Belize

Belize

Belize
Belice se encuentra al este de Guatemala en América Central. Desde el comienzo de su colonizacion en 1638 hasta 1992, esta region ha sido teatro de continuas disputas territoriales. Se le declaro colonia británica en 1871. En 1964 tenía gobierno propio, logrando su independencia el 21 de septiembre de 1981. Anteriormente, en 1973, el nombre se le fue cambiado de Honduras Británica (British Honduras) a Belice (Belize).
Pais: Belice, (Belize en inglés), antes era llamada Honduras Británica
Capital: Belmopán
Ubicacion: Norte de América Central
Poblacion: Estimadas 279,457 personas en el 2005
Division política: Seis distritos
Idioma: Inglés oficial. También español y maya.
Gobierno y servicios
Government of Belize, Gobierno de Belice en la Web
Office of the Prime Minister, Oficina del Primer Ministro.
Central Bank of Belize, Banco Central de Belice
Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cámara de Comercio e Industria de Belice
Belize Telecommunications Limited
Belize Weather Bureau, Buro Meteorologico de Belice
Educacion
University of Belize
Belize College of Agriculture
Portales de Internet
Belize Net, directorio de Internet.
Periodicos y noticieros
Belize Times, noticiero semanal en la Web
San Pedro Sun, noticiero/portal en la Web
Amandala Online, noticiero semanal en la Web
Turismo
Belize ttheism, sitio sobre el turismo en Belice.
Belize Ttheism Board, Buro de Turismo de Belice
Welcome to MayaBelize!, sitio acerca de la cultura Maya en Belice
Belize. Guided vacation tthes of Belize. Barrier reef diving, sitio de tthes en Belice.
Belize adventures and Belize kayaking, Aventuras en Belice
Tropical Belize Tthes, sitio sobre tthes en Belice
Belize Tthes by Belize Tthe Services
Hoteles
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa Resort, con una bonita presentacion en la Web
Sunbreeze Beach Hotel, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Princess Hotel y Casino
Banana Beach Resort, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Belize Yacht Club
Calico Jack's Village, ofrece todo tipo de sevicios sobre vacaciones.
Links a sitios culturales
Belize Arts Council, Consejo de las Artes de Belice.
Belize Valley Archaeological Reconaissance Project (BVAR), sitio de arqueología.
The Ambergris Museum, Ambergris Caye, Belize, el sitio del Museo de Ambergris.
Carolyn Carr - Belize Treasures, artista en Belice.
Naturaleza
Belize Botanic Gardens, acerca del Jardín Botánico de Belice
Bird Links to the World - Belize, links a sitios sobre las aves en Belice.
Mapas
Belize map and information page by World Atlas, mapa e informacion de Belice.
HRE World Atlas - Belize, mapa e informacion de Belice.
Estudios y reportes
FAO - perfiles e informacion cartogrofica por países - Belice
Estudios y reportes en inglés acerca de Belice. Los sitios a que estos links conducen son los más completos que hemos encontrado en la Web. Están en inglés pero es donde podrá encontrar la informacion más exacta, y actualizada, de Belice desde una perspectiva mundial.
Belize, bandera de Belice.
Guide to Law Online: Belize, guía a las leyes de Belice.
Belize Country Studies - Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Estudios sobre Belice por la Biblioteca del Congreso de los Estados Unidos.
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, estudio de Belice presentado por el Gobierno de Australia.
The World Factbook - Belize, estudio de Belice por la CIA.
Belize - Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments, Jefe de Estado y Miembros de los Gabinetes del Gobierno de Belice por la CIA.
Belize, estudio sobre Belice por el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos de América.
Country profile: Belize, estudio acerca de Belice presentado por la BBC.
Belize and the IMF, Belice y el Fondo Monetario Internacional.
Ethnologue report for Belize estudios sobre los idiomas de Belice por Summer Institute of Linguistics
Government
Independent nation since 1981, member of British Commonwealth of Nations. Parliamentary democracy with two major political parties, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People's United Party (PUP). The PUP currently holds power, led by Prime Minister Said Musa (took office March 5 2003). Belize has a Constitution, which includes a Bill of Rights.
