French Guiana

The forgotten French forest

The Basics

Where's it at? French Guiana is located between Suriname and Brazil and is roughly the size of Indiana!

How's the weather down there? Weather-wise, they average around 80 all year round. Climate-wise, about 83% of the entire country is rainforest, so it can be fairly humid and rainy. Not recommended for people with curly hair.

How to Fit In

What do they speak? While the national language is French, there are some tribes that speak Taki-Taki.

What's normal there?

  1. Shrimp is their main export so expect to have lots of Caribbean and Creole dishes.
  2. A good majority of people there are Roman Catholic, so church marriages are pretty typical there.
  3. Besides their aerospace center, they aren't as advanced as some places so they still rely heavily on farm labor from children and family.
  4. Women are pretty much just there to raise the kids.
  5. Larger families tend to live in close proximity.
  6. They will typically dress in short sleeves and light colors and I don't blame them. It's hot out!

What should you NOT do? French Guiana is one of the most racially diverse countries in the world so they are fairly accepting of a lot. They follow French and Catholic customs though. Also, even though there is no systematic discrimination of women, it's basically implied and women aren't typically as high on the scale as men.

Is there anyone there who rebels against the system? Yes. There are several communes in the rainforests who do not abide by the laws or social "norms."

Digging Deeper Into the Culture

Who's all there besides the French? 66% of the people living there are actually African or Afro-European. Europeans make up about 18% of the country's population and the rest is a grab bag of east Asians, Chinese, Amerindians, and Brazilians.

What's there that's historically important? One of French Guiana's most famous structures is Devil's Island, which is located in Kourou. It was a penal colony for political prisoners during the French Revolution, which eventually just became a prison for France's worst criminals.

Is there any Cultural Diffusion? Yes there is. These people have adopted the French ways and are typically practicing Catholics.

What about Cultural Change? Absolutely. French Guiana has one of Europe's finest space stations and is a place to launch rockets!

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