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Belize is a Caribbean country located in Central America, bordered by Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and Guatemala. It was occupied by the Maya Civilization until Christopher Columbus initiated European contact in the 16th century. Belize has a diverse society and a population of just over 400,000.
See the fact file below for more information on the Belize or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Belize worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY OF BELIZE
- Belize was inhabited by the Maya Civilization at least three millennia ago in the area of the Yucatan peninsula, and its culture still permeates Belize today.
- Prior to 2500 BCE, the area now known as Belize was full of hunting and foraging groups who lived on domestic crops such as corns, beans, squash, and chili peppers, with the Maya Civilization emerging between 2500 BCE and 250 CE.
- The Mayas flourished in the area until about 900 CE.
- Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, the Maya territories were split into three sections, all of which conquistadors explored and declared part of the Spanish empire; they failed to settle it, however.
- British pirates visited the area and founded a permanent settlement in 1716 in what became the Belize District.
- In the 18th century, the Spanish attacked Belize every time they engaged in war with Britain, which led to resentment between the Spanish and the Belizeans.
- After several attempts to expel the colonists and take over Belize, Spain’s military engagements came to an unsuccessful end with the Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10, 1798 (now a national holiday in Belize).
- The 19th century was peppered with significant events for Belize, including the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire in 1833, the emancipation of Central America from Spanish rule in 1836, the formal declaration of Belize as a British Crown Colony in 1836, and an influx of British activity into the 20th century.
- After a rough period in the early 1900s, “British Honduras” was granted self-government in 1964, officially became Belize on June 1, 1973, and was granted independence by Great Britain on September 21, 1981.
GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMY OF BELIZE
- Belize is a relatively small nation, and the only country in Central America that does not border the Pacific Ocean.
- It has its own barrier reef called the Belize Barrier Reef (declared a World Heritage Site in 1996), the longest in the Western Hemisphere, which features many coral reefs, cays, and islands that are home to 70 hard and 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish, and hundreds of invertebrate species.
- Belize is split into two main physiographic regions: one distinguished by the Maya Mountains and the other in the southern coastal plain, home to 18 major rivers.
- The country has the potential for hydroelectric and other renewable energy sources due to its vast water sources.
- Belize has a tropical climate and is a hotspot for hurricanes.
- While Belize is home to many important minerals, there aren’t enough of them to warrant mining.
- Environmental issues such as deforestation, water pollution, agricultural runoff, and industrial waste all contribute to the environmental degradation occurring in Belize.
- Belize’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, producing minerals, crude oil, petroleum, and crops like sugar and bananas.
- Tourism in Belize also contributes to the country’s economy, but development costs remain high.
CULTURE AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF BELIZE
- Belize is a very diverse country; it is home to several ethnic groups including the Maya, Creoles (descendants of the Baymen slave owners and slaves from West and Central Africa), Garinagu, Mestizos, German-speaking Mennonites, and about 5% of the population consisting of a mix of Indians, Chinese, white people from the UK, US, and Canada, as well as American Civil War veterans from Louisiana and confederate states.
- English is the official language of Belize, and over half of the population is multilingual.
- Approximately 40% of Belizeans are Roman Catholic, and religion plays an important role in the majority of households.
- Folklore, legends, and oral storytelling are popular in Belize and are a part of family life.
- Belizean cooking is a blend of all the ethnicities in the country, similar to Mexican and Jamaican cuisine, with influences from Indian and Chinese culture.
- Migration patterns have altered the ethnic composition of the population as well as the locations where people settle; the urban-rural divide in Belize is almost 50/50.
- More than 90% of people 14 and older are literate in Belize.
- Belize has a high rate of violent crime, which stems from gang activity and drug and human trafficking.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Belize across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Belize worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Belize which is a Caribbean country located in Central America, bordered by Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and Guatemala. It was occupied by the Maya Civilization until Christopher Columbus initiated European contact in the 16th century. Belize has a diverse society and a population of just over 400,000.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Belize Facts
- Biodiversity in Belize
- Map of Belize
- Coat of Arms Analysis
- Belize Wordsearch
- The Belize Barrier Reef
- Gender Gaps
- Cultural Cooking
- Belize Crossword
- A Brief Snippet of History
- Belize Acrostic
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Link will appear as Belize Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 2, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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