Constituencies of Belize
Belize's 6 districts are politically divided into 31 constituencies. Each constituency sends one representative to Belize's House of Representatives for 5-year terms; this election is known as the General Election. Each person votes for the candidate they would want to represent their constituency in Central Government; each political party nominates Standard Bearer for each constituency. The winner becomes the Area Representative of the constituency, while the loser remains the Standard Bearer of that constituency for his/her political party. Belize's constituencies are divided in such a way that their voting population be as equal as possible to each other ensuring, that resources are shared among the country's citizens, as required by the constitution. After the 2003 General Elections two additional constituencies were created from territory of existing constituencies in order to further ensure the equality of the voting populations among the constituencies. Coming out of January 2008, the most populous constituency had a voting population of 7,085 while the least populous constituency had a voting population of 3,195.
In Belize's 2003 General Elections, 29 constituencies voted in their Area Representatives for Belize's House of Representatives. Since it was noted that the difference in voting populations between the most and least populous constituencies was rather large. In 2004 a Task Force was appointed by Boundaries Commission to study the matter, their Final Report was submitted in October 2004. It is noted that the Elections and Boundaries Department has the right to reassess constituencies after the latest census or population estimate. Among several things that their report suggested, the expansion of the Cayo District's number of constituencies to six had the most impact; the following year the law was passed to create two additional constituencies within the boundaries of Cayo. The newly created constituencies are Belmopan, containing the capital city of that name, Cayo North East, centered on Spanish Lookout; these new constituencies held their first-ever election during the General Election in 2008.
Below are the Districts and their respective constituencies: Belize District Albert Belize Rural Central Belize Rural North Belize Rural South Caribbean Shores Collet Fort George Freetown Lake Independence Mesopotamia Pickstock Port Loyola Queen's Square Cayo District Belmopan Cayo Central Cayo North Cayo North East Cayo South Cayo West Corozal District Corozal Bay Corozal North Corozal South East Corozal South West Orange Walk District Orange Walk Central Orange Walk East Orange Walk North Orange Walk South Stann Creek District Dangriga Stann Creek West Toledo District Toledo East Toledo West Below is a list of the voting population by constituency as of March 2015, sorted out by districts for ease of reference. Note that these populations are for Belizean citizens who are eligible to vote and does not represent actual population; as of March 2015 the voting population of Belize is estimated at 148,026 while the total population is estimated at 301,300. The Voter Age Population, i.e. all persons over the age of eighteen, is 161,677, or 53.66% of the total population.
Of these, more than 91 percent are registered. Males outnumber females in the population, though the gap is noticeable in the larger urban areas such as Belize City, home to 10 constituencies. Below is the chronological order for the creation of Belize's current constituencies. 1954 The following were the nine original constituencies created for the British Honduras Legislative Assembly: Belize District: Belize North, Belize Rural, Belize South, Belize West Cayo District: Cayo Corozal District: Corozal Orange Walk District: Orange Walk Stann Creek District: Stann Creek Toledo District: Toledo 1961 In a major nationwide redistricting, all of the previous constituencies were abolished and replaced with the following, doubling the total number of constituencies to 18: Belize District: Albert, Belize Rural North, Belize Rural South, Fort George, Mesopotamia, Pickstock Cayo District: Cayo North, Cayo South Corozal District: Corozal North, Corozal South Orange Walk District: Orange Walk North, Orange Walk South Stann Creek District: Stann Creek Town, Stann Creek Rural Toledo District: Toledo North, Toledo South 1973 British Honduras renamed Belize.
