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The Importance of The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day


Every year on September 10, the nation of Belize celebrates a brief encounter at sea in 1798 that forever changed the course of history in Central America. 

With no gold reserves and a mainland composed primarily of thick jungle and rainforest, Belize was only sporadically occupied by Spanish forces in the 17th century. A combination of the tropical climate and a fiercely resistant Maya population resisted colonization. The first European settlers were primarily loggers and former pirates from England who inhabited the coastal region. 

Over time, and after several large wars were fought in Europe, the territory that is now Belize became contested between the Spanish, which controlled all of the land in Central America around Belize, and the British, which had started to become the dominant force in the Caribbean. After five previous attempts to expel the British from Belize, things came to a head in 1798. 

Beginning on September 3, a doughty band of English loggers with maritime support from a small British fleet based out of Jamaica took on the Spanish in the waters around St. George'sCaye, an island located just a few miles offshore from modern-day Belize City. Despite overwhelming navel superiority, the British prevailed on September 10, 1798, in the Battle of St. George's Caye, and Belize remained a British colony known as British Honduras until 1974. Today, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America directly as a result of that historic naval battle. 

Belize resorts all across the country hoist the red, white, and blue (Belize's national colors) throughout September, which is locally known as Patriotic Month because two national holidays fall during September – The Battle of St. George's Caye Day on September 10 and Independence Day on September 21. Belize was granted self-rule in 1954 and became a fully independent nation on September 21, 1981. 

Belize vacations in September always include attendance at one of the many towns and village parades, fairs, and dances held to celebrate September's patriotic importance. In fact, many natives working overseas choose September to come home in order to celebrate a Belize all-inclusive month of patriotism, history, and pride in one's country. 

If you'd like to attend the Battle of St. George's Caye Day celebrations and other festive events that occur in Belize in September, be sure to book your travels with Adventures in Belize (AIB). AIB specializes in creating bespoke Belize vacation packages to suit each traveler's needs, desires, and budget.