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The name "Guyana" is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that formerly included Guyana (British Guiana), Suriname (Dutch Guiana), French Guiana, and parts of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Guyana is derived from an Indigenous Amerindian language and means "land of many waters".

More than 300 children were killed; the people were members of a group led by Jim Jones in Jonestown, the settlement which they had created.

In May 2008, President Bharrat Jagdeo was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. The territory controlled by Guyana lies between latitudes 1° and 9°N, and longitudes 56° and 62°W.

The country can be divided into five natural regions; a narrow and fertile marshy plain along the Atlantic coast (low coastal plain) where most of the population lives; a white sand belt more inland (hilly sand and clay region), containing most of Guyana's mineral deposits; the dense rain forests (Forested Highland Region) in the southern part of the country; the desert savannah in the southern west; and the smallest interior lowlands (interior savannah) consisting mostly of mountains that gradually rise to the Brazilian border.

The region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters".

Originally inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century.

Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on and became a republic on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth.

The US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with the British government, played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time.

CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown.

In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.

The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.

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