September is a festive month here in Belize and on St. George's Caye. We have the honor of hosting the opening celebrations which include live music, a speech by the Prime Minister Dean Barrow, a youth sailing regatta, food, drink, dancing and more! We officially invite you, our fans and guests, to join us this year. Opening celebrations will be held this year on Sunday August 31st. Book your trip now as all our rooms will sell out.
Belize September celebrations are about two major events in Belize history and is a time of pride and patriotism for Belizeans all over the world; the Battle of St. George's Caye and Belize Independence (independent since 1981). (link to British Honduras info)
The Battle of St. George's Caye was a short military engagement that lasted from 3 to 10 September 1798, off the coast of what is now Belize. The name is typically reserved for the final battle that occurred on 10 September and marks the final attempt to take over the area. Today, the Battle of St. George's Caye is a national public and bank holiday with many parades, parties and a special youth regatta to boot!
The territory that is now Belize was under dispute from as early as the mid-1750s by Great Britain and Spain. Although Spain never occupied Belize, she considered it part of her Central American territories, such as Mexico and Guatemala. The British had entered the territory as of 1638 to harvest logwood and later mahogany. Spain recognized this trade in the Treaty of Paris (signed in 1763) but did not undertake to draw boundaries (which may have suggested that Spain was giving up claims of sovereignty to the area), leading to further disputes. From 1779 to 1782 the settlement was abandoned, its settlers, known as the Baymen, and their African slaves having been deported to Cuba following a Spanish attack.
The battle of St George’s Caye has always captivated historians with its combination of brilliant tactics, sheer courage and the solidarity of the defenders. For Belizeans, it marks the moment when the people of the settlement, of all races and creeds, decided to defend something that even back then they recognized as worthy of fighting for.