Belize is a country in Central America, and it is perfect for a laid-back expat lifestyle. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. While small from a geographical perspective, the country is rich in culture and history.
The country’s population is predominantly of African descent, although Belize is multiethnic and multicultural. Creole, Garifuna (Afro-Caribbean), Maya (Indigenous), Mestizo (Amerindian), and White are all recognized as ethnic groups within Belizean society. As of the last census, the population of Belize was approximately 379,228 people.
BELIZE EXPAT LIVING
The cost of living in Belize is much lower than in other countries. You can easily live off $1,200-$1,500 per month in this small nation. Though some get by on about half as much while some spend more depending on their lifestyle preferences. Many expats choose to retire in Belize for this reason and more.
Expatriation is a fast-growing trend in the country. In 2017, there was a 3.4% increase in the number of Americans choosing to relocate to Belize. The country has seen an exponential rise in the number of expats coming from countries like Switzerland and Canada, as well as American retirees looking for a more affordable lifestyle.
If you are a foreigner and are interested in living and working in Belize, obtaining residency and eventually citizenship is fairly straightforward. To stay for more than three months, you will need to apply for a work visa. This can be done at the Immigration Department or via a private company.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Expats and visitors to Belize should feel pretty safe if they reside in designated areas of the country. Crime is not uncommon like in most tourist areas in the world. Petty theft is more prevalent in expat and tourist populations in this region. Though occasional violent crime does happen, it is a statistically rare occurrence. As with many other Central and South American countries, law enforcement can be slow and lax in this region. So, don’t expect swift or even fair justice in many instances.
HEALTHCARE IN BELIZE
Healthcare in Belize is mainly a two-tier system, the public and the private. The public sector is primarily funded by the government and provides free healthcare services to those who cannot afford them. The private sector includes private clinics which are available to individuals who have the socioeconomic means to access them.
The private sector also offers a variety of services such as dental, mental health, and physiotherapy. Though the healthcare system in Belize is not as robust as those in many westernized countries. However, significant developments have been made to make the system more efficient.
Getting around Belize is fairly simple. There are several taxis, buses, and other forms of public transportation that cover most of the country. In general, the country offers a host of convenient, comfortable options for getting around.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Belize is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It abounds with many natural resources and diverse cultures. This small nation enjoys a tropical climate with little seasonal variation in temperature. The dry season runs from November through May, while the wet season lasts from June through October. From its year-round sunny weather and beautiful beaches to its rich culture, Belize has something for everyone.
Belize SPIRITUAL Tourism
In Belize, spirituality plays a major role in the culture, which can be seen through their traditional dress and belief systems. Spirituality can also be seen in their artwork, where there is an abundance of religious iconography. Though, the majority of the religious adherents in the country subscribe to the Roman Catholic faith.
As with most civilizations with dominant indigenous roots, many natives in Belize also adhere to their traditional spiritual systems at some level. Historians believe Belize was once the center of the ancient Maya world and was home to more than 2 million Mayan people.
Mayans believed that the world is full of forces of good and evil. These forces were represented by gods and goddesses that take on spiritual, human, and animal forms. The Mayans also believed that the universe began with a great flood and would end with another one.
The Mayans believed in many gods and goddesses. Maya deities, in particular, are linked to the cardinal directions. The Maya offered prayers and sacrifices to these deities as well as paid homage to them on a daily basis. Though human sacrifices were part of Mayan culture, they were rare and involved elaborate and sacred ceremonies.
The Mayans also established spiritual practices that were centered around the world of the dead. Their beliefs were based on ancestor worship which involved ceremonies and offerings to their departed loved ones. These forces played a major role in the culture and everyday life of the Mayans.
The Maya civilization thrived in Central America for more than two thousand years. They had a huge knowledge of astronomy, agriculture, and many other subjects. Much of their knowledge is still preserved within the Belize culture.