Wikijunior:South America/French Guiana

Part of Wikijunior South America project

French Guiana's logo

French Guiana is an overseas department of France, on the northern coast of South America. Like metropolitan France, its currency is the euro.



French Guiana was originally inhabited by a number of American peoples. It was settled by the French in the 17th century. A border dispute with Brazil occurred in the late 19th century over a large area of the jungle. This dispute caused the French Guiana to be an independent state until it could be resolved. In 1946, French Guiana became an overseas department of France. In the 1970s Hmong refugees came from Laos and settled in. In the 1970s and 1980s there became an increase of French people moving to settle in the area.



The French Guiana area is tropical and is usually hot and humid with a total area of 91,000 square kilometres (35,000 sq mi). There is little seasonal temperature difference with dry summers and rainy winters. French Guiana's population is around 209,000, most of whom live along the coastal region. Much of French Guiana is a national park.

Important sites

  • Guiana Space Centre – an important ESA spaceport.
  • Guiana Amazonian Park – the largest park and rainforest in the EU.