The Short Story of the Belize Slums
In the present day of the Belize slums, slums that consist of heavy activity from the local Belize gangs, the country suffers from a poverty rate of over 40% with an economy that is mostly based around tourism and certain exports, like sugar or citrus fruits.
With mass poverty in the Belize slums and a lack of opportunities and resources many Belizeans have been migrating towards the United States since the mid-1900s, especially into places like Los Angeles.
The idea of better employment and being able to provide for one’s family, meaning sending money back to their love ones in Belize or saving enough money while in the United States before making the journey back to their native country, has driven migration from Belize into the U.S.
As people were relocating into the United States many were simultaneously moving back to their native country of Belize, along with bringing other cultures that they adopted while living in the United States.
With many originally settling in sections of South Central, these new cultures that arrived into Belize and have contributed to the rise of activity from the culture Belize gangs, which has been around since the 1980s. Activity in certain sections of Belize City, outside of the tourist attractions, has caused a homicide rate that is higher than most cities in the United States.
Due to the ties that many have with Los Angeles, Belize gangs within Belize City have created their own monikers and sets of South Central’s Blood and Crip gangs to identify with their own culture and communities.
It should not be a surprise the spread of gangs within the Belize slums, the same slums that lack opportunities, especially as Belize has an immigration problem that is contributing to the scarcity of employment. Basically, poverty has contributed to many turning to certain lifestyles that may not be well presented if there was better engagement in the communities.
The smallest country in Central America with a population of over 300,000 is unique and different compared to the other Latin and Central American countries. To truly understand the current conditions of Belize, you must first know the history and background of the culture and the true beginning of this small country that sits along the coast of the Caribbean Sea.
In the very beginning of Belize’s existence, the country was the only one in Latin America, outside of the Caribbean’s and Brazil, to not be colonized by the Spanish. The arrival of the British led to the colonization and control of the region that was formerly known as the British Honduras.
During the British rule, many African slaves were imported into the territory to work on the sugar plantations, which is the reason for a large portion of the country’s population to be Creole or Afro-Belizean.
Not until 1981 did the people of Belize finally gained and received their true rights and independence from the once colonizers of Great Britain, meaning the country only has been independent and not a British territory for over 35 years.
While Belize is still a beautiful country with beautiful people, the country has similarities to any other country, which can include conflicts of Belize gangs in lower income neighborhoods and other issues that poverty brings.
*Note: All information is provided either through people of the community, outside sources, and/or research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.