|Facts About Belize|
For generations, the English-speaking people of Belize have been committed to preserving the country's unique atmosphere and charm, while welcoming visitors with open arms as if they had lived here all their lives.
When you travel to Belize, you will take part in a host of extraordinary, untrodden experiences, but you won’t feel like a stranger in this land. One of the most endearing aspects of the Belizean people is their ability to achieve a very real and intimate connection with visitors from any country and every walk of life. The warm and friendly welcome you’ll receive in Belize combined with the breathtaking adventures you’ll experience will stir your soul, expand your mind and forever change your life.
More than a vacation, Belize is a state of being. It is a place where your senses come alive and you find yourself not just living, but savoring every moment.
Sitting on the eastern coast of the Central American coastline facing the Caribbean Sea, Belize is the Caribbean gateway to Central America.
Belize is bounded on the north by Mexico, the south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean SeaOffering the best of both worlds – the majesty of lush tropical rainforest and mystery of the Ancient Maya coupled with white sand islands and a spectacular 174 mile long barrier reef – the options for adventure are endless.
Located in the northern hemisphere above the equator, Belize is bounded on the north by Mexico, the south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.
Belize is 176 miles long at its longest point, 88 miles at its widest point and covers 8,867 square miles, including 266 square miles of offshore islands. It is approximately the same size as the state of Massachusetts in the USA, approximately one-tenth the size of the United Kingdom, and larger than all of the former British Caribbean countries combined.
Belize’s geographic coordinates are between:
English is the official language of Belize but Kriol is the language that all Belizeans speak.
This Caribbean lilt encompassing shortened English words, emphasized phrases and manual gestures will likely be your first introduction to communicating in Belize. It will also start you on a bit of a linguistic adventure. Spanish, African-based Garifuna, Maya, Kekchi, Mandarin, German – these are just a few of the tongues you will encounter on your Belize vacation.
Our Kriol is recognized by linguists as having all the distinctive rules and lexicon of the contact languages found in many parts of the world which were colonized by European powers. It borrows words from English, African languages, Moskito Indian and a smattering of Spanish and Maya. No doubt it will also pick up terms from Chinese and other newly arrived immigrant groups as it evolves.
If at first you don’t understand, listen carefully and ask them to speak slowly, in no time you will be getting the gist of it and even trying a phrase or two.
“Good morning” might sound:
People and Culture
Nowhere on earth will you find a friendlier people than the people of Belize. From the moment you arrive, you will feel as comfortable in this small Caribbean country as you do in your own hometown.
The people of Belize have an array of traditions and customs that represent more than 10 diverse cultures. This is truly a melting pot of colorful personalities, making the 314,000 residents of Belize the country’s greatest resource on the tourism front. The Belizean people are comprised of a harmonious combination of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese, as well as a number of European, American and other expatriates, a combination which has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region and a widespread reputation as one of the friendliest tourist destinations in the world!
English remains the official language in Belize, but the most diverse language in Belize is Kriol (Belizean Creole), with other cultural languages spoken such as Garifuna, Mandarin and Spanish.
The overall climate of Belize can be described as sub-tropical. The humidity while high, is seldom oppressive for long and is most noticeable along the coast. The mean annual humidity is 83%, but many days the humidity is masked by the cooling sea breezes. The Belize coastal area is exposed to southeast tradewinds averaging 10-13 knots and attain an uncanny consistency during the month of July.
Temperatures in Belize range from 50°F to 95°F with an annual mean of 79°F. November to January are traditionally the coolest months with a 75°F average and May to September are the warmest at about a 81°F average. Location is a big factor for temperature as Cayo to the west can be several degrees colder then along the coast and during November at night, temperatures can fall to a beautiful 46°F in Cayo. In the mountains, the coldest days and nights might seem relatively very cold and blankets will definitely be needed at night. However, the mean annual temperatures on in the mountains is a perfectly comfortable 72°F.
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