Reefs & Cayes
& San Pedro
Maps & Facts
Vendors A to Z
- 10,000 - 20,000 years ago, The region is populated gradually as a natural part of the population of the New World by the indigenous descendents of the peoples who came across the Siberian Bering land bridge from Asia to North America.
- 5,109 years ago (3,114 B.C.) The new revised Mayan calendar reaches the people of Belize and replaces the old one.
- 2,646 years ago (650 B.C.) , Tutul Xiu a teenage youth from today's Corozal, sees the barrier reef islands for the first time on a trading trip south with his uncle to the country we today call Honduras.
2,338 years ago (342 B.C.), Caracol the capital of central Western Belize a vassal state to Tikal, hosts the visiting ruling Lord of Tikal and his huge entourage for public ceremonies.
- 2,183 years ago (187 B.C.), Cob Chan is the first recorded victim sacrificed to the Gods at the temple of Cerros in northern Belize on Chetumal Bay.
- 1,938 years ago, The final families abandon Cerros, the city state.
- 1,918 years ago (78 A.D.), A wave of central American west coast Chol Maya flood the towns of Belize as new immigrants.
- 1,620 years ago (376 A.D.), Lord smoking Frog conquers Rio Azul and war refugees flee into Caracol and southern Belize.
- 1,314 years ago (682 A.D.) , Lubaantun in the Southern Toledo District of Belize is on the regular trade routes from the central Peten city states and political alliances.
- 1,121 years ago (850 A.D.), All of Belize from north to south was a thriving country with a population over 300, 000 in different city states about 67 kilometers apart.
- 896 years ago (1100 A.D.), Altun Ha in northern Belize is still thriving, while the city states of the Peten are disintegrating. Lubaantun in the southern Toledo District of Belize is also going strong. The 200 year drought affects all the American continents.
- 873 years ago (1,123 A.D.), Throughout Belize, the Yucatec Maya rise up and overthrow the Itza-Maya (from the Peten), the rulers and overlords.
- 1487 The Aztec spread their influence and send spies as far as Belize, for politics and trade economics.
- 1508 First known date of Spanish excursions into Belize. Local tribes resist Spanish attempts at control.
- 1511 Geronimo de Aguilar is the first Spaniard, settling around Chetumal Bay, where he raises a family. He arrived in the Yucatan from a shipwreck off Jamaica.
- 1528 Francisco de Montejo, the Adelanto arrives in Corozal, northern Belize.
- 1542 The official Spanish Declaration of invasion and conquest occurs.
Spanish Colonial Period
- 1544 The conquest of Dzuluinicob (northern Belize) is accomplished when the western political capital of Tipu on the Macal River is occupied.
- 1546 A massive rebellion and uprising throw out the Spanish from Belize.
- 1547 The Pecheco cousins and friends receive another Spanish Grant to Belize and start another conquest, killing, burning and torturing through the villages.
- 1548 Warfare makes Pecheco give up on Belize, he moves north into the Yucatan with a new and larger grant to a more pacified area.
- 1562 Infamous catholic Bishop Landa instigates the destruction of Maya culture and hegemony for the conquest and enslavement of the Maya.
- 1567 The Spanish from the Yucatan organize another reconquest. of Belize, invading, burning, killing, torturing and destroying anything to do with Mayan cultural identity and books.
- 1568 Juan de Garzon assembles another military force and lays waste Mayan communities throughout Belize nearly reaching as far south as Lake Isobel.
- 1569 The Dutch arrive and raid along the Belize coast.
- 1571 The first black person is recorded in a census in this year.
- 1582 Bishop Fray Gregorio de Montalvo recommends against Belize reductions due to the widespread orchards and famous agricultural production.
- 1608 Tipu the capital of Belize and center of Maya political power is reduced by the Spanish.
- 1615 The Spanish reduce Tipu once again to stamp out Maya politics.
- 1618 The Catholic Franciscans are given the right in Merida, to attempt a peaceful persuasive enslavement and conquest of Belize under Father Orbita and Father Fuensalida.
