Once a British colony, Belize is a flat, swampy nation located between Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Although there is still much dispute concerning the specific borders of Belize with Guatemala, their location makes them subject to many hurricanes that often destroy the costal plain. Though Belize gained its independence in 1981, it continues to be an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations and maintains the British monarch as the head of state. While its constitution guarantees widespread media freedoms, Belize continues to be one of few countries without a daily newspaper.

Tourism reaps the highest amount of revenue for this Latin American nation, though Belize has recently been added to the list of countries known to produce large amounts of illegal drugs and has become associated with the Mexican drug cartels. Though English is the official language, most Belizeans speak Spanish due to the increased Mestizo population--those who have Mayan and Spanish ancestry--in the 1980s. Creoles make up one quarter of the population, and a Creole dialect of English is also popularly spoken. More than four out of ten people in Belize live in poverty, and the family structure has been decimated, with many children orphaned or left to support themselves.

The majority of Belizeans profess Christianity but often combine it with other religious practices including superstitions, paganism, and black magic. This diluted form of Christianity is exemplified by the ten percent of people who attend church weekly, and the 70% of pastors who are bivocational. Belize is a common destination for short-term mission trips, and while this provides many benefits to the nation such as reading skills, healthcare, and childcare, it also causes a dependent and reliant spirit amongst the nationals.

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