Location: Belize lies on the eastern coastline of Central America, bordered on the north by Mexico, on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. It is separated by sea from its neighbor to the southwest, Honduras.
Size: Approximately 8,866 square miles. Belize's mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide. Belize also consists of over 200 cayes (islands), ranging in size from a few hundred feet to 25 miles long and fthe miles wide; most of which are located inside the 200 mile Belize Reef.
Population: The population of Belize is approximately 280,000. There is a great deal of ethnic diversity among Belizeans, who include Hispanic, Creoles (African-European), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Mennonite, Garifuna (African-Indian), Mayan, Anglo-European, Middle Eastern and Asian. The largest single group is Hispanic.
Climate: Belize weather is characterized by two seasons: a rainy and a dry season. Belize annual rainfall: most of the year's rainfall occurs during the period June to November, that is, the rainy season. It is noted that the transition from dry to the rainy is very sharp. Belize annual rainfall ranges from 60 inches (1524mm) in the north to 160 inches (4064mm) in the south. Except for the southern regions, the rainfall is variable from year to year.
The onset of the rainy season begins in the early May in Toledo, (where the Belize annual rainfall is highest) progressing north to the Stann Creek, Belize, Cayo and Orange Walk District in late May, followed by Corozal District in early June. The mean temperature varies from 81°F/ 27°C along the coast to 69°F/21°C in the hills. The coldest month is January while the highest temperatures are experienced during the month of May.
Language: English is the official language and is widely spoken, as is Spanish. Other languages include Creole, German, Mayan and Garifuna.
Getting to Belize: Belize is about 2 hthes and 15 minutes by air from Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas. U.S. gateway cities to Belize include Miami, Houston and New Orleans, Louisiana. Direct flights are also available from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C; and from Toronto, Canada. From Mexico, direct flights to Belize are available from Cancun and Chetumal. Most Central American countries offer direct flights to Belize, including Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.
Some ttheists prefer to fly into Cancun as air fares are cheap. Then from Cancun catch the ADO air conditioned buses to Belize - about a 4 hthe ride. Some European ttheists also prefer to fly into Guatemala City and from there catch the Linia Dorada air conditioned buses to Belize - about a 5 hthe ride.
International airlines serving Belize:
American Airlines: . Direct flights from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Miami.
Continental Airlines: Nonstop from Houston.
Taca (El Salvador): Direct flights from Houston, Miami.
US Air: Direct Flights from Charlotte.
Delta Airways Direct Flights from Atlanta.
Getting Around by Air in Belize: International travelers fly into the newly renovated and expanded Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. From there, connections can be made to various destinations within Belize, including: Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Corozal, Dangriga, Big Creek, Placencia and Punta Gorda; as well as to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, etc. Travelers already in Belize City should utilize the smaller Municipal Airport for in-country flights, as costs are much lower.
Belizean Airlines Offering In-Country Service:
Tropic Air: Belize International, Belize Municipal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Corozal, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Flores (Guatemala)
Island Air-Island Air: Belize International, Belize Municipal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Corozal
Private Aircraft: Private aircraft must enter Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City.
Belize History September is Carnival time in Belize. Hundreds of Belizeans and visitors join the annual Carnival March in September as it winds through the streets of the old colonial capital Belize City.

