Celebrating the Guianas
The Guiana Shield is mostly defined in geographical and geological terms since its location, landscape, earth structure and vegetation are what define it. Its many other features present a varied and interesting mix. It is known for the vast extent of its Amazonian rainforests, savannahs, a geomorphology punctuated by gorges, rivers and waterfalls and geological roots that have produced several precious minerals and oil.
It is located on the northern edge of South America, touching the Caribbean coast at one point, and includes four countries and former colonies that give the Guiana Shield its name – known in the past as Spanish Guiana, British Guiana, Dutch Guiana and French Guiana. These are now the nations of Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname, in addition to French Guiana which has maintained its name and status as a Department of France. Of these, only the last three are still referred to as the Guianas. Significantly, too, it is these three that stand out as culturally different from the rest of South America. They are the only non-‘Latin’ countries on the continent; they are the most multi-cultural and multi-lingual countries there, …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.