B is for beautiful.  B is for Belize.

Belize is a small, English-speaking country in Central America home to many diverse cultures and rich history. However, native Belizeans speak Spanish, Mayan, Kriol, Garifuna and other languages, using English as their common language. Essentially, the entire country operates as English Language Learners, as it is normally their 2nd or 3rd language. This poses a real challenge for their educational system, and we work to build English literacy and fluency in order to promote student success and encourage young students to go on to high school.

Cultures

  • Mayan (native to Central Mexico and El Salvador)
  • Mestizo (Maya and Spanish decent)
  • Creole (African and English descent)
  • Garifuna (African and Caribbean descent)

Geography

  • Bordered by Mexico to the north
  • Guatemala to the west
  • The Caribbean Sea to the east 
  • Flat, swampy coastal plain
  • Low mountains in south

Environment

  • Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world
  • Over half the country is covered in subtropical jungle/rainforest
  • Approximately 10% is lowland savanna

Weather

  • Wet Season:  June-November
  • Dry Season:  Febuary-May
  • Humidity typically ranges from 60%-95%

Cuisine

  • Food is representative of the diverse culture and is a wonderful blend of flavors
  • A key Belizean dish is beans and rice
  • Another typical dish is stew chicken, which is a Kriol-based recipe 
  • Belize has many different kinds of tropical fruit you can try
  • GSP ensures participants receive adequate amounts of each food group

Languages

  • Official language: English
  • Creole
  • Spanish
  • Garifuna
  • Maya languages (3 dialects in-country)

Currency

  • Fixed exchange rate: $2 BZE = $1 USD
  • Recommended spending money:  $100-200 cash in small bills or
    TM card (notify your bank about traveling dates)

Entry Items

  • Passport must be valid 3 months beyond intended stay.
  • Tickets and documents for return or onward travel.
  • Sufficient funds for your trip
  • No visa required for stay up to 30 days
  • Vaccinations (see below)

Recommended vaccinations:  

  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

View more facts about Belize from the Belize Tourism Board.

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