Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize

Belmopan is the capital city of Belize. In addition to being the smallest capital city in the continental Americas, Belmopan is the third-largest settlement in Belize, behind Belize City and San Ignacio. Founded as a planned community in 1970, Belmopan is one of the newest national capital cities in the world. Since 2000 Belmopan has been one of two settlements in Belize to hold official city status, along with Belize City. Belmopan is located in Cayo District. Belmopan was constructed just to the east of the Belize River, 80 km (50 mi) inland from the former capital, the port of Belize City, after that city's near destruction by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The government was moved to Belmopan in 1970. Its National Assembly Building is designed to resemble a Pre-Columbian Maya temple.

Government
As Belmopan is the seat of government, many of its inhabitants work for the national government in administrative or technical roles. Many are based in the large cluster of government buildings around the National Assembly building.

Commercial
Belmopan has approximately 589 business establishments. Five international banks are in the city, as are several local financial institutions. A bus terminal and market complex were constructed in 2003.

Industrial
Within the zoning regulations, Belmopan has set aside approximately 200 acres (81 ha) of land made up mostly of one-acre (4,000 m²) parcels in city limits. While there is very little industrial activity at present, the council has embarked on a scheme to attract local and foreign investment to the city. Plans are underway to create a 100 acres (40 ha) industrial park close to the municipal airstrip – a paved 1,100-meter strip with no control tower or hangars.

Rail
Belmopan will have a light rail system that is currently undergoing a feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Co-operation Agency.

Air
Belmopan is served by Hector Silva Airstrip, a domestic airport located in the Northwest of the city.

Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize 
<b>Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize</b>
Image: Denis Barthel

Belmopan has a population of over 16,451 people.

Belmopan is the capital city of Belize. In addition to being the smallest capital city in the continental Americas, Belmopan is the third-largest settlement in Belize, behind Belize City and San Ignacio. Founded as a planned community in 1970, Belmopan is one of the newest national capital cities in the world. Since 2000 Belmopan has been one of two settlements in Belize to hold official city status, along with Belize City. Belmopan is located in Cayo District. Belmopan was constructed just to the east of the Belize River, 80 km (50 mi) inland from the former capital, the port of Belize City, after that city's near destruction by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The government was moved to Belmopan in 1970. Its National Assembly Building is designed to resemble a Pre-Columbian Maya temple.

Government
At its inception and afterward, Belmopan was governed by the corporation RECONDEV (Reconstruction and Development Corporation), which answered to the government.

Residents of Belmopan voted in a referendum in 1999 to switch to direct election of a city council. In 2000, Belmopan was incorporated as a city and held its first City Council election. Anthony Chanona of the People's United Party was elected mayor with a six-man slate, and reelected in 2003. Following the People's Party municipal victory of 2020, the mayor of Belmopan is Sharon Palacio.

As Belmopan is the seat of government, many of its inhabitants work for the national government in administrative or technical roles. Many are based in the large cluster of government buildings around the National Assembly building.

Commercial
Belmopan has approximately 589 business establishments. Five international banks are in the city, as are several local financial institutions. A bus terminal and market complex were constructed in 2003.

Industrial
Within the zoning regulations, Belmopan has set aside approximately 200 acres (81 ha) of land made up mostly of one-acre (4,000 m2) parcels in city limits. While there is very little industrial activity at present, the council has embarked on a scheme to attract local and foreign investment to the city. Plans are underway to create a 100 acres (40 ha) industrial park close to the municipal airstrip – a paved 1,100-meter strip with no control tower or hangars.

Rail
Belmopan will have a light rail system that is currently undergoing a feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Air
Belmopan is served by Hector Silva Airstrip, a domestic airport located in the Northwest of the city.

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