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The Maya built breathtaking temple complexes aligned to the movement of celestial bodies. Although they remained technically a Stone Age culture, they also developed sophisticated mathematics, astronomy and calendars. The Spanish constructed some plain stone churches, but the modern architecture is predominantly British Caribbean in style.
Belize is officially English-speaking, but the creoles (the largest ethnic group) speak their own colorful dialect as well as standard English. Spanish is the main language in the north and some towns in the west. You may also hear Mayan, Chinese, Mennonite German, Lebanese, Arabic, Hindi and Garífuna (the language of the Garinagu people of Stann Creek district) being spoken.


Belize Culture

The majority of Belize's population are Roman Catholics, but British influence has created a sizable and varied protestant congregation, including German Swiss Mennonites. The Mayan practice of Catholicism is a fascinating fusion of shamanist-animist and Christian ritual.

Belize has never really developed a national cuisine. Its cooking borrows elements from the UK, the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. The traditional staples are rice and beans. These are often eaten with chicken, pork, beef, fish or vegetables. Coconut milk and fried plaintain add a tropical flavor. Exotic traditional foods include armadillo, venison and fried paca, a controversial brow n-spotted rodent (similar to a guinea pig) that conservationist-gourmets won't touch with a ten foot cassava.