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Encyclopedia > Belmopan
City of Belmopán
Belmopan, looking from the National Assembly Building
Nickname: "The Garden City"
Motto: "City of Promise"
Map of Belmopan metropolitan area
Coordinates: 17°15′5″N, 88°46′1″W
Country Belize
District Cayo
Founded 1970
Mayor of Belmopan Simeon López
Area  
 - City km²
Elevation 76 m  (250 ft)
Population  
 - City (2004) 12,300
Time zone Central (UTC-6)

Belmopan, estimated population 12,300, is the capital of Belize. Image File history File links Belmopan. ... // A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or things real name (for example, Bob, Rob, Robby, Robbie, Robi, Bobby, Rab, Bert, Bertie, Butch, Bobbers, Bobert, Beto, Bobadito, and Robban (in Sweden), are all short for Robert). ... A motto is a phrase or a short list of words meant formally to describe the general motivation or intention of an entity, social group, or organization. ... Image File history File links Belmopan_map. ... This is an alphabetical list of countries of the world, including both internationally recognized and generally unrecognized independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... Belize is divided into 6 districts. ... The Cayo District is a district in the west of the nation of Belize. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning larger,greater) is in modern times the title of the highest ranking municipal officer, who discharges certain judicial and administrative functions, in many systems an elected politician, who serves as chief executive and/or ceremonial official of many types of municipalities. ... Area is a physical quantity expressing the size of a part of a surface. ... Square kilometre (US spelling: Square kilometer), symbol km², is an SI unit of surface area. ... Basic Definition In geography, the elevation of a geographic location is its height above mean sea level (or some other fixed point). ... The metre, or meter (US), is a measure of length. ... A foot (plural: feet) is any of several old units of distance or length, measuring around a quarter to a third of a meter. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A time zone is a region of the Earth that has adopted the same standard time, usually referred to as the local time. ...  CDT or UTC-5 The Central Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting six hours from UTC during standard time (UTC-6) and five hours during daylight saving time (UTC-5). ... Central Standard Time ... In politics, a capital (also called capital city or political capital — although the latter phrase has an alternative meaning based on an alternative sense of capital) is the principal city or town associated with its government. ...


Belmopan is located at 17°15′N 88°46′W, at an altitude of 76 meters (250 ft) above sea level. Belmopan was constructed just to the east of Belize River, 80 km (50 miles) inland from the former capital, the port of Belize City, after that city's near destruction by a hurricane in 1961. The government was moved to Belmopan in 1970. The National Assembly Building is designed to resemble a Pre-Columbian Maya temple. Belmopan is located off of the Hummingbird Highway, one of the most picturesque highways in all of Central America. Belmopan is one of the world's smaller capital cities. A foot (plural: feet) is any of several old units of distance or length, measuring around a quarter to a third of a meter. ... Belize River is a 180-mile (290 km) river in Belize that drains more than one-quarter of the country as it winds along the northern edge of the Maya Mountains across the center of the country to the sea near Belize City. ... A mile is the name of a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Memorial Park, Belize City The Swing Bridge, Belize City Belize City is the largest city in and former capital of the Central American nation of Belize. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... The term Pre-Columbian is used to refer to the cultures of the New World in the era before significant European influence. ... The Maya civilization is a historical Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, its spectacular art and monumental architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems. ... The Hummingbird Highway as seen from atop the Blue Hole NP Observation tower The Hummingbird Highway is one of the four major highways in Belize. ...

Contents

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History

After Hurricane Hattie, with winds of up to 300 km/h, and following the destruction of approximately 75% of the houses and business places in Belize City, the government of the day in its manifesto for the year 1961, entitled "PUP for Progress" (PUP is the People's United Party), proposed to encourage and promote the building of a new capital city. This new capital would be situated on better terrain, would entail no costly reclamation of land, and would also provide for an industrial area. In 1962, a committee chose the site now known as Belmopan, located 82 kilometres (51 miles) west of the old capital of Belize City. Belmopan is 76 metres (250 ft) above sea level, near the Belize River Valley, with an imposing view of the majestic Mountain Pine Ridge foothills. It boasts cool climate conditions at night. In 1964, since Belize was still a colony (known as British Honduras), Premier George Price led a delegation to London in the United Kingdom to seek funds to finance the new capital. Although they were not ready to commit to funding such a large project, the British government showed interest due to the logic of locating the capital on high ground safe from tidal waves. In order to encourage financial commitment from the British Government, Premier Price and the PUP government invited Mr. Anthony Greenwood, Secretary of State for the Commonwealth and Colonies to visit Belize. Hurricane Hattie was a powerful hurricane that hit Central America on Halloween, 1961. ... The Peoples United Party is the ruling Christian Democratic political party of Belize. ... Land reclamation is either of two distinct practices. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Flag of British Honduras British Honduras was the former name of a British colony on the east coast of Central America just to the south-east of Mexico, now the independent nation of Belize. ... George Price may refer to: George Cadle Price (born 1919), former prime minister of Belize George Lawrence Price (1898 — 1918), the last Commonwealth soldier killed in combat during the First World War. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom. ... Anthony Greenwood, 1st Baron Greenwood (1911–1982) was a prominent British Labour Party politician in the 1950s and 1960s. ... The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet official in charge of managing the various British colonies. ...


