Here are the top 26 interesting facts about Belize (the country):
#1 It is the Caribbean gateway to Central America and is located on the eastern coast of the Central American coastline facing the Caribbean Sea. The total land area of this country is 8,867 square miles (22,700 square kilometers) and it has a 280-km (174-mile) coastline.
#2 It was an important part of the great Mayan Empire. The Mayan civilization spread into these lands between 1500 B.C. and 300 A.D. and flourished until about 1200.
#3 Christopher Columbus was the 1st European to have contact with the locals in 1502 when he reached the area’s coast.
#4 On September 21, 1981, it gained independence from Britain. Before, this country was known as British Honduras. Presently, it is an independent nation and a member of the United Nations, the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Non-Aligned Movement, and CARICOM.
#5 In 2005, civil unrest was triggered by the launch of a new national budget law which consisted of a considerable tax increase.
#6 Belize City was the former capital of this country. In 1961, Hurricane Hattie (this nation is located in a hurricane area and is frequently impacted by these storms) largely destroyed the city, and the official capital was moved inland, to Belmopan.
#7 In 1966, the construction of the new capital started, with economical help from the UK. Government offices were moved to the new capital in 1970. Currently, the majority of the residents of the capital are government employees and their families.
#8 More than 80 percent of the population speak English as their mother tongue (it is also the official language). Other languages spoken in this country include Kriol (Creole), Mayan, Spanish, and Garifuna.
#9 The major trading partners are the United States of America, Mexico, Central America and the European Union and the estimated GDP of the country is 1.354 billion dollars.
#10 Abot 2 million tourists visit this nation every year with 70 percent from the US.
#11 Current concerns include the country’s high unemployment, heavy foreign debt burden, high crime rates, growing involvement in the South American and Mexican drug trade, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America. For example, it was added to a United States blacklist of countries considered to be transit routes or central producers for illegal drugs, in 2011.
Gibnut (Agouti paca)
#12 Gibnut, also known as Agouti paca, is a nocturnal rodent. This animal enjoys the 100 acres of jungle habitat at Lower Dover due to the direct access to water on three sides and the abundance of food. Gibnut feeds on fallen fruit, leaves and some tubers dug from the ground.
Fun Facts About Belize
#13 There’s a lot of great food cooked by the locals, however, in here, you won’t find typical fast food restaurants.
#14 The national flag (adopted on September 21, 1981) is the only national flag in the world to depict human beings.
#15 From 1986, this nation is home to the only Jaguar Preserve in the world. It is located in central part of the country (in the Stann Creek District) and is called the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve. It has about 154 square miles (400 square kilometers) area of the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains.
#16 About 25 percent of the territories in this country fall under some type of protected status, such as – Wildlife Reserves, State or National parks, or protected reefs.
#17 The National Day or St George’s Caye Day is celebrated on September 10. In 1798, on this day, Spanish forces were repelled by the British in the Battle of St George’s Caye.
#18 Tourists from Canada, the United States, the European Economic Community, or Britain, can visit this nation without a visa, nevertheless, they will need sufficient money to survive on while they are in the country, a valid passport, and a ticket out of the country at the end of their visit.
#19 Based on the latest United Nations estimates, the current population of this country is 374,404 (2017). Interestingly, it has the lowest population density in Central America.
#20 The climate is sub-tropical, meaning that it’s humid and hot nearly every day except in the mountainous areas.
#21 Ambergris Caye Island is the largest of some 200 cayes that are found on the coastline of this country. It is around 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) wide, and approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) long from south to north.
#22 Barton Creek Cave, located in the Barton Creek area – close to San Ignacio in the Cayo District, is a natural cave, known as both an amazing tourist destination and as an archaeological site.
#23 Great Blue Hole is located in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 43 miles (70 km) from the mainland and former capital. The marine life in this area includes giant groupers, nurse sharks, and a few types of reef sharks, like – the Blacktip shark and the Caribbean reef shark. In 1972, Jacques Cousteau brought his renowned research ship, the Calypso, to investigate the depths of the sinkhole.
#24 The Belize Barrier Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a 190 miles (300-kilometer) long section of the 560 miles (900-kilometer) MBRS – Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
#25 There are about 900 Mayan ruins scattered throughout these lands.
#26 The Black Howler Monkey, better known as the “baboon,” is one of the largest monkeys in the Americas and the largest in this country.