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Belize

Dialing code  +501
ISO code  BLZ
Currency  Belize dollar
Official language  English
Area  - Total22,966 km2 8,867 sq mi
Capital  Belmopan17°15?N 88°46?W? / ?17.250°N 88.767°W? / 17.250; -88.767
Population   - 2014 estimate340,844
Points of interest  Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Great Blue Hole, Xunantunich, Lamanai
Destinations  Belize City, San Pedro Town, San Ignacio - Belize, Placencia, Belmopan

Belize is a nation-state on the eastern coast of Central America. It is the only country in Central America whose official language is English, though Belizean Creole (Kriol) and Spanish are also commonly spoken. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km (68 mi) wide.

Map of Belize

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With 22,800 square kilometres (8,800 sq mi) of land and as of 2014 a population of 340,844, Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. The countrys population growth rate of 1.97% per year (2013) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Belize top 10 tourist attractions belize travel video


Belizes abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

Best places in belize with larry waight & jen knoedl #travel #interview


Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. Originally part of the British Empire, it shares a common colonial history with other Anglophone Caribbean countries. From 1862 to 1973 the area went by the name of British Honduras. It became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1981, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

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Belize is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the Latin American and Caribbean region. It is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations.

Belize is known for its September Celebrations, and is the birthplace of chewing gum and punta music.

History

Belize in the past, History of Belize

The Maya civilisation emerged at least three millennia ago in the lowland area of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands to the south, in what is now southeastern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and western Honduras. Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination. Prior to about 2500 BCE, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages; they later domesticated crops such as corn, beans, squash, and chili peppers.

Belize in the past, History of Belize

A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Maya core culture. Between about 2500 BCE and 250 CE, the basic institutions of Maya civilisation emerged. The peak of this civilisation occurred during the classic period, which began about 250 CE.

Geography

Belize Beautiful Landscapes of Belize

Belize is on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America. It shares a border on the north with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the west with the Guatemalan department of Petén, and on the south with the Guatemalan department of Izabal. To the east in the Caribbean Sea, the second-longest barrier reef in the world flanks much of the 386 kilometres (240 mi) of predominantly marshy coastline. The area of the country totals 22,960 square kilometres (8,865 sq mi), an area slightly larger than El Salvador, Israel, Massachusetts or Wales. The many lagoons along the coasts and in the northern interior reduces the actual land area to 21,400 square kilometres (8,263 sq mi).

Belize Beautiful Landscapes of Belize

Belize is shaped like a rectangle that extends about 280 kilometres (174 mi) north-south and about 100 kilometres (62 mi) east-west, with a total land boundary length of 516 kilometres (321 mi). The undulating courses of two rivers, the Hondo and the Sarstoon River, define much of the course of the countrys northern and southern boundaries. The western border follows no natural features and runs north-south through lowland forest and highland plateau.

The north of Belize consists mostly of flat, swampy coastal plains, in places heavily forested. The flora is highly diverse considering the small geographical area. The south contains the low mountain range of the Maya Mountains. The highest point in Belize is Doyles Delight at 1,124 m (3,688 ft).

Belizes rugged geography has also made the countrys coastline and jungle attractive to drug smugglers, who use the country as a gateway into Mexico. In 2011, the United States added Belize to the list of nations considered major drug producers or transit countries for narcotics.

Economy

Belize has a small, mostly privatised enterprise economy that is based primarily on export of petroleum and crude oil, agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance. It has yet to be seen if this will bring significant economic expansion. As of 2007, oil production was 3,000 bbl/d (480 m3/d) and as of 2006 oil exports were 1,960 bbl/d (312 m3/d). The country is also a producer of industrial minerals. In agriculture, sugar, like in colonial times, remains the chief crop, accounting for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the populationss largest employer.

Culture

Belize Culture of Belize

In Belizean folklore, there are the legends of Lang Bobi Suzi, La Llorona, La Sucia, Luguchu Ellis, Tata Duende, Chatona, Xtabai, Anansi, and the cadejo.

