- Location: Northeastern Central America
- Capital: Belmopan
- Language(s): English, Spanish, Kriol
- Population: 334,564
- Total Area: 22,967 sq km
- Currency: Belize Dollar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There are beers made from berries!
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 6.07 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Beers, juices
Situated along the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize is bounded to the east by the Caribbean Sea. To the south and west of the country lies Guatemala while Mexico bounds it to the north and northwest. Once a colony of the British, it became an independent state in 1981 and is a member of the British Commonwealth. The largest city and the most important center of commercial activity is Belize City. However, the city of Belmopan is the capital but it must be noted that Belize City was once the capital. The exact meaning of the name of the country is not known although some claim that it means ‘
Although the first people to settle in the area that is now Belize were the Maya Indians, the country is now best described as being multicultural. Around 50% of the people have their roots in Africa while others are descendants of Europeans, Native Maya Indians and those with mixed heritage (called mestizos). Expectedly, English is the most widely used language although Spanish and Kriol are also popular in various parts of the country. The predominant religion is Christianity and the largest denominations include the Anglicans, Methodists and the Roman Catholic Church.
If there is any time that you will never forget about Belize, it is the meal time. Dishes such as curry chicken, dukunu, steamed fish, rice and beans, caldo and beef stew are some of the irresistible preparations waiting for you. To ‘wash down’ these meals, you can take fresh fruit juices or local alcoholic drinks.
A very vibrant place to be, the most popular sports include football, softball, volleyball, boat racing and cycling (you will be thrilled with the Cross Country Cycling Classic). When it comes to recreation, Belize is one of the most ideal destinations on the planet. A perfect spot for water sports, the nation is a magnet for countless scuba divers, rafters and kayakers. Snorkeling, hiking and bird watching are also very popular in Belize. For the lovers of nature, the country is home to one of the largest cave systems on earth and you will surely find the Belize Barrier Reef and the Great Blue Hole irresistible.
- Belize was formerly called the British Honduras.
- Belize is somewhat unique in the sense that of all the countries of Central America, it is the only one that was formerly colonized by the United Kingdom.
- Like many of the other countries in the region, Belize was also once a colony with numerous slaves working in the farms and plantations.
- The nation of Guatemala once claimed Belize as part of its territory.
- The spectacularly-beautiful keel-billed toucan has been adopted as the national bird of Belize.
- Belize is one of the smallest countries in the Americas.
- The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the largest in the world as it is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).