The British Honduras Legislative Assembly becomes the Belize House of Representatives. 1979 The following were renamed: Stann Creek District: Stann Creek Town renamed Dangriga, Stann Creek Rural renamed Stann Creek West. 1984 The following constituencies were created: Belize District: Caribbean Shores, Lake Independence, Queen's Square, Port Loyola Cayo District: Cayo Central, Cayo West Corozal District: Corozal Bay Orange Walk District: Orange Walk Central, Orange Walk East The following were altered: Corozal District: Corozal South was split into Corozal South East and Corozal South West Toledo District: Toledo North and Toledo South were abolished, replaced by Toledo East and Toledo West 1993 The following constituency was created: Belize District: Belize Rural Central 2008 The following constituencies were created: Cayo District: Belmopan, Cayo North East Politics of Belize Districts of Belize Belize Elections & Boundaries Department's Map of Belize's Constituencies Government of Belize's Official Website Boundary Re-districting
Belize Defence Force
The Belize Defence Force is the military of Belize, is responsible for protecting the sovereignty of the country. The BDF is under the Ministry of Defence, headed by Hon. John Saldivar. In 2012, the Belizean government spent about $17 million on the military, constituting 1.08% of the country's gross domestic product. The military of Belize dates back to 1817, when the Prince Regent Royal Honduras Militia, a volunteer organization, was founded. Between 1817 and 1978, the military force in Belize has had ten different names: The Prince Regent's Royal Militia The Belize Volunteer Force The Belize Volunteer Corps The Belize Light Infantry Volunteer Force British Honduras Volunteers British Honduras Territorial Force British Honduras Defense Force British Honduras Home Guard British Honduras Volunteer Guard Belize Volunteer Guard The BDF was founded in 1978 following the disbanding of the Belize Volunteer Guard and the Police Special Force the year before. After Belize achieved independence in 1981 the United Kingdom maintained the deterrent British Forces Belize in the country to protect it from invasion by Guatemala.
During the 1980s this included a No. 1417 Flight RAF of Harriers. The main British force left in 1994, three years after Guatemala recognised Belizean independence, but the United Kingdom maintained a training presence via the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize and 25 Flight AAC until 2011 when the last British Forces left Ladyville Barracks, with the exception of seconded advisers; the BDF Maritime Wing became part of the Belize Coast Guard Service in November 2005. In October 2015, due to rising tensions between Belize and Guatemala and the British cutback on military bases worldwide to focus on the War On Terror in 2011, Belize asked the UK to bring BATSUB back; the BDF consists of: Three infantry battalions, each comprising three companies Three reserve companies One support group Air WingThe Belize Police Department is staffed by 1200 sworn officers and 700 civilian staff. The Belize Police Department and National Forensic Science Service report to the Minister of National Security.
As of 2012, there are 40 British Army personnel stationed in Belize. Mountain Pine Ridge Training Area - south of Belmopan used for jungle warfare by Belize, US, Dutch and British forces Price Barracks - Ladyville - Air Wing HQ and former British helicopter base; the Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. Belize Defence Force This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
Fauna of Belize
Belize is a country with a rich variety of wildlife, due to its unique position between North and South America, a wide range of climates and habitats for plant and animal life. Belize's low human population, 8,867 square miles of undistributed land, provides an ideal home for more than 5000 species of plants, hundreds of species of animals — including armadillos and monkeys; the avifauna of Belize include a total of 590 species, of which two are globally endangered and four have been introduced by humans. There are many species of salamanders and frogs found in the tropical forests of Belize such as the Rufescent Salamander, Red-Eyed Tree Frog, Maya Rain Frog, Marine Toad, Mexican Burrowing Toad. Out of 450 different species of salamanders found in the world, only 6 different types are found in Belize, all of which belong to the Family Plethodontidae group; this group of salamanders are the lungless salamanders, meaning they do not breath through lungs, but instead through the pores of their moist skin.
