French Guiana is often referred to simply as Guiana these days: the “French” part of the name was used mainly to distinguish the territory from neighboring Guyana, which is now just another part of northern Amazonia. In fact, French Guiana is one of the few areas of northern South America which has not been conquered by Amazonia, though it is surrounded by Amazonia on three sides (with the Atlantic Ocean on the fourth) This is not because of Amazonia’s lack of interest or Guiana’s strong defenses, but because French Guiana is as the name implies, a protect sate of France, and the Amazonian government is unwilling to take on Europe for less than a hundred thousand square kilometers of land.
Guiana’s physica1 resources are minimal, other than subsistence agriculture, the main industries are forestry and gold mining, neither of which generates a great deal of income for the nation. Its main asset is actually it’s location: the country sits almost directly atop the equator which makes it ideal for launching rockets into geostationary orbit in addition to Proteus’ offshore facility, the former European Space Agency base in Kourou is now owned by Saeder-Krupp. Novatech is currently building its own launch facility outside Cayenne.
The population of the country is strongly divided between the small percentage of wealthy highly-educated corporate employees who work at the various aerospace facilities, and the poor, uneducated masses who operate Guyana’s farms, lumberyards and mines if they’re lucky enough to have a job at all. In this respect it’s actually fa1rly similar to the UCAS, except that the poor are even poorer in Guiana. Crime, alcoholism, drug and chip use are rampant among the lower classes, and while there is a lot of resentment towards the privileged corporate suits, the corporate facilities are sufficiently well-defended to ward off any would-be troublemakers.
French is the country’s official language, but most of the population actually speaks a french -Amerindian creole. English is also widely spoken. Yellow fever and rabies are fairly common, and vaccinations are recommended. Travelers are also advised to stay away from local milk and dairy products, and to stick to bottled water outside major metropolitan areas.