Commonwealth of Belize
Belizean dollar ($BZD)
Belize, formally known as British Honduras, is located on the mainland of Central America, bordering Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the south and west. The eastern coast line abuts the Caribbean Sea. Due to its location, Belize is considered Caribbean and Latin American. It is a member of CARICOM and the Commonwealth, as well as the Central American Integration System (CAIS) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
The Mayan civilization inhabited Belize from around 1000 BC onwards and many Mayan ruins remain across the country. Belize was declared a Spanish colony in the 16th century, although Mayan tribes remained in the country. Power struggles existed between the British and the Spanish throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, until 1798 and the Battle of St George's Caye, when fighting ceased between the two colonial powers for control of Belize. Belize became a British colony, and remained as such until independence.
The capital city of Belize is Belmopan, however the largest city is the formal capital, Belize City. The country is divided into six administrative districts, each one with its own capital. Belize occupies 22,800 km sq, and has a population of approximately 387,000 (2016). The official language of Belize is English, however due to its history and geographical location Belize, Spanish is spoken by around half the population, and Belizean Kriol is considered the unofficial language, widely spoken across Belize. The currency of Belize is the Belize dollar (BZD), which is pegged to the US dollar at $1BZD – $0.50US.
Belize operates as a Parliamentary Democracy and a Constitutional Monarchy. Under the Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II is the current Head of State, and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. The Queen is represented locally by a Governor General. The National Assembly of Belize consists of an appointed Senate and an elected House of Representatives.