Teaching Students Facts About Suriname


Suriname, a beautiful, diverse and vibrant country nestled on the northeastern coast of South America. It is a country that often goes unnoticed in textbooks and lesson plans but offers fascinating lessons for students. This article delves into some engaging ways to teach students about Suriname’s geography, history, culture, and natural resources.


Begin the lesson by familiarizing your students with Suriname’s location. Have them identify its neighboring countries (Guyana, Brazil, and French Guiana) and examine its terrain. Teach them about the variety of landscapes found throughout this small nation, from the dense Amazon rainforest to the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast. Use maps to illustrate the differences between the urbanized coastal lowlands and sparsely populated interior.


Moving on to history, it is essential to discuss Suriname’s indigenous peoples who inhabited the land for centuries before European colonization. Introduce students to groups like the Arawak, Carib, and Wayana, discussing their cultural practices and survival strategies in diverse environments.

European colonization should be a focal point when discussing Suriname’s history. Engage your students in understanding Dutch influence as they ruled Suriname almost continuously from 1667 until its independence in 1975.


Bring Surinamese culture to life by teaching students about the diverse ethnic groups that make up its population. They should learn about descendants of African slaves (Maroons, Creoles), East Indian indentured laborers (Hindustani), Javanese (from Indonesia), Amerindians, Chinese immigrants and other groups.

Introduce your students to Sranan Tongo, a Creole language spoken widely in Suriname. This language showcases Suriname’s cultural heritage and linguistic evolution.

Don’t forget to explore cultural events like Diwali, Chinese New Year or Keti Koti that celebrate the multi-cultural aspects of Surinamese society. Discuss the blend of religious practices, which include Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and indigenous beliefs.

Natural Resources

The discussion of Suriname’s natural resources provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn about precious metals, forestry, agriculture and renewable energies. Teach them about bauxite, gold mining, and oil production, which all contribute to Suriname’s economy while wrestling with environmental issues such as deforestation.

Dedicate some time to introducing your students to the extraordinary biodiversity found in Suriname’s Amazon rainforest. You can emphasize the importance of conservation and the efforts being made to preserve habitats, indigenous cultures and endemic species.


Teaching students about Suriname will widen their understanding of South America and help them appreciate the many facets that contribute to a nation’s development and diversity. The journey into this fascinating country will nurture curiosity, promote empathy for other cultures and nurture a deeper connection to our world.

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