Map Page 1136 Area 8,865 square mi (22,966 square km) Population 266,440 Capital Belmopan Highest Point 3,805 ft (1,160 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita $4,900 Primary Natural Resources bananas, cocoa, citrus, sugar, fish.
BELIZE ("BELICE" IN SPANISH), formerly the Settlement of Belize in the Bay of Honduras (prior to 1862), British Honduras (1862-1973), and Belize thereafter, became independent on September 21, 1981.
Located on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America, it shares a northwestern border with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the west with the Guatemalan department of Peten, and on the south with the Guatemalan department of Izabal.
Honduras lies 46 mi (75 km) away at the two nations' closest point across the Gulf of Honduras and CARIBBEAN SEA to the east.
The current name is derived from the Belize River (also called the Old River) and Belize City, the country's largest city, principal port, and former capital.
BARRIER REEF The eastern border has numerous marshy lagoons flanked by the world's second-longest barrier reef (240 mi or 386 km).
The nation is shaped like a rectangle extending 174 mi (280 km) north-south and about 62 mi (100 km) east-west, with a total land boundary length of 321 mi (516 km); the border with GUATEMALA is 165 mi (266 km) and with MEXICO 155 mi (250 km).
Cay islands include about 266 square mi (690 square km), and the Hondo and the Sarstoon rivers define most of the northern and southern boundaries.
The western border follows no natural features but runs north-south through lowland forest and highland plateau.
The entire area of the country is slightly larger than EL SALVADOR or MASSACHUSETTS.
Geologically, Belize is divided into two primary physiographic regions, the Maya Mountains rising to 3,675 ft (1,120 m) and northern lowlands drained by 18 major rivers and streams.
Most of Belize lies outside the tectonically active zone that underlies most of Central America.
The climate is subtropical.
POLITICS AND POPULATION Belize was under the political control of a series of Maya city-states prior to the arrival of English colonists in the early 1600s.
A 200-year territorial conflict between Britain and SPAIN became a conflict between Belize and Guatemala, from the independence of Spanish colonies into the 1990s.
Modern Belize consists of six political districts (Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, and Toledo); the new capital, Belmopan, is centrally located in the interior.
The country has a population that is fragmented into many racial and cultural groups.
The two largest groups are Creoles; English-speaking or Creole-speaking blacks and people of mixed African and European heritage, and Mestizos, Spanish-speaking people of mixed Mayan and Spanish European heritage.
In addition there are Garifuna (Afro-Caribs originally from the Lesser Antilles), Maya (descendants of the original inhabitants), East Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and Europeans.
English is the official language, but a local English dialect, Belizean Creole, is spoken by most groups; Spanish is widely spoken outside of Belize City.
Other languages include Mayan dialects (Yucatecan, Mopan, and Kekchi), Garifuna, and Low German.
Most Belizans are Roman Catholic, but there are significant Protestant minorities.
- China’s glass-bottom bridge appeared to be not as strong as everybody expected
"The glass on the bottom got cracked just underneath the tourists
It is reported that one of the tourists dropped a metal mug on the bridge floor while visiting this new place of interest. It resulted in a glass crack. When this happened all the tourists were immediately evacuated and the bridge itself was closed to the public.
The representatives of the Shiniuzhai geological park, where the bridge is placed state that the accident didn’t threaten the visitors’ security as there was only 1 of the 3 glass layers that got cracked. The glassmaker also agrees that there was nothing to worry about and the glass cracks don’t pose any risk to the tourists. However, it’s hard to believe, but that is not the first material flaw produced by this company. A year ago the glass floor placed at one of the skyscrapers in Chicago got cracked and was supplied by the same company. "
- The seaweed invasion prevents tourists to enjoy the Dominican beaches
"Tourists couldn’t but leave the country due to the experienced inconveniences. Basically, these are the eastern resorts that prevent tourists to enjoy their vacation. The embarrassing seaweed made their staying here simply intolerable. Local travel agencies say that the number of holidaymakers went down up to 95%.
The authorities are trying to deal with a bad luck collecting the weeds around the coastal areas. However, they are still facing a problem and the number of the sea “inhabitants” is still growing. It is stated that it is a priority to clean all the rubbish stored at the beaches, otherwise the country will have no tourists that will bring them no income afterwards.
Scientists report that the mounting pollution may be caused by two reasons. According to the first assumption the seaweed appeared on the Dominican coastlines due to the climate change: the average temperature has considerably increased over recent years. The second theory goes that the hurricane has brought them. "