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Belize Information - Page 2
History
Belize became part of Spain's empire in the Americas in the 1600s.

British settlers arrived soon after the Spanish. Towards the end of the eighteenth century Spain tried to evict the British.

Belize became a British Colony in 1862 and took the name of British Honduras.

In 1954 Belize was granted limited autonomy; ten years later a new constitution gave the country full autonomy. The name of the country was changed from British Honduras to Belize in 1973.

Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed independence. Belize became independent in 1981 but Guatemala did not recognize Belize's independence for a further ten years.

Economy
The services sector accounts for the largest percentage of the Gross Domestic Product and also employs the largest percentage of the working population. Tourism is the main earner of foreign currency.

Agricultural products include bananas, citrus fruits, sugarcane and cocoa. Fish products are exported.

Industries are construction, garment production and food processing. Commercial exploitation of oil discoveries began in 2006. (2011)

Arts
The Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts is the cultural centre of Belize. Community events, dance troops, theatre performances and film festivals are hosted at the Bliss Institute.

Carnivals and festivals of music and dance are held at various times throughout the year.

Sport
Football, basketball, volleyball and baseball are popular team games in Belize. Cricket is also played.

Water sports include swimming, snorkeling, diving and sailing.

Holidays
Christmas and Easter are celebrated. Other holidays include New Year's Day - 1 January, Baron Bliss Day - 9 March, Labour Day - 1 May, Independence Day - 21 September (1981) and St. George's Caye Day - 10 September.

News
News from Belize is available from Newslink.

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Belize
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