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Flag of Belize

Official languages

22.996 km²
Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
353.858 (2016)
Time zone
Belizian Dollar
Demonym Belizian
Preceded by
Succeeded by

Belize (formerly British Honduras) is an independent country in Central America – a Kingdom (a Commonwealth realm) with the head of State Queen Elizabeth II – and borders with Mexico in the Northwest and Guatemala to the South and West. To the East, it borders the Caribbean Sea. The country is a member of the British Commonwealth.

The country has little height differences. The Philip Goldson International Airport is about 15 km north of Belize City. In the country are English (official), Spanish, Q'eqchi ', Mopan, and Yucatec Maya, Plautdietsch Garifuna spoken. The country is located on the Caribbean Sea and has a number of Islands, including Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Turneffe Islands. Most of the Islands (but not the largest island Ambergris Caye) are coral islands.

History[edit | edit source]

A jaguar at a zoo in Belize

The country was for the arrival of the Spaniards inhabited by Mayans. In the 17th century, the area was colonized by British timber traders and pirates. It was as a British-Honduras formally a British colony in 1840, even though it was claimed made by Mexico and Guatemala. Hurricane Hattie in 1961 brought a lot of damage in Belize. The Government decided that having a capital below sea level was too risky. After a few years was the new capital city Belmopan, designed in the exact geographical center of the country. In the 1970s, with the move of government buildings started.

In 1964 British Honduras got internal self-government and Belize in June 1973 it got the name. The effective authority, however, remained in the hands of the Governor from Great Britain. The people's United Party, led by George Cadle Price, was the leader of the independence movement. On 21 September 1981, after delays because of territorial disputes with Guatemala, Belize became independent from the United Kingdom. The new State border disputes remained common. There remained even, to protect, a British garrison behind. It took until 1991 before Guatemala recognized Belize. To date, however, there is a border dispute between the two countries. On many Guatemalan cards is Belize (or part of it) as Department of Guatemala.

On 20 January 2005, unrest broke out because of tax increases.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The most important rivers of Belize are the Río Hondo, which account for a large part of the border between Belize and Mexico and by the Mexican border city of Chetumal is flowing, the Belize City, Belmopan, and Belize that along by and the Sarstoon, which forms the southern border of Belize.

The only mountains of interest are the Maya Mountains in southern central Belize. Here is also the highest mountain in Belize 1124 meters high, the Doyle's Delight.

In addition to the Maya Mountains are the country hills with tropical forests and swampy plains in the Interior to the coast, where the vegetation is dominated by mangrove forests. Along the coast is the second largest coral reef in the world, the barrier reef of Belize and there is a tropical climate. Between September and November is the season of hurricanes. The country has a lot of flora and fauna.

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