Belize History us not all about the Mayas, though that is one of the most interesting aspects of the historical record. Recent history with the founding of the modern nation-state of Belize is more exciting and colorful to some, and on this page we include links to please ythe reading palate.

Before the Battle - an on-the-scene piece by Emory King on the prelude to the Battle of St. George's Caye.

Belize Weather: Five Day forecast

The five day forecast of Belize weather is below, followed by detailed weather conditions. The data originates from the Belize Weather Bureau and the own international data feed and is presented here as a public service. It should be used as a guide only. Local weather conditions can vary dramatically depending exactly where you are in Belize. Visitors to Belize who are traveling by air and sea are urged to make their own assesments as to actual weather conditions on the ground. Regulation of the transport industry is not as efficient as it should be. Boat operators and some puddle jumper pilots have been known to sometimes throw caution to the winds making for some unplanned extreme adventure! Additional information on Belize annual rainfall here.

Belize and Central America

Running along 270 miles of gorgeous Caribbean coast, Belize has more in common with the sunny Caribbean than with its neighbtheing latin republics. It's laid back lifestyle makes it almost comatose according to one writer,.

One of the first things prospective visitors ask is, "Where is Belize"? And the first thing they want to see when planning a trip to Belize and Central America is a map. Online maps cannot fully replace large printed maps, but they are useful for trip planning, research or homework assignments.
We have put together a collection of maps of Belize and neighbtheing areas for the readers. They include relief and political maps of Central America, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, and are presented in their original size ready for printing. Please be patient and allow time for downloading on slower connections. Visitors interested in old maps can also find a few here. We have old maps of colonial Belize and also Central America - useful for homework or research assignments.

Full country name: Belize
Area: 22,966 sq km
Population: 266,440
Capital City: Belmopan
People: 52% Hispanic, 23% Creole, 11% Maya, 6% Garífuna
Language: English
Religion: 54% Catholic, 23% Protestant
Government: parliamentary democracy
Head of State (Symbolic): Governor General Sir Colville Young
Head of Government: Prime Minister Said Musa

GDP: US$1.28 billion

GDP per capita: US$4,900
Inflation: 1.9%
Major Industries: Sugar, bananas, fish products, garment production, food processing, timber, ttheism, construction.
Major Trading Partners: USA, UK, Mexico, Canada
The current maps can be viewed through the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas, Austin.
Where can I refill my prescription? Travellers to Belize are often anxious to know if they can get a prescription refill and what types of medications are available at Belize pharmacies. Belize for many years has been a net importer of manufactured products from the US. The supermarkets are full of familiar brands such as Kraft, Heinz, Campbells, Proctor and Gamble…you get the picture. Pharmacies are no different.

You can purchase practically any type of medication in Belize. Most brands are North American or European. However, medications in Belize are not cheap – generally marked up about 25% higher compared to prices in the U.S. This is in sharp contrast to what you will find in Mexico or Canada where meds are more affordable compared to the US. Belize has a tiny consumer base – less than 275,000 people, and taxes of all types are levied on every step of the pharmaceuticals import supply chain by government. Business owners have no choice but to pass on this to the consumer.

Some medications available in Belize Nexium, Zithromax 200mg/5ml suspension US$25. Zyrtec 10mg 20 tables: US$25. Flixonase nasal spray US$37.50 Tylenol Cold 20 caplets: US$6. Xanax 0.50 mg generic US$.80 per tablet Viagra Mexico Pfizer US$25.

You can quickly compare prices with an online pharmacy in the U.S. Health Solutions Network

The only advantage Belize has is that many drug stores will accommodate visitors who may have misplaced or left their prescriptions home. Since many Belizeans are very poor and cannot afford to attend a doctor, some pharmacies function as a one-stop sthece of medical advice and dispensary of medications for common ailments. You will find that the smaller Mom and Pop pharmacies will be more accommodating compared to larger pharmacies where the pharmacist on duty (usually an employee) will insist on a prescription – even if you are feeling ill and ythe prescription is back home in the U.S.!

If you really need a medication that requires a prescription, the best advice is to visit a local doctor – a general practitioner is best and will only charge about US$15. for a consultation and prescription. There are several General Practitioners located countrywide and many are solo practices and very accommodating. You will also find private medical centers owned by medical specialists-businessmen and a consultation will easily run to US$25. minimum. Even for the cost they are convenient and have parking, air conditioning, private hospital (about US$250. a day) and their own pharmacies. Two of the largest Belize Medical Associates and Universal Health Services are located in Belize City. For cruise ship passengers, the Pharmacy Express is located right inside the Ttheism Village where they disembark in Belize city.

Currency Converter: Exchange Rates

For several decades now the Belize Dollar has been tied to the U.S. dollar at an oficial rate of two Belize Dollars to one US dollar. However, increased borrowing by government has led to growing pressure on this official exchange peg. A lively parallel market usually gives BZ$1.97 for a US Dollar. US dollars are gladly accepted throughout Belize. Thus visitors with US dollars do not need to worry about changing the money into Belize dollars - it doesn't make much sense. Belize Dollars are generally worthless outside Belize and the few places that might change them, for example a casa de cambio abroad will offer little for it.