There are 3 different species of toads living in Belize, out of more than 300 species. The largest known toad can be found in the Marine Toad, it can grow up to 20 cm, weight as much as 1.2 kg. These toads are more found in human settlements rather than wildlife, so they are seen by tourists, they have adapted to human settlements, so they will eat cat or dog food left out for house pets. There are more than 800 species of rain frogs that exist, 8 of them are found in Belize, they vary in size, from the Maya Rain Frog, about 2.5-3.5 cm, to the Central American Rain Frog which can be 9 cm long. Rain frogs are terrestrial, so they can be found on the forest floors, in or near pools and streams, they are different from tree frogs in their color. Out of more than 700 species of tree frogs, 12 of them can be found in Belize. Unlike rain frogs, they have more bright colors such as orange, blue and yellow to warn predators that they are poisonous. Tree Frogs, like their name, are most found in trees. Despite their skinny legs, they are good jumpers and climbers.
In Belize, there are 2 species of crocodilians that roam around the waters, the American Crocodile and Morelet's Crocodile. Although both of these species are not aggressive, they are found as a danger to humans; the American Crocodile can grow up to 6.4 m, on average being about 4 m. They are found in the swamps and lowlands of Belize. Morelet's Crocodile, smaller than the American can grown up to 4 m but the average size is 2.5 m. These crocodiles are seen along the coast of Northern and Central Belize in freshwater. Belize has many different species and types of turtles. There are 3 different species of Hard-Shelled Sea Turtles such as the Loggerhead, which on average is 2.3 m long and 540 kg. They are found in coastal waters of Belize. Another is the Green Sea Turtle which on average is 1.5 m and can weigh up to 100 kg. Green Sea Turtles migrates across open seas but are found in shallow coastal waters; the third type of hard-shelled Sea Turtle that can be founding Belize is the Hawksbill Turtle.
This sea turtle is only about 1 m and does not exceed 50 kg, they are found near coral reefs or rocky areas of the sea. 5 species of Mud and Musk Turtles are found in the fresh water bodies of Belize: Narrow-Bridged Musk Turtles, Tabasco Mud Turtles, White-Lipped Mud Turtles, Scorpion Mud Turtles, Mexican Giant Musk Turtles. 2 of the species of turtles that live on land in Belize are the Furrowed Wood Turtle and the Slider Turtle. Some other species of turtles found in Belize are Central American river turtles which live in fresh water bodies and average size is about 65 cm, Snapping Turtles which can tolerate any type of body of water, on average are about 47 cm. Belize is home to many different tropical snake species, including both venomous and nonvenomous snakes; the families found in Belize consist of Colubridae, Boidae and Viperidae, of which the latter two families are venomous and may present a potential health hazard to humans if provoked. Out of 1500 different species of colubrids known in the world, 60 of these species live in the tropical habitats of Belize.
Many of the colubrid species found in Belize are Neotropical forms of the Neartic colubrids found in Mexico, the United States, Canada, with some of the species of colubrid snakes consisting of the water snakes, brown snakes, garter snakes, whip snakes, green snakes, rat snakes, king snakes. Colubrid snakes differ from other Belize snakes in a few ways. Colubrids do not have a definable jaw line, have heads that are not much thicker than the neck, if at all. In addition, they have several rows of teeth on the roof of their mouth, as well as single row of teeth on the bottom jaw, but they do not have elongated, hollow fangs in the upper jaw as some of the venomous snakes do; the only species in the family Boidae, found in Belize is the Boa constrictor, which includes a separate locality form from Crawl Cay. A dwarf form, Belizean boa constrictors can reach up to a maximum length of 7 ft but only reach a length of 2.5–4 ft. Their patterns consists of brown or black squarish markings on a grey or brown background that become progressively rounder and darker towards the tail, this pattern helps them to camouflage in their surroundings in leaf litter and tree canopies
Tourism in Belize
Tourism in Belize has grown recently, it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country; the growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Belize's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2012. Prior to its independence in 1981, Belize was not regarded as a place to travel due to lack of infrastructure to cater to large-scale tourism. However, rapid expansion of the tourist industry over the last decade has made it the nation's second largest industry. Tourism: Belize has large array of diverse tourists, adventure tourists and eco-tourist attractions; the Belize Barrier Reef, over 450 offshore Cayes, excellent fishing, safe waters for windsurfing, cave rafting, paddleboarding, scuba diving, snorkelling, numerous rivers for rafting, kayaking, various jungle and wildlife reserves of fauna and flora, for hiking, bird watching, helicopter touring, as well as many Maya ruins—support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry.
