No real baboons inhabit Belize; but Belizeans use that name for the Yucatan black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra), an endangered species that exists only in Belize, northern Guatemala and southern Mexico and is one of the largest monkeys in the Americas. The Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) is a community-run, grassroots conservation operation that has engineered an impressive increase in the primate's local population.
CBS occupies about 20 sq miles, spread over a number of Creole villages in the Belize River valley. More than 200 landowners in seven villages have signed pledges to preserve the monkey's habitat, by protecting forested areas along the river and in corridors that run along the borders of their property. The black howlers have made an amazing comeback here, and the monkeys now roam freely all around the surrounding area.