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Belize

Everything you need to know about Belize: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Belize: Central American Country under British Control

Belize had been under the control of Mayan Empire and till date it preserves the important sites of Mayan civilization such as that of late postclassical ceremonial constructions and at places like Caracol, Lamanai, Altun Ha and many others. Its modern history dates back to 1638-40 when it came under British control. Britain still retains control over Belize’s Defence, Foreign relations and Internal Security. Belize with capital Belmopan is a melting pot of cultures consisting of Mestizos, Creoles, East Indians, German Mennonites, Lebanese and others. Despite the diversity, English is its official language though Spanish is the most popular one. Belize has many pristine white, sandy beaches and famous towns like Caye Caulker, San Pedro, San Ignacio and Ambergris.

Belize fast-facts:

    · National Name: Belize
    · Capital: Belmopan
    · Total area: 8,867 sq mi (22,966 sq km)
    · Population: 301,022 (2008 est)
    · Currency: Belize dollar
    · Languages: English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole
    · Ethnicity/ Races: mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%
    · Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7%, Anglican 5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5%, Mennonite 4%, Methodist 4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%), none 9%, other 14% (2000)
    · GDP (Per Capita): $7,900 (2007 est.)
    · Life Expectancy: 58 years (male), 62 years (female) (2003 est.)
    · Literacy Rate: 94% (2003 est.)

Geography, Climate and Economy of Belize:
The topography of Belize ranges from flat, swampy coastal plains to rugged mountain ranges. The lowest elevation point at sea level is Caribbean point, while the highest point is Doyle’s Delight at a height of 3,688 ft. The largest and most important historical river is the Belize River besides the other two rivers, the Hondo and the Sarstoon, which run through northern and southern parts. Belize is also prone to hurricane and flood rampage.

The climate of Belize is generally tropical in nature characterized by hot and humid temperature along with the rainy season, which lasts from May to February. The average temperature ranges from 24 degree to 27 degree Celsius in the month of July. The northeast trade winds have a moderating effect on the climate, which originates from the Caribbean coast.

Belize’s economy is largely based on agriculture and it produces bananas on large scale along with Cane sugar, citrus, seafood and fish products and exports the same. Besides this, the country’s economy is also supported by Tourism as it offers numerous islands, exotic wildlife and rich architectural ruins of Mayan Empire.

Culture and Cuisine of Belize:
Belize comprises motley of different ethnicities such as Creoles, Garifuna, Mayans and a blend of Chinese and Lebanese. Another cultural aspect consists of mystical healing and Obeah, which is associated with evil Shaman practices. Moreover, the natives are known for their love of indigenous as well as modern music such as Punta genre of Garifuna music and Brukdown related to Calypso.

Belize has a varied cuisine corresponding to different ethnicities. The seafood forms an important part of Belizean meal besides bread, flour tortillas or fry jacks. Lobster, shrimp and conch are the easily available foods in Belize. The Mayan’s favourite dish is called Caldo and they also use recado and corn. While the Garifuna’s are particularly fond of cassava and seafood.

Tourist Attractions in Belize:
Belize has a lot more to offer in terms of ecological diversity and archaeological sites. The major archaeological sites are at Lubaantun, Caracol and Xunantunich. Besides this its Cayo district has the most magnificent scenic sites offering lush green forests, mystery abounded caves, mesmerizing waterfalls and enchanting hillsides. Then there is a Cockscomb Basin which homes the endangered species of Jaguar. The Ambergris Caye Marine reserve is a must visit for anyone wanting to travel to Belize.

Some other Places to Visit in Belize are:

    · Ambergris Caye
    · Ambergris Caye - Hol Chan Marine Reserve
    · Belize City Surroundings - Altun Ha Archaeological Site
    · Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
    · Lighthouse Reef Atoll - Blue Hole Natural Monument
    · Northern Belize - Lamanai Archaeological Site
    · Caye Caulker
    · Ambergris Caye

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March 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM

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