Of the hundreds of cave systems, Belize holds the largest cave system in Central America, 544 species of birds, well-preserved natural beauty. Despite all this, it is still among the least visited country in the region. Development costs are high, but the Government of Belize has designated tourism as its second development priority after agriculture. In 2012, tourist arrivals totalled tourist receipts amounted to over $1.3 billion. Tourism is the domain of the Ministry of Tourism, within which the Belize Tourism Board works as a link between the private and public sector; the tourism industry is an important part of the economy of Belize, in 2007 contributing to over 25% of all jobs, making up over 18% of the GDP. This constituted 590 million BZD, according to the Belize government, up 90 million BZD from the year before. Important tourist attractions in Belize include the natural attractions of land and sea, making the areas important in Ecotourism, as well as the historic ruins of Belize's Pre-Columbian Maya civilization.
Popular tourist destinations include San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker, both located about 70 km and 40 km east off the coast of Belize, both situation only a few miles from the Barrier Reef at any point. They have been regarded as a "tropical paradises" by the Los Angeles Times. Cruise ships have been docking in Belize City, average 850,000 tourists alone every year, some who partake in tours to nearby districts as well as the colonial city. Almond Beach, Hopkins Maya Beach, Placencia Sabal Beach, Punta Negra Sarteneja Orchid Bay, Corozal Monkey River Beach Cerros Beach Cucumber Beach, Mile 4, Western Highway Gales Point Lagoon Honey Camp Lagoon San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye Caye Caulker Coco Plum Island Half Moon Caye Laughing Bird Caye Goff's Caye St. George's Caye Tobacco Caye Blackadore Caye Caye Chapel Sapodilla Cayes Many run companies have cooperatives in Southern Belize that manage a rural and community-based tourism project, developed with support from the UNESCO. Tourism allows otherwise marginalized minorities such as the Maya and the Garifuna people to receive new opportunities in alternative markets, harvest crops and involve foreigners in their culture and diversify their income.
Many companies offer visitors the opportunity to visit a cacao, cashew farm, learn about Maya, Kriol or Garifuna craftsmanship, to stay overnight on a Maya, Kriol or Garifuna village and explore with a community guide. Eco-tourism aims to be ecologically and conscious, it focuses on local culture and adventure. Belize's eco-tourism is growing with every passing year, it boasts a number of eco-tourist tours and energy efficient hotels, with environmentally-conscious and renewable resources. Popular eco-tourism destinations in Belize include the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, the Community Baboon Sanctuary. Antelope Falls in Mayflower Bocawina National Park Mayflower Bocawina Falls in Mayflower Bocawina National Park Big Rock Falls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of the Cayo District Butterfly Falls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of the Cayo District Five Sisters Falls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of the Cayo District Rio Blanco Falls Rio On Pools San Antonio Falls Thousand Foot Falls 150-foot in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of the Cayo District Before the arrival of Europeans in America, Belize lay in the heartland of the Maya civilisation, contains some of the earliest and most important Maya ruins.
