The Creole population within Belize embodies generations of mixture and melding that has shaped a people and culture distinct from any other in the world. Originally introduced to the country as slaves to work the timber trade, these African descendents soon outnumbered their former owners. The prejudices of other slave settlements in the Americas did not exist due to the shortage of labor and population dynamics; thus an unrestricted mentality of interracial mixing began that has persisted to the present day. Today, identifying a Creole may confuse some; a blonde, blue-eyed Creole is not an uncommon site as the term also denotes a proud culture that distinguishes more than physical appearance.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, an influx of Chinese immigrants arrived in Belize through the establishment of an immigration fund by the Belize government. The Chinese population soared as many immigrated to escape the Japanese invasion of China just before World War II. Moving around the Central American republics, many of them settled in Belize. More recently, many Taiwanese have made their homes and established businesses in Belize as part of the economic citizenship program offered by the Belize government.
The East Indian population first entered the borders of British Honduras to work the sugar can fields of the Corozal district after rebelling against British domination in New Delhi in 1857. Much like the Creoles, the East Indian population of Belize has assimilated into the Caribbean culture and has become one of the major players in Belize's diverse history.
AMERICANS and EUROPEANS
Many Americans and Europeans have relocated to the shores and forests of Belize eager to experience its cultural and ecological diversity. The growing American and European presence within Belize in recent years reflects the emerging tourism industry within the nation. A safe countryside free of internal strife coupled with a friendly English-speaking resident population makes Belize an attractive retreat for many foreigners.