The nation of Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is located in Central America. The following are some of the fun facts about Belize.
- The people of Belize are known as Belizeans. They are of African, European, Asian or Amerindian descents.
- The country’s most exotic delicacy is the gibnut rodent, also known as the “royal rat” because it was once served to Queen Elizabeth.
- Marijuana is legal in Belize as long as one keeps less than 10 grams.
- A large area of the land is covered by forest and has inspired the country’s motto, "Under the Shade, I flourish."
- Thumb locking is a sign of greeting in Belize.
- About ninety percent of the population can read, write, and speak in Spanish, English, and Creole.
- It is considered rude to greet a Belizean using their first name.
- In 2005 there was a civil unrest triggered by a significant tax increase in the national budget.
- The Mayans once predicted the end of the world although it never happened. There are about 900 Mayan ruins in Belize.
- Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
- The Belize Defense Force has a total personnel of about 1400, less than the number of people working at McDonald’s.
- The mahogany tree found in Belize motivated the British to set up a colony due to the quality timber produced by the tree.
- The national animal of the state is the tapir or mountain cow.
- The relationship between Guatemala and Belize has always been hostile. In 2016 a Guatemalan was killed at the border and Guatemala responded by sending 3000 more troops to the border.
- Belizeans believe it is bad luck to swim on the Christian holiday of Good Friday
- The country has one of the lowest population densities in the world, at 16 people per square mile.
- The three top sources of revenue in the country are agriculture, tourism, and cocaine, which is controlled by South America cartels.
- Most Belizeans move to the United States to work and acquire wealth, and are then move back to Belize to retire.
- Despite being a British colony and its proximity to the US, there are no McDonald's, KFCs, Burger Kings, or any other major fast food chain locations in Belize.
- The county has only one international airport.
- In 2000, the largest and most popular gym in Belize was shut down for failing to pay the trade license, despite being the prime minister’s favorite gym.
- It is the only Central American country whose official language is English rather than Spanish.
- It is home to the noisiest monkey on earth, the howler monkey. Its shriek can be heard from two miles away.
- The image of Queen Elizabeth is still portrayed in the Belizean dollar.
- The entire country has only four highways.
- The Belizean version of Big Foot is known as El Sisimito. It has no knees and its feet face backward.
- About 75% of the population are either Roman Catholic or Protestant.
- The iguana is hunted for food in Belize. In fact, they have been hunted so indiscriminately that the government has criminalized the act.
- It takes less than 90 minutes to drive from one end of the country to the other.
- The jungle terrain in Belize is home to some of the largest populations of mosquitoes. Without repellant, you risk getting infected with tropical diseases.
- The country has the world’s only jaguar reserve, known as the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
- One of the mountain range in the country looks exactly like a sleeping giant.
This page was last updated on August 1, 2017.
By Victor Kiprop