Archaeological findings at Caracol, in the southern end of the country, have suggested that it formed the centre of political struggles in the southern Maya lowlands. The complex covered an area much larger than present-day Belize City and supported more than twice the modern city's population. Meanwhile, Lamanai, in the north, is known for being the longest continually-occupied site in Mesoamerica, settled during the early Preclassic era and continuously occupied up to and during the area's colonisation. While the majority of reserves under this category are related to the pre-colonial era, Serpon Sugar Mill and Yarborough Cemetery, both designated in 2009, only date from the 19th century and are alternatively described as historical reserves; the country's 15 archaeological sites are managed by the Institute of Archaeology, a
Geography of Belize
Belize is a small Central American nation, located at 17°15' north of the equator and 88°45' west of the Prime Meridian on the Yucatán Peninsula. It borders the Caribbean Sea to the east, with 386 km of coastline, it has a total of 542 km of land borders—Mexico to the north-northwest and Guatemala to the south-southwest. Belize's total size is 22,966 km ². Belize is the only country in Central America without a Pacific coastline. Many coral reefs and islands to the east—such as Ambergris Caye, Lighthouse Reef, Glover's Reef, the Turneffe Islands—are part of Belize's territory, forming the Belize Barrier Reef, the longest in the western hemisphere stemming 322 km and the second longest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. Belize's largest river is the eponymous Belize River. Belize's lowest elevation is at sea level, its highest point is Doyle's Delight at 1,124 m. The climate in Belize is tropical, with a rainy season from June to November and a dry season from January to May. Natural hazards include hurricanes and coastal flooding in the south.
Topographical feature divide the Belizean landscape into two main physiographic regions. The most visually striking of these regions is distinguished by the Maya Mountains and the associated basins and plateaus that dominate all but the narrow coastal plain in the southern half of the country; the mountains rise to heights of about 1,100 metres, with the highest point being Doyle's Delight in the Cockscomb Range, a spur of the Maya Mountains in Western Belize. Covered with shallow erodible soils of low fertility, these forested highlands are sparsely inhabited; the second region comprises the northern lowlands, along with the southern coastal plain. Eighteen major rivers and many perennial streams drain these low-lying areas; the coastline is flat and swampy, with many lagoons in the northern and central parts of the country. Westward from the northern coastal areas, the terrain changes from mangrove swamp to tropical pine savanna and hardwood forest. Belize claims an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles.
From the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nmi. Belize is the only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean; the interlocking networks of rivers and lagoons have played a key role in the historical geography of Belize. The largest and most important river is the Belize River, which drains more than one-quarter of the country as it winds along the northern edge of the Maya Mountains across the center of the country to the sea near Belize City. Known as the Old River, the Belize River is navigable up to the Guatemalan border and served as the main artery of commerce and communication between the interior and the coast until well into the twentieth century. Other important rivers include the Sibun River, which drains the northeastern edge of the Maya Mountains, the New River, which flows through the northern sugar-growing areas before emptying into Chetumal Bay. Both of these river valleys possess fertile alluvial soils and have supported considerable cultivation and human settlement.
Belize has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons, although there are significant variations in weather patterns by region. Temperatures vary according to elevation, proximity to the coast, the moderating effects of the northeast trade winds off the Caribbean. Average temperatures in the coastal regions range from 24 °C in January to 27 °C in July. Temperatures are higher inland, except for the southern highland plateaus, such as the Mountain Pine Ridge, where it is noticeably cooler year round. Overall, the seasons are marked more by differences in humidity and rainfall than in temperature. Average rainfall varies ranging from 1,350 millimeters in the north and west to over 4,500 millimeters in the extreme south. Seasonal differences in rainfall are greatest in the northern and central regions of the country where, between January and April or May, fewer than 100 millimeters of rain fall per month; the dry season is shorter in the south only lasting from February to April. A shorter, less rainy period, known locally as the "little dry," occurs in late July or August, after the initial onset of the rainy season.
