As Belize's agricultural mainstays face an uncertain future, the country has opted for "green tourism" and service industries as economic alternatives. Beaches, coral reefs and rainforests are now at the forefront of the Belizean economy, a development with serious implications for the country's environment and indigenous communities.
Belize In Focus is an authoratative and up-to-date guide to this spectacular country. It explores:
- The history: Maya culture; Spanish and British colonists; Garifuna and Mennonite settlements; independence and Guatemala's sovereignty claim; Central American or Caribbean?
- The economy: The crisis in traditional farming; fishing and foreign investment; timber and textile exports; Coca Cola's plantation plan; the impact of liberalization; the drugs economy.
- The environment: sea, reefs and rainforest; government policy and forest reserves; logging and land rights; tourism and sustainability; does eco-tourism work?
- The culture: indigenous Hispanic and British influences; immigration and social change; Creole culture; art, literature and music; a nation in transition.
- Where to go and what to see: Must-see landmarks and historical sites as well as the author's expert tips on how to get the most out of a brief visit.
Belize In Focus is one in a series of guides covering the countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean.
|Table of Contents||3|
|Introduction: Diversity and Uncertainty||4|
|1: Influences and Environment: The Forming of Modern Belize||6|
|The Living Forest||19|
|2: History and Politics: From Enclave to Nationhood||26|
|Central American Backwater||27|
|Politics and Democracy||33|
|A New Era?||39|
|Modern Belizean Politics||42|
|3: The Economy: Merchant Belize||46|
|No More Free Money||47|
|Bananas: Profits out of Poverty||50|
|Free Market Fears||61|
|4: People and Culture: "A Motley Crew||63|
|A Diverse Nation||63|
|Art, Music and Literature||77|
|5: Where to Go, What to See||81|
|Tips for Travelers||87|
|Addresses and Contacts||90|
|Further Reading and Bookstores||91|
|Facts and Figures||92|