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Belize - An Overview for Your Reading Pleasure


Tropical weather and the Caribbean Sea! Mayan ruins and one of the best wildlife refuges in the world.

Belize is a former British colony that gained independence in 1981, the only country in Central America that counts English as its official language. Our relatively short history has been marked by peace with our neighbors in Central America and swift development towards prosperity.

A comfortable First World lifestyle is available in Belize. From cuisine to internet access to satellite TV to air-conditioned malls, you will not lack for much. The only thing Third World about Belize are the prices.


Population

On the shores of the Caribbean Sea, Belize City is the commercial and cultural capital of the country, with a population of around 90,000 people. Belmopan, located in the nation’s interior, is the capital, only about an hour away. The total population of Belize is around 350,000 people (and we can use one more … you.)


Climate

Belize’s climate is tropical with average temperatures ranging from 24 C (75.2 F) in January to 27 C (80.6 F) in July. (That’s gotta tempt you.) 

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Currency

The national currency of Belize is the Belize Dollar (BZ$). It has a 2:1 fixed exchange rate with the U.S. Dollar (US$1 = BZ$2).

US Dollars are widely accepted by most businesses in Belize.

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People

The people in Belize are awesome. Often referred to as a “melting pot,” it’s impossible to visit Belize and come away with an impression of one group as a majority. Major ethnic groups include Caucasian, Creoles, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, East Indians, Arabs, Chinese, and Spanish. (Fortunately, almost everybody speaks English.)

The melting pot diversity is also evident in Belizean culture - the people are fun-loving yet industrious and hard-working. Everybody can feel at home.

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Location

Belize has a geographic area of around 9,000 square miles (but who really knows what a square mile is anyway?). Our nation is 175 miles at its longest (north-south) point and 69 miles at its widest (east-west) point.

We are bordered by the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico (think Cancún and Playa del Carmen … and their beaches!) and Guatemala (the Tikal ruins are just around the corner), and of course, the Caribbean Sea.

Belize is conveniently situated at the center of Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. Picture a triangle and at the center, there we are. Flights to other locations throughout the Western Hemisphere are easily accessible.

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Government and the Law

Belize is a (legit) democracy with peaceful transfers of power from one party to another based on free and fair elections

The government has three branches: the executive, legislative, and judiciary. The legislative branch includes a Senate and House of Representatives and functions similarly to the system in the United States. The judiciary branch originates in English Common Law and includes Magistrate’s Courts, the Family Courts, the Supreme Court, The Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice. Nominal executive authority is vested in the Queen of England (seriously), who is represented in Belize by a Governor General. True executive authority rests with a Prime Minister, who is the leader of the ruling party in the House, which is decided by popular election.

Belize is a member of the United Nations, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), and the British Commonwealth.

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Tourism

Belize is at the heart of the ancient Maya civilization and home to incredible Mayan ruins like the ones at Xunantunich. We also have the second largest barrier reef in the world, now a World Heritage Site. Belize has hundreds of cave systems and lays claim to the largest cave system in all of Central America. Scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, bird watching, rafting and jungle tours are but a few of the tourist attractions in Belize.

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Visit our Belize FAQ page for more information.

If you have any questions about why Belize might be right for you, please contact us today to speak with a Belize attorney who wants to link you with a better life.