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It’s All in the Cards! QSL Cards from Belize

Belize QRV in September

Mark, DK8MM, and UWE, DL8UD as V31XT are scheduled to activate Belize from September 6-14. Operating from the Cayo District, the HF DXpedition will be on the air as V3O during the WAE DX Contest, SSB, September 9-10. The Cayo District is the largest and second-most populated of Belize’s six districts.

Belize, a country located on the northeastern coast of Central America, ranked as the 248th most-wanted DXCC entity per Clublog’s list as of August 2023. Known as British Honduras until 1973, Belize is bordered by Guatemala to the west and south, Mexico to the north, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Achieving independence in 1981, it was the last British colony on the American mainland.

Its population of around 400,000 places the 8,867-square-mile nation (about the size of Massachusetts) at #169 in terms of population density among countries of the world. By contrast, Massachusetts has a population of 6.9 million. Belize is the least populated and least dense of all Central American nations, a fact that leads us to today’s OnAllBands Geography Question of the Day. Can you name the top three Central American countries based on population? If you can’t wait for the answer below, you’ll find #1, #2, and #3 featured in these OnAllBands articles.

QSL Cards

The active hams at DX Engineering have had great success contacting Belize over the years—a good reason to contact them for help with your gear if you’d like to do the same. Here are a few of the QSL cards from their collections.

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, received the V31TR/V31GR/V31NZ QSL card below from Placencia, a small village on Belize’s coast. The card features the peak of the “El Castillo” pyramid—part of the Xunantunich archaeological site in western Belize. In Mayan, Xunantunich means “Maiden of the Rock.” This is a modern name given to the site. The ancient name is unknown. The first modern explorations of the site took place in the 1890s. At 130 feet, the El Castillo Mayan temple is the second tallest structure in Belize. Evidence suggests parts of the structure were built around 800 AD. One-square-mile Xunantunich consists of six plazas framed by 26 temples and palaces.

KB8UUZ’s collection also includes the V31ME card below, showing the Great Blue Hole of Belize’s Barrier Reef. This marine sinkhole off Belize’s coast lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, the easternmost atoll in Belize’s Barrier Reef. Evaluation of the stalactites found in the 407-foot-deep hole indicate that it formed as many as 153,000 years ago. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—serves as a haven for turtles, manatees, American marine crocodiles, and other sea life. Jacques Cousteau called the Great Blue Hole one of the top five scuba diving spots in the world. We’ll go on record as saying this is one of our top QSL cards!

Mark, W8BBQ, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached V31TF on 40/20/12M SSB in February 2011.

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, worked V31BH on 15/20M SSB back in March 2006.

Wayne, K8FF, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, received this card from the V31MN DXpedition.

George, K3GP, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, sent us a nice selection of his Belize QSL cards.

I’ll take “Well-Populated Central American Countries” for $1,000, Ken.

Back to our geography stumper. We’ve already established that Belize is the least populated Central American country. Can you name the three most populated Central American nations? Drumroll please! And…the…answer…is Guatemala (18.7 million), Honduras (10.3 million), and Nicaragua (6.6 million). Note that population numbers vary depending on source.

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Editor’s Note: Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. To highlight upcoming DXpeditions, we’ll be displaying a few of our favorite cards along with details about what it took to make these contacts. We’re excited to share some of the special cards pulled from the thousands we’ve received over the years. We look forward to seeing your cards as well!

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