Belize Culture of Belize

Most of the public holidays in Belize are traditional Commonwealth and Christian holidays, although some are specific to Belizean culture such as Garifuna Settlement Day and Baron Bliss Day. In addition, the month of September is considered a special time of national celebration. Besides Independence Day and St. Georges Caye Day, Belizeans also celebrate Carnival during September, which typically includes several events spread across multiple days. In some areas of Belize, however, Carnival is celebrated at the traditional time before Lent (in February).

Cuisine

Belize Cuisine of Belize, Popular Food of Belize

Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the nation, and their respectively wide variety of foods. It might best be described as both similar to Mexican/Central American cuisine and Jamaican/Anglo-Caribbean cuisine.

Belizean cookbook i belize you can cook caribbean food


Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the nation of Belize and their respectively wide variety of foods. Breakfast consists of bread, flour tortillas, or fry jacks that are often homemade. Fry jacks are eaten with various cheeses, refried beans, various forms of eggs or cereal, along with milk, coffee, or tea. Midday meals vary, from lighter foods such as rice and beans with or without coconut milk, tamales, panades, (fried maize shells with beans or fish) and meat pies, escabeche (onion soup), chirmole (soup), stew chicken and garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, and sauce) to various constituted dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad or coleslaw. In the rural areas meals may be more simplified than in the cities; the Maya use recado, corn or maize for most of their meals, and the Garifuna are fond of seafood, cassava (particularly made into cassava bread or Ereba) and vegetables. The nation abounds with restaurants and fast food establishments selling fairly cheaply. Local fruits are quite common, but raw vegetables from the markets less so. Mealtime is a communion for families and schools and some businesses close at midday for lunch, reopening later in the afternoon.

Garifuna cuisine, dangriga, belize hudut soup & fish fillet, tomato/rum sauce, cassava fries


Regular deli items originally from the Mestizo culture that are now considered pan-Belizean include garnaches, fried corn tortilla smeared with beans and shredded cheese, tamales made from corn and chicken or its sister and panades which can be thought of as a fried corn patty with beans or seasoned shredded fish inside and topped by a tangy onion sauce.

The most famous Maya dish is called Caldo. Tortillas, cooked on a comal and used to wrap other foods (meat, beans, etc.), were common and are perhaps the most well-known pre-Columbian Mesoamerican food. Tamales consist of corn dough, often containing a filling, that are wrapped in a corn husk and steam-cooked. Both atole and pozole were liquid based gruel-like dishes that were made by mixing ground maize (hominy) with water, but being the first much more dense used as a drinking source and the second one with complete big grains of maize incorporated into a chicken broth. Though these dishes could be consumed plain, other ingredients were added to diversify flavor, including, for example, honey, chiles, meat, seafood, cacao, wild onions, and salt.

Belize Cuisine of Belize, Popular Food of Belize

Breakfast typically consists of bread, flour tortillas, or fry jacks that are often homemade. Fry jacks are eaten with various cheeses, refried beans, various forms of eggs or cereal, along with powdered milk, coffee, or tea. Midday meals vary, from lighter foods such as rice and beans or beans and rice with or without coconut milk, tamales, "panades" (fried maize shells with beans or fish), and meat pies, escabeche (onion soup), chimole (soup), caldo, stewed chicken and garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, and sauce) to various constituted dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad or coleslaw.

In rural areas, meals are typically more simple than in cities. The Maya use maize, beans, or squash for most meals, and the Garifuna are fond of seafood, cassava (particularly made into cassava bread or Ereba) and vegetables. The nation abounds with restaurants and fast food establishments selling fairly cheaply. Local fruits are quite common, but raw vegetables from the markets less so. Mealtime is a communion for families and schools and some businesses close at midday for lunch, reopening later in the afternoon. Steak is also common.

References

Belize Wikipedia 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