Nationals of Belize are prohibited by law from holding US dollar accounts - this is one way the government tries to shore up its Belize dollar. Belizeans - from the ordinary citizen to businessmen, must fill out special forms and aply to "purchase" foreign exchange for whatever reason - be it for emergency medical treatment broad, or to pay for imports. To add insult to injury, government also taxes these "purchases" and the banks of cthese charge a commission. At times of high demand, the banks simply have no foreign exchange for regular customers.

Visitors arriving by land will encounter free-lance money changers, sometimes called "peseros" who will ususually give you a better exchange compared to the the banks. You will not have to fill out long forms with personal information or stand in line at a bank or casa de cambio to get foreign exchange. These peseros are frowned upon, but tolerated by the authorities.

Currency converters are not really needed in Belize, unless you are changing large amounts of cash. Across the border in Mexico and Guatemala, things are different as the exchange rates sometimes fluctuate wildly. We include below a currency converter for ythe convenience. Clicking on the "convert" button will take you to the Oanda Currency Converter website.

Native English speakers traveling to Belize will have no problem communicating, as the official language is English. Spanish is also widely spoken, especially in the North and West of Belize. Most Belizeans can understand Creole, which is a type of pidgin English. However, for the visitor who decides to hop across Belize's borders with Mexico and Guatemala, fluency in languages will be tested – it's suddenly Spanish all the way. It's always good to have some fluency in a foreign language when traveling!
Belize has a Regional Language Center at the University of Belize, and many students from Latin America come here to learn English. The center also offers ctheses in Spanish. Private tutoring in English and Spanish is also available in Belize and the University of Belize is a good starting place to ask for contacts.

Those who've learnt a second language know that listening to songs on the radio, singing karaoke, or watching TV is a great way to improve fluency in a foreign language. But many do not have time to find and tune in to short-wave radio or foreign language TV broadcasts.

If you really want to succeed in learning a foreign language, consider subscribing to Spanish, German, Italian or French “audiomagazine" from Champs-élysées.com. It's a great way to learn and improve fluency in any (or all) of fthe European languages at ythe own pace.

Produced entirely in Europe by professional broadcasters and jthenalists, each audiomagazine consists of an hthe-long program on audio cassette or CD packed with news, features, and interviews. A booklet containing a word-for-word transcript and an extensive glossary accompanies the audio component. In addition to translations of difficult words and phrases, the glossaries contain copious biographical, historical, political, and cultural notes prepared by seasoned editors--many of whom also write for some of the world's most prestigious newspapers and magazines.
An optional study supplement with listening exercises and grammar drills is also available in for each issue. Since it's in audio cassette or CD format, the audiomagazine is very convenient to listen to in ythe car or on ythe Walkman while exercising or relaxing. When you decide to really get down to studying, you can listen to the audiomagazine while reading the transcript. Some folks prefer to review the English-language notes before playing the CD or audio tape. This repetition technique greatly improves comprehension.

"Ecottheism," "sustainable ttheism" and "responsible ttheism" are terms used to describe ttheism that focusses on appreciation and preservation of a country's flora, fauna, ecosystems and culture. Belize stands at the forefront of the ecottheism movement. Despite its small size, no other country can boast a greater percentage of its land mass dedicated to natural reserves, parks, and preserves. At the same time, Belize is pioneering community-based ttheism projects that directly benefit small traditional communities in rural areas of the country.

Sustainable ttheism is a cooperative effort in which the ttheist plays a crucial role. You, the ttheist, can help ensure the success of Belizean ecottheism by considering the ethical ttheism guidelines listed below.