- 1623 Father Diego Delgado gets himself and eighty Tipu-Maya men killed by the Itza-Maya in the central Peten.
- 1627 to 1630 Famine and plagues of locusts devastate the country from Belize to Merida. Tens of thousands of Maya starve to death as four seasonal crops in a row are destroyed.
- 1630 The towns of Belize are abandoned as people flee to the bush to eat roots.
- 1631 Political Mayan leaders order the remaining people to continue to abandon the Spanish controlled towns when the famine is over.
- 1636 Major war ensues between the Maya and Spanish who wish to re-enslave the inhabitants of Belize.
- 1637 The population of Belize nears extinction.
- 1638 Mayan political leaders out of the western capital of Belize at Tipu start a new independence movement. Piracy along the Belize coast becomes common.
- 1639 Three famous independence resistance leaders, Gaspar Puc, alcalde of Lamanai, Don Luis Kinil the cacique of Pacha and Andres Uxul are transported in chains to Merida by the Spanish and put to death by torture.
- 1641 The Itza-Maya of the central Peten assist Belizeans with soldiers against the Spanish invaders and oppressors.
- 1642 The war for Belize is won and independence of Belize achieved.
- 1643 Pirate raids increase along Belize.
- 1648 Pirates sack Bacalar again.
British Intervention Period
- 1650's Estimated date of beginning of British settlement.
- 1654 Captain Francisco Perez tries another re-conquest of Belize.
- 1655 A new governor in Merida sends Mayan males fleeing to Belize from the Yucatan looking for refuge. Taxes are extorted by torture. Tipu swells to over one thousand people, mostly males.
- 1655 The census around the cacao orchards near current day Belmopan is about 450.
- 1677 The Spanish give up on central, western and northern Belize. A coastal expedition to the south attempt a limited area conquest. Failure occurs for the Spanish when one catholic priest, two religious are killed and others are wounded by Maya militia in the Toledo District. The Spanish party hides for a month in the jungle and flees north over the mountains.
- 1678-1680 The Catholic Franciscans return in vengeance with a large military force invading northern and western Belize as far as Tipu.
- 1695 The Maya become weak and disorganized.
- 1695 The Spanish apply a two pincer attack against the central Peten Itza-maya, the left pincer passing through Belize and Tipu.
- 1696 The population of Tipu is reduced again by military force and modern weapons.
- 1697 Martin de Ursula and his military expedition conquer the Itza-Maya island stronghold at Lake Flores on March 13th. The population flee, leaving the Spaniards to starve.
- 1698 The Spanish give up and vanish from Belize.
- 1707 The Spanish force the Tipu Maya to help in the fight against the Itza-Maya. Then turn on the Belizeans and sell them into slavery.
- 1708 Civil War in Belize between the Tipu town area Yucatec Maya influenced by the Spanish and the Mozul-Maya of central southern Belize who continue to fight the Spanish. The Mozul- Maya lose and are wiped out.
- 1763 Ignoring the native owners of Belize, now the Mayan scattered Belizean Residents of the land, who have successfully repelled all Spanish invasions for 225 years, the Europeans contesting for rights of invasion, conquest and enslavement of Belizean Maya, agree to the "Treaty of Paris" over in Europe. This permits Spain to give authorization to British Logwood cutters to work in Belize, but giving the British exploiting invaders only logging rights. Absentee Spain with no troops on the ground, or in occupation of Belize, still claims paper map sovereignty via the Papal Bull. Belizeans were neither consulted, or invited to participate in this European conference of invasion rights, dividing up the potential spoils of Belize.
- 1779 The Spanish attack British settlers for the fourth time since 1717.
- 1783 Treaty of Versailles signed with terms similar to Treaty of Paris.
- 1786 Convention of London signed allowing Baymen to cut wood but not establish plantations, fortifications, or government in Belize territory; first British superintendent to Belize.
- 1798 British defeat Spanish in the Battle of St. George's Caye.
