Balata, French Guiana

Balata is located in French Guiana
Location in French Guiana
Coordinates: 4°53′12″N 52°20′13″W / 4.8866°N 52.3369°W / 4.8866; -52.3369
Overseas regionFrench Guiana
 • Total0.59 km2 (0.23 sq mi)
 • Total2,067
 • Density3,500/km2 (9,100/sq mi)

Balata is a town in the commune of Matoury in French Guiana. It is located at the junction of RN1 and RN2, and started as a Haitian shanty town.


Balata is named after the nearby Balata Creek. It is located at the junction of RN1 and RN2 in Matoury.[2]

Haitian emigration to French Guiana started in the late 1960s, and accelerated from the late 1980s onwards.[3] At first, they settled among the Haitians already living in Cayenne.[4] Starting in 1995, shanty towns like Balata appeared on the outskirts of the urban area.[5] Many of the settlers either bought or rented the land. By 2005, only a third of the residents were squatting.[6]

The favourable position at the junction of two main roads, triggered suburbanisation in the area. Family Plaza, a 30,000 m2 commercial centre with shopping mall,[7] a golf course,[8] and the Lycée Balata, a high school, were constructed in Balata.[9]

Balata, a neighbourhood of Matoury,[10] is listed as a QPV, a problematic urban area needing attention,[1] because of its crime rate[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Quartier Prioritaire : Balata". Système d'information géographique de la politique et de la ville (in French). Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  2. ^ "L'échangeur de Balata ouvert et inauguré aujourd'hui". France Guyane (in French). Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  3. ^ Romanovski & Piantoni 2008, p. Résumés.
  4. ^ Romanovski & Piantoni 2008, p. 5.
  5. ^ Romanovski & Piantoni 2008, p. 6.
  6. ^ Romanovski & Piantoni 2008, p. 15.
  7. ^ "Family Plaza". Petite Fute (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Practice Golf de Matoury". Blada (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Balata : blocage du lycée par des parents en colère pour réclamer du concret". France Guyane (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Matoury : portrait croisé de deux jeunes entrepreneurs du quartier de Balata". France TV Info (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Surinamer gearresteerd in Franse razzia". Dagblad De West (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2021.


  • Romanovski, Zéphirin; Piantoni, Frédéric (2008). "Les stratégies d'accès au logement des Haïtiens dans l'agglomération de Cayenne comme facteurs de restructuration urbaine". Marquages territoriaux et reconnaissance communautaire dans l'outre-mer français. 6. doi:10.4000/espacepolitique.1009.
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