A Brief Introduction To Belize
Belize is a small,
English-speaking Central American/Caribbean country, and was
created out of a backwater British Colony, British Honduras. Belize gained its
independence in September of 1981. (The name “British Honduras” came from
the Rio Hondo at the northern border and the Gulf of Honduras.) The name was
changed to Belize in 1973 in anticipation of its independence.
Belize’s close proximity to mainland USA allows us to offer
Discount Travel Packages to beautiful Caribbean locations and Central America.
Belize is a relatively short flight from mainland USA, and has direct flights
from Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans and Miami. Our Logistical
office in Florida is constantly researching to assure we can offer
the best & least expensive discount domestic and international airfares
Located south of the Yucatan peninsula
facing the Caribbean,
Belize is 8,866 square miles in area and is roughly equivalent in size to the
state of New Hampshire, and is bordered to the north and northwest by Mexico,
and to the west by Guatemala.
Belize enjoys a diverse topography. The low-lying plains in
the north are largely covered with mangrove swamps, watered by numerous rivers.
The Maya Mountains rise to 3,699 feet at Victoria Peak, which dominates the
southern landscape. The Mountain Pine Ridge, in the north, is a pine-covered
remnant of the oldest land surface in Central America. Except for the mountains,
the predominant geological features consist of limestone and limestone sediment.
A spectacular barrier reef lies ten to twenty miles offshore.
This reef fringes most of the coast and protects
cayes (pronounced ‘keys’)
dotting the shallow inner coastal waters.
Belize society today is ethnically diverse and culturally
rich. The population of Belize is approximately 250,000. Comprised of Creoles
(African-European), Garifuna (African-Indian), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Maya
and European. Historically, it is a country of immigrants with most of the Mayan
tracing their roots to Mexico or Guatemala. The ancestors of the Mestizo
population lived at one time in the Yucatan.
English is the official language
and is widely spoken, as is Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna and Creole. Belizean
Creoles are the descendants of slaves brought from Africa and the West Indies.
Generally, to be Creole means to have some African ancestry, but is now used
primarily to identify non-Indian, non-Mestizo ways of life, with a set of social
values derived from the Anglo-Saxon countries.