Suriname is the smallest sovereign state in terms of area and population in South America. The country is one of the only Dutch-speaking regions in the Western Hemisphere which is not a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Suriname also has the highest percentage of Muslims in both North and South America. Suriname's geographical size is just under 165,000 km², and has an estimated population of about 470,000 people.
Adults grow to an average of 2 to 2.5 m, although 3 m is not too unusual. The largest recorded specimen was almost 3.65 m long, making this the largest of all pit vipers and the longest venomous snake in the western hemisphere.
Mc Leod was born in Paramaribo as Cynthia Ferrier; she is the daughter of Johan Ferrier, the first President of Suriname.
She completed her secondary school education in Suriname and continued her education in the Netherlands, where she studied to become a teacher in Child Care and Education. She married Drs. Donald Mc Leod whom she met in the Netherlands. In 1962 they went to Suriname, where Mc Leod studied for a teaching degree in Dutch Language and Dutch Literature. From 1969 to 1978 she taught Dutch Language and Literature in pre-university education in Paramaribo. Her husband, Donald Mc Leod, was appointed in 1978 as Suriname’s Ambassador to Venezuela. Then he became Suriname’s Ambassador to Belgium and the United States of America. Abroad Mc Leod started writing and especially during her stay in Belgium she had the opportunity to do research in the archives of The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Emmerich, and Köln.