Hurricanes have played a devastating role in Belizean history. In 1931 an unnamed hurricane destroyed over two-thirds of the buildings in Belize City and killed more than 1,000 people. In 1955 Hurricane Janet leveled the northern town of Corozal. Six years Hurricane Hattie struck the central coastal area of the country, with winds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour and 4-meter storm tides; the devastation of Belize City for the second time in thirty years prompted the relocation of the capital some 80 kilometers inland to the planned city of Belmopan. A hurricane that devastated Belize was Hurricane Greta, which caused more than US$25 million in damages along the southern coast in 1978. There was a period of 20 years that Belize was considered as a hurricane-free zone by many until Hurricane Mitch caused quite a stir and gave rise to hurricane awareness and the National Emergency Management Organization. Two years Tropical Storm Chantal an
Banana production in Belize
Banana production in Belize accounted for 16 percent of total Belizean exports in 1999. Banana production was aided in the 1990s by market and production. Banana production in Belize fluctuates, falling from 68,000 tons in 1994 to 45,000 tons in 1995 before rising back to 78,000 tons in 1999. Banana production in Belize began in the late nineteenth century when it was a British colony, when American and British investors established the first plantations. Over the last 70 years, the pattern of banana production has shifted away from large scale American and British owned company production to smaller-scale localised indigenous farming targeted at the European market; the Banana trade began between New Orleans. Commerce was wiped out in the 1920s by an outbreak of the Panama disease. Plantations were destroyed again by hurricanes in 1975 and 1978; the subsequent takeover of banana cultivation by the Banana Control Board, a public enterprise, had the effect of further inhibiting production. By mid-1985, the Banana Control Board had accumulated debts of US$9 million.
The government reacted to the plight of the board by selling the 880 hectares under cultivation to the private sector. Five years banana production had tripled, the cultivated area had increased to more than 2,400 hectares; the Banana Control Board was retained the responsibility for marketing and research. In 1991 responsibility for the board was passed to the Banana Growers' Association. Britain was the exclusive importer of Belizean bananas. Marketing of exports was handled by Fyffes, an Irish subsidiary of the United States company, United Fruit; the special provisions of the Lomé Convention's Banana Protocol allowed Britain to guarantee artificially high prices for bananas to the beneficiaries of the protocol. These prices were above prices in the United States and Germany; the purpose of this special provision was to protect the central export crop of some of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, members of the Commonwealth of Nations, from ruinous competition from low-cost producers in Latin America.
The preferential access to EEC markets provided by the Lomé Convention was under advisement in 1991 by the EEC in connection with its single-European-market program. It appeared that Belize would be better prepared for a drop in prices than would the islands of the Lesser Antilles, as Belizean producers received far lower prices through the protocol than did their Caribbean neighbors. New port facilities at Big Creek in southern Stann Creek District were expected to increase banana exports; until 1990 Belizean bananas had had to go through Puerto Cortés, which added to overhead. Fyffes financed the construction of Big Creek, Belize's only deep-water port; this port was designed to serve as the main shipment point for Belizean bananas. Between 1989 and 1991, banana production was hampered by cold weather and black sigatoka disease, production was expected to double in 1992 because of the new port, better disease control, improved drainage and irrigation systems; the susceptibility of bananas to disease and possible changes in Belize's preferential access to the British market were factors that could limit growth in this sector.
In 2013, the U. S. Department of Labor's report on the worst forms of child labor estimated that working children aged 5 to 14 represented 8.3% of Belize's population which corresponds to around 7,000 children engaged in child labor in the agricultural sector. Harvesting bananas is one of the activities mentioned in the DOL report. Belize was once again classified as one of the 74 countries with significant incidence of child labor in a 2014 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor published by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs; the U. S. Department of Labor added that "important gaps remain in the country's legal framework on the worst forms of child labor and the impact of many of the Government's development and education policies and programs on child labor remains unknown." This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/
The Belize dollar is the official currency in Belize. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively BZ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies, it is divided into 100 cents. The official value is pegged at 2 BZ$ = 1 US$; the first dollars to circulate in British Honduras were Spanish dollars, some of which were counterstamped with the monogram of a crowned –G-R– They circulated between 1765 and 1825 at a value of 6 shillings 8 pence. I.e. one third of a pound sterling. In 1825, an imperial order-in-council was passed for the purpose of introducing the British sterling coinage into all the British colonies; this order-in-council made sterling coinage legal tender. This exchange rate was supposed to be based on the value of the silver in the Spanish dollars as compared to the value of the gold in the British sovereigns; the realistic exchange rate would have been $4.80 = £1, so the unrealistic exchange rate, contained in the 1825 order-in-council led to the initiative being a failure.
