Located on the Caribbean coast of Central America, bordered by Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on the north and by Guatemala on the west and south, Belize is slightly larger than El Salvador but much less populated. Most of the inhabitants are of mixed ancestry. Mestizos of Spanish and Mayan Indian derivation comprise the largest part of the population (48.7 percent), while Creole descendants of African slaves and English settlers form the second largest group (24.9 percent). Other smaller ethnic groups include Amerindians (mainly Mayans), African Caribbeans (Garifunas), Asians, German Mennonites, and others of European descent. Roman Catholics constitute the largest religious group (40 percent).
Approximately three-quarters of the country is forested, but the quality of its timber has been depleted by more than two centuries of ...