Belize: The Culture Behind Our Lush Tropical Paradise￼
Belize is a small country, but it’s bursting with culture and history. From the outset of being welcomed by a local guide at the airport to meeting new friends and making connections in general, culture is everywhere in Belize. There are many different cultural groups in Belize, including English, Mestizo, Mayan, Chinese and East Indian. This blog post provides an overview of some of the most prominent cultures found in Belize.
The Kriol Culture
The Kriol culture is a combination of native and Creole cultures, with a strong emphasis on social harmony. When the English and Creoles arrived, they intermarried with the native people and formed an entirely new culture. The Kriol culture is heavily influenced by Christianity, which was introduced by British missionaries. Weekly church attendance is common, and the Kriol culture places a high value on community, respect and being charitable.
The Mestizo Culture
The Mestizo culture is a culture that mixes the native Mayan and Spanish people in Belize. The Spanish arrived in the 16th century, and to this day, Spanish is the official language of Belize. Although the Mestizo culture boasts a rich history, it is also a modern culture that espouses entrepreneurship, innovation and education. The Mestizo culture values family above all else. Children are expected to help provide for the family, either through chores or working a job.
The Mayan Culture
The Mayan culture is the oldest culture in Central America, with a rich history dating back to the 8th century. Many people in Belize are of Mayan descent. The Mayan culture is deeply rooted in spirituality and maintaining ecological balance. There are many ancient Mayan sites in Belize, including Lamanai and Caracol. The Mayan culture places a high value on sharing. If you are invited to someone’s home, you will receive a gift, and you are expected to give one in return.
The Garifuna Culture
The Garifuna culture is a mixture of West African and Caribbean cultures that came to Belize as a result of a slave ship revolt. The Garifuna people were able to escape and make their way to Central America, where they settled and created a unique culture. Music and dance are integral to the Garifuna culture, and there are many festivals and events that celebrate both. The Garifuna culture is also extremely communal, with people regularly helping one another out, sharing resources and offering advice.
The Creole Culture
The Creole culture is a combination of Kriol and British cultures, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. When the British began to arrive in the 17th century, there was a need for workers to help build infrastructure, so many natives were brought over to work. Generally, the Creole people are very proud of their culture and believe strongly in education. The Creole language is widely spoken and takes inspiration from the Spanish language. The Creole culture places a high value on family, and it’s not uncommon for children to live with their parents until they get married.
Other Cultural Groups in Belize
There are many other cultural groups in Belize, including the Chinese, East Indian and Ashanti tribes. The Chinese began arriving in the mid-1800s and settled in the Toledo district. Most of the Chinese in Belize live in the country’s capital, Belize City. The East Indians came to Belize in the 1880s, bringing their culture and traditions with them. The Ashanti tribe moved to Belize in the 18th century, fleeing slavery in West Africa. Many Ashanti people still live in rural areas in Belize.
Belize is a rich and diverse country with many different cultures. The culture in Belize is very open and accepting, and it is easy to make friends and find like-minded people. Whether you’re traveling to Belize or are interested in the culture of Belize, there’s a lot to learn. Belize is a great place to visit or live. It has a tropical climate, friendly people and beautiful scenery. There are many different cultures in Belize and something for everyone.