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It is forcast to be Thunderstorm at 9:00 PM CST on September 16, 2014
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The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. The Maya civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 BC and AD 200 and flourished until about AD 1200. Several major archeological sites—notably Caracol, Lamanai, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich – reflect the advanced civilization and much denser population of that period. European contact began in 1502 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the coast. The first recorded European settlement was established by shipwrecked English seamen in 1638. Over the next 150 years, more English settlements were established. This period also was marked by piracy, indiscriminate logging, and sporadic attacks by pre-American natives and neighboring Spanish settlements. Great Britain first sent an official representative to the area in the late 18th century, but Belize was not formally termed the “Colony of British Honduras” until 1840.  It became a crown colony in 1862.  Subsequently, several constitutional changes were enacted to expand representative government.  Full internal self-government under a ministerial system was granted in January 1964.  The official name of the territory was changed from British Honduras to Belize in June 1973, and full independence was granted on September 21, 1981.
Belize enjoys a subtropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.

Temperatures annually range from 50-95°F, with a mean annual temperature of 79°F.
Belize’s high, dry season runs from November to April (making the low season from May to October).  Although temperatures can reach 95 degrees, tradewinds will keep you feeling cooler.  The wettest months are from June thru October, although you’ll usually also have a fair bit of sun during this time.  One benefit of traveling to Belize during the low season is that it is less crowded.  Historically, Belize’s hurricanes have arrived in September and October.  November thru January are the coolest months, averaging about 75 degrees.  Belize’s water temperature averages between 79 and 83 degrees.

The following holidays are observed in Belize.

January 1     –     New Years Day

March 9     –     Baron Bliss Day

variable     –     Easter

May 1     –     Labour Day

May 24     –     Commonwealth Day

September 10     –     St. George’s Caye Day

September 21     –     Independence Day

October 12     –     Pan American Day

November 19     –     Garifuna Settlement Day

December 25     –     Christmas

December 26     –     Boxing Day

Belize’s currency, the Belizean dollar (BZ$), has been fixed for many years at US$0.50.  The currency bears the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the dollar is divided into 100 cents.  The 25-cent coin is sometimes called a shilling, and you may hear the 100-dollar bill referred to as a ‘blue-note.’  Prices are usually quoted in Belizean dollars, though you will sometimes see prices quoted in US dollars, especially at tour companies and upscale resorts.  If in any doubt, ask which type of dollars people are talking about.  Many businesses are happy to accept payments in US dollars.

Belize has five commercial banks, of which the largest and oldest is Belize Bank. The other four banks are Heritage Bank, Atlantic Bank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, and ScotiaBank Belize.

Information on visa requirements is available from Belizean embassies and consulates and the Belize Tourism Board (  At this time, visas are not required for citizens of the following: USA, EU, Caricom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Venezuela.  A visitor’s permit valid for 30 days will be stamped in your passport when you enter the country.  This can be extended by further periods of one month (up to a maximum of six months) by applying at an immigration office.  The fee for each extension is BZ$25.

Visas for most other nationalities cost BZ$100 from a Belizean embassy or consulate and are valid for a 90-day stay.

Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 30%, Other 6%, None 2%.

Belize Paradise

National Flag:  A rectangular dark blue background with narrow red stripes at the top and bottom and with the country’s Coat of Arms on a white circle in the center.

National Flower:  The Black Orchid.

National Tree:  The Mahogany Tree.

National Bird:  The Keel Billed Toucan.

National Animal:  The Tapir or Mountain Cow.

A combination of natural factors– climate, the Belize Barrier Reef, over 1,000 offshore Cayes (islands), excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, numerous rivers for rafting, kayaking, various jungle and wildlife reserves of fauna and flora, hiking, bird watching, helicopter touring, as well as many Maya ruins– support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry.  Belize also has the largest cave system in Central America.  One of the most outstanding dive locations in the world is the Blue Hole, an almost perfectly circular hole approximately 1/4 mile across.  This is a feature attraction in Belize.
Belize is a parliamentary democracy, a Commonwealth realm, and therefore a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.  the structure of the government is based on the British parliamentary system, and the legal system is modeled on the Common Law of England.  The current head of state is Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize.  Since the Queen primarily resides in the United Kingdom, she is represented by the Governor-General.  However, the cabinet, led by the Prime Minister of Belize, who is head of government, acting as advisors to the Governor-General, in practice exercise executive authority.  Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in parliament and usually hold elected seats within it concurrent with their cabinet positions.

The bicamerel National Assembly of Belize is composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate.  The thirty-one members of the House are popularly elected to a maximum five-year term and introduce legislation affecting the development of Belize.  The Governor-General appoints the twelve members of the Senate, with a Senate president selected by the members.  The Senate is responsible for debating and approving bills passed by the House.

Belize is a full participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).