The French Guiana is not an independent country but has belonged to France since 1667. For about 150 years it was used as a penal colony – a place where dangerous prisoners were sent. Today, representatives from French Guiana have seats in the parliament of France. This humid land lies just north of the equator. A plateau spreads across the center of the country, with a plain to the north and the mountains to the south.
Much of French Guiana is covered in steamy rain forest, cut through with numerous rivers that flow straight to the Atlantic Ocean.
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