Name - Belize

Capital - Belmopan

Size Approximately 8,867 square miles

Location Central America on the Caribbean Sea. Two hours from Miami or Houston. Bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the West and south.
Climate Sub-tropical, with trade winds from the Caribbean Sea.

Temperature Summer: 70º - 85º F/approx. Winter 70º - 80º/approx.

Language English is the official language. Spanish, Ketchi & Mopan Maya, Garifuna and other languages are spoken.

Population 250,000

Government Independe

Currency Belize Dollar (Bz.$). Bz$2.00 to US$1.00.

Electricity 110 volts AC.

Airports Philip S. Goldson International Airport. Numerous airstrips and Air service to all main towns and three offshore islands.

Seaports Main deep-water port - Belize City, Commerce Bight, Big Creek, Punta Gorda.

Telephone Direct dial service between Belize and all other countries.

Time US Central Standard Time, year-round.

Entry Docks Valid passport and onward or round-trip ticket for US and Canadian visitors, visas for others.

Driving International driver's license accepted up to 90 days.

Taxis Available in towns and resort areas. Taxis have green license plates.

Belize Flag

The red, white and blue flag of Belize is a symbol of the unity of our nation. Prior to Independence the People's United Party (PUP) proposed a blue flag with the Coat of Arms in a white circle. Because of the close association of the flag with the PUP, public opinion was divided as to its suitability to act as a unifying symbol.

The Coat of Arms

The shield of the Coat of Arms is divided into three sections by a vertical line and an inverted V.

The base section represents a ship in full sail on waves of the sea. The two upper sections show tools of the timber industry in Belize: a paddle and a squaring axe in the right section and a saw and a beating axe in the left section.

Flag of Belize

Supporting the shield are two woodcutters, the one on the right holding a beating axe over his shoulder in his right hand, and the one on the left holding a paddle over his shoulder in his left hand.

Above the sheild rises a mahogany tree. Below the sheild is the motto scroll. A wreath of leaves encircles the Coat of Arms.

The Coat of Arms embodies an important aspect of the history of Belize, as the mahogany industry formed the basis of our economy in the 18th and 19th centuries.

NATIONAL MOTTO: "Sub Umbra Florero" - These latin words mean, "Under the shade I flourish."

National Flower

The Black Orchid (Encyclia Cochleatum) is the National Flower of Belize. This orchid grows on trees in damp areas, and flowers nearly all year round.

National Tree

The Mahogany Tree (Swietenia Macrophilla) is one of the magnificent giants of the forest. Rising straight and tall to over a hundred feet from great buttresses at the roots, it emerges above the canopy of the surrounding trees with a crown of large, shining green leaves.

Belize's National Tree
National Bird

The Keel Billed Toucan (Ramphastos Solfurantus) is the National Bird of Belize. It is noted for its great, canoe-shaped bill, brightly colored green, blue, red and orange feathers

The bird is about 20 inches in overall length. It is mostly black with bright yellow cheeks and chest, red under the tail and a distinctive white patch at the base of the tail.

Belize's National Bird

National Animal

The Tapir or Mountain Cow (Tapirello Bairdii) is the largest land mammal of the American tropics.

The tapir is a stoutly built animal with short legs, about the size of a donkey and weighs up to 600 pounds.

Belize's National Animal
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