Culture in Belize

by Admin on January 17, 2010

The Culture of Belize Belize is a melting pot of culture today. Centuries of history have created a diversity here that's unique among Central American nations. For example, it's the only nation in Central America with a British colonial heritage. The official language is still English. You'll find Spanish and Creole spoken here too. These are a few of the many things that make this beautiful country such a fascinating place. Mayans The Mayan people were first to inhabit what's now Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. At it's peak, the Mayan empire saw more than a million Mayan people living in Belize. Mestizos Today, around half of the people in Belize are a mixture of Mayan and people of Spanish heritage - known as Mestizos. Mestizos appeared in Belize in 1840, attempting to escape the Caste War. You'll find Mestizo culture throughout Belize, but especially in the northern section of Orange Walk, as well as Corozal. Creoles Another major ethnic group here in Belize, Kriol (also known as Creole), makes up a third of the people and culture here. English and Scottish buccaneers, known as Baymen, came here in 1638 looking to find sheltered areas from which they could attack Spanish ships. In the 1700's, the Spanish granted access to the British to cut logwood here in exchange for an end to piracy. African slaves, mostly from Jamaica, were brought here to cut timber. By the 1800's, slavery was abolished in Belize. Africans outnumbered British by four to one, and were known for their skill as mahogany wood cutters. The mixture of English and African people created the fascinating culture known as Creole. And More Making up a smaller amount of the population, you'll find other ethnic groups and cultures here: the Garifuna, East Indians, Chinese, and Mennonites.

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