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Belize

Belize is a parliamentary democracy and Commonwealth country. Tourist facilities vary in quality, from a limited number of business-class hotels in Belize City and luxury resorts in the offshore cayes (pronounced: "keys") to a range of eco-tourism lodges and very basic accommodations in the countryside. Violent crime, especially in areas of Belize City, remains a serious concern. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Belize for additional information.

Belize

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Belize
Continent: Central America
Capital City: Belmopan
Boundary Countries:

Guatemala, Mexico

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Belize Radiodiagnostic Center (Belize City), Medical Center (Belize City), Universal Health Services Medical Arts & SurgiCenter (Belize City), Dr. Estrella's Orange Walk Medical Center (Orange Walk Town)

Main Cities:

Belmopan, Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City, Big Creek, Punta Gorda

Country Size: 22,966 sq km
Population: 294,385

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole

Currency: Belizean Dollar (BZD)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican 5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 21 September (1981)
Economic Status:

In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy, tourism is the number one foreign exchange earner followed by exports of marine products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. Exploration efforts continue and production increased a small amount in 2009. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade deficit and sizable foreign debt. A key short-term objective remains the reduction of poverty with the help of international donors.

Security:

Belize Defense Force (BDF): Army, Maritime Wing, Air Wing, and Volunteer Guard

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Belmopan
#4 Floral Park Road
Belmopan, Cayo District
Belize, Central America
Telephone: 011-501-822-4011
Emergency after-hours telephone: 011-501-610-5030
Facsimile: 011-501-822-4012

Document Requirements:

All US citizens must have a US passport valid for the duration of their visit to Belize. US citizens do not need visas for tourist visits of up to thirty days, but they must have onward or return air tickets and proof of sufficient funds to maintain themselves while in Belize. Visitors for purposes other than tourism, or who wish to stay longer than 30 days, must obtain visas from the government of Belize. All tourists and non-Belizean nationalities are required to pay an exit fee of US $35 (payable in US dollars only) when leaving Belize. Additional information on entry and customs requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Belize at 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC  20008, Tel. (202) 332-9636 or at their web site:  http://www.embassyofbelize.org.

Information is also available at the Belizean Consular offices in Miami, and Los Angeles, or at the Belizean Mission to the UN in New York. Visit the Embassy of Belize web site at http://belize.usembassy.gov for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  43,  Airports with paved runways:  5

Belize - Phillip S W Goldson Airport (BZE/MZBZ)
Belize Airport, Belize, PO Box 1564, Belize City, BELIZE
Tel: +501 (0)25 2045
Fax: +501 (0)25 2439
Email: bacc@pgiabelize.com
Website: www.pgiabelize.com
Customs Hours:08:00-17:00
Customs Hours:08:00-17:00

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Visitors should exercise caution and good judgment when visiting Belize. Crime can be a serious problem. Road accidents are common. The incidence of crime, including violent crimes such as armed robbery, shooting, stabbing, murder, and rape, is on the rise. The Embassy has noted an increase in recent years in reports of crimes against tourists at resorts and on the roadways and river ways.
Sexual harassment and/or assault of females traveling alone or in small groups have occurred this past year. Several American travelers have been the victims of sexual assaults in recent years. One of these occurred after the victim accepted a lift from an acquaintance, while another occurred during an armed robbery at an isolated resort. One of these assaults has resulted in the death of the victim.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  24.38 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 68.25 years  (male 66.44/female 70.16)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Malaria, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters: MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Malaria Risk: All, except no risk in Belize City.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Myiasis (botfly) is endemic in Central America. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care for minor conditions is generally available in urban areas. Trauma or advanced medical care is limited even in Belize City; it is extremely limited or unavailable in rural areas. Serious injuries or illnesses often necessitate evacuation to another country.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 1
Referrals: 26
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Gnathostomiasis (roundworms) has increased in Mexico, with many cases being reported from the Acapulco area and infection has been reported in travelers. Humans become infected by eating undercooked fish or poultry, or reportedly, by drinking contaminated water.
Outbreaks of leptospirosis have occurred in travelers to the area (including whitewater rafters in Costa Rica and US troops training in Panama). Sporadic cases and outbreaks of coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis have occurred in travelers to Central America. Risky activities include disturbing soil and entering caves and abandoned mines. Cutaneous larva migrans occurs in visitors, especially those visiting beaches.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +501
Internet Country Code:  .bz

 



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