French Guiana Final Report

1856 words 8 pages
Judy Guthro
Professor Brady
05 February 2011

The history and culture of French Guiana is as varied as its landscape. Its people are as diverse as the country; from the Atlantic coast, to the marshy swamps, to the tropical rain forest and the Guiana Highlands.
The Arawak Indians were the first known people to inhabit the land now known as French Guiana. The next wave of people was the Caribs, who were traveling from Brazil and stayed behind. This group made up the Amerindians, of which there are only a handful of descendants left today. The Spaniards commissioned Christopher Columbus and settled the land in 1498. They occupied the land on and off for the next century.
When the rest of the European powers were claiming land in
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Cultural Diversity: Their cultural diversity is much like their national identity in that much has come from outside of the country and reflects the background of the people that have come there. They share a distinct musical type called Zouk, which blends a Reggae style with steel drums. Their cuisine is Creole style with an Asian flair. The big celebration as in many Latin countries is carnival (Mardi Gras), also celebrated here in the United States (Duran, 94).
Political Structure: French Guiana, being part of France, is part of the European Union (EU). It is the largest landmass for an area outside of Europe with one of the longest EU external boundaries. It is one of only three European Union territories outside Europe that is not an island. As an integral part of France, its head of state is the President of the French Republic, and its head of Government is the Prime Minister of France. The French Government and its agencies have responsibility for a wide range of issues that are reserved to the National Executive, such as defense and external relations.
The President of France appoints a Prefect (resident at the Prefecture building in Cayenne) as his representative to head the local government of French Guiana. There are two legislative bodies: the 19 member General Council and the 34 member Regional Council. Both are elected by the people.
French Guiana sends two deputies to the French National Assembly, one representing the commune