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Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include an unsustainable foreign debt, high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, growing urban crime, and increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 294,385 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Belizean(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Belizean

Official Language(s): English

Major Languages Spoken: Creole, English, German, Spanish

Map of Belize

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): none

Country Name (short form): Belize

Country Name (local long form): none

Country Name (local short form): none

Name of Capital: Belmopan

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Belize: Mexico, Guatemala

Land Area: 22806 sq km

Water Area: 160 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Total Land Boundry: 516 km

Coastline: 386 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 21 September (1981)

International Phone Code: 501

Currency Code: Belizean dollar (BZD)

Internet Country Code: .bz

US Embassy Location: Floral Park Road, Belmopan City, Cayo District

US Embassy Mailing Address: 3050 Belize Place, Washington DC 20521-3050


Belize flag

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