The coastal location of the Guianas provided European colonialists with an excellent site for plantation agriculture. Coastal cities had easy access to the Atlantic trade system. The active slave trade in the Atlantic brought African slaves to the Guianas to work the plantations. When slavery was abolished, indentured servants were brought in from other parts of the world that were colonized by the same European powers. Colonialism and plantation agriculture entirely changed the cultural dynamics of the Guianas. Port cities along the coast are the dominant urban centers. The Guianas follow a pattern similar to that of the rimland of the Caribbean and are included with the Caribbean in many studies. At the present time, bauxite (aluminum ore) mining and oil deposits along the coast provide modest income, and many people make their living in subsistence agriculture.


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