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