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 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!

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Guatemala is the most populated country in Central America. Belize is the only English-speaking Central American country.

Guatemala is known for its 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 flags

One is big, and one is small. One is Spanish-speaking, and 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 was originally home to the ancient Mayan civilization that you learned about in the previous Related Lesson.(Check out the right-hand sidebar.)

The Mayan civilization collapsed around the same time Spanish explorers settled in Guatemala. This highly-populated, Spanish-speaking, volcano-covered country is unique and beautiful.

Watch this video for a look into the geography of Guatemala.

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For a more in-depth look at geography, history, and culture, watch the following video.

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Discover more facts about Guatemala while you explore these resources.

  • What's it like to travel to Guatemala?

Learn all you need to know, from tourist attractions to transportation, food, and drink, as you read Know Before You Go: Guatemala Travel Guide.

Here are a few more 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 the Guatemalan flag is that different presidents have changed the blue shades several times for no real reason.
  There are more than 30 active volcanoes in Guatemala.



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.

You may wonder why they speak English. While Spain settled its neighboring countries, Belize was settled by the British.

This small country is also famous for its scuba diving! Watch the following video for an introduction.

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Discover more facts about the history and culture of Belize while you explore these resources.

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? to learn more about this amazing natural wonder pictured below.

Great Blue Hole

  • What's it like to travel to Belize?

Learn about the must-dos and how-tos of traveling in Belize.

Here are a few more 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 American fast food chains in Belize!


Continue to the Got It? section to practice what you learned!

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