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Belize

  • By: Angela Stephens
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Flanking Guatemala to the east and Mexico to the south, Belize is a small, developing country with an agricultural economy. Sugar cane, which is raised on plantations, ranks as the country's chief crop; processed sugar is the main export. Unemployment in the cities and low farm production in rural areas are major problems, but Belizeans are working to develop their tourism. Belize is racially mixed; about half of the population has a full or partial black African ancestor. About a fifth are descended from Carib, Maya, or other Indian groups.

Children and Childbearing

Belizean children between the ages of 6 and 14 must attend school. Belize has four colleges, but many students who seek career advancement must move to other English-speaking countries.

The vast majority of women rarely ...

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