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InterNations

Belize

RELIGION UNPLUGGED

How A Hardware Store Helped Build The Muslim Community Of Belize

In Belize, San Pedro's Muslim community revolves around the Harmouches, a Lebanese family who immigrated in the 1980s and whose hardware business is at the heart of the town.

SAN PEDRO, Belize — On tropical Ambergris Caye in Belize, Islam is a family affair. The island's largest town, San Pedro, has a population of just over 13,000, of whom some 200 are Muslims. This small yet vibrant Muslim community was launched by a single adventurous Lebanese family — the Harmouches.

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Central American Gray

This is the capital of Belize, the tiny state in Central America. Unlike colorful cities in neighboring Mexico and Guatemala, I remember the capital Belmopan as a particularly uninspiring subject, its drab streets dotted with banks and jewelry stores — and this one theater.

Sweet Parade

This procession of trucks loaded with sugar canes was on its way to the processing plant. Belize, the tiny country in Central America, still relies heavily on its sugar and rum exports.

Of All Places

Between Mexico and Guatemala lies the small, lesser known Belize, the only country in Central America whose official language is English.

The former colony, once called "British Honduras," was granted full independence only eight years before we visited.

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