Belize State Overview

Belize State Overview

Data of interest

The capital of Belize is Belmopan, since 1970, the old capital, Belize City, was abandoned because of the hurricanes. The official language is English, although Spanish is mostly spoken. The form of government is a parliamentary democracy, whose head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, since it is part of the Commonwealth. The currency is the Belizean dollar and is in the UTC time zone.


Its relief is divided into four sectors. The north is a natural extension of the Yucatan peninsula, so the limestone plains predominate. It is a low and swampy area watered by the Hondo rivers, which border Mexico, and Belize. The central sector corresponds to the Mayan mountains. They are very eroded mountains that are not very high. Here is the 1,160 meter high Victoria Peak in the Cockscomb Mountains. The southern sector joins the foothills of the Mayan mountains with the Caribbean coast through the Gulf of Honduras. It is a narrow, flat region covered with alluvial sediments. The Sartún River (Sartoon) is the border with Guatemala. The fourth unit is the coast and the marine platform, which extends to the reef, and where we find numerous keys and coral islands. It is one of the largest coral reefs in the world, stretching from Amatique Bay to Ambergris Caye. Only the Great Australian Barrier is bigger.


The climate is tropical humid. It is a question of the monsoon climate and the trade winds on the coast, with an average of between 25 and 28 ºC, but where maximums of 40 ºC and minimums of 20 ºC can be reached. The heat increases inland, as the influence of the trade winds weakens, and cools in the mountains. It is a rainy country. The rainy season runs from May to November. Average rainfall is very high, ranging from 4,000 mm in the mountains and the south to 2,000 mm in the northwest. They are affected by the hurricanes that are generated in the Atlantic, which hit them regularly.

Flora and fauna

The flora and fauna are those of the biogeographic empire and the neotropical ecozone. The equatorial and monsoon rain forest predominates. Large hardwood trees are one of its main economic resources: mahogany, ebony, cedar, rosewood, etc. Savanna formations appear in less humid and more populated areas. Mangrove swamps predominate in coastal areas and swamps.

Economic geography

Much of the country is covered by forests, its exploitation is the main source of wealth. Pine, cedar, mahogany, and other precious woods abound; latex is collected. Of the arable land only 38% are exploited. There are bananas, coconuts, citrus fruits, which are partly exported, and sugar cane, rice and corn, for the domestic market. Fish abound and their consumption is great.


According to localcollegeexplorer, Belize is a parliamentary democracy that belongs to the Commonwealth. The monarch of the United Kingdom is head of state and is represented by a natural governor of the country. The executive power of the government rests with the prime minister and his cabinet. The prime minister is chosen by the Parliament, where the Legislative power rests. The Legislative branch has two chambers, the Senate with 12 members and the House of Representatives, with 29 seats. Elections are every 5 years. The Judiciary is represented by the Supreme Court.


It is a poor country, with a per capita income of about US $ 7,635. It has a dual economy, one oriented towards domestic consumption, very weak, and another oriented towards exports, especially agricultural products. Agriculture is the main economic sector, complemented by a certain agri-food industry. It exports sugar, garden products, concentrated orange and grapefruit juices, seafood and bananas. It must import almost all consumer products, so its balance of payments is very deficient. Services are underdeveloped. Financial services are linked to the needs of international trade. Tourism is an economic sector that has taken off in recent times, although it is very far from the indices of other Caribbean countries.


It is a country with a rich diversity of cultures, none of which is dominant. It has a variety of cultural and linguistic traditions. Over the years, these cultures have been modified by immigrants or their descendants.

You will be able to appreciate a mixture of Mayans, Garinagu also known as Garifuna, mixture of Spaniards with indigenous people, Mennonites who are descendants of Germans and a mixture of many other cultures such as Chinese and Lebanese.

Most of the people in Belize are Catholic, but British influence has created a considerable number of Protestant congregations including Swiss and German Mennonites. The Mayan practice of Catholicism is a fascinating fusion of animistic shamanism and Christian rituals.


Belize has never developed a true national cuisine. Its gastronomy has been inspired by the British, American, Mexican and Caribbean. Its basic ingredients are rice and beans, often eaten with chicken, pork, beef, fish or vegetables; coconut milk and fried plantains add a genuinely tropical flavor to dishes. Traditional exotic recipes include armadillo meat, venison and fried bale, a brown rodent similar to a guinea pig.

The most common food is “rice and beans”, served with chicken, pork, beef, fish, or vegetables. Coconut water and fried plantains add a tropical flavor to meals.


Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 14. During 1994 – 1995, 51,377 students were enrolled in primary schools. The secondary school enrollment rate was 50%. Higher education is provided at colleges in Belize City and Corozal. The literacy rate exceeds 98%, one of the highest in Latin America.

Main cities

  • Belize, 66,140 h, Belize District
  • San Ignacio, 18,334, Cayo district
  • Belmopan, 15,940 h, Cayo district
  • Orange Walk, 15,927, Orange Walk District
  • Dangriga, 11,512, Stann Creek District
  • San Pedro, 10,454 a.m., Belize District

Belize State Overview

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