Location: Located in the heart of Central America, Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Belize consists of a land area of 8,867 square miles and is known for having the longest living Barrier Reef in the world that stretches out along its Eastern Coast.
Climate: The overall climate of Belize can be described as sub-tropical. The mean annual humidity is 83% but there are many days when the humidity is masked by the cooling sea breezes.
Temperatures in Belize range from 50ºF to 95ºF with an annual mean of 79ºF. November to January is traditionally the coolest time of the year with a 75ºF average; May to September is the warmest at about 81ºF average. However, because of the high percentage of humidity, the real feel is usually about 20-30 degrees above the actual temperature.
Belize has two seasons: wet and dry. The onset of dry season varies widely from year to year, but once the onset of dry season commences, the actual amount of rain falling during the “dry” is a predictable amount. Locals can usually predict the amount of rain that will fall during this time. While the number of rainy days varies considerably from place to place, as a general rule, the higher the average rainfall, the greater the departure from the norm.
This does not mean that it will be like that the rest of the year. As a general rule, the higher the average rainfall, the greater are the departures from the norm. The number of rainy days varies considerably from place to place.
Conditions: Tourism facilities vary in quality. From a limited number of business-class hotels in Belize City, to resorts on the Cayes, to a range of ecotourism lodges providing very basic, countryside accommodations, Belize offers a variety of places to stay for every traveler’s budget and scenic preference. Crime is a growing concern.
Safety & Security: Visitors should exercise caution and good judgment when visiting Belize. Crime can be a serious problem particularly in Belize City and remote areas. Road accidents are common. Public buses and taxis are frequently in poor condition and lack safety equipment. Medical care is limited .While the border between Belize and Guatemala is in dispute, but the conflict thus far has not affected travel between the two countries. There have not been any reported terrorist activities in Belize.
Population: According to the the 2010 Belize Population Census, Belize’s population is 321,115 persons. Latinos are the largest group, which account for 50% of the population. Creoles accounted for 21%, Maya and Garifuna make up 10%. The number of Garifunas and East Indians remained at their 2000 levels. About 19 thousand persons or 6% of the population claimed to be of mixed ethnic origin.
Observers frequently note that Belizeans are a particularly religious people. By 1980 almost the entire population had declared a specific religious preference. Indeed, religious institutions were a ubiquitous presence in Belize, especially in the school system which the Roman Catholic Church and the state managed together. Belize was no longer the intense battleground between competing missionary denominations that it had been in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nonetheless, numerous foreign missionaries (mostly evangelical Protestants from the United States) worked in the country in the 1980s.
Religion was strongly - but not exclusively - associated with ethnicity and region. Catholicism unified most Mestizos, Maya and Garifuna. Most Creoles were either Anglican or Methodist, but a significant number converted to Roman Catholicism, mainly because of proselytization in Roman Catholic schools. Roman Catholics made up at least 70 percent of the population of all districts, but in Belize City and environs, they made up only 43 percent of the population. In the last two decades, however, Evangelical Protestant groups have been particularly successful in making inroads among Creoles, Mestizos and Maya in Corozal, Orange Walk and Cayo districts.
A wide range of smaller denominations also flourished in Belize. These groups included Mormons, fundamentalist Protestants, Hindus, and Bahais. Among the Creoles and the Garifuna, there were also small but socially significant Black Muslim and Rastafarian communities.
Of the country’s nine major religious groups, the Roman Catholicism is the largest, 40% of the population claim to be followers. Pentecostalism is the second largest religion which has seen an increase from 7.4% to 8.5% of the population. The number of persons who said they did not belong to any religion doubled. This group is larger than any of the main religions except Roman Catholicism.
While the people’s response to the gospel has been fair, a true conversion and walk with the Lord does not take place because there is no one here to disciple new believers. That is why we feel so strongly to go and build relationships with the people, not to simply preach to them, but rather to show them through personal relationship and discipleship how to live a life for Jesus Christ.
The Devil is ever fearful of who might immerge from the next generation—perhaps another Moses or Billy Graham. One of the main strategies the devil is using to stop the Lord’s army from destroying his kingdom of darkness is to stunt the growth of God’s army. He is doing this by killing and hindering the development of God’s chosen people, and has placed children in the bull’s eye of his evil target. Let’s take a look at how the devil tries to attack children:
Belize has been reported to have the highest rate of population infected by the AIDS virus in Central America—third highest in the Caribbean (Ref. Belizeans Network and National AIDS Commission, Belize). 4.8 Percent of the total population is infected with the virus, not to mention the children who are being neglected and eventually orphaned due to the fatal disease.
- Since 2006, over 25 million children have been orphaned by aids. Ref. Viva Network, Celebrating the World’s Children)
- Between 2001-2003, 15 million children lost at least one parent to aids—this number has nearly quadrupled.
- About one third of babies born with HIV- infected mothers acquire the infection, and of these infected, about 80% will die by the age of five (Ref. IBID)
- Every day 126,000 babies are aborted
- Every month 4 million are aborted
- Every year 46 million are aborted
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
The world’s population is estimated to be 6.6 billion, 2.2 billion are under the age of fifteen. Experts estimated that one billion children will be born in the next 10 years; over 90% of them will live under very poor circumstances. (UN.)
Out of 2.2 billion children in the world today 1.9 billion live in developing countries, out of that amount 1 billion of these live in poverty and are deprived of at least one of six amenities that the UNICEF regard as basic rights:
- Health Care
According to the UN there are over 200 million children who live or work on the streets. By the year 2020, the number of street children worldwide will reach 800 million.
What are street children? The UNICEF defines street children in three different ways:
- Children who have to work on the street because their families need the money to survive.
- Children from poor families who sleep on the streets.
- Children that are abandoned or orphans, whose parents have died because of illness or war.
CHILDREN AT WAR
There are over 300,000 children soldiers, some as young as eight years old. More than two million children are estimated to have died as a direct result of armed conflict over the last decade. Over six million have been seriously injured or permanently disabled. What do children lose in war?
- Physical safety
- Moral development
- Their innocence