American Northwest University (ANU) was established and located in the heart of Belmopan, the Capital of Belize, Central America. Although it is the smallest capital city in the continental Americas by population, Belmopan is the third-largest settlement in Belize, behind Belize City and San Ignacio. Founded as a planned community in 1970, Belmopan is one of the newest national capital cities in the world. Belmopan was constructed with British aid following the devastation of Hurricane Hattie in 1961 that demolished approximately 75% of the homes and business places in Belize City. The government of then prime minster George Price promoted the building of a new capital city more inland, safe from tropical cyclones.