BELIZEANS are people originating in
Belize whether they live there or
in the Belizean diaspora.
Belize is a multiethnic country with
residents of African ,
Amerindian , European and Asian descent or any
combination of those groups.
Colonisation , slavery , and immigration have played major roles in
affecting the ethnic composition of the population and as a result,
Belize is a country with numerous cultures , languages , and ethnic
* 1 Maya and early settlers
* 2 Kriols
* 3 Garinagu
* 4 Mestizos and Spanish
* 5 Emigration, immigration, and demographic shifts
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links
MAYA AND EARLY SETTLERS
The Maya are thought to have been in
Belize and the Yucatán region
since the second millennium BC; however, much of Belize's original
Maya population was wiped out by disease and conflicts between tribes
and with Europeans. The
Belizean Maya consists of three Maya groups
now inhabit the country: The
Yucatec (who came from Yucatán, Mexico
to escape the Caste War of the 1840s) mostly live in Corozal,Orange
Walk and Cayo District, the Mopan (indigenous to
Belize but were
forced out by the British; they returned from Guatemala to evade
slavery in the 19th century)Moslty live in Toledo, and Kek\'Chi (also
fled from slavery in Guatemala in the 19th century). The later groups
are chiefly found in the Toledo District.
Belizean Creole people Main article:
Kriols make up roughly 21% of the Belizean population and about 75%
of the Diaspora . They are descendants of the
Baymen slave owners, and
slaves brought to
Belize for the purpose of the logging industry.
These slaves were mostly Black (many also of Miskito ancestry) from
Nicaragua and born Africans who had spent very brief periods in
Bermuda . Bay Islanders and more Jamaicans came in the
late 19th century, further adding to these already varied peoples,
creating this ethnic group.
For all intents and purposes, Kriol is an ethnic and linguistic
denomination. Some natives, even those blonde and blue-eyed, may call
themselves Kriols. The designation is more cultural than racial, and
is not limited to some certain physical appearance.
The Kriol language was invented in slavery, and historically only
spoken by them. However, this ethnicity has become synonymous with the
BELIZEAN national identity, and as a result it is now spoken by about
75% of Belizeans. Kriols are found all over Belize, but
predominantly in urban areas such as
Belize City, coastal towns and
villages, and in the
Belize River Valley.
Belize Kriol, also written as
Belize Creole, is derived mainly from
English. Its substrate languages are the Native American language
Miskito , and the various
West African and
Bantu languages which were
brought into the country by slaves. These include Akan , Efik , Ewe ,
Fula , Ga , Hausa , Igbo , Kikongo and Wolof .
The Garinagu (singular Garifuna) are a mix of West/Central African,
Arawak , and Carib ancestry. Though they were captives removed from
their homelands, they were never documented as slaves. The two
prevailing theories is that in 1635, they were either the survivors of
two recorded shipwrecks, or somehow took over the ship they came on.
Throughout history they have been incorrectly labelled as Black
Caribs. When the British took over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
after the Treaty of Paris in 1763, they were opposed by French
settlers and their Garinagu allies. The Garinagu eventually
surrendered to the British in 1796. The British separated the more
African-looking Garifunas from the more indigenous-looking ones. 5,000
Garinagu were exiled from the Grenadine island of
Baliceaux . However,
only about 2,500 of them survived the voyage to
Roatán , an island
off the coast of
Honduras . The
Garifuna language belongs to the
Arawakan language family , but has a large number of loanwords from
Carib languages and from English.
Roatán was too small and infertile to support their
population, the Garinagu petitioned the Spanish authorities of
Honduras to be allowed to settle on the mainland coast. The Spanish
employed them as soldiers, and they spread along the Caribbean coast
of Central America. The Garinagu settled in Seine Bight, Punta Gorda
and Punta Negra,
Belize by way of
Honduras as early as 1802. However,
Belize 19 November 1832 is the date officially recognised as
Garifuna Settlement Day " in Dangriga. According to one genetic
study their ancestry is on average is 76% Sub Saharan African, 20%
Arawak/Carib and 4% European.
MESTIZOS AND SPANISH
EMIGRATION, IMMIGRATION, AND DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS
Kriols and other ethnic groups are emigrating mostly to the United
States, but also to the
United Kingdom and other developed nations for
better opportunities. Based on the latest
U.S. Census , the number of
Belizeans in the
United States is approximately 160,000 (including
70,000 legal residents and naturalised citizens), consisting mainly of
Kriols and Garinagu.
According to estimates by the CIA in 2009, Belize's total fertility
rate currently stands at approximately 3.6 children per woman. Its
birth rate is 27.33 births/1,000 population, and the death rate is 5.8
* Demographics of
* Mennonites in
* ^ "International Migration Database". OECD. Retrieved 17 July
2017. Country of birth/nationality: Belize, Variable: Stock of foreign
population by country of birth
* ^ "Most
Baha'i Nations (2010)". QuickLists > Compare Nations >
Religions. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2010. Retrieved
* ^ Volz, Joe and Coy, Cissie, "Belize: Central American Jewel,"
* ^ Smith, Vicki (18 February 2007), "
Belize beckons with unspoiled
Caribbean isles, friendly faces, rich marine life," The San Diego
* ^ Link, Matthew R. (2002), "Central America\'s perfect,
penny-pinching blend of island beaches, virgin rain forest, and Maya
mysteries", Budget Travel, January/February 2002.
* ^ Cho, Julian (1998). Maya Homeland. University of California
Berkeley Geography Department and the Toledo Maya of Southern Belize.
Retrieved 4 January 2007.
* ^ "Belize-Guatemala Territorial Issue – Chapter 1".
Belizenet.com. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
* ^ A B C Johnson, Melissa A. (2003). "The Making of Race and Place
in Nineteenth-Century British Honduras". Environmental History. 8 (4):
JSTOR 3985885 . doi :10.2307/3985885 .
* ^ A B "
Belize 2000 Housing and Population Census".
Statistical Office. 2000. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012.
Retrieved 9 September 2008.
* ^ http://www.kriol.org.bz/
* ^ A B Crawford, M.H. 1997 Biocultural adaptation to disease in
the Caribbean: Case study of a migrant population Archived 2012-11-05
Wayback Machine .. Journal of Caribbean Studies. Health and
Disease in the Caribbean. 12(1): 141–155.
* ^ "Diaspora of Belize". Council on Diplomacy, Washington, D.C.
and Consulate General of Belize.
* Forest Cover and Deforestation in Belize: 1980–2010 CATHALAC /
Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment /
SERVIR. August 2010.
Belize Debt-for-Nature Swap: Foundations of a Framework for
Program Evaluation Emil A. Cherrington. Unpublished Master of Science
thesis, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington,
Seattle, Washington. June 2004.