Belize Map with Cities
Belize is a country on the Caribbean coast of Central America, it is bounded on the north and part of the west by Mexico, on the south and the remainder of the west by Guatemala, and it shares maritime borders with Honduras.
Belize was proclaimed a British Crown Colony in 1862, the country was known as British Honduras until 1973, it became independent within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. Guatemala has long claimed the territory of Belize, on the basis of old Spanish treaties, although in 1992 it agreed to recognize the existence of Belize.
With an area of 22, 966 km², the country is about twice the size of Estonia, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Massachusetts.
Belize has a population of just 361, 000 (census 2015), making it the most sparsely populated nation in Central America, but on the other hand it is a melting pot of many races and cultural groups. The two largest groups are Creoles (English-speaking or Kriol-speaking people with an African heritage, and people of mixed African and European heritage), and Mestizos, (Spanish-speaking people of mixed Mayan and Spanish European heritage). In addition there are Garifuna (Afro-Carib people originally from the Lesser Antilles), Maya (descendants of the original inhabitants), East Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and Europeans. Spoken languages are English, which is official, Kriol, Spanish, Garifuna, and Maya.