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Guinea-Bissau

The small country of Guinea-Bissau is a product of West African and Portuguese colonial cultural influences. Portuguese and the local Crioulo are the officially recognized languages; Balanta, Fula, Manjaca, Mandinga, and Papel peoples make for an ethnically-varied community. The flat terrain and tropical weather are significantly less varied. Agriculture is the mainstay of a pretty depressed economy, and cashew nuts and ground nuts are big exports. In Bissau, the neoclassical fa├ºade of the former presidential palace retains damage from the civil war era, but restoration is underway. The Arquip├®lago dos Bijag├│s are beautiful delta islands with great beaches and a population whose isolation has preserved an old culture quite distinct in West Africa.

Seafood is a central part of the diet in Guinea-Bissau. Cassava, yams, and maize are popular starchy staples, and okra, carrots, and squash are common vegetables. Jollof rice is eaten here, as in many other West African nations. Ca├▒a de cajeu, cashew rum, is a spirit which may excite your adventurous spirit.