services, production, and construction make up the three most considerable parts of the economy.
GNI per capita is among the highest in South America.
Agriculture is only a small part of GDP.
The most common crops grown are cassava, rice, bananas, and cabbage for people who need to eat food.
Although most small farms are operated and owned by families, a few big estates specialise in growing cash crops for export, mainly to metropolitan France.
The principal industries are cement, rum, and wood products. Most capital and consumer goods need to be imported.
Thermal power plants, which use fossil fuels from outside the country, make electricity.
The bulk of the workforce is engaged in the service and manufacturing industries, with agriculture making for a tiny portion of the total employment.
People in France get paid and get benefits in many the same ways.
There is a lot of unemployment and a lot of inflation.
The people who live in French Guiana come from a wide range of different ethnicities.
Indigenous and African crafts, traditions, and arts are the most common among their own people.
Urban mixed-Creole culture is characterised by vividly coloured and patterned clothing; dances with East Indian, African, and French 18th-century influences; and festivals when much of the populace commits themselves to costume creation, music production, and dance competition.
Negritude was a trend in Caribbean writing that began in the 1930s with Léon Damas, the French Guianese poet.
A broad range of historically national executive responsibilities, like military and foreign policy, is now within the purview of the French government agencies.
Northern South America shows how big the Guyanas region is and far from French Guiana.
Since December 2015, the region and the French department have controlled a single assembly as part of the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity, a new territorial collectivity.
The preceding regional and departmental councils were abolished and replaced with the French Guiana Assembly legislature.
The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of the governments in the regions and departments. Gabriel Serville is the head of the group. People in French Guiana speak French.
Because of its proximity to the North Atlantic, it receives a lot of rain. France maintains a space centre in French Guyana, which the French Guianese, as well as the French Constitution, use to conduct research and develop policies on the French territory.
Devil's Island's three Îles du Salut and the isolated Îles du Connétable farther up the northeastern coast towards Brazil are tiny offshore islands.
This area has a lot of tropical rainforests as well as beautiful Creole homes.
People here speak a lot of different languages because many people from other European countries have moved here.
Illegal immigration, poor infrastructure, higher living costs, more crime, and more social unrest are still a problem in this part of France.
At the time they were born and did not have French citizenship, an immigrant was someone who came from a different country and didn't have it at the time.
The primary language is French. All commercial transactions and the majority of everyday conversations are performed in standard French. They speak their language inside, and the African tribes speak Taki-Taki, pidgin English.
The strong impact of French culture can be seen all around the nation, and many of the habits and attitudes associated with France are prevalent in the capital.