Understanding Belize: A Historical Guide


240 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-1-55017-325-1
DDC 972.8205






Reviewed by J.H. Galloway

J.H. Galloway is a geography professor at the University of Toronto.


Belize, the former colony of British Honduras, has been an independent country and member of the Commonwealth since 1983. It lies along the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and east of Guatemala. There are now some 250,000 Belizeans made up of an extraordinary mix of people of Mayan, African, East Indian, Chinese, European, and Garinagu origin. Ethnicity thus sets Belize apart from both the Caribbean and Central America.


Formal British administration began in the early 19th century. A poor colony on the margins of empire, Belize was seldom visited. It was only with the advent of tropical medicine and cheap air travel that Belize became a popular tourist destination.


Understanding Belize contains some geographical information, a couple of simple maps, a few illustrations, a history of Belize from Mayan times to the present, and a description of the local attractions. The book, which is not a scholarly study, is recommended to prospective tourists.


Twigg, Alan, “Understanding Belize: A Historical Guide,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/33072.