Dating sites belize
The recorded history of the middle and southern regions is dominated by Caracol, an urban political centre that may have supported over 140,000 people.
When Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, the area that is now Belize included three distinct Maya territories: Chetumal province, which encompassed the area around Corozal Bay; Dzuluinicob province, which encompassed the area between the New River and the Sibun River, west to Tipu; and a southern territory controlled by the Manche Ch'ol Maya, encompassing the area between the Monkey River and the Sarstoon River.
It is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations.
The Maya civilization spread across what is now Belize around 1500 BC, and flourished there until about 900 AD.
Spanish conquistadors explored the land and declared it a Spanish colony but chose not to settle and develop because of its lack of resources and the hostile Indian tribes of the Yucatán.
English and Scottish settlers and pirates known as the Baymen entered the area from the 17th century, with Baymen first settling on the coast of what is now Belize in 1638, seeking a sheltered region from which they could attack Spanish ships (see English settlement in Belize).
The settlers established a trade colony and port in what became the Belize District, and was one of the first ways to achieve a fast black before the advent of artificial dyes.
The Spanish granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area and cut logwood in exchange for their help suppressing piracy.
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Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language.