Remedial legislation came about in 1838 with a new order-in-council, which did not apply to the British North American colonies due to minor rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. The 1838 legislation introduced the correct rating of $1 = 4s 2d; when the original order-in-council of 1825 was introduced in Jamaica and British Honduras, the local authorities set aside the mistaken rating of $1 = 4s 4d, they unofficially used the alternative rating of $1 = 4s. The Bahamas would adopt this same approach; when the 1838 remedial legislation came into force, sterling was well established in these territories, the Spanish dollar had been barred from circulation, the authorities had no desire to adopt the devaluation that would have been associated with the correct rating of $1 = 4s 2d. The British shilling, referred to locally as a'Maccaroni', was equal to one quarter of a dollar, the system was working satisfactorily. For a period in the middle of the nineteenth century British Honduras operated the British sterling monetary system just like Jamaica and Bermuda.
In the wake of the international silver crisis of 1873 the silver peso of neighbouring Guatemala drove the British currency out of circulation. In an attempt to return British Honduras to the gold standard, influenced by the fact that most imports were coming from New Orleans in the United States, a new currency was introduced into British Honduras based on the US dollar, bringing British Honduras into line with Canada. At that time, the Canadian dollar was on the gold standard, one Canadian dollar was equal to one American dollar; this is the point where the currency history of British Honduras diverges from that of the rest of the British West Indies. In 1885, 1 cent coins were issued, followed by higher denominations in 1894; this year saw the first issue of banknotes by the government and a switch from the silver Guatemalan peso to the gold U. S. dollar as the base for the currency, with $4.866 = 1 pound. The rate of $4.866 as opposed to $4.80 is explained by the fact that when the US dollar was first created in 1792, it was based on the average weight of a selection of worn Spanish dollars.
Hence, the US dollar was at a slight discount in relation to the Spanish dollar. Following the introduction of the US dollar gold standard to British Honduras, the 25 cent coins were referred to as shillings due to their closeness in value to shilling sterling; when the United Kingdom abandoned the gold standard in 1931 the British Honduras dollar continued with its attachment to the US dollar and as such it did not become part of the sterling bloc. At the outbreak of the second world war, unlike in the case of Canada and Hong Kong, British Honduras did join the sterling area though it maintained its fixed exchange rate with respect to the US dollar; the sterling bloc should not be confused with the sterling area. The former was a group of countries who pegged their local currencies to sterling when the United Kingdom abandoned the gold standard in 1931, whereas the latter was an exchange control arrangement introduced as an emergency measure at the outbreak of the second world war. In 1949 the British pound was devalued from US$4.03 to US$2.80.
Since the British Honduras dollar was pegged to the US dollar, this caused a sudden increase in the value of the British Honduran dollar relative to the pound. Protests ensued which led to a devaluation of the British Honduran dollar to a value of 70 U. S. cents. Following Harold Wilson's devaluation of sterling in November 1967, the British Honduran dollar again devalued in sympathy with the British pound to 60 US cents. In 1978, the link to the British pound of BZ$4 = £1 was abandoned and once again the Belize unit was pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of BZ$2 = US$1; this new rate which still continues today, reflects the devaluation of 50% in relation to the original parity with the US dollar in 1885, which last applied in 1949. In 1885, bronze 1 cent coins were introduced, followed by silver 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents in 1894; these coins were minted at the Royal Mint and their style was similar to that of other British colonial dollar fractional coinage used in Hong Kong and Canada. Cupronickel replaced silver in the 5 cents in 1907.
This was itself replaced by nickel-brass in 1942. In 1952, cupro-nickel replaced silver in the 25 cent coins, with the same happening for the 50 and 10 cents in 1954 and 1956, respectively. Following a reduction in size in 1954, the 1 cent coin switched to a scalloped shape in 1956. In 1976, aluminium 1 and 5 cent coins were introduced. A nickel-brass, decagonal 1 dollar c