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VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT BELIZE - belizepropertycenter.com
The origin of the name Belize is a little muddy, kind of like the Belize River after a rainstorm! The Mayan word for "muddy water" is belix so Belize may have been derived from it. Or, perhaps a swashbuckling buccaneer, named Peter Wallace, deserves credit for Belize's name. Legend has it that Wallace, who settled in Belize in 1638, was initially pronounced as "Vallis" (as there is no "W" in Spanish) which became further corrupted into Balis or Belize. Our favourite theory combines the Spanish words Bella Isla (Beautiful Island) into the name Belize.
The shield of the Coat of Arms is divided into three sections by a vertical line and an inverted V.The base section represents a ship in full sail on waves of the sea. The two upper sections show tools of the timber industry in Belize: a paddle and a squaring axe in the right section and a saw
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Encyclia Cochleatum is the National Flower of Belize. This orchid grows on trees in damp areas, and flowers nearly all year round.Its clustered bulblike stems vary in size up to six inches long and carry two or three leaves.
The Mahogany Tree is truly the monarch of Belize's forests. Towering above the canopy of the forest, Belize's 100-foot Mahogany Trees reign supreme with their crown of shining, green leaves.
The Tapir is the National Animal of Belize. The Tapir or Mountain Cow is a big bruiser by any measurement. Weighing up to 600 pounds, this vegetarian is the largest land mammal of the American tropics. Dusty brown with white fringes around the eyes and lips, the tapir is kin to the horse and rhinoceros. A strong swimmer that mucks about in the mud shallows, the tapir is protected under Belizean law.
The Keel Billed Toucan is the National Bird of Belize. It is noted for its great, canoe-shaped bill which is made mostly of keratin (same as our fingernails) and its brightly colored green, blue, red and orange feathers. Toucans are born blind and, of note, their tongues are feathered!
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