Belize is a country in Central America, southern Mexico and in eastern Guatemala. Belize is only seventy-five miles from the Honduras Gulf of Honduras alone separates the two countries.
Belize was formerly called British Honduras. The current name comes from the name of the ancient capital and the river of the same name.
The capital is Belmopan since the 1970s, succeeding in Belize City, largest city in the country (see populations of these cities in the inset right) and port overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
English is the national language. This is also the only English speaking country in Latin America. However, despite the official status of English, Spanish remains the language most spoken in Belize.
* Sixteenth century BC. J.-C.-fourth century: expansion of the Mayan civilization from the northern Yucatan Peninsula
* The 13 brothers of paradise on the coast included in the seventeenth century among the haunts of pirates, buccaneers and pirates, Huguenot or Puritans, the coast of Belize.
* 1763: The British export the wood, and in return they protect the Spaniards against piracy.
* 1783: the British left the Mosquito Coast (Nicaragua)
* 1798: British victory over the Spanish Armada, Battle of St. George's Caye
* 1802: Immigration of people "Garifuna" from the island of St. Vincent
* 1862: The colony was named "British Honduras"
* 1954: the right to vote is granted to women
* 1981: independence of Belize
* 1983: attempt to annex part by Guatemala
* 1994: Guatemala seeks access to the Caribbean Sea
* 2000: Hurricane "Keith" devastated the country
* 2002: bilateral agreement with Cuba to promote tourism
Belize is a parliamentary democracy and member of the Commonwealth. The Head of State is currently Queen Elizabeth II, represented in the country by a governor general, who must be nationals of the country. The primary executive organ of government is the council of ministers, led by the Prime Minister who is head of government. The cabinet ministers are members of the majority party in parliament and usually hold elected seats along with their positions as minister. The bicameral legislature of Belize is the National Assembly, which consists of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The 29 members of the House of Representatives are normally elected for five years. Members of the Senate are eight in number, five are chosen by the Prime Minister, two by the Leader of the Opposition and one by the Governor General on the advice of the Advisory Committee of Belize. The Senate is headed by a president who is a member appointed by the abstainer governing party. Belize is an active member of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
Belize is divided into six districts:
* District of Belize
* Cayo District
* District Corozal
* District Orange Walk
* District Stann Creek
* Toledo District
The north of Belize consists mostly of flat coastal plains and marshy places high forest. To the south lies a record low mountain Maya Mountains, whose highest point in Belize is Victoria Peak rising to 1160 m. Belize is located between the rivers Hondo and Sarstoon, with the Belize River flowing at the center of the country. All along the coast of the Caribbean Sea are the cays, coral reefs (See Cayes of Belize)
The local climate is tropical and is usually very hot and humid. The rainy season runs from May to November with the usual risks but frequent as hurricanes and floods.
* Data Geography:
o Area: 22,966 sq km
o Population density: 11 inhabitants / km ²
o Land borders: 516 km (Guatemala: 266 km, Mexico 250 km)
o Coastline: 386 km
o Minimum altitude: 0 m
o Maximum altitude: 1160 m
Most Belizeans are of multiracial. Approximately half of the population is of Mayan descent and European, 25% African and Creole, 10% Maya and about 6% Afro-Amerindian (Garifuna). The rest of Belize is composed of European, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and North America.
The official language is English. Most Belizeans, other than those recently arrived from neighboring countries, have at least some knowledge of English. English and Creole English predominates along the coast and in central and southern Iraq. In the west and north, Spanish is more widespread. Spanish is the mother tongue of about 50% of the population and is spoken as a second language by 20%. The various Mayan groups still speak Maya and a Creole dialect of English Creole dialect similar to the English-speaking Caribbean islands. Communities in the south mostly speak Garifuna.
Approximately 50% of the population is Catholic, the Anglican Church and Protestant communities represent the rest. About 5% belong to the Mennonite community speaking German or Low German.
* Population: 256,062 inhabitants (2001)
o 0-14 years: 42.04%
o 15-64 years: 54.43%
o + 65: 3.53%
* Life expectancy: 75.9 (2005)
o Male: 69 years (in 2001)
o Women: 74 years (in 2001)
* Growth rate: 2.7% (2001)
* Birth rate: 31.69 ‰ (2001)
* Mortality rate: 4.7 ‰ (in 2001)
* Infant mortality rate: 25.14 ‰ (2001)
* Fertility rate: 4.05 children born / woman (2001)
* Migration rate: 0 ‰ (in 2001)
* Telephone lines: 31,000 (1997)
* Mobile Phone: 3000 (1997)
* Radio stations: 133 000 (1997)
* Televisions: 41,000 (1997)
* Internet users: 12,000 (2000)
* Number of ISPs: 6 (2007)
* Roads: 2872 km (including 488 km tarred) (1998)
* Railways: 0 km
* Waterways: 825 km
* Number of airports: 44 (including 4 with paved runways) (2000)
See also Mucica Nortena