About French Guiana
The country borders Brazil to the East and South and has one of the lowest populations in the South Americas with just three inhabitants per sq kilometer. It’s 83,500sq km land mass is home to only 250,000, half of these inhabitants occupy the capital called Cayenne.
The country, as part of France, is a member of the European Union, and as such has adopted the European currency the Euro.
Guiana is also home to the European Space Agency’s main launch site, used to blast into space, near to the equator. The Guiana Space Centre accounts for a majority of the countries income.
The first French colonised the country in 1763, though this original influx of settlers were not prepared. Some 10,000 of the 12,000 that attempted to settle were all killed by disease and the unpredictable climate. Used as a ‘prison’ France sent some 55,000 prisoners to the then named ‘Devils Island’. Less than 10% survived to see their sentence through. A prison on the islands was used right up until 1953.
The country is heavily reliant on mainland France for trade, subsidies and goods. In addition to the space centre the country is also active in the fields of fishing, gold mining and timber.