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Pan American Day – Celebrating the melting pot of cultures in Belize

Why is Pan American Day a Holiday in Belize? Despite it being a 3-day holiday weekend in Belize (Public & Bank Holiday), there is more to the observance of Pan American Day than we know. Formerly dubbed Columbus Day, for the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the new world on October 12th, 1492, Pan American Day is an annual celebration of the melting pot of cultures that make up the Belize we know today. This significant date in history marks and celebrates the multi-cultural groups that exists such as the Mestizo, Yucatec Maya, Lebanese, Chinese, Indians, Mennonites, Garifuna, among others. This rich cultural diversity has catapulted Belize’s status as a friendly, little nation off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. A brief history on Columbus Day Columbus Day commemorates the voyage taken by the Italian Voyager, Christopher Columbus about 500 years ago on behalf of Spain. Columbus made four voyages to the “New World” in 1492 to San Salvador Island, Cuba and Haiti; in 1493-96 to Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Antigua, Puerto Rico and Jamaica; in 1498 to Trinidad and the mainland of South America and in 1502-04 to Honduras and Nicaragua. The discovery of the “New World” allowed European countries like […]

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Battle of St. George’s Caye: Why Belize is an English Speaking Country

The Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10, 1798 is the most historical battle to happen in the land that is now known as Belize. This battle, however, was the final one of (at least) six attempts by the Spanish to conquer the Baymen (resident woodcutters), which ended in victory for the Baymen, as the Spaniards withdrew when ravaged by sickness during the two and a half-hour fight. If any of the attempts by the Spanish were successful, Great Britain would not have been able to establish British sovereignty over British Honduras, which is now known as Belize. If the British had not colonized the land, Spanish would be the official language of Belize, much like its neighboring countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras). Read below more information about the battle(s) of St. George’s Caye: Prior to this historic final battle, the territory of (modern day) Belize was under dispute by Great Britain and Spain. Although Spain never officially occupied Belize, they considered it a part of its Central American territories, which include Mexico and Guatemala, after a war between England and Spain left much of Central American to be reigned by the Spanish. However, the British had entered the territory as early as 1638 to harvest logwood […]

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