Q:  In Belize, who is called a bush master?

A:  A healer whose specialty is jungle survival.

Q:  Which two countries share borders with Belize?

A:  Mexico and Guatemala

Q:  True or False?  Belize now occupies an area that was once the center of the Mayan empire.

A:  True. Archeologists have concluded that from A.D. 300 to 900, it was the heart of the complex of Mayan city-states. These city-states were linked by rivers, trails and Caribbean trade routes.

Q:  In 1840 Britain declared what is now Belize to be "colony of  ________ _______. Fill the blanks.

A:  British Honduras. After making that declaration, the British did very little about it until 1862, when the British Government put an administration in place. The name change took place in 1973. Belize became an independent country on September 21, 1981.

Q:  What is the origin of Toledo in Belize?

A:  Toledo began as a plantation colony founded by Confederate war veterans from the United States.

Q:  Who are the Garifuna people of Belize?

A:  They are descendants of people of mixed African and Carib Amerindian ancestry who were expelled from the island of St Vincent in 1797. They were placed on the Bay Islands off Honduras by the British. Later they moved to Belize. Interestingly, when CUNY's Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College in New York needed a name for their journal of the Caribbean and its diaspora, they chose the name "Wadabagei", a Garifuna word for conch shell. The Garifuna people, like others in the Caribbean, used the sound of the conch shell as an attention-getter before making community announcements and as a  wake-up call.

Q:  Where is the Valley of Peace in Belize?

A:  Valley of Peace was the name given to the U.N.-funded refugee camp on the Western Highway near Belmopan. It is populated by Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans who crossed Belize's borders since its independence.

Q:  Samuel Alfred Haynes, the leader of the 1919 riot by Belizean soldiers, did something else that earned him a place in the history of Belize. What was that?

A: Haynes wrote the words that became the national anthem of Belize. He was a black Belizean soldier, activist and poet. Belizean soldiers who had fought for the Britain in World War One rioted because they refused to accept racial discrimination at home. His song "Land of the Gods", penned in 1963 and set to music in the same year by Selwyn Walford Young, became Belize's national anthem, "Land of the Free," when Belize became independent from Britain in 1981.

Q:  What lizard in Belize runs across water?

A:  The Basilisk lizard, one of the iguana family. This lizard, generally about two feet long and about one-fourth of a pound in weight, runs across water on its hind legs. It is able to accomplish this feat with the help of the fringes or flaps of skin on the sides of its toes. It starts out with a slapping action of its hind feet ... then it's gone. The Basilisk lizard lives in trees and near running water.

Q:  What name have Belizeans given to the agouti paca?

A:  They call it the gibnut. What is the paca? It's that small animal (2 feet long, 22 lbs or so in weight) which hunters love to pursue. Finding the paca is not very difficult. Dogs sniff it out in its den during the day, and at night, the time when this rodent feeds, headlamps are used to capture it. It also makes a lot of noise while walking through the dry leaves of the forest, or chewing on hard nuts; and when it is disturbed it barks hoarsely or makes a rumbling sound.

Q:  In which Caribbean territory is Jackass bitters specially valued as a medicinal herb?

A:  Belize.  Jackass Bitters (Neurolaena lobata), a common Central American plant, is also known as Tres Puntas and Mano de Lagarto (Spanish names) and Kayabim (Mayan name). The plant’s other English name is Golden Bitters. Its leaves are reportedly active against amoebas, candida, giardia and intestinal parasites. One animal study indicated that a  jackass bitter tincture was able to lower blood-glucose levels.

Q:  What special occasion is celebrated in Belize on November 19 every year.

A:  Garifuna Settlement Day - commemorating the arrival of the first Garinagu settlers in Belize.