The use of the masculine gender has been adopted for ease of reading and has no discriminatory intent.
Exploration in solidarity lands
Belize is a tiny Central American country nestled between Mexico and Guatemala that gained its independence in 1981. Its small population (340,000 inhabitants) is composed of several communities, but the Mestizos represent almost 50% of the population.
Although the country is experiencing positive economic growth, there are still high levels of poverty and income disparity both between communities and between regions. This situation is, among other things, due to the growth of the tourist industry which concentrates its activities along the coral reef and its 127 islands. Logging, which has long been the basis of the Belizean economy, has developed to the detriment of certain communities, particularly the Maya.
The Maya are among the poorest communities in the country, whose territory and way of life have long been threatened by oil and logging companies. Today, despite agreements with the governments, this community has difficulty to recognized its ancestral rights. The Garifunas, resulting from the interbreeding of escaped African slaves and the indigenous people of Caribbean, are also a community of great interest. Despite a certain assimilation of their culture with that of the Creoles, they have managed to preserve their tradition which is a mixture of African and Caribbean culture.
Belize has an extraordinary biodiversity but it is greatly weakened by deforestation. The awareness of this has led to the establishment of many protected areas. This protection of the environment associated with a more respectful tourist development of the communities could make it possible to improve the living conditions of the latter.