The Guyana Portal

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Guyana (/ɡˈɑːnə/ or /ɡˈænə/ ), officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern coast of South America, part of the historic mainland British West Indies. Guyana is an indigenous word which means "Land of Many Waters". Georgetown is the capital of Guyana and is also the country's largest city. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With a land area of 214,969 km2 (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state by area in mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname, and is the second-least populous sovereign state in South America after Suriname; it is also one of the least densely populated countries on Earth. It has a wide variety of natural habitats and very high biodiversity. The country also hosts a part of the Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest in the world.

The region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters". Nine indigenous tribes reside in Guyana: the Wai Wai, Macushi, Patamona, Lokono, Kalina, Wapishana, Pemon, Akawaio and Warao. Historically dominated by the Lokono and Kalina tribes, Guyana was colonised by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as British Guiana with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966 and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Indigenous, Chinese, Portuguese, other European, and various multiracial groups.

Guyana is the only mainland South American nation in which English is the official language. However, the majority of the population speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. It is part of the mainland Caribbean region maintaining strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Caribbean countries as well as serving as the headquarters for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.

In 2017, 41% of the population of Guyana lived below the poverty line. Guyana's economy has been undergoing a transformation since the discovery of crude oil in 2015 and commercial drilling in 2019, with its economy growing by 49% in 2020, making it, by some accounts, currently the world's fastest-growing economy. As it is said to have 11 billion barrels in oil reserves, the country was on course to become one of the largest per capita oil producers in the world by 2025. The discovery of over 11 billion barrels of oil reserves off the coast of Guyana since 2017 is the largest addition to global oil reserves since the 1970s. Guyana is now ranked as having the fourth-highest GDP per capita in the Americas after the United States, Canada, and The Bahamas, and has been one of the countries with the most improvement in Human Development Index ranking since 2015. According to the World Bank in 2023, very significant poverty still exists and the country faces significant risks in structurally managing its growth. (Full article...)

The National Library of Guyana (formerly known as the Carnegie Free Library, the Georgetown Free Public Library and the Free Public Library) is the legal deposit and copyright library for Guyana. Unlike many national libraries, it is also a public lending library and the headquarters of Guyana's public library service, with branches extending throughout the country. Founded in 1909, the National Library of Guyana is situated on the corner of Church Street and Main Street in central Georgetown.

In 2007, the library recorded a collection of 397,893 books and a total of 22,058 members. Its collection includes the papers of A. J. Seymour and Ian McDonald. (Full article...)

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Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls is the world's largest single-drop waterfall by volume.

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