About Belize

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Currency and Money

  • $2 Belize = $1 USD.
  • Many places will take US cash
  • US Credit cards accepted at many stores and resturants
  • ATM's are available

Geography

  • South of Mexico, east of Guatamala. East coast is on the Caribbean Sea.
  • 35 people per square mile
  • Belize is also known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems.
    • On the coast, there is a swampy coastal plain with mangrove swamps.
    • In the south and interior there are hills and low mountains. Most of our land is undeveloped and is forested with hardwoods.
    • It is a part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot and it has many jungles, wildlife reserves, a large variety of different species of flora and fauna and the largest cave system in Central America.
    • Some species of Belize's flora and fauna include the black orchid, the mahogany tree, the tucan and tapirs.
  • The north of Belize consists mostly of flat, swampy coastal plains, in places heavily forested.
  • The flora is highly diverse considering the small geographical area.
  • The south contains the low mountain range of the Maya Mountains. The highest point in Belize is Doyle's Delight at 1,124 m (3,688 ft).
  • The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reefs straddling the coast of Belize, roughly 300 metres (980 ft) offshore in the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) in the south within the country limits.
  • Near the reef are a series of small islands that are Belize's top tourist destination.

History

  • The first people to develop Belize were the Maya around 1500 B.C.E.
  • These include Caracol, Lamanai and Lubaantun.
  • The first European contact with Belize occurred in 1502 when Christopher Columbus reached the area's coast.
  • In 1638, the first European settlement was established by England and for 150 years, many more English settlements were set up. During this time slaces were used to harvest mahogany and logwood.
  • In 1840, Belize became a "Colony of British Honduras" and in 1862, it became a crown colony.
  • For one hundred years after that, Belize was a representative government of England but in January 1964, full self government with a ministerial system was granted.
  • In 1973, the region's name was changed from British Honduras to Belize and on September 21, 1981, full independence was achieved.

People

  • 321,115 residents
  • The Belizean people are made up of Maya, Mestizo, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese.
  • Primary language is English. In the west mainly speak spanish first, and in the south Mayan languages are also used.
  • Schools are all in English

Weather

  • Beatiful! One of the nicest things about visiting Belize is the weather.
  • An average yearly temperature of 84° F
  • Belize’s dry season is between February and May and has significantly lower rainfall than the rest of the year.
  • June through December is our wet season, when parts of the country receive up to 150 inches of rain and the heavy,

Government

  • Belize is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
  • The structure of government is based on the British parliamentary system, and the legal system is modelled on the common law of England.
  • The symbolic head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title Queen of Belize.
  • The Queen resides in the United Kingdom, and is represented in Belize by the Governor-General.
  • Executive authority is exercised by the cabinet, which advises the Governor-General and is led by the Prime Minister of Belize, who is head of government.
  • Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in parliament and usually hold elected seats within it concurrent with their cabinet positions.
  • The National Assembly of Belize is composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The 31 members of the House are popularly elected to a maximum five-year term and introduce legislation affecting the development of Belize. The Governor-General appoints the 12 members of the Senate, with a Senate president selected by the members. The Senate is responsible for debating and approving bills passed by the House.
  • Political culture - 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 there have been other small parties that have participated at all levels of elections in the past. Though none of these small political parties have ever won any significant number of seats and/or offices, their challenge has been growing over the years.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Gifgif political-map-of-Belize.gif manage 361.0 K 2015-10-28 - 22:09 JimSkon  
Topic revision: r1 - 2015-10-28 - JimSkon
 
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