|City of Belmopan|
The Garden City, 'Pan
City of Promise
|Foundation||August 1, 1970|
| • |
|• Total||32.78 km2 (12.66 sq mi)|
|Elevation||76 m (250 ft)|
|• Density||500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
Belmopan is located in
Since Belize was a British colony (known as
The name chosen for the new capital, Belmopan, is derived from the union of two words: "
In 1967, work began; the first phase of the new city was completed in 1970 at a cost of 24 million Belize dollars (US$12 million). From 1970 to 2000 the administration of Belmopan was managed by the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, known as "Recondev." Recondev was vested with the power and authority to provide, or cause to be provided, the municipal functions necessary for the smooth running of the city's business and infrastructure.
There was a reluctance initially amongst foreign governments to relocate their embassies to Belmopan as there was some doubt as to whether this inland area would really become the functioning capital. The British High Commission opened in 1981 when Belize achieved independence, moving to its current location in 1984. In February 2005, the United States government broke ground and started building a new embassy in Belmopan, 43 years after it was chosen as the new capital city. The U.S. embassy was officially opened on 11 December 2006. Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Venezuela also have embassies in Belmopan, while Ecuador, Chile, and the Dominican Republic are represented by consulates. However, with four embassies and 29 consulates the former capital of Belize City still has most of the country's foreign diplomatic community.