"Sub umbra floreo" - I blossom in the shade
[motto of the country]
With a size of 22,965 km², which hardly exceeds that of the German state of
Hesse, Belize, located between Mexico and Guatemala, is the second smallest
state on the entire American continent after El Salvador.
Belize has been part of the Commonwealth of Nations since 1981 and - like no
other country in Central America - English is the official language.
On the coast of the former English colony "British Honduras" in the Caribbean
Sea, the Barrier Reef and its cayes (= small coral islands) are the second
largest coral reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. It
stretches along the entire coast of Belize and offers countless small reefs,
sandbanks and islands protection.The cayes and the coast of the country are
mostly covered by wide, dense mangrove forests.
Belize also has three of the only four Caribbean atolls, including the famous
Blue Hole, an indescribable paradise for fans of diving.
Despite its small area, small Belize impresses with a great variety of
landscapes, some of which is completely untouched. While flat areas extend in
the north of the country and the coastal region is littered with the
aforementioned magrove trees, dry savannahs extend inland and the Mountain Pine
Ridge and the Maya Mountains south-west of Belize City.
The south of Belize belongs to the jungle, which makes up 40% of the total
land area and represents the largest closed remainder of the tropical
The flora and fauna of the country can hardly be described. Thousands of
plant species shape it, while tapirs, monkeys, river crocodiles, and pumas live
in the forests and rivers. With the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize
also has the only jaguar reserve on earth. So the visitor to the country will
see incredible things.
In Belize, which is more Caribbean than Spanish, many ethnic groups live
together, which differ both culturally and linguistically. In addition to the
mestizos and Creoles, there are the Mayas, Garifuna and Mennonites in the
country. Even if Belize City is the largest city in terms of population, the
Central American state has been the significantly smaller Belmopan since
1970. The planned city was built on the foothills of the Maya Mountains and
forms the geographical center of the country.
In contrast to many other South and Central American states, Belize, largely
spared from armed conflicts, welcomes around 200,000 visitors from all over the
world every year, most of them from the United States. In addition to the cruise
tourists, divers and people who are interested in the breathtaking diversity of
Belize's landscapes and the Mayan ruins in Cuello (Orange Walk District) come to
the country. The latter date from the year 2000 BCE, when today's Belize was
still inhabited by the Maya alone.
|Name of the country
|Form of government
||Central America in the southeast of the Jukatan peninsula
||Land of the Free
||approx. 408,500 (Credit:
||Around 50% of the people are mestizos, 21% Creoles, 11% indigenous
people (mostly Maya),
5% Garifuna (Black Caribbean Indians) and 9% European, Indian and
||There is no state religion. Around 50% of the population are
Catholics, 27% belong to various Protestant religions.
Furthermore there are about 1% Muslims and about 13% of the population
is distributed among other religious communities.
approx. 9% have no religious affiliation.
||English (official language), Spanish, Garifuna, Creole, German
||22,965 km² with approx. 90% forested area
||Doyle's Delight (1,124 m)
||Belize River (290 km)
|International license plate
||BZ (formerly BH)
|Time difference to CET
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||110 and 220 volts 60 hertz
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Little history of Belize
Belize is the now independent former British Honduras. It belongs to the
British Commonwealth, with the Queen or the King of Great Britain as head of
state. In contrast to that of other South American countries, history has meant
it relatively well with Belize, because the young state did not have to go
through lengthy phases of wars and civil wars. Only in 2005 there was unrest in
the country because of the ailing state budget and its planned compensation
through increased taxes.
Abbreviationfinder website, as the important archaeological discoveries in Cuello (Orange Walk District)
have shown, the land that is now called Belize was already settled by the Maya
around 2000 BC, whose heyday would end in the year 900. Descendants of those
Maya still live in the country today.
Spanish Colonial Era
In the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadores finally came to the country, but
from the outset they encountered resistance from the natives, some of whom fled
inland and repeatedly fought against the Spanish Colones. Those instead remained
in the areas of what is now Honduras and Mexico. Because the mountain regions
and coasts of Belize as well as the conflicts with the indigenous people made
activities in the interior more difficult. For this purpose, British pirates
"settled" on the coasts of Belize, who used the favorable location for prey
trips on Spanish ships. After this piracy had come to a standstill in 1670, the
British settlers (Baymen) began trading in tropical timber, something that Spain
did in 1763has been approved. From the 18th century onwards, forest work was
done by African slaves, who at the end of the 18th century made up about 75% of
the total population of the country (excluding the Mayans).
British colonial times
Even though many concessions had been made to the British settlers, Central
America was still de facto under Spanish influence at the end of the 18th
century. That changed with September 10, 1798 and the Battle of St. Georges
Caye, when the British military defeated the Spaniards. The area now under
English rule was to be called "British Honduras" from 1862. The Baymen, however,
continued to live autonomously and invoked their constitution, the “Barnaby's
Code” of 1765. In 1833, slavery was abolished in the British Empire.
At the beginning of the 20th century the resistance of the non-European
population in particular to British colonial rule had risen alarmingly, but this
development led to the establishment of political parties after the Second World
War and a severe economic decline until 1962. Administratively, the country was
already independent when it was supposed to be renamed "Belize" in 1973.
Independence from Belize
Belize achieved complete independence from Great Britain on September
21, 1981. However, British troops continued to be stationed in the country, as
neighboring Guatemala was just waiting to enforce its territorial claims in
western Belize by military means. It was not until 1992 that Belize should be
recognized by its neighbor as a sovereign country. However, Guatemala did not
renounce to uphold the old territorial claims. Both countries are still in
negotiations with one another.
Manuel Esquivel became the first Prime Minister of Belize. He was elected in