Volunteer in Belize

Experience life as a marine conservationist and discover the amazing wildlife Belize has to offer!

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The famous ‘Blue Hole’ off the coast of Belize.     Photo credit: Tami Freed, Shutterstock

About Belize

Belize is a country on the north-eastern coast of Central America which is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the south and by the Caribbean Sea to the east.  Belmopan is the capital, although Belize City is the largest city, and English is the official language spoken, although other languages are also widely spoken.  The Belize dollar is the currency used by the country’s 330,000 residents. Belize is known for its dense tropical forests and productive marine ecosystems, including the world’s second largest reef system.  It’s also home to the ‘Blue Hole’, which is considered to be one of the best SCUBA diving destinations in the world!

Highlights

  • Dive in the incredible Blue Hole and on Belize’s vast and abundant coral reef systems.
  • Marvel at ancient ruins from Belize’s fascinating Mayan past.
  • Take a safari into the lush tropical jungle.

Climate and Geography

Belize has a tropical climate, which is generally very hot and humid.  Its rainy season lasts from May to November, with a dry season occurring between February to May. It is also a relatively small country, most of which is undeveloped and covered with forests.  However, its coast has a swampy coastal plain that is dominated by mangrove swamps, while the interior contains many hills and low mountains.  The undulating courses of two rivers, the Hondo and the Sarstoon, define much of the country’s northern and southern borders.

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Map of North America depicting Belize.     Image credit: d-maps.com.

Culture and Religion

Belize has a rich and diverse culture.  While Hispanics are the most widespread group, there are also a considerable number of people with Mestizo, Mayan, Anglo-European, Creole, Asian, Garifuna and Middle Eastern ancestries.  Each of these groups has brought its own distinct influence with it to the country.  The culinary choices in Belize reflect the diversity in culture – from spicy to cool, from savoury to rich, and including local game as well as foods from neighbouring countries. Christianity is the main religion of Belize, with Catholicism being the largest single denomination in the country.

Wildlife and Environment

Belize forms part of the Mesoamerican Biodiversity hotspot, with more than 40% of the country under formal protection and nearly 75% remaining under forest cover.  Its waters are also largely unpolluted. The country’s impressive Barrier Reef extends from a few hundred meters to nearly 40 kilometers offshore, stretching 250 kilometers from one end to the other.  This huge ecosystem consists of a complex network of lagoons, mangrove swamps, deltas and sea grass beds which cover the sandy bottom between the shore and the reef.  The reef itself protects the country from storms and supports a diverse array of marine wildlife, including soft and hard corals, sponges and numerous fish species.  Larger fish species include Barracuda, Nurse Shark and Hammerhead Sharks.

Click here to see how you can work as a marine conservation volunteer in Belize!