Dating by site belize
Just over 10 percent of the current population is Mayan, divided into three groups: The Yucatec, originally from the Yucatan, the Mopan, indigenous to Belize and Kek'Chi who fled from slavery in Guatemala in the 19th century.British colonisation brought other issues of course, the main one being slavery.Tourist areas are well policed, but it isnt really a city that evokes chillin in the Caribbean. Belizean Creole (or Kriol) is commonly heard, especially on the coast, and you will also come across Spanish near the Mexican or Guatemalan borders.You might also be lucky enough to hear some Maya or Garifuna (Carib).In the middle of this battle for survival, a plague of locusts and ensuing famine almost wiped out the Mayan people altogether between 1627-1630.Indeed, today it remains the most sparsely populated country in Central America.Everywhere you go, the traditional drumming and music is heard, as is the language, a French and Arawak mix.Their home is location, location, location, with the Caribbean on one side and Maya Mountains on the other. There is a north-south divide when it comes to tourism, but oh those southern belles.
Heading into the quieter waters of southern Belize, conservation holidays explore the likes of Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park, identifying marine species, training for PADI qualifications, and learning how to spear invasive lionfish. And for us visitors, it's a magical world of adventure.In fact, most jade-like jewellery is actually nephrite nowadays.The Blue Hole is stunning, but some scuba divers find it an anti climax, after having it at the top of their dive wish lists for as long as they have had their PADI.Most coral is illegal, except black coral which is still legally harvested in Belize and it should display the government licensed label.
But responsible travellers tend to just enjoy leaving coral where it should be. Be wary of jade too, and get a certificate of authenticity otherwise you risk buying loot from an ancient, unprotected Mayan site.
Although the largest city, and the one that tourists fly into, the capital is actually Belmopan nowadays, following Belize Citys destruction by a hurricane in 1961.