Today is Belize’s Independence Day and what way to celebrate the easy, breezy Central American lifestyle than with a huge bucket of (drum roll) the national cocktail: rum punch! But before we get the party started, let’s take a moment to revel in the awesomely rich culture that is Belize.

Way back in the day, the ancient Mayan Civilization ruled over Belize and other areas of Central America. The Spanish Conquistadors took over in 1638  and the British claimed Belize as their own in the 19th century. Although Spanish and Kriol are the most common spoken languages, Belize is the only Central American country to have English as their official language (lucky you!). Finally, in 1981 Belize gained their independence from the crown, but Guatemala didn’t recognize Belize’s independence in 1992 because they wouldn’t relinquish their claim of sovereignty over Belize.

Today, Belize is a tropical paradise with tons of amazing attractions that draw in hundreds of thousands of tourists per year! One of them is the Belize Barrier Reef which is over 190 miles long and has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Because of the dozens of islands protecting the main shore of Belize, the ocean is perfectly conducive for tons of water sports including windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and much more. There’s even more fun when you travel inland to one of the most complex cave systems in the world or to the ancient Mayan ruins. For the nature lover, there’s also many popular eco-tourism groups that do jungle walks and venture to wildlife reserves.

I’d drink to that! As I said the national cocktail is rum punch, so let’s get to it! Check out this authentic recipe from

rum punch belize


For 4-6 servings:

1/4 cup coconut rum
1 1/2 cups white rum
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
2 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons grenadine

Mix all the ingredients and ice in a big ol’ punch bowl and serve! Enjoy!

Is Belize on your bucket list?


Gabbi Ewing is a rising junior studying Journalism as well as Film & Television at NYU. She is a New Jersey native who enjoys traveling, writing, skiing, and swimming. She hopes to travel the world, but her next adventure is taking her to Sydney, Australia to study with NYU. She aspires to work for National Geographic or Discovery Channel and to use her film, photography and writing skills to help people experience new cultures and places that they don't have the opportunity to travel to themselves.


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