One of the highlights of this visit was the unveiling of a monument at mile 49 on the Western Highway. The monument records that Lord Greenwood dedicated the site for the new capital on October 9, 1965. Thus in a fashion there was a commitment. The name chosen for the new capital -- Belmopan -- is derived from union of two words: "Belize", the name of the longest river in the country, and "Mopan", one of the rivers in this area, which empties into the Belize River. The initial estimated cost for building this new city was forty million Belize dollars (twenty million U.S. dollars), however, only twenty million Belize dollars (ten million U.S. dollars) were available, but the momentum was not to be lost. In 1967, work began; the first phase of the new city was completed in 1970 at a cost of 24,000,000 Belize dollars (12,000,000 U.S. dollars). From 1970 to 2000 the administration of Belmopan was managed by the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, known as "Recondev". Recondev was vested with the power and authority to provide, or cause to be provided, the municipal functions necessary for the smooth running of the city's business and infrastructure. October 9 is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Belize River is a 180-mile (290 km) river in Belize that drains more than one-quarter of the country as it winds along the northern edge of the Maya Mountains across the center of the country to the sea near Belize City. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... This article is about the year 2000. ...

Belmopan Parliament House
Belmopan Parliament House

There was a reluctance initially amongst foreign governments to relocate their embassies to Belmopan as there was some doubt as to whether this inland area would really become the functioning capital of Belize. In February 2005, the United States government broke ground and started building a new United States Embassy in Belmopan, 43 years after Belmopan was chosen as the new capital city. The construction of the U.S. Embassy is slated to be completed in late 2006. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy continues to operate out of Belize City. Belmopan, Belize House of Parliament. ... Belmopan, Belize House of Parliament. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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Social and community activities

The City Council promotes Belmopan as "The Garden City". This emphasizes the city's physical environment with flowering shrubs and trees in abundance and scenic vistas at almost every turn. This includes strategically placing the necessary signs at the entrance of the City to make it look inviting to visitors. Driveways into the City and business and entertainment zones will be brightly lit. Parks and recreational areas will be developed making them more attractive for residents and visitors. The Council intends to embark on a privatization scheme for the maintenance of parks, playgrounds and greens as a way to create a greater ownership of the assets of the City by its residents. The areas around the hills will be developed as scenic areas. There will be provisions to attract more libraries, hospitals, health centers, dental clinics, etc. Security is a priority for the City Council. The Council recognizes that security is vital for investor confidence. A Crime Prevention Initiative has recently been introduced by the Council in conjunction with Belize Police Department introducing a Special Constable/Community Policing Programme. It is the current policy of the Council that all their efforts in this area should be hinged to ongoing work by social organizations like the Lions Club, the Scout Association, Rotary International and the NGO Community as well as the residents of Belmopan. Lions Clubs International is the worlds largest service club organisation with 46,000 clubs and 1. ... Rotary International is an organization whose members comprise Rotary Clubs (service clubs) located all over the world (about 30 000 clubs in more than 160 countries). ... A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a non-profit group or association that acts outside of institutionalized political structures and pursues matters of interest to its members by lobbying, persuasion, or direct action. ...

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Educational institutions

The City of Belmopan boasts 3 Pre-Schools, 3 Primary Schools and 2 Secondary Schools as well as a modern Regional Language Centre (RLC), located on the central campus of the University of Belize, where students from neighboring Spanish speaking countries come to study English. University of Belize's campus in Belmopan comprises the following faculties: Education and Arts, Management and Social Sciences, Science and Technology, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Nursing and Allied Health. The Church/State system prevails in Belizean education especially where Pre-School, Primary and Secondary School education is concerned, and nearly all schools in Belmopan are sustained by churches. The University of Belize is an English-speaking multi-location institution of higher education, and the national university of the Central American country of Belize. ... Ub - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Arts is a broad subdivision of culture, comprised of many expressive disciplines. ... Management characterizes the process of leading and directing all or part of an organization (often a business) through the deployment and manipulation of resources (human, financial, material, intellectual or intangible). ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... Science in the broadest sense refers to any system of knowledge attained by verifiable means. ... It has been suggested that Techie be merged into this article or section. ... Nursing is a discipline focused on assisting individuals, families and communities in attaining, re-attaining and maintaining optimal health and functioning. ...


Local missionaries and non-profit organizations also provide practical educational opportunities for Belizeans.

