the 17th-century capital of Suriname, is graced with attractive
Dutch, French, Spanish and British colonial architecture. Imposing
brick buildings overlook grassy squares and wooden houses crowd
narrow streets. Towering palms shade some areas and mangroves still
hug the riverside. Mosques and synagogues sit side by side, while
Javanese vendors peddle satay and Dutch-speaking Creoles guzzle
beer at sidewalk cafes. Central Paramaribo's focus is the Onafhankelijksplein
(Unity Square), fronting the Presidential Palace. Immediately behind
the palace is the Palmentuin, an attractive park with tall palms
inhabited by tropical birds. To the east is Fort Zeelandia, a 17-century
riverside fortification used for the detention and torture of political
prisoners after the coup of 1980. The main market is found on the
riverside boulevard, Waterkrant, and ferries for Meerzog, on the
other side of the river, leave from nearby. Suriname is reachable
by plane from Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Curacao (Dutch Antilles),
Miami (Florida, USA), Port of Spain (Trinidad), Cayenne (French
Guiana) and sporadically from some cities in Brasil (e.g. Belem).
Reservations for these flights should be made as early as possible
since they are quite popular!
Suriname (formerly Dutch Guyana) is a small Republic on the Northeast
coast of South America. The people are a multi-cultural blend and
the land has many beautiful natural resources that make it unique.
It is not unusual to see monkeys traversing the trees and boa constrictors
crossing the various roads that are traveled daily. The Amazonian
interior is unspoiled and sparsely inhabited. The official language
of Suriname is Dutch. A reasonable number of people also speak English.
Surinamese children are taught English in primary school starting
in the seventh grade. The lingua franca in Suriname is Sranan Tongo.
This is a creole language spoken by almost everyone. Suriname's
national anthem is written in Sranan Tongo.