Belize Facts: An Overview on Local Currency, People, Languages, and Geography
Belize, the beautiful small nation nestled along the Caribbean coast, was the first British settlement in Central America, dating back to 1638. Later in 1981, the British Government relinquished its last colony on the lands in the Americas. Therefore, a majority of Belizeans speak English. Even today, it is the official language in this country. However, Spanish is also widely spoken throughout the country. From beaches to Mayan ruins and from historic attractions to scenic rainforests, Belize is the country of diversity and distinctive attractions. Here are some facts about this Caribbean nation.
Belize has a self-governing administration policy, with a democratic system within the British Commonwealth.
Belize is not only known for its relaxing beaches and rainforest attractions, but also famous for its people. From the moment you arrive here, you will surely notice the welcoming environment and friendly people in Belize. As English is widely spoken, interacting with Belize people is easy. The local culture showcases an influence from many Latin America regions in addition to some European and African countries. Therefore, the traditions and customs in Belize represent many diverse cultures.
In fact, the natives of this country have demonstrated a cultural commitment to protect the diversity of cultural traditions in this country. After all, the country boasts people from Maya, East Indian, Arab, Chinese, and Kriol, Garifuna and Mennonite origins. Exploring Belizean culture is thus an intriguing experience for many travelers.
Unlike many other countries in Central America, the official language in Belize is English. In addition, Belizeans also speak fluent Spanish and many other regional Caribbean languages. The fact is Belize is the only country in Central America, where English is widely spoken. The diverse language culture in this country includes Maya-Kekchi, African-based Garifuna, and Spanish, Mandarin, German and Maya Mopan languages.
As a traveler, it is important for you to know that US dollars are widely accepted in many parts of Belize. Even the currency exchange in Belize is very easy, especially for all North American visitors. The value of a Belize dollar is equivalent to $0.5. Most hotels, shopping centers and upscale restaurants accept bills in US dollars. Although the prices of many items are listed in BZ$, travelers can use US dollars to shop here. Many hotels and resorts, particularly in most Belizean tourist destinations, also accept traveler’s checks. However, travelers need to enter their driver’s license number or the passport number on the back of the check. For traveler’s convenience, there are many ATMs available across the country of Belize.
Belize is bordered by Guatemala towards the west and Mexico towards the north. The Caribbean Sea borders the eastern Belizean boundary. Thus, this country is one of the beautiful Caribbean beach destinations in Central America. Belize is best known for its eclectic biodiversity, with several distinctive ecosystems. Some of the notable ones are the swampy coastal plains with rainforest and mangroves and hilly terrains towards the southern regions. A major part of the country includes dense forested areas with hardwoods. Within the Belizean Mesoamerican biodiversity, there are a diverse array of flora and fauna. Therefore, Belize is home to a number of wildlife habitats, largest cave systems, and many wildlife reserves. Some of the unique Belizean native flora includes the mahogany hardwood species and notable fauna species such as the toucan, tapirs and the black orchids.
Belize’s geographical location makes it a perfect holidaying destination with year-round tropical temperature averaging around 80s. Coastal sea breezes always balance the humid temperature, particularly near the Belizean beach locations. Winter in Belize is cool and pleasant. The hilly terrains in the central Belize, however, experience extreme winter compared to other districts in the country.
Belizean economy is highly dominated by agricultural industries. Due to the country’s year-round tropical climate and profuse rainfall, Belize is blessed with lush green farmlands, perfect for agriculture. Belizeans cultivate bananas, sugarcane, citrus fruits and coca abundantly. In addition, fish culture is another business owned and operated by many Belizeans. A majority of agricultural based industries include sugar industries and lumber industries. Other popular industries here are construction and garment production industries and food processing factories. Belize is a major exporter of sugar, bananas, plantains and fish products. Tourism is also a major source of income for many Belizean destinations.