45 Facts About Belize


Belize is the only country in Central America with a monarch as its head of state.

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Belize has a diverse society that is composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history.

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English pirates sporadically visited the coast of what is Belize, seeking a sheltered region from which they could attack Spanish ships and cut logwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) trees.

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Belize pledged to improve conditions in the underdeveloped and largely inaccessible southern part of Belize.

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In 2005, Belize was the site of unrest caused by discontent with the PUP government, including tax increases in the national budget.

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Belize said the election would be his last as party leader and preparations are under way for the party to elect his successor.

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Since 1974, the party system in Belize has been dominated by the centre-left People's United Party and the centre-right United Democratic Party, although other small parties took part in all levels of elections in the past.

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Belize is a full participating member of the United Nations; the Commonwealth of Nations; the Organization of American States; the Central American Integration System (SICA); the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); the Association of Caribbean States (ACS); and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which currently serves as a final court of appeal for only Barbados, Belize, and Guyana.

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Belize is an original member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and participates actively in its work.

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British Army Garrison in Belize is used primarily for jungle warfare training, with access to over 13, 000 square kilometres of jungle terrain.

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Belize is a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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The BDF, with the Belize National Coast Guard and the Immigration Department, is a department of the Ministry of Defence and Immigration.

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Belize backed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, which established legal land rights to indigenous groups.

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Belize is on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America.

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Belize has a rich variety of wildlife because of its position between North and South America and a wide range of climates and habitats for plant and animal life.

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Belize had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.

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Belize is a leader in protecting biodiversity and natural resources.

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The Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site and is the second-largest barrier reef in the world, behind Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

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The USAID-supported SERVIR study by CATHALAC, NASA, and the MNRE showed that Belize's protected areas have been extremely effective in protecting the country's forests.

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Significantly, the SERVIR study on Belize's deforestation was recognized by the Group on Earth Observations, of which Belize is a member nation.

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Belize is known to have a number of economically important minerals, but none in quantities large enough to warrant mining.

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Belize became the first country in the world to completely ban bottom trawling in December 2010.

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Belize has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons, although there are significant variations in weather patterns by region.

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In 2010, Belize was directly affected by the Category 2 Hurricane Richard, which made landfall approximately 32 kilometres south-southeast of Belize City at around 00:45 UTC on 25 October 2010.

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Belize has a small, mostly private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance.

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In 2007 Belize became the world's third largest exporter of papaya.

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Belize has four commercial bank groups, of which the largest and oldest is Belize Bank.

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On 14 June 2011, the government of Belize nationalized the ownership interest of Fortis Inc in Belize Electricity Ltd.

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In May 2011, the Supreme Court of Belize granted BEL's application to prevent the PUC from taking any enforcement actions pending the appeal.

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Development costs are high, but the government of Belize has made tourism its second development priority after agriculture.

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Belize is the only country in Central America with English as the official language.

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When Belize was a British colony, Spanish was banned in schools but today it is widely spoken.

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Approximately 16, 100 people speak the Arawakan-based Garifuna language, and 6, 900 Mennonites in Belize speak mainly Plautdietsch while a minority of Mennonites speak Pennsylvania German.

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Until the late 1990s, Belize was a Roman Catholic majority country.

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The Protestant community in Belize experienced a large Pentecostal and Seventh-Day Adventist influx tied to the recent spread of various Evangelical Protestant denominations throughout Latin America.

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Sikhs were the first Indian immigrants to Belize, and the former Chief Justice of Belize George Singh was the son of a Sikh immigrant, there was a Sikh cabinet minister.

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Belize has a high prevalence of communicable diseases such as respiratory diseases and intestinal illnesses.

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In 2019, 102 murders were recorded in Belize, giving the country a homicide rate of 24 murders per 100, 000 inhabitants, lower than the neighbouring countries of Mexico and Honduras, but higher than Guatemala and El Salvador.

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Belize District had the most murders by far compared to all the other districts.

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Belize lacks the violent class and racial conflict that has figured so prominently in the social life of its Central American neighbours.

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In some areas of Belize, it is celebrated at the traditional time before Lent.

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Major sports in Belize are football, basketball, volleyball and cycling, with smaller followings of boat racing, athletics, softball, cricket, rugby and netball.

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Belize improvised on this observation by creating a sporting event on the difficult terrain of the Western Highway, which was then poorly built.

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Shortly thereafter, Belize moved to the Central American region and won the Central American Games championship in 2001.

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Belize won its opening match in the Centrobasquet Tournament, 2010, defeating Trinidad and Tobago, but lost badly to Mexico in a rematch of the COCABA final.

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