The one minute summary on

Guyana photo

Photo by D-Stanley

This is it: one minute to the best info on Guyana. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Guyana, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

 

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. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments.

In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country’s first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. Donald RAMOTAR was elected president in 2011.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Guyana
  2. Does my current phone work in  Guyana ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Guyana
  3. Local food you should try in  Guyana and No miss drinks in  Guyana

Now, cheers to the most Guyana aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Guyana?

Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to the purchase of some villages such as Victoria and Anns Grove to name a few, as well as black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations.

Chinese were also imported to work on plantations but were found to be unsuitable (read Guyana History. The Colonial powers employed a system of “divide and rule” among the freed Africans and the other ethnic groups which were brought and encouraged to settle in the then colony. The policy was employed even during slavery when indigenous “Amerindians” were used to hunt runaway slaves. The result was an ethno-cultural divide, significant elements of which have persisted to this day and has led to turbulent politics, dissolution of attempts at nationalistic cultural development and the non-existence of anything resembling a “National Identity”.

Guyana photo

Photo by D-Stanley

Independence 26 May 1966 (from UK) National holiday Republic Day, 23 February (1970) Constitution 6 October 1980 Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, but until the early 1990s it was ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president, in what is considered the country’s first free and fair election since independence. Upon his death five years later, he was succeeded by his wife Janet, who resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. The current President is Donald Ramotar

The one minute summary for Guyana geography

Best places to see in Guyana

Mashramani. An Amerindian word meaning “celebration after hard work”. On February 23rd is the country’s republic anniversary celebration. A carnival-like event with float parades and costumed bands. Colorful float parades and costume Bands wind their way through the city. While you spectate, have a swig of local rum with coconut water or have some Banks beer, all the while swaying and wining to the beat of the soca and calypso. Starts from about 10AM. Kaieteur Falls. It is 5x the height of Niagara Falls, ~250m tall.

It can be accessed by a short plane flight from the capital offered by various tour companies as a day trip. Most companies only run the day trip on Sundays though, so book ahead. US$200-$300. Orinduik Falls. A smaller waterfall than Kaieteur that is also included when visiting Kaieteur by plane. Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve Shell Beach, North West (Speedboat from Charity). Shell Beach is a must for travellers to Guyana, featuring a range of Leatherback, Green and Olive Ridley turtles laying eggs.

The conservation area is managed by the wonderful De Frietus family, contact Romeo. Merume Mountains – Legend has it that no one has been to the top of the Merume Mountains, or even found the source of the Mazaruni river rumoured to be within their limestone nest. There are trails from Kamarang towards the top however. Kumerau Falls – Wider than Kaiteur, these falls are accessable from the bush truck road from Bartica. You will need to get a lift from a mining truck however, to reach Kurupung first, from where it is possible to follow the trail. 52 Drop Falls – Dramatic series of 52 rapids on the Cuyuni river, just round the corner from Bartica. Can be dangerous so go with guide.