FC: Belize Travel Guide
1: Table of Contents: 1) Geography 2) History 3) Culture 4) Themes of History
2: Geography; | Belize is about the size of Massachusetts, at 8,867 square miles (22,966 square kilometers). Mexico, Guatemala, and The Caribbean Ocean border Belize. Belize's landscape is diverse, despite the smaller size. On the Northern half, the land is flat, with many marshes and lagoons. In coastal areas there are swamps and mangroves. In contrast, the East and West parts of the country are mountainous, with elevations up to 3,688 feet (915 meters). More than 60 percent of the land
3: contains forests, and Belize also contains many small islands, or cayes. Belize has rivers, forests, reefs, and a variety of thousands of plant and animal species, such as guanacasta trees, crocodiles, and manatees. Also Belize is know from having the World's second largest barrier reef. Belize has a dry season from February to July and a wet season from August–to January. Between June and October, coastal flooding and hurricanes can strike. The humidity is always high and temperatures average between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
4: A manatee at the barrier reef. | The Barrier Reef, also called the blue hole. | Belize
5: The Maya claimed the region through the third to ninth centuries. Belize still has Mayan ruins all over. The decline of the Maya is unknown until Europeans arrived in the 16 hundreds. The Spanish were looking for gold. In the 17th century British pirates took control over islands to loot ships. Eventually they turned to woodcutting and were called baymen. The baymen had slaves to work for them. | History;
6: The Spanish tried to claim the land but the baymen and their slaves drove the Spanish away during the fight of St. George's Caye in 1798. Spain and Britain signed a treaty to allow Belize to become a British crown colony in 1862, which included the promise to build a road between Belize City and Guatemala City. The road was never built however and lead to a long time dispute of the two neighbors. Guatemala claimed Belize as it's own because the road was never built.
7: Belize was called British Honduras until 1973. In 1981, Belize became a sovereign country. British troops were left to guard Belize up until 1993. Some troops still remain to guard the boarders. Guatemala still claims a large portion of Belize today and the neighboring countries are constantly trying to compromise with each other. Belize today also struggles with violent crime and drug trafficking.
8: Mayan ruins | Belize flag
9: Culture | Belize's population is 321,100 and it is growing at about 2.05 percent. Mestizos, (people with European and indigenous ancestry), make up 49 percent of the population. Creoles, (people with African ancestry), take up about 25 percent. People of full Mayans hold 10.5 percent of the population. The Garinagu, (people with a Caribbean and African background), make 6 percent. Most Mestizos are descendants of 19th-century immigrants from Mexico.
10: The official language of Belize is English. Another common language is Creole, which is a English-based language that was developed in days of slavery. Also Spanish, Mayan languages, and other cultural languages are spoken. Freedom of religion is practiced and welcomed in Belize. Most people are Roman Catholic (50 percent). Pentecostal is also common with 7 percent of the population. Many Mestizos and Maya are Catholic. Creoles usually are Protestants, and Catholic. The Maya and Garinagu practice many religions and other Christian religions are common too.
11: Belizeans are generally friendly and laid back people that enjoy humor and honesty. Belize follows U.S. fashion. They take pride in how they dress and taste and status are determined by clothing. Religious activities are formal. Mayan and Garinagu dress traditionally with bright colored clothing. | A popular shirt called a guayabera.
12: Themes of History | The Blue Hole is an example of Geography shaping Culture. The barrier reef has made Belize a lot more popular than it would have been. The diverse and beautiful landscape also helps tourism. History repeats in Belize because Belize is always trying to be taken and it is never really free.. Then Belizeans fight the people off only to be retaken. For example; Spanish conquered the Mayans, British conquer the Spanish, Spanish attack the British in charge, and now though
13: independent, Guatemala is claiming parts of Belize land. Economy drives changing in Belize. Economy is expanding since their independence. Agriculture is a major part of the economy. Tourism and construction are growing and becoming important. Belize is also developing its oil reserves. Although Inflation is low, unemployment is still a problem, especially for young adults looking to start a job. Economy drives change in Belize. The treaty between Spain and Britain promised to build a road between Guatemala and Belize. The failure of this promise lead to the consequence that
14: Guatemala claimed Belize. The event caused Belize to be in another's power again. Other countries such as Spain, Britain, and Guatemala were power corrupting Belize. Spanish tried to conquer Belize, Britain controlled Belize up until 1964 (but they still have guards), and Guatemala is always trying to take Belize land. These countries are being power corrupt. Belizeans need food. They grow food that they can in the area and important most of their food from other countries. They have enough money from tourism and exporting food grown in Belize.
15: Britain still has some troops remaining in Belize to guard the boarders. | Tourism is growing and becoming important to the economy. | Agriculture is also important in the economy. Sugar, citrus fruits, and bananas are major export foods.