Describing Belize

British Honduras, now known as Belize, became an independent country and member of the British Commonwealth in 1981 after 120 years of British rule. It lies wholly within the tropics between latitudes 16° and 19° north with most of the country between 17° and 18° north. Its northern border is with Mexico and to the west and south is Guatemala. The Caribbean Sea is its natural eastern coastal border and the country is part of the Yucatan Peninsula of Central America.The Country can truly be described as a "tropical paradise" as that phrase is commonly understood in First World developed countries.

There is an offshore reef, the longest in the Western hemisphere, and over 100 offshore islands. Swimming, boating and fishing can be pursued safely. Inland are Mayan historical sites and flora and fauna in jungle habitats. Hard wood trees, particular mahogany, were important but their slow re-growth and the lack of an ongoing plan to replant trees has reduced the viablility of this industry. Agriculture, particularly sugar and bananas, has been accorded recognition above that of tourism.

Belize City was superceded as the capital in 1970 by Belmopan although the former still has the larger population. This multicultural country is a member of the British Commonwealth with a multiparty democracy, a bicameral parliamentary system and an independent judiciary with its jurispridence based on English common law.

Tourism, particularly eco-tourism is promoted by the government and by private enterprise. The latter spends heavily on its livelihood and the former does its best from a low revenue base.

The sites listed under the "Resources" tab of this site will provide much descriptive detail as will the book "How to Retire in Belize" by Les Johns which can be purchased directly from this site. Intending retirees will save much research time by making use of these references.

Other Considerations

If you like what you have read and seen so far then Belize could be a good choice. An easy-going life style in a tropical paradise is a distinct possibility here depending upon just how many "first-world" developed-nation habits you are prepared to forego. A laid-back life style in a tropical paradise may be irresistable for many from cold climates and industrial cities. It must be stated immediately that the generous time scales that are given to tourists make the application of the "golden rule" - visit before settling very easy.

Decisions may be made easier by reference to the sites under the "Resources" tab of this site and to the book, available from this site, "How to Retire in Belize" by Les Johns.