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Belize: tropical forests, Mayan ruins and coral reefs

Belize is a constitutional monarchy associated with the British Commonwealth, it was the former British colony of British Honduras, the country is situated in Central America, bordered to the north by Mexico, to the west and south by Guatemala and whased to the east by the Caribbean Sea. The most important city is Belize City, a major port and commercial center, but the capital is Belmopan located inside the country.

Its territory is mostly flat, the coast is marshy, with lagoons and coral islands facing it (Turneffe Islands, Ambergris Cay) and a long reef; only towards south rises a mountain range, the Maya mountains, that with Doyle’s Delight (1,124 metres) reach the maximum height of the country. The main rivers are the Belize river, the Hondo river, which marks the border with Mexico, and the Sarstoon river, which marks the border with Guatemala.

Economic resources are agriculture (cereals, bananas, citrus, sugar cane, cocoa, rice, beans and maize), forestry (precious wood (cedar, mahogany, pine, rosewood), chicle (latex derived from the sapodilla tree)) and fishing. The industry is limited to the processing of agricultural and forestry products, and textiles.

  • Area: 22,965 sqkm. (Arable 2,4%, Pastures 2,1%, Forests and Woodlands 91,5%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 4%)
  • Population: 297,000 (2007 data) (Mestizos (descendants of European and Amerindians) 49%, Creoles (Africans and Mulattos (descendants of European and African)) 25%, Maya 10%, Europeans 8%, Garifuna (descendants of Amerindian and African) 6%, Asian 2%).
  • State Capital: Belmopan.
  • Language: Official language is English. Spoken also Spanish, Garifuna, Maya and English-Creole.
  • Religion: Christian 77% (Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7%, Anglican 5%, Seventh-day Adventist 5%, Mennonite 4%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.5%), Buddhism 1%.
  • Currency: Belize Dollar (BZD)
  • Time: UTC -6 hours.

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