Belize General Information
Belize, formerly British Honduras and a British colony, is an independent Commonwealth country on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America and it is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km (68 mi) wide.
Belize has an area of 22,970 square kilometers (8,889 sq. mi) and a population of 387,879 (2017). It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. The country’s population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2015) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.
Belize has a diverse society of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. Cultures like the Creole, Mestizo, Mennonites, East Indians, Chinese, Garifuna, Maya, Middle Eastern and North Americans all call Belize home. English is the official language of Belize, while Belizean Creole is an unofficial native language. Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language.
Belize is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the Latin American and Caribbean regions.
Belize is divided into six districts namely Corozal District, Orange Walk District, Belize District, Cayo District, Stann Creek District and Toledo District. The Corozal and Orange Walk Districts are in the northern most part of the country, while Stann Creek and Toledo Districts are located in the southern portion of the country. The Belize District is on the east coast, while the Cayo District is nestled in the western portion of the country. Belize’s capital, Belmopan, is found in the Cayo District.
The weather in Belize can be categorized by two distinct seasons, the wet and dry seasons. The wet season is from the months of June to November, while the dry season is from December to May. Temperatures in Belize ranges from 50 degrees F to 95 degrees F. The coolest times in Belize is between November to February, when the average temperature is at 75 degrees F and reaches its hottest time in between April – May with an average temperature of 85-95 degrees F.
Average rainfall in Belize ranges from 60 inches in the north to 160 inches in the south. Except for in the southern regions, rainfall in Belize varies from year to year.