The official language of Belize is English. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America. Many people in the country also speak Spanish and Belizean Creole. There are about 10 total languages spoken by a large population of people.
Phrases in Belizean Kriol:
- Gud maanin! Good morning!
- Weh di gaan an? What’s up?
- Aarite All right
- Cho! What on earth!
- Weh yuh naym? What’s your name?
- You da Belize? Are you from Belize?
- Da weh time? What time is it?
- Mi nayma da… My name is…
- Lata! See you later!
- Weh/we-paat Where is…?
- Mi love Bileez! I love Belize!
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
This coastal area was inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996. It is the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere and a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees, and the American marine crocodile.
There are about 12 major Mayan ruins in Belize, including Caracol, Lamanai, Atlun Ha, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Lubaantun, El Pilar, and Cerros. Caracol was the largest and most important Mayan city in Belize. It was had more than 140,000 people living there on more than 70 square miles. El Pilar is currently still being excavated. Over the 100-acre site, there have been 12 pyramids and 25 plazas unearthed.
These caves were held sacred by the Mayans and are where many of their treasures have been found, such as ceremonial altars, religious carvings, and the remains of sacrificial victims. The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is the number one sacred cave in the world. It is a living museum where you can experience firsthand the remains of victims of sacrificial ceremonies, artifacts and cultural relics, authentic Mayan tools, and so much more.
Also known as the Old River, the Belize River flows for 290 kilometers (180 miles) through the center of Belize. It served as the main trade arteries of the Maya Indians. It is still a vital source of drinking water and other domestic use for local people living along the river today.
- The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is home to over 400 species of fish and an estimated 200 tiny islands.
- Belize has more than 900 Mayan ruins.
- Superstitions are popular in Belize, as Creole and Garifuna societies have deep roots in mysticism. Following their superstitions, many Belizeans avoid swimming in the ocean or rivers on Good Friday as it is viewed as bad luck.
- Howler monkeys can be heard screaming from three miles away. They are rated one of the top 10 loudest animals on earth!
- The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the only jaguar reserve in the world.
- Instead of shaking hands, a popular greeting in Belize is to lock thumbs with one another.
- Belize uses speed bumps instead of traffic lights inside towns and villages near school.
- A favorite type of meat in Belize is the gibnut, which is a type of rodent. It is nicknamed “the royal rat” from the time it was served to Queen Elizabeth.
- Belize is known for its birds, with over 500 bird species living in the country.
- Belize has 450 cayes (pronounced keys), which are small islands that stretch along the eastern shore. Each Caye has its own watchmen, which is a government appointed position.
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (TDAP)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yellow Fever