- 1809 The Maya of Belize attack British logwood camps.
- 1816 Spain protests erection of fortification in Belize.
- 1817 British superintendent assumes authority to grant land titles.
- 1820 Fourth recorded slave revolt since 1765.
British Assert Control
- 1821 Central American region declares its independence from Spain.
- 1823 U.S. pronouncement of the Monroe Doctrine.
- 1824 There are an estimated 2,300 slaves in Belize, including Africans, creoles, and descendants of Indians.
- 1831 "Colored subjects of free condition" are granted civil rights.
- 1838 Emancipation (four years after Britain) of slaves, who compose less than one-half of the population. Free blacks and coloreds compose about half the population, and whites about one-tenth.
- 1839 Central American federation disintegrates; Guatemala claims to have inherited sovereign rights over Belize from Spain.
- 1840 Laws of England declared to be in force in Belize; Executive Council formed to assist superintendent. Spain does not attempt to reassert authority.
- 1850 U.S.-British treaty; Britain agrees to refrain from occupying, fortifying, or colonizing any part of Central America. Britain claims this treaty exempts Belize as prior settlement.
- 1854 Formal constitution adopted, providing for Legislative Assembly. Belize now a colony in all but name.
- 1855 Legal system regularized.
- 1859 Guatemala recognizes British sovereignty but claims it signed treaty because Britain agreed to build road to Caribbean coast.
- 1862 Officially declared colony and recognized as part of British Commonwealth with name British Honduras.
- 1863 Treaty with Guatemala which further defines road-building responsibilities.
- 1871 Status changed to crown colony under governor in Jamaica; Legislative Council with five official and four unofficial members.
- 1884 Colonial ties to Jamaica severed; separate colony status announced. Guatemala threatens to repudiate treaty of 1859.
- 1890 Request is made to introduce elected members. Request turned down because only 400 are white in population of 30,000.
- 1893 Treaty with Mexico settling boundary dispute.
- 1894 Mahogany workers organize.
- 1919 Belizean soldiers returning from World War I protest discrimination in Ex-Servicemen's Riot.
- 1922 Establishment of Civil Service Association.
- 1931 Hurricane hits; Britain supplies aid for reconstruction and regains reserve powers under new constitution.
- 1936 Constitution promulgated with elective principle. Property, income, and literacy qualifications restrict eligible voters. Britain offers E50,000 to help build the road to coast without admitting liability; Guatemala demands 2,400,000.
- 1937 Formation of Laborers and Unemployed Association (LUA), which stages boycotts and demonstrations.
- 1939 Formation of British Honduras Workers and Tradesmen Union, which later becomes General Workers Union (1943).
- 1941 Mass meetings held; demands made for adult suffrage and right to elect government. Labor unions legalized by colonial governor.
- 1945 Belice is defined as the 23rd department in Guatemala's new constitution.
- 1950 Formation of People's United Party (PUP). Minimum age for women voters lowered from 30 to 21.
- 1952 General Workers Union (GWU) mounts 49-day strike.
- 1954 New constitution promulgated which provides for universal adult suffrage, and elected majority in Legislative Council. PUP begins 30-year winning streak in all general and most local elections.
- 1958 Formation of National Independence Party (NIP) as first political opposition to PUP.
- 1960 In new constitution, majority of Executive Council is elected.
- 1961 Belize obtains associate-member status in United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. Belize turns down offer to become associate state of Guatemala. Hurricane Hattie levels Belize City.
- 1963 Guatemala breaks off negotiations with Britain, threatens war.
- 1964 In movement toward independence, Executive Council of governor evolves from advisory council to Cabinet of ministers, reserve powers are practically eliminated. Control of local government passes to Belize, Britain retains control over defense, foreign affairs, internal security, terms and conditions of public service. Governor general appoints George Price as prime minister.
- 1965 U.S. lawyer appointed by President Johnson mediates dispute with Guatemala. His proposal favors Guatemala and is rejected by all parties in Belize.
