Central America - Belize and Guatemala

Contributor: Jodi Powell. Lesson ID: 10799

Did you know Guatemala has over 30 active volcanoes? Belize has the#1-rated diving spot in the world (but no US fast food)! Watch great videos, make maps and crafts, and learn about these countries!


History, World

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Guatemala and Belize

Guatemala is the most populated country of Central America. Belize is the only English-speaking Central American country. Guatemala is known for volcanoes and Belize is known for scuba diving. Learn more fun and interesting facts about these two Central American countries as you explore them through this lesson!

Guatemala and Belize

Guatemala and Belize flags

One is big, one is small. One is Spanish-speaking, one is English-speaking. These neighboring countries also have quite a few similarities. The history, geography, and culture of these two Central American countries help to paint the picture of what makes them both unique.

Guatemala Guatemala was originally home to the ancient Mayan civilization that you learned about in the previous lesson. The Mayan civilization collapsed around the same time that Spanish explorers settled in Guatemala. This highly-populated, Spanish-speaking, volcano-covered country is both unique and beautiful.

Watch this Guatemala's Geographic Challenge video for a look into the geography of Guatemala:


For a more in-depth look at geography, history, and culture, watch World Geography // Lesson 13 // Guatemala // History:


Read these articles to learn more:

  • Read about the brief basic facts of Guatemala at ducksters.com: "Brief History of Guatemala"
  • Easyscienceforkids.com provides more facts: "Guatemala"
  • Check out this next article from National Geographic for Kids: "Guatemala"
  • What's it like to travel in Guatemala? Learn all you need to know, from tourist attractions to transportation and food and drink in this informative article from abouttravel.com: "Guatemala Travel: Before You Go"

A few fun facts about Guatemala:

  • Over half of the Guatemalans are descendants of the famous indigenous Maya people.
  • Denim for blue jeans was created in the Land of the Trees (Guatemala).
  • The blue stripes of the flag represent the Pacific Ocean. The funny fact about Guatemal's flag is that the blue shades have been changed several times by different presidents for no real reason.
  • There are more than 30 active volcanoes in Guatemala.
Belize The thing that sets Belize apart from the other Central American countries is its language. While the other Central American countries speak primarily Spanish, Belize is English-speaking. Why do they speak English? While its neighboring countries were settled by Spain, Belize was settled by the British.

In addition, this small country is famous for its scuba diving! Watch Belize History & Culture for an introduction:


Read to learn more:

  • Read about the brief basic facts of Belize at ducksters.com: "Brief History of Belize"
  • Read through the article at easyscienceforkids.com: "Belize". Be sure to watch the video and use the interactive map at the bottom!
  • Learn more about the history and culture of Belize at adventure-life.com: "History and Culture of Belize"
  • Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, with 70 hard coral and 36 soft coral species identified, as well as over 500 fish and 100 invertebrates. This diverse ecosystem makes Belize one of the best diving locations in the world. People from all over the world travel to Belize to scuba dive in the Great Blue Hole right off the coast of Belize. Read "What is the Great Blue Hole of Belize?" by Shamseer Mambra, courtesy Marine Insight.

Great Blue Hole

A few fun facts about Belize:

  • Belize has a tropical climate with a rainy and dry season.
  • Belize was formerly known as British Honduras before gaining independence.
  • Half of Belize is covered by dense rainforest, and 80% of its rainforest remains under government protection, much of it unexplored.
  • There are no U.S. fast food chains in Belize!

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