-About the size of Massachusetts
-Affectionately referred to as “The Jewel”
-The only country in Central America whose official language is English
-A country with no chain restaurants or movie theaters
-A third world developing nation
That’s right, the official language is English! However, many other languages are spoken. Along the coast, you are very likely to hear Creole, which is a variation of English. You have to listen super closely in order to catch a familiar word or two. Spanish is the most common language in towns that border Guatemala and Mexico.
The majority of Belizeans are Roman Catholic. However, heavy British influence has left the country with a larger Protestant population than any other country in Central America. The Maya and Garifuna practice their own mixture of shamanism and Christianity. Most are Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, or Mennonite. There are also some Muslim and Hindu groups.
The education system in Belize has been greatly influenced by the U.S. education system. Typically, instead of classification by “grades,” students move through “forms.” The forms range from first form in primary school to sixth form (junior college). Until the 1990s, Belize did not have a four-year university system. The colleges were very similar to U.S. high schools or two-year community colleges.
Belizeans love their soccer and basketball. League teams have plenty of support from their country.
Belize has the world’s second largest barrier reef and hundreds of small islands (called cayes), which are very popular recreational areas.
Belize has a subtropical, wet and humid climate. The average temperature is around 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season is between August and October, but it is the most beautiful time of the year. The rain forests are known to “come alive” as the rain serves to cool, revive, and refresh.
We are so excited to watch God move through this new WGO venture. We will be sure to keep you posted on our progress, needs, stories, and more!