An official website of the United States government

History of the U.S. and Belize
August 16, 2023

The United States established a consulate in British Honduras (now Belize) on March 3, 1847. Prior to independence Belize had been a British colony since 1862, changing its name to Belize from British Honduras in June 1973. In the 1960s the United States sought and ultimately failed to mediate a dispute between Belize and Guatemala over contested Belizean territory dating back to an 1859 treaty between Imperial Spain and Great Britain.

The United States recognized Belizean independence on October 29, 1981, when Consulate General Belize was raised to Embassy status with Principal Officer Malcolm R. Barnebey serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. After several months of negotiations with Great Britain and Guatemala, Belize achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981.

On December 11, 2006, the American Embassy at Belize City officially relocated to present-day capital Belmopan.

Read fact sheet of U.S. bilateral relations with Belize.