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Facts About Belize

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Belize

(Formerly known as British Honduras)



Belize is bordered on the north by Chetumal, Quintana Roo (which is south of Cancun), Mexico; on the west and south by Guatemala; and on the east by the Caribbean.

Land Area:
8,908 Square Miles.

Population:
287,730 (2005, est.)

Capital:
Belmopan

Average rainfall in the north:
1,350 millimeters.

Climate:
Sub-Tropical

Government:
Parliamentary Democracy (Prime Minister: Dean Barrow 2008-2020, Said Musa 1998-2008)

Official Language:
English (Other languages widely spoken, mostly as an additional language are: Spanish, Chinese (Tiawanese dialect), Mopan Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), and Belizean Creole (this is not the New Orleans or Jamacian dialects and varies widely). In Corozal it is not unusual to find some youngsters speaking 3 or 4 languages.

Education:
British based system, school is required but not enforced in recent years, especially past age 14.

Religion:
49.6% Roman Catholic, 27% Protestant, 14% Other,
9.4% None.

Electricity:
US 110 Volts AC, 60 Hz - American Style 2 pin plugs, although not usually grounded properly.

Currency and Exchange Rate:
Belize Dollar (BZD) $1USD=$2BZD (It is asumed BZD unless it states USD, USD accepted)

Country Code:
501 (outside Belize), there are no city/area codes.No Zip Code, use 00000

Sales Tax:
12.5%

Hotel Tax:
9%

Tips:
0-10%

Time Zone:
Central American Standard- all the time. (-6 GMT)

Pets:
Must have vet certificates which include rabies shots and the certificate must be less than 30 days old. Please also e-mail baha@btl.net (telephone: 822-0197) before you bring your pet, and there is a fee.

Other Facts of interest:
*Smoking is not prohibited unless posted.
*Please be advised that drug use is illegal in Belize.
*As in Mexico, Belize requires car insurance.
*Please remember that we are thought of as rich and when we do wrong we must pay with CA$H or sit in jail until we do!
*And YES Belize has an extradition treaty with the USA. (I hear that Panama doesn't, but that's a rumor too!)

Available Services:
DHL, FedEx, Western Union, cell phone service (BTL and Smart uses GSM 1900 service(uses a sim card like AT&T and T-Mobile cell phones which you can unlock to use in Belize), mail (no zip codes), ATM accept Cirrus and PLUS, internet services, and 6 Newspapers.

For other facts or questions that you can not find in this website, please feel free to e-mail me.

We will concentrate mostly but not exclusively on Northern Belize which is comprised of the Corozal District and the Orange Walk District. (Districts are similar to a state.)

Corozal Town:
The largest town in the Corozal District. The name "Corozal" comes from the great forest of Cohune Nuts Palm (Corozal). The town has undergone cultural and economic transformation over the past 4000 years. It was originally founded by refugees from the massacre at Bacalar during the Caste War in 1849 by Mayans and mestizos fleeing southern Mexico. Corozal Town has been given a big economic boost by the Free Zone.

Old Corozal consisted of adobe and thatch structures loosely organized into a town. Then on September 27th, 1955 Hurricane Janet hit Corozal Town. Ten houses were reportedly left standing. Though tragic, it also created an opportunity for rebuilding a modern city with modern electricity, water, and sewage. Corozal Town may be the only community in Belize planned and laid out by professionals.

Orange Walk:
The other major town in the North also grew from the flow of refugees from the Caste War. Orange Walk Town grew as the sugar industry flourished, and with the closing of the Libertad sugar factory, became the sole processor of cane. Today, the town lives with the constant rumble of bulging cane trucks flowing in from all corners of the north heading to the factory.

Mennonites reached Belize and Orange Walk in 1958 from Canada and Mexico. They are successful farmers. The land around Blue Creek and Shipyard are populated by the more orthodox Mennonites who choose to farm without the assistance of modern technology. There is another settlement called Little Belize in Corozal District and they are not quite as Orthodox and many own tractors and trucks. Horse drawn buggies are normal sites in these village so please use caution.

First Class Bus Service to and from Belize and Mexico:

Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City. No other cities or stops (no Chetumal stop).
It is more expensive to travel on this bus, but if you do not need to go to Chetumal it is less trouble!
Click Link below:

First Class Bus Schedule and Pricing

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