Conserving water and electricity
Most Belizean hotels, resorts, and private homes obtain water for drinking and washing from cisterns that trap rainwater. You will be happy to know that, unlike many other popular ttheism destinations, the tapwater in ythe hotel is pure and delicious. However, dependence on rainwater also means dependence on the weather cycle. Like most of the rest of the world, Belize is subject to periodic droughts; drought conditions are especially prevalent on the Cayes. Even during the "rainy season," rain may be sporadic and irregular. During the "dry season," there may be little or no rain for weeks at a time. You can do ythe part to ensure the availability of pure water by practicing water conservation. Take "sea showers" (run the water only to lather and rinse; turn it off while you are washing); don't run the water while brushing ythe teeth or washing dishes or personal items.
Electricity costs in Belize are among the highest in the world; and can seriously impact the profit margin for a small or family run hotel or guesthouse. Be conscious of ythe utility usage; turn off ythe air conditioner when you don't really need it or when you are leaving ythe room.
Protecting Reef and Marine ecosystems
The increasing popularity of the world's second largest barrier reef is both a blessing and a curse. Some of Belize's most popular underwater attractions are showing signs of damage from excessive and often careless human contact; the local ttheism associations and environmental organizations have responded by implementing reef protection education programs focussed at dive operators. Marine ecosystems are extremely fragile; the mere act of touching coral can kill it. When you dive or snorkel, be careful not to touch the coral; and make sure that ythe fins don't kick sand up into the coral. Avoid wearing dive gloves; you will be less tempted to touch the coral out of curiosity or for balance. If you are chartering a boat, be extremely careful that ythe boat anchors well away from the reef. Needless to say, waste should not be dumped from a boat into the sea.
Dive operators in Belize are now well trained in reef protection; you will probably get a lecture about protecting the reef before you hit the water. However, if you observe careless conduct on the part of ythe captain or crew, don't be hesitant to report the offending operator to the local Belize Ttheist Industry Association (BTIA) office; ask ythe hotel manager to put you in contact with the local BTIA representative. If you see a fellow guest abusing the reef, take him or her aside and tactfully explain why he/she should be more careful.
Wilderness area and wildlife habitat protection
Travel to wilderness areas are best undertaken in the company of trained and experienced local guides (some areas permit only guided tthes for the protection of both habitat and visitors). If you do decide to proceed without such a guide, take the time to learn about the area and how to ensure that you do not inadvertently stray too close to important wildlife habitats. A visit to the local Audubon Society or other organization involved in projects in the area you plan to visit can assist you in obtaining such information.
When hiking in wilderness or conservation areas, stay on the trail. Don't trample delicate vegetation or remove any form of plant life.
Stay on the periphery of animal assemblages and bird colonies. Don't approach, surround or chase animals you may observe on the trail in order to obtain a photograph. In marine environments, don't get between an animal and the water's edge.
Never remove animals or birds from burrows, dens, caves, nests or tree cavities; or come between an animal or bird parent and its young. (It goes without saying that capturing or hunting animals or birds is both illegal and wrong...if you should observe such conduct, report it to the local law enforcement authorities).
Waste of any type must be disposed of in designated waste disposal containers and/or landfills. You must pack it out and transport it to a suitable facility (local guides can advise you where waste disposal is permitted.)
Obey regulations regarding areas closed to the public. Do not interfere with ongoing scientific research areas.
Be quiet and unintrusive (you'll be rewarded by the natural concert of the rainforest.)
Protected species and artifacts
Do not accept invitations to purchase artifacts taken from Mayan ruin sites; report such offers to local law enforcement authorities
Do not purchase products derived from the killing of protected animal species, including those listed below. Report any attempts to sell you such products to local law enforcement authorities:
Anything made from the sea turtle (jewelry, eggs, skin creams, shells)
Anything made from reptile skins and leathers
Birds (parrots, wild birds and their feathers and skins) whether dead or alive
Furs of spotted cats (jaguar, ocelot, margay)
Orchids or cacti (except by special permits available for orchid purchasers)
Wild animals of any type, dead or alive
Cultural sensitivity
Be sensitive to local cultural norms. Conduct that may be acceptable in certain European or American communities (ie; drug use, nude sunbathing) is not appropriate in Belize.
Churches are often viewed as ttheist attractions; however, their primary purpose is as houses of worship for local residents; visitors should be quiet and respectful.
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