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Culture

This is an area in which much assistance is needed in projecting and promoting the cultures of the different ethnic groups comprising the Belmopan population. Belmopan proper is a mix of ethnicities ranging from Belize Creole to Garifuna to Mestizo to Maya. There are five (5) zones around Belmopan proper comprising of the following: The word Creole (and its cognates in other languages, such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. ... The Garifuna or Garífuna are an ethnic group in the Caribbean area, descended from a mix of Amerindian and African people. ... Mestizo (Portuguese, Mestiço; French, Métis: from Late Latin mixticius, from Latin mixtus, past participle of miscere, to mix) is a term of Spanish origin used to designate the people of mixed European and indigenous non-European ancestry. ... The word Maya or maya can refer to: The Maya – a Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America the modern Maya people the pre-Columbian Maya civilization the Maya language Maya – a concept in Hindu/Vedic philosophy a state of misperception of reality the inherent...

  • Salvapan - population, 751- mostly of Central American origin.
  • San Martin - population 1,694 -mixed origins (Creole & Central American Mayan).
  • Las Flores - population 453 -mostly Central American origin.
  • Maya Mopan - population 241- mostly Ketchi/Mopan Maya.
  • Riviera - population unknown- mix of C.A. immigrants and locals

Some noteworthy activities are presentations by the Belmopan Choral Society, Festival of Arts for school children and National Day Activities. The Council is seeking assistance from the Diplomatic Community to fund a major refurbishment of the Civic Centre Auditorium.


Belmopan residents enthusiastically support local area teams in basketball and football. UB's "Black Jaguars" squad have won two national championships playing out of Belmopan. Nearby communities including Roaring Creek, Camalote, Esperanza and Georgeville play a softball tournament in the early part of the year.


Local favorite food items include Western Dairy ice cream and juices (actually made in San Ignacio), Quality Poultry Products out of Spanish Lookout and foods enjoyed elsewhere in the country.

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Economy

Commercial: Belmopan currently boasts approximately two hundred and two business establishments ranging in dry goods/grocery, furniture and appliance, restaurants and other commercial activities. The last census (1997) revealed the presence of 373 businesses in Belmopan.


Since the University of Belize has relocated to Belmopan, it is expected that commercial activity should experience phenomenal growth in the above mention sectors and in particular the goods and service industry. A modern bus terminal and market complex was constructed in the year 2003.


Industrial: Within the zoning regulations, Belmopan has set aside approximately 200 acres (81 ha) of land made up mostly of one acre (4,000 m2) parcels within city limits. While there is very little industrial activity at the present time, the council has embarked on a scheme to attract local and foreign investment to the city. Plans are underway to create a l00 acre (40 ha) industrial park close to the municipal airstrip (This is a paved strip with no control tower or hangars). The necessary funds for infrastructure (roads, lights and water) can be more readily identified and justified once industries have signed on to the Council Investment incentives. An acre is an English unit of area, which is also frequently used in the United States and some Commonwealth countries. ... A hectare (symbol ha) is a unit of area, equal to 10,000 square meters, commonly used for measuring land area. ... An industrial park (or industrial estate in British English) is an area of land set aside for industrial development. ...

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Government

From its inception, Belmopan was governed by a corporation answering to the government, called RECONDEV (Reconstruction and Development Corporation).


Residents of Belmopan voted in a referendum held in 1999 to switch to direct election of a city council. In 2000, Belmopan was incorporated as a city and held its first City Council election. Anthony Chanona of the People's United Party was elected mayor with a six-man slate, and reelected in 2003. Folowing the UDP's municipal victory of 2006, the Mayor of Belmopan is Simeon López. The Peoples United Party is the ruling Christian Democratic political party of Belize. ... The United Democratic Party is the main opposition political party in Belize. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning larger,greater) is in modern times the title of the highest ranking municipal officer, who discharges certain judicial and administrative functions, in many systems an elected politician, who serves as chief executive and/or ceremonial official of many types of municipalities. ...

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External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Belmopan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1202 words)
Belmopan, estimated population 7,000, is the capital of Belize.
Belmopan was constructed just to the east of Belize River, 80 km (50 miles) inland from the former capital, the port of Belize City, after that city's near destruction by a hurricane in 1961.
As of 2006, the Mayor of Belmopan is Simeon Lopez.
NationMaster.com - Encyclopedia: Belmopan (2001 words)
Belmopan sits near the the junction of the Western Highway, which leads from Belize City to San Ignacio (22 miles) and the Guatemalan border, with the Hummingbird Highway, the scenic road which runs from Belmopan south-east to Dangriga (47 miles) on the Caribbean coast.
Belmopan grew slowly, in 1993 the population was just under four thousand, in 2000 it was an estimated eight thousand.
Belmopan, the town, was incorporated in 2000, which already resulted in a number of improvements beneficial to business with lots of ambitious plans for the future.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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