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Belize Country Profile

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Belize at a Glance

Location:Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Climate:tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)
Terrain:flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south
Resources:arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower
Hazards:frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
Population:307,899 (July 2009 est.)




A Brief Profile of Belize

Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Guatemala and Belize are gearing up for a simultaneous referendum to determine if this dispute will go before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include an unsustainable foreign debt, high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, growing urban crime, and increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.






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