- 1972 Guatemala breaks off negotiations with Britain, threatens war by mobilizing troops at border. Britain sends fleet and several thousand troops to Belize.
- 1973 Name changes to Belize; Belmopan becomes capital. Formation of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
- 1975 Tension with Guatemala prompts Britain to send squadron of Harrier jets to Belize. Britain allows Belize government to act in international matters. First of series of votes by United Nations on Belize's right to self-determination, United States abstains.
- 1976 Panama's President Torrijos supports Belize's independence bid.
- 1977 Latin American countries begin to shift from siding with Guatemala to solidarity with Belize.
- 1978 Hurricane Greta causes major damage, leveling banana plantations, but no deaths. Formation of Belize Defense Force.
- 1979 Refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala begin flowing into Belize.
- 1980 UN passes resolution demanding secure independence of Belize before next session in 1981. No country votes against measure; Guatemala refuses to vote.
- 1981 New constitution promulgated.
- Apr. Negotiations with Guatemala (Heads of Agreement) provoke riots and state of emergency in Belize.
- Sep. Belize becomes fully independent member of Commonwealth of Nations. Queen of England remains ceremonial head of state. Price first prime minister of independent Belize. Belize joins United Nations and Non-Aligned Nations. United States begins security forces training.
- 1984 The UDP wins in landslide victory in parliamentary elections, Manuel Esquivel becomes prime minister. Voice of America transmitter installed at Punta Gorda.
- 1985 Esquivel government signs economic stabilization agreement with U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), requires government to adopt neoliberal economic policies including privatization of public corporations and agencies.
- 1987 Formation of Security Intelligence Service (SIS) modeled on British M15.
- 1989 PUP narrowly wins September parliamentary election (15 to 13 seats) that returns George Price to prime minister's office. Government dismantles SIS and relaxes control of media.
- 1991 PUP wins five of seven town board elections. Belize celebrates ten years of independence. Guatemala recognizes Belize as an independent state but territorial dispute remains unsettled.
- 1991 Disatisfaction from the public with party politics and failed parliamentary rule. First Civics and Government book sent to High Schools through Belize, pointing out, Belize was NOT A DEMOCRACY! Seven more Civics and Government books published and mailed to High Schools and civic leaders and politicians, outlining problems with the governing political setup of the Belize Constitution over the next five years.
- 1992 Bipartisan support for Maritime Areas Bill collapses in the face of internal UDP dissension, bill aimed at resolving territorial dispute passes National Assembly with PUP backing.
- 1992 The main newspapers, the Amandala and The Reporter take up articles on revision of the Belize Constitution, seeking de-centralization and democracy.
- 1993 British government announces withdrawal of troops and end to security guarantee. PUP calls early elections for June 30 and narrowly loses to UDP (16 to 13 seats). Esquivel returns as Prime Minister. Negotiations with Guatemala collapse due to Serrano's problems.
- 1994 UDP wins all seven town board elections. British troops complete withdrawal.
- 1995 The Future of Belize is Yours To Make! Seventh edition of the Civics and Government series, hits the high schools and public. Much more comprehensive, it outlines problems with the governing system and suggested solutions.
- 1996 The Ketchi and Mopan Maya of the Toledo District seek international aid in fighting the paternal absentee northern Belizean politicians, who sell out their way of life to Asian exploitive lumber companies.
- 1997 The UDP Party in control of the country, under elected dictator Prime Minister Esquivel, with his rubber stamp Senate and Legislature, states his political party, will not de-centralize and want to retain strong party control and centralization of the government system.
- 1998 The UDP Party lose the five year national elections in a landslide, to a protest vote, based on failed Political Reform of the Belize Constitution. The PUP win and promise to change the way Belize is governed, with wider dispersal of political power and policy making. Checks and balances are suggested from many sources, to elected dictatorial rule by winning party Ministers of the Cabinet. By now, there are several Civics books out and various booklets outlining democratic changes to the way Belize should be governed. The PUP form many study committees to research the situation of turning Belize into a democracy.