Also known as:
Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret
Under the Shade I Flourish
On the Caribbean coast of Central America with Mexico bordering on the north and part of the west, and Guatemala on the southwest.
Belize was part of the Mayan empire of Central America which flourished between 300 and 900 AD. The country changed hands between Spain and Britain from the early 1600s until 1862 when the country became British Honduras. The country was renamed Belize in 1973 and gained independence in 1981.
Last elections 2008. Next elections due 2013
United Democratic Party (UDP)
Major Political Parties:
United Democratic Party (UDP), People's United Party (PUP), National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR)
Agriculture is the leading sector. Efforts are advancing to diversify into non-traditional crops such as papaya, cucumber and ginger. Other export crops include cocoa, vegetables and tropical fruit. Marine products have become an important source of foreign exchange as well as being a vital domestic food source.
The forestry industry has been growing in recent years. Government has initiated a national reforestation programme, adding new impetus to this sector's development.
Phillip Goldson International
Independent - 21 September 1981
Head of State:
H.E. Sir Colville N. Young Snr., GCMG, MBE, PhD, Governor-General
Head of Government: Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow
Date Of Birth : 2 March 1951
1973: LLB , University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
1975: Certificate of Legal Education, Norman Manley Law School, Mona
1981: L.M. and M.A. International Relations, University of Miami, School of Law
1983: Entered electoral politics as candidate for Belize City Council elections
1984-89: Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs
1990: Deputy Prime Minister
1993-1998: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of National Security, Attorney General
1998: Leader of United Democratic Party
2008 : Elected Prime Minister
22,966 km2;8,866 miles2
EC$2,796.1 Mn (2004)
GDP per capita(at Current market Prices):
EC$1,099.9 Mn (2004)
EC$63.1 Mn (2004)
EC$334.5 Mn (2004)
Commercial: 08:00 to 16:00 hrs Monday to Friday
Government: 08:00 to 17:00 hrs Monday to Friday
New Year's Day (01 January); Baron Bliss Day (09 March); Good Friday; Holy Saturday; Easter Monday; Labour Day (01 May); Commonwealth Day (24 May); St. George's Caye Day (10 September); Independence Day (21 September); Columbus Day (12 October); Garifuna Settlement Day (19 November); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
Holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed the following day.
Date of CARICOM Membership:
1 May 1974
Land of the Free
O, Land of the Free by the Carib Sea,
Our manhood we pledge to thy liberty!
No tyrants here linger, despots must flee
This tranquil haven of democracy
The blood of our sires which hallows the sod
Brought freedom from slavery oppression's rod
By the might of truth and the grace of God.
No longer shall we be hewers of wood
Arise! ye sons of the Baymen's clan,
Put on your armours, clear the land!
Drive back the tyrants, let despots flee -
Land of the Free by the Carib Sea!
Nature has blessed thee with wealth untold,
O'er mountains and valleys where prairies roll;
Our fathers the Baymen, valiant and bold
Drove back the invader; this heritage bold
From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,
Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;
Keep watch with the angels, the stars and moon;
For freedom comes to-morrow's noon.
Highest National Award:
The Queen's Award
Rice and beans with meat and potato salad
Government web page: