Creole Culture of Belize

creole woman in Belize

In Belize, a Creole is any person who has some African blood, and in a few instances some locally born ‘whites’. They are mainly the descendants of: the slaves brought to Belize in the 18th and early 19th centuries, subsequent immigrations of people of African origin, and the British settlers.

Traditionally forming sixty percent of Belize’s population in past years, the Creole today (due mainly to their migration to North America and to the large influx of Central American immigrants to Belize) constitute only about 24 percent today. They live mostly in Belize City, and in villages along the Belize and Sibun rivers; as well as along the Western and Northern highways.

The Creole culture of Belize emerged from the fact that as urban-focused people who worked seasonally in the forest, they looked for occupations on the waterfront, in service industries, and in government jobs when forestry declined. Some do carry on small-scale subsistence farming.

The Creolization of Belize involved the relations of slaves and their European masters, resulting in a culture which eventually left the Creole fully in charge of the majority. The masters taught the slaves the English language (kriol), so that the Belizean creole spoken became a version of English which has African words. Because of their colorful intermixture and having occupied the largest center of population in Belize, the Creole has perhaps adapted the most nationalistic attitude among cultural groups.