Perched at the top of South America, Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America – a legacy of its years as a Dutch and then British colony.
However despite bordering Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana), it is culturally and politically more linked to the Caribbean.
The name Guyana is an Amerindian word meaning ‘Land of many waters‘ – a tribute to its labyrinth of rivers, creeks and waterfalls.
Its lush interior also boasts a diverse landscape of vast savannah, rainforests and mountains. while the low-lying coastal front of the capital city, Georgetown, is protected from growing sea levels with a long, snaking sea wall.
Georgetown itself is where most of the country’s population of around 750,000 live. A bustling city of colourful food markets, lively entertainment spots and burgeoning malls, it boasts a rich architectural history – including one of the world’s tallest wooden structures, the striking St George’s Cathedral.
Dubbed the land of six peoples, Guyana has a famously multi-ethnic population. These include the indigenous Amerindian population; those of African heritage, whose ancestors were brought by slave ships from West Africa; descendants of indentured labourers from India; and those of Chinese, Portuguese and British heritage.