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French Guiana Information - Page 2
Arawak and Carib Amerindians were early inhabitants of French Guiana.

The French settled in the region in the seventeenth century. Other Europeans followed. These included the British, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

French Guiana was established as a French Colony after the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1946 French Guiana became an overseas department of France.

French Guiana is an overseas department of France benefiting from French financial support. As part of France, French Guiana is also part of the European Union.

Kourou is the location of the European Space Agency rocket launch site.

In 2017 Kourou was counted among the spaceports with the highest percentage of successful launches.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was launched on 25 December 2021 on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The space centre also accounts for a significant percentage of the Department's Gross Domestic Product.

Forestry and fishing are major industries. The most important crops are rice and cassava. Other agricultural products include bananas, sugar, cocoa, corn and vegetables. Cattle, pigs and poultry are reared.

Construction, shrimp processing, forestry products, gold mining and rum are also important industries. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is a growing industry.

Ethnic groups in French Guiana have their own traditions. Groups include Amerindians, people of African origin, Chinese, East Indian and the Hmong from Laos.

Carnival, at the beginning of the year, is an opportunity to take part in French Guianese music and dance.

Museums include the Franconie Museum, the Museum of Guyanese Cultures, and the Felix Eboue Museum.

Football is played in French Guiana. Some French Guianese footballers have played for the French national team.

Water sports include water skiing and sailing.

All religious holidays are celebrated. Bastille Day is on 14 July (1789).

News from South America is available from Newslink.

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