OVERALL ATMOSPHERE AND SECURITY
GOVERNMENT RESPECT FOR PERSONAL LIBERTY AND GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE IN GENERAL
Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a country located on the north eastern coast of Central America. It is the only country in the area where English is the official language, although Kriol and Spanish are more commonly spoken. Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Its mainland is about 290 kilometres (180 mi) long and 110 kilometres (68 mi) wide.
With 22,960 square kilometres (8,860 sq mi) of land and a population of only 312,698 inhabitants (2010 census), Belize possesses the lowest population density in Central America. The country’s population growth rate of 3.15% (2012 est.) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. Belize’s abundance of terrestrial and marine species, and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place within the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. It is the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage, but as a part of theWestern Caribbean Zone, it also shares a common heritage with the Caribbean portions of other Central American countries. In general, Belize is considered to be a Central American nation with strong ties to both the Caribbean and Latin America. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA).