Think You Know Belize? These 18 Facts Could Shock You!
It’s no mystery that Belizeans speak English, represent a fascinating cultural mix and offer super retirement benefits to ex-pats, but when you read the following, you’re going to say, “That’s insane!”
1. Belize is so small, it could fit inside the states of Massachusetts or Vermont, yet it enjoys the 3rd highest per capita income in Central America.
2. One of the nation’s fav main dish is the gibnut. This meat was re-named The Royal Rat when it was served to Queen Elizabeth decades ago.
3. There’s an ongoing debate about the number of islands that comprise Belize. Could be 400. The total could be 450, give or take an atoll or two!
4. Don’t look for Belize’s national animal, the mountain cow, on menus. These chubby critters (AKA Tapirs) are vegetarians.
5. Only 4 main highways transect Belize, so it’s really hard to get lost in Belize.
6. Have you had your fill of crowds? Belize is your ideal home; only around 400,000 people live in country.
7. Around 12,000 people reside in the smallest capital city on earth: Belmopan, Belize.
8. There’s only one Jaguar Reserve on the planet and it’s situated in Belize’s Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
9. Put your appetite for McDonald’s on hold before visiting Belize. There are no fast food eateries, so you’ll have to go to Mexico to get your Big Mac fix.
10. While Mexico and Guatemala are Maya hot spots, Belize is home to around 900 sites, so visitors get their fill of ruins, caves and other ancient places.
11. Belize’s list of scary mythological creatures includes a 3-foot-tall, evil dwarf called El Duende and a version of Big Foot known as El Sisimito.
12. The nation recently decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, putting Belize on the cutting edge of the world’s legalization efforts.
13. Forget fist bumps. Belize’s official greeting is the thumb lock.
14. Belizeans are multi-lingual. Over 90-percent of the populace is conversant in English, Spanish and Creole.
15. Belize’s national flower is the black orchid and mahogany trees remain the nation’s most prized tree. Mahogany trees can live for a full century if not felled for timber.
16. There are 450+ fish species located around Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts divers from around the world.
17. Belize’s most beloved heroes are newspaper editor Philip Goldson, politician Monrad Metzgen and the father of the country, George Cadle Price.
18. The Belize flag is the only one on the planet that incorporates images of people on the official seal that is the flag’s focal point.