What is everyday life in Belize? It’s warm. Life is relaxed. Everything is relaxed and informal. Everyone loves music. Especially reggae can be heard from everywhere. You treat each other politely. If you meet someone you know, you don’t just say hello, you stop and talk for a few minutes.
There is a big celebration in September. Because on September 10th the British defended the island of St. George’s Caye in a battle against the Spanish, so that Belize was finally in British hands. On the other hand, Belize became independent on September 21, 1981 and that too is celebrated with parades and festive activities.
Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world (the largest is the Australian Great Barrier Reef). It is called Belize Barrier Reef or in German Barrier Reef of Belize. It’s 256 kilometers long. The reef is lined with countless coral islands. If you dive on the reef, you can see sea turtles, manta rays and sharks in addition to beautiful corals.
Football is also one of the most popular sports in Belize. When the Belizean national soccer team plays, they are gladly and loudly supported. So far, she has not been able to qualify for the World Cup. There has only been a football league since 1991. Nine teams compete against each other here. Basketball, volleyball and softball are also popular sports.
The typical music of the Garifuna is called Punta. The associated dance style is also called that. Traditional Garifuna musical instruments such as drums and rattles are mixed with modern ones. The punta is danced in a circle. A man and a woman move in the middle while the participants sing and clap in the outer circle.
A popular style of music among Creoles in Belize is called Brukdown. Typical instruments are the banjo, guitar, accordion, drums and a donkey’s bite (!) With a stick being stroked. Brukdown is mainly played in the country. Wilfred Peters was a well-known brukdown player.
Children and School
How is school in Belize?
In Belize, school attendance is compulsory for children aged 6-14. Attending school is free. The school system in Belize follows the British system. The primary school consists of two years of infant classes and six “standard classes “. The first infant class corresponds to the last year of kindergarten. Standard 6 is followed by an examination, the Primary School Examination.
97 percent of children go to school. So three out of 100 children do not go to school. The reasons for this are the costs that go to school: a school uniform has to be paid for, books and notebooks have to be bought too. Some children are also encouraged by their parents to help around the house or in the fields, or to go to work for money. They don’t go to school either.
Secondary school (secondary school) attend 67 percent of boys and 71 percent of girls. The 8th and 9th grades (First Form and Second Form) are still compulsory for everyone. After 10th and 11th grade (Third Form and Fourth Form) that canCaribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination (CSEC), that would correspond to our secondary school certificate. Those who attend the Sixth Form can do their Abitur and study.
Classes are held in English. Grades range from 1 to 10. 10 is the best grade that can be achieved. To pass a test you have to get at least a 5.
Children in Belize
Not all children in Belize are fine. They are poor and starve or have to work.
41 percent of the population in Belize are considered poor.
3 percent of children in Belize work. Most of these children are employed in agriculture, many harvesting bananas. Others work on plantations for citrus and sugarcane. Some children work as shoe shiners or they sell newspapers on the street. Girls in particular are forced into prostitution. Some children work unpaid for their own families.
Another problem is that some children are married before they are 15 years old. In Belize, this affects 3 in 100 children. In the case of children who are married at the age of 18, the proportion is even 26 percent.
Eating in Belize
What do you eat in Belize?
Belize cuisine is shaped by various influences. Many ingredients come from Latin American cuisine: rice, beans and corn are just as much a part of it as the local fruits: mangoes, papayas, bananas or oranges. Tomatoes, avocados, and pumpkin can also be found in many dishes.
A lot of fish is eaten on the coast, where it is taken fresh from the sea. The Garifuna also like to eat cassava, which they cook and fry, for example. You can also use it to bake a biscuit, the bammy. But Great Britain has also influenced Belizean food. Many dishes have English names. Tea is also consumed more than coffee.
Breakfast with Jack and Johnny
For breakfast there are often Fry Jacks (deep-fried dough cakes) or Johnny Cakes, fluffier biscuits made from cornmeal. You can find out how to make Fry Jacks in our participation tip ! The tortillas are similar, very flat corn cakes that are also eaten a lot in Mexico and Guatemala. Mashed beans and scrambled eggs make breakfast complete.
Rice and beans!
Rice with beans is the national dish in Belize. The rice is cooked with coconut milk or desiccated coconut, and there is also chicken. As a side dish there is coleslaw, just like you eat it in the USA, as a coleslaw. To get more information on Belize and Caribbean, check allunitconverters.
Tamales, Panades and Garnaches
Other typical dishes are tamales, also known from Mexico: Here, corn porridge is cooked in a banana leaf. Empanadas (panades in English) are corn pockets filled with beans or fish. Garnaches are tortillas with beans and chopped carrots, cabbage and cheese.
Escabeche is an onion soup. Also Chimole is a soup. It contains chicken and is colored black by a special blend of spices, the Recado. There is also rice, tortillas or boiled eggs.
In Caldo is another soup, which is prepared with chicken and vegetables. The specialty is that the chicken is cooked in large pieces (breast, legs, etc.) and not in smaller pieces. The vegetables are not cut very small either, only potatoes, for example, only in halves. Then there are carrots, celery, beans, corn, cabbage, onions and tomatoes as well as coriander greens.
A typical dish among the Belize Creoles is the bile up. On the plate you will find boiled eggs, fish, plantains, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams. There is also tomato sauce. Creoles also cook and bake a lot with coconuts or coconut milk.