BELIZE – Celebrating Independence Day of September 21st , 2011 !

Belize Celebrates Independence Day

Independence Day in Belize is a public holiday.

September 21

Belize celebrates Independence Day as a public holiday.

‘Though Belize is technically Central America, that English-speaking microstate has a history that is fairly distinct from that of the other states in the region. At present this tiny republic, which only became formally independent from Great-Britain in 1981, does not figure significantly in the ‘Central American’ problem’ (1993:3).

Every year on 21 September,

Belize celebrates the anniversary of its Independence from Great Britain.

History of Belize Independence Day

The Europeans arrived in the 1500s and the Mayas still lived in the area during that time. Spanish colonists abandoned their efforts to settle in the area of Belize because the Mayas resisted to be colonized.

The English pirates first settled on the coast of Belize in 1638 because it’s an ideal place to launch its attacks on Spanish ships. However, during the 1700s, settlers gave up on buccaneering and turned to cutting logwood instead. Spain granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area as long as they do not return to their buccaneering ways.

The settlement in Belize was not initially recognized as a colony by the British government. However, it allowed the settlers to establish their own laws and forms of government. It was only in 1786 when the British first appointed an administrator oversee the area.

The Spanish tried to solidify its claim of sovereignty over the whole of Central America and it even tried to gain control of Belize by force over Belize. Unfortunately, Spain was not successful. The people of Belize finally defeated the Spanish at the Battle of St. George’s Cay on September 10, 1798.

The British claimed the rights to administer the region in 1836 after most of the colonies of Spain were emancipated. In 1862, Great Britain formally named it British Honduras and declared it as a British colony.

George Cadle Price (born January 15, 1919) was the first Prime Minister of Belize and is considered the architect of that country’s independence. Born in Belize City, he entered politics in 1947 with his election to the Belize City Council. Three years later, on September 29, 1950, he cofounded the People’s United Party, which he led for four decades and which was devoted to the political and economic independence of the Britishcolony then known as British Honduras.

In 1954, constitutional reforms were started and this resulted in a new constitution after ten years. So in 1964, Britain granted British Honduras self-government and George Price—became the colony’s prime minister.

British Honduras officially became Belize in 1973.

Belize Independence Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally
Official Independence Day Diplomatic Event
June 24, 2011
U.S. Embassy

Good Evening

It’s my privilege and honor to welcome you as we celebrate the two hundred and thirty-fifth anniversary of the United States of America.

Two hundred and thirty-five years is a long time — a long history. Tonight, I would like to talk about a few episodes from that history and to acknowledge another important anniversary: the thirtieth anniversary of the independence of Belize.

Seeing that this is the thirty year mark for Belize, I thought it would be interesting to see what was happening in America thirty years after its independence.

To be exact, the year was 1804, 28 years after US independence.
Two sworn enemies meet in the back woods of rural New Jersey. They face each other. Pistols are drawn and fired. One man is fatally wounded. This is the story of the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury, whose face is on the ten dollar bill, to this day, while Aaron Burr was the Vice President of the United States.
This is not a scene from a Wild West movie. This really happened. It is a true story. It was a time of chaos, when democracy was weak, and, yes, when a disagreement could be settled by a duel.

The story of Aaron Burr has an interesting connection to my own family history. Believe it or not — my wife, Barbara, is a descendent of Aaron Burr. I think it is a fascinating story that my wife, who is related to a man from a dark past, is now representing the United States, but these are far more enlightened times. It reminds us that while our history helps to shape who we are, it does not dictate our future.

And similar to the Aaron Burr story, U.S. history has had many such periods of intense struggle and chaos. The struggle for Independence. The Civil War. The Civil Rights Movement, just to name a few. Because of these challenges, and through hard work and perseverance, the American people endured and moved forward to become a better nation.

As Belize celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, it does not suffer from the sort of chaos that the United States did back then. Now, in modern times, Belize is part of a far more interconnected world community. The threats of transnational crime, drug-related violence, human trafficking, and corruption are real in Belize, but they are real in the United States, as well as throughout the region.

Together we are facing these threats; together we work for change; and together—as a community of nations, we can accomplish our goals and build a brighter future.
An excellent example of this “togetherness” is taking place outside our two countries. Members of the Belize Defence Force Light Engineer Company and the Louisiana National Guard are still in Haiti assisting with the reconstruction efforts after the earthquake there. We commend their service to the world community.

And while the United States celebrates its two hundred and thirty-fifth anniversary and Belize celebrates its thirtieth,
the U.S. Peace Corps celebrates fifty years of promoting peace and friendship around the world.

As of today, Belize has hosted over 1,800 Peace Corps volunteers. 1800, ladies and gentlemen. They’ve volunteered to assist communities, while gaining a better understanding of Belizeans and Belizean culture. Friendships have been formed that will last a lifetime.

You may not know this, but several members of the Embassy’s staff were once Peace Corps volunteers. Our Management Officer, Mr. Philip Wilson, served in Nicaragua. Our Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Jack Diffily, served in Kenya.

They are outstanding examples of Peace Corps volunteers.
Philip notes that his time in Nicaragua changed him, his views, and his life. As for Jack, forty years later, Sorry Jack! I just gave away your age. He still keeps in touch with his fellow volunteers as well as his friends in Kenya.

It is this kind of partnership and friendship that will bring about the change we all want. Evidence of this friendship is in this room tonight.

President Obama articulated this very well in March while visiting Chile. The President stated, “This is progress we can achieve together. This is the spirit of partnership and equality to which the United States is committed. I am confident, that working together, there is nothing we cannot achieve.”

I ask all of you to raise a glass and join me in this toast.
May we all endure and prosper TOGETHER. Cheers!


Yakarelis Hernandez was selected as Miss San Pedro 2011-2012 on Saturday, September 3, 2011.
September Celebrations in Belize. More at

Independence Day include activities like flag raising ceremonies, carnival and music making. There are street dancing, sumptuous Caribbean foods to be enjoyed and the coronation of Miss San Pedro.

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sends our blessings to all the Women of our World, and their families in Belize.

Celebrate Independence!

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