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Introducing French Guiana

French Guiana is a little country of pristine rainforests that has both the luck and misfortune of being colonized by France (and is thus a member of the EU). It’s the wealthiest region of this corner, with France pouring in the funds to insure a stable base for its satellite launcher; everyone from Brazil to Suriname tries to cross the border in hopes of high-paying jobs and unemployment benefits. Yet the country lacks the smiling simplicity of its struggling neighbors. On the one hand it’s a fascinating destination of cleaned-up colonial architecture, eerie prison camp history (that involved the colorful characters of Papillon and Alfred Dreyfus) and some of the most diverse plant and animal life in the world; on the other hand, its heart seems buried beneath a cold European hand uninterested in seeing its people reach their full potential.

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