Geography 400
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Geography 400
Justin Roscoe
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Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country

Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country | Geography 400 |
BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war.


Justin Roscoe-It’s interesting to see this movement of Salvadoran and Guatemalan immigrants entering into a country that is geographically so close but yet so culturally different especially in this day and age where globalization brings cultures closer together. This is most likely due to relatively poor economies in many of the Central American countries where global communication isn’t easily accessible to the general public. As the article states many of these immigrants are entering the country not having to learn the local language but in many cases forcing the local to learn their language. Service jobs are being given to those who are predominantly Spanish speaking to appeal to the growing Spanish speaking population. It is difficult to think of a nation so willing to adapt to the immigrants rather than having a sense of what Americans would call patriotism and attempt to preserve its current culture and make the new comers adapt. In Belize this more acceptable especially given there history where there country has “long been a country of immigrants.” It seems as though the people of this country have it in their blood to adapt and welcome the immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. This is not to say the spike in population does not come with its faults. In the article they discuss the migrants offering to work for less than that of what many of the current citizens work for. Which has increased the unemployment have almost a quarter of Belizeans saying they are currently unemployed. As this immigration movement continues it will be interesting to see what the future holds as far as whether the national language will stay English or be change and how the country’s culture, which is always changing, will adapt to the immigration.

Via Seth Dixon
Chris Costa's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:18 PM

It's interesting to compare and contrast the reaction of Belize's English-speaking population to an influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants with that of the United States. I enjoyed reading that the welcoming of immigrants by the ruling political system has done much to lessen racial tensions, with the various ethnic groups scattered along the political spectrum. This contrasts sharping with the American political spectrum, where there is a clear racial divide between conservatives and liberals. Americans could learn a lot from Belize in this regard, although the transition has been far from smooth in the nation. Although Spanish is now taught in schools as a result of the reality of the immigration wave in the country, there is some push-back from English speaking groups. Many employees of service industries are losing their jobs to those who can offer bilingual services, as well as some other economic changes as a result of the influx of new immigrants. However, the degree of this tension is a lot lower there than it is in the United States. It will be interesting to see how this debate shapes up in the future; it could very well serve as a helpful model for American politicians.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, October 4, 2015 11:49 AM

You won't BELIZE this link.... get it.

I'm hilarious.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 7:48 PM

This country of Belize seems to be a very interesting place. I never knew that in Central America, there was a country who's official language is English. It is made up of a lot of retired British soldiers and North American "sun seekers." Migration into Belize comes from other place in Central America, of its 300,000 person population, 15% are foreign born. It is now becoming a very mixed country and Spanish is making a gain on English. Schools teach in English, but Spanish lessons are mandatory. A  population boom both helps and hurts the economy. Most migrants are of working age and are willing to work low wages in brutal conditions. A lot of Belizeans tell census that they are not working and with Spanish gaining ground, a lot of monopolistic people are losing jobs to those who are bilingual. Although there are frictions between ethnic groups, in general things are good and political party lines are not divided by ethnicity. 

Rescooped by Justin Roscoe from Geography Education!

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Geography 400 |
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.


Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.


I think its interesting how they are able to adapt to the cultures of different cultures which makes it seem like it is a completely different company than the one we are amiliar with in the U.S.


Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.

Via Seth Dixon
Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:51 AM

McDonald's going vegetarian, would be a unimaginable concept in the United States. The United States like most western nations, is addicted to meat. The United States prefers hamburgers over salads. Our culture has been raised on that addiction. India is a far more vegetarian society. Twenty to forty two percent of the population of India classifies themselves as vegetarians. While not a majority, they are a sizeable minority within India. McDonalds is adapting its menu to fit with the culture of its consumers. For the Indian business model, this move makes sense. McDonalds presence in India speaks to increased global connectivity. The forces of globalization have brought the world closer together. There are few isolated areas of the world left to ponder. We are now living in an age of connectivity. Almost every major business is now located across the glove. The positive impacts of this trend are that we as westerners are exposed to diverse cultures and influences. The negative impacts are there are few unexplored regions of the world still remaining. The frontiers have all but disappeared.