Size: Belize is the smallest country in Central America with a total surface of 8,866 square miles including 275 square miles of offshore cayes and 170 miles of barrier reef.
Capital: Belmopan (pop. , 7,100, the smallest in the world)
Population: Approximately 235,000 inhabitants composed of mainly four ethnic groups: Creole, Mestizo, Garifuna, and direct descendants of the Maya. There are also European and U.S immigrants and Mennonite communities.
Language: English is the official language. Spanish and Creole as well as Garifuna on the Caribbean Coast are also spoken.
Location: Central America bordered by Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
Currency: Belize dollar ($1 US = $2 BZ)
Religion: Roman Catholics make up 70% of the population with Anglicans and Methodists making up around 25%.
NATIONAL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 9: Baron Bliss Day
Commemorates the memory and generosity of the late English Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss. Each year an official ceremony is held at his tomb located below the lighthouse in the Belize City harbor followed by fishing and sailing regattas.
Easter Week: April 9-16, 2006
May 1: Labor Day
May 24: Commonwealth Day
Celebrated nationwide as the Queen's birthday. National Sports Council holds horse races in Belize City and in Orange Walk Town. Cycle races are held between Cayo and Belmopan.
Sep 10: St. George’s Caye Day
Commemorates the victory of British buccaneers over the Spaniards for the territory of Belize in the battle at St. George's Caye held on September 10, 1798. The upbeat feeling and festivities continue until September 21st.
Sep 21: Independence Day
Commemorating the independence from Great Britain, gained on September 21, 1981. Displays of local arts, crafts, and cultural activities can be seen, while Belizeans in their festive moods dance to the rhythms of punta rock, soca, and reggae.
Oct 12: Pan American Day / Columbus Day
Nov 19: Garifuna Settlement Day
November 19th is a yearly celebration to commemorate the arrival and the settlement of the first Garinagus (Black Caribs) to the southern districts of Belize in 1823. Belizeans from all over gather in the southern districts of Dangriga and Toledo to celebrate with the garinagus. The day begins with the re-enactment of the arrival of the Garinagu settlers and continues with dancing to the local Garinagu drums and punta rock.