In April 1991 Bassam Frieha was appointed Ambassador of the State of Belize to UNESCO in Paris where he resides. Mr. Freiha is, keen to promote and develop international relationships in the fields of Culture, Education, Art, Science, and Humanitarian Issues, thus enhancing the wide network of relationships which Belize enjoys worldwide. Belize is governed under the principles of parliamentary democracy, and thus regularly cultivates its relations with international institutions devoted to the cultural prosperity of humanity.
Belize is a country where a pristine environment greets visitors from around the globe, and where living coral gardens and exotic marine life highlight the Western hemisphere’s largest Barrier Reef. We share history and culture with Central America and the Caribbean, and language too–English, Spanish, Creole, Garifuna and Mayan. Above all, Belize has more than its share of pristine beauty sculpted in our mountains, tropical rain forests, ancient Mayan Kingdoms, extensive caves, meandering waterways, and underwater worlds.
I n the North, Belize shares borders with Mexico, to the West and on the east it bordered by the Caribbean sea it has an area of 8867 square miles (22972) sq. km. with distance of 174 miles (280 km.) from north to south and 68 miles (110Km.) from east to west. The 174 miles of unbroken barrier reef with about 200 Kayes Island provide extensive sites for the avid snorkeler, scuba diver or for anyone with a passion for water sports. Fishing, waterskiing, windsurfing, boat races and swimming are favorite activities. Our exciting underwater world with unique coral structures, marine caves and extensive marine life are a dream come true for visitors. Miles upon miles of white sandy beaches and secluded island retreats are only part of the fun-in-the-sun menu.
On the mainland, ancient Mayan temples and monuments dating back thousands of years are jewels that impress more people every day. With more than 100% Maya cities, Belize is the center of the ancient Maya world and an active participant in the Mundo Maya programme.
The world over, Belizeans are known as peace-loving. A former British colony, Belize has a long history of stablity, democracy and tranquility unmatched in the region. Belizeans live in a harmonious haven of diverse races and cultures. It’s a wonderland where the drums of Africa, the Mayan marimba band and harp, the Creole jaw and steel band and the Garifuna turtle shell band combine into a wondrous fusion to play the song of Belize. Our Punta Rock music and dance have attracted international attention. So have dances such as the Hoghead Dance and the Mestizada of Mayan flavour.
There is so much to experience in Belize that it’s no wonder visitors hail it as The Jewel. In the interior, an unspoiled world of lush tropical rain forests awaits you. You will find the most intriguing and diverse animal and plant populations, as well as limestone caves, scenic rivers and Maya temples. We are home to the world’s only jaguar preserve; the prehistoric tapir, the howler monkey and gentle manatee co-exist in protected environments.
Our people welcome you. From the time you arrive by land, sea or air, you will sense the hospitality which is a natural trait in Belizeans. This receptive attitude springs from our daily experiences in a world of many cultures. It is common for Belizeans to greet first time visitors with the same warmth they would a close friend. You will behold the unmistakably Caribbean lifestyle–small intimate communities, friendly people and tropical casualness rare in the world today. You will never forget the sound of the drums, steel bands, carnival parades and above all the friendly voices that mingle easily as you walk down lazy streets. You will soon be absorbed into this harmony. Then, you will behold a Latino lifestyle with all its traditions, dances and folklore. It’s a culture where stories of Tata Duende, the Llorona and the Cadejo live on. During Easter, you can witness the traditional processions; at Christmas time, it’s Posadas and and on Halloween, our own version of Trick or Treat. These events come complete with their own music, food and tales.
Whether you are here on business, or pleasure, you’ll have no problem mingling. Finding accomodation is the easiest part of your stay. You can check in at any modern hotel or retire to intimate cabana resorts in the hinterlands or cayes (islands). Or, consider a staying at a family run guesthouse or boarding with a family in rural Belize to get first-hand experience of the people’s lifestyle, culture and folklore.
Our strategic location as a tourist entry point with easy access to neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras make Belize a desirable starting point and base for your dream vacation, and a place to return to time and time again to explore and discover. We can guarantee you will always feel at home.