A. THE COUNTRY
Belize is a Latin American country with the Caribbean coast to the east
where it has the world’s second-largest coral barrier reef. The
government is a stable parliamentary democracy and Constitutional
monarch (Queen Elizabeth II). Solid economic growth is offset by a
large trade deficit and foreign debt. Main sources of income are
ecotourism and marine and agricultural products. Tourism is expected
to decrease with the slow death of the coral reef. Oil has been
discovered in the pristine jungles and wetlands. Most jobs are manual
labour, and Belize has the highest cost of living in Central America.
Poverty is widespread.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~313,000. Belize is Central America’s most sparsely
populated country and the only one where English is the official
language. Spanish is spoken by the majority of the population. Most of
the population is of mixed descent. ~46.7% are Mestizo/Ladino, ~25%
Belize Creole, ~10.6% Amerindian, ~6% Garifuna (Black Carib), ~4.9%
European, ~6.8% Other (East Indian, Chinese).
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
~83.94% claim to be Christian, ~7.8% Non-religious, ~2.95% Baha’i, ~2.3%
Hindu, ~1.04% Jewish, ~0.96% Ethnoreligionist, ~0.65% Muslim, ~0.36%
In the Christian category:
~50.33% are Catholic, ~33.92% Protestant, ~3.63% Unaffiliated, ~3.26%
Anglican, ~3.16% Independent.
Evangelicals represent ~18.8% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~13.1% and of those ~7.6% are Pentecostals.
Other groups originating in Western society represent ~3.17% of the
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.