Tag Archives: Cultural

Enjoying Belize Culture

A rich natural environment is not the only attraction in this gem of a country. The Belize culture will fascinate even the most season traveler of all.

Known formerly as British Honduras, Belize has features unique to its neighboring countries. One is that it is the only country in Central America which has English as its official language; and also, it is the lone nation in the continent which does not have a coastline on the Pacific. It only has the Caribbean shoreline on its east.

The population of Belize is a melting pot of wonderful people coming from all sorts of races and ethnicity. To get to know Belize culture better, take note that a Belizean can come from a lineage of English, Garifuna, Lebanese, East Indian, Mestizo, Mennonite, Spanish, Chinese, Creole, and Maya.

The Garifuna or Garinagus (as they are sometimes called) lead the towns of Hopkins, Georgetown, Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Seine Bight, and Barranco. Every November 19, which is marked as a national holiday, Belizeans celebrate the arrival of the Garifuna to the country.

Creoles are said to be more recognizable by their values rather than their biological and physical manner. They are descendants of African slaves and British pioneers; and they currently dominate logging and civil service positions in the country.

There are three main Maya groups present in Belize culture. There are the Mopan, Yucatec and the Kekchi Maya. Coming from the Peten region of Guatemala, the Mopan came to Belize in 1886. Their communities can be visited in the San Antonio Village in Toledo district and other villages in the Cayo district.

In 1958, Mennonites arrived, coming all the way from Mexico, Manitoba, Chihuahua, and Canada. They settled in Progresso, Barton Creek, Spanish Lookout, Little Belize, Blue Creek, and Shipyard, all of which are located in the Cayo district. It is easy to distinguish Mennonites-women wear long dresses with bonnets, while men dress in demin overalls with their fancy wide brim hats.

Mestizos make up almost half the population of Belize. They are a mix of Spanish and Mayan lineage. Most of their homes are in the Western district of Cayo and northern regions of Corozal. It has been said a lot of times that Mestizos are vital to the progress and growth of the economy. East Indians make up roughly 2% of the population; while Chinese arrived shortly before the start of World War II.

Some basic national symbols in Belize culture is the black orchid which is their national flower, their national animal which is Baird’s tapir, mahogany which is their national tree and the keel billed toucan which is their national bird. Of course, if one is curious about their national anthem, it is entitled ‘Land of the Free’ which is written by Samuel Haynes and put into music by Walford Young.

When in Belize, do what Belizeans do. It is not uncommon for them to greet one another, even when full acquaintance is not yet established. It is good to have some handy common Spanish phrases to greet people. Sociability and acknowledgement comes in the form of handshakes, pats on the back, or even a kiss on the cheek. Remember though, that unless you are greeting someone you have established a deeper relationship, it is best to call your Belizean friends by their last names.

Belize is a beautiful tropical paradise with a rich culture and tradition. Once you visit you will soon be planning a return trip or you may even consider moving to Belize.

Do Your Employees Represent Your Company Culture?

The decision to start your own firm is a huge step. You ponder whether or not you can handle it, whether or not you will be successful, or even how you will financially support yourself until clients start beating down your door. After the nervousness disappears and the excitement kicks in, you start planning. You know what you want your firm to represent and the clients that you want to attract. You meticulously plan your branding strategy. Then you should consider the type of culture that you want your firm to have.

Establishing a Culture

A culture is the values and practices shared by the members of the group. Thus, company culture is the shared values and practices of the company’s employees. You want your employees to embody the values that are set forth in your company culture. Your firm’s mission statement should incorporate the culture. The company culture is vital to its success because it can make or break your firm. Companies with a strong culture that is aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors. To achieve those results for your firm, you have to first determine what your culture is, how you are going to implement it, and essentially guide your employees to achieve the desired culture.

Below is a list of cultures that companies have used to establish their culture. You can use these examples to determine which values best fits the culture of your firm.

• Mission
• Employee commitment
• High integrity workplace
• Strong trust relationships
• Ethical values
• Highly effective leadership
• Effective systems and processes
• Client driven
• Emphasis on recruiting and retaining outstanding employees
• High degree of adaptability
• High accountability standards
• Demonstrated support for innovation

Getting Employees on Board with the Culture

Company cultures can change over time for various reasons. A change in staff can affect the company culture. As employees leave the company and their replacements are hired, the firm’s culture will change. The replacement that was made may not live up to or embody the culture of the firm. However, since each new employee brings their own set of values and practices to the firm, the culture will change.

Any abnormalities in your firm’s culture can be reflected in the way that the firm operates, handles their clients, or normal daily tasks. There are ways to prevent a major change to your firm’s culture. When hiring new employees, you should consider whether or not they will fit the culture of your firm. Firms have the option of hiring a staffing agency to provide them with a temporary employee. This will give you the opportunity to review the candidates work habits and overall adaptability to your firm before you hire them on full time. This will save you time and money from having to hire yet another person, just to make the fit.

Promoting values and actively demonstrating the office culture can be very healthy to a firm’s sustainability. Hold everyone accountable for their actions, especially those in leadership positions. Make sure that everyone is demonstrating the values established in your mission statement. Doing this will increase awareness and effectively communicate the expectations of all involved. This will lead to an increase of transferred skills and behavior that demonstrate the culture of the office.

• Make new employees aware of the office culture when they begin their first day of work.
• Review the culture in management and employee meetings and trainings.
• Resolving any ethical or culture dilemmas that may arise in accordance with the guidelines will reinforce the belief that the company has in its culture.
• Include ethical performance evaluations and appraisals.
• Reward employees who demonstrate the culture of the firm.
• Provide all employees within the office a copy of the company culture.

Applying these suggestions as well as your diligence for your firm to have a reputation of having a great culture will put you on a path to success.