The Spanish were the original settlers in Belize between the 16th and 19th centuries. Their rule ended in 1862 when the country was declared a British colony and was called British Honduras. The constitution formed in 1954 gave the country some independence.
The country gained full autonomy and changed in 1964 and it changed its name to the current name. It later attained full independence in 1981.
The Belizean culture is influenced by Kriol, Maya, East Indian, Mestizo and Garinagu customs.
The main crops grown in the country are citrus, sugar cane, bananas, maize, papaya and beans.
The most common dishes include rice and beans, stewed chicken, chimole, temales, salbutes, ceviche and garnache.
The animals found in the country are jaguars, puma, margay, ocelots, wild cats, scarlet macaw, jaguarondi, Baird’s tapir and kinkajou.
Annual events/ celebrations/ festivals
Independence Day is celebrated on 21st September.
Belize carnival comprising of street theatre, music, dances and costume are held in September.
Other festivals are Placencia sidewalk art festival, john canoe dance contest and lobster feast.
Things to see
There is the Great Blue Hole, a popular sinkhole, used for scuba diving 318 m across and 124 m deep.
There is also the Caye Caulker, a small island divided by a split with a bar, sandy beach, caulker village and a mangrove forest.
You could also visit the Belize Barrier Reef that comprises of several coral reefs off the country’s coast stretching for 180 miles from the coast.
Other must-visit places are Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Lamanai Archeological Reserve and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
It has the world’s only Jaguar reserve called Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve .
It is the where the ancient Maya Empire before the European settlement was located.
The Belize Barrier Reef is the world’s second-largest barrier reef system in the world after Australia’s one.
It is bordered by Mexico on the northwest, by the Caribbean Sea on the east and Guatemala on the south and west.