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Belize Has Various Cultures

Aug 18, 2007
Belize is bounded on the North by Mexico, South and West by Guatemala and the beautiful Caribbean Sea wash its 174 mile coastline to the East.

Belize is a country of various cultures, languages, and ethnic groups. Approximately 270,000 people in Belize consist of Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, Spanish, Maya, English, Mennonite, Lebanese, Chinese, and East Indian. Due to racial harmony and religious tolerance, all of these different elements have mixed and blended successfully, and Belize has gained a widespread reputation for its friendly peoples.

One of the most prominent ethnic groups is the Creoles, which formed 30 percent of the population in 2001. Creoles are descendants of the intermingling of the early British settlers with African slaves.

More than 40 percent of the population is Mestizo. They are descendants of mixed blood Mexicans and Yucatec Mayans who fled from the Yucatan in the mid 1800s. Another 6 percent of Belizes population are the Garifuna. The Garifuna have their own language and culture. The Yucatec, Mopan, and Kekchi are three Amerindian groups which also make up Belizes population. The Chinese, with a population of 6,000 have made distinct communities, as well as the East Indians and the Mennonites.

English remains the most common language spoken followed closely by Creole, but Spanish is becoming more widely spoken. The Garifuna, Mayas, and Mennonites each speak their own language.

The cayes, the offshore atolls, and the barrier reef are on of the main attraction to Belize. The barrier reef, which is 185 miles long, is the longest in the Western Hemisphere. The cayes are islands that are located between the mainland and the barrier reef, on the barrier reef and on or within the barrier reef perimeters of the offshore atolls.

Although the mangrove cayes are normally uninhabitable by humans, they do provide a superior habitat for birds and marine life. Many birds, fish, shellfish, and marine organisms begin their lives within the protection of the mangrove. On the other hand, the island cayes, which are distinguishable by their palm trees, have provided the foundation for the development of many fine resorts to serve the water sports enthusiasts and the marine naturalists.

The cayes and atolls provide superior opportunities for SCUBA diving, snorkelling, fishing, boating, sailing, kite boarding, and sea kayaking, as well as habitat for both nesting birds and turtles.

The northern half of the mainland of Belize is a plain that was once the bed of the sea. The land is covered with a thin layer of soil that supports scrub vegetation and dense hardwood tropical forest.

The coastal area is neither land nor sea, but a sodden, swampy transition between the two. It consists of mangrove and grasses, and is bordered by tussock grasses, cypress, and sycamore where the land separates the water.

The central part of Belize consists of sandy soil that supports large savannas.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Belize Rental Site
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