Portal:Belize

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The Belize Portal

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Belize (/bəˈlz/ (About this sound listen)), formerly British Honduras, is an independent Commonwealth realm on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize 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 22,800 square kilometres (8,800 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's abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. 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. It is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations. Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state.

Belize is known for its September Celebrations, its extensive barrier reef coral reefs and punta music.

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The Great Blue Hole, located near Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 kilometres (43 mi)* from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 metres (984 ft)* across and 124 metres (407 ft)* deep. It was formed during several episodes of Quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower - the analysis of stalactites found in Great Blue Hole shows that formation has taken place 153,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago. As the ocean began to rise again, the caves were flooded.

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New River.jpg
The New River near its estuary into the Caribbean Sea (Corozal District, Belize)


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