belize languages

In Belize, the official language used by the government and in schools is English. Much of the population, however, speaks Creole (often spelled Kriol), a distinct dialect that is used by locals for everyday conversations. Being located in Central America, Belize also has a lot of Spanish speakers and Spanish is a mandatory course for all schools in the country. Once the heartland of the Maya Empire, many Belizeans today speak dialects of the Mayan tongue.

In the northern Orange Walk and Corozal Districts close to the Mexican border, as well as the western Cayo District that borders Guatemala, Spanish is widely spoken. In the southernmost districts of Stann Creek and Toledo, many people’s first language is either Mayan or the Garifuna tongue.

Languages Spoken in Belize

Depending on where you go, it’s possible to hear local Belizeans speaking:

  • English
  • Creole (Kriol)
  • Three different Mayan dialects
  • Arabic
  • Hindi
  • Mennonite German (Plattdeutsch)
  • Garifuna
  • Spanish
  • Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)

Religion in Belize

Most people in Belize are strongly religious. The majority of the population follows the Roman Catholic faith but centuries of British rule have led to some populations being members of the Anglican or other forms of Protestant Christianity. A small but distinct minority of German-Swiss Mennonites follow that faith.

Population of Belize

The population of Belize is approximately 355,000 people. Due to its unique history, Belize is now a harmonious blend of different cultures, including the Maya, the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people), Creoles, Mestizos (from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico), East Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, German-Swiss Mennonites, and expats from North America and Europe.

The Yok Ha Island Resort

Located just eight miles off the coast of Dangriga in southeastern Belize, the Yok Ha Island Resort is the perfect location to stay and learn about the country’s many cultures. Dangriga is the unofficial capital of the Garifuna culture and Yok Ha is within easy reach of some of the most important Maya and Creole villages.