Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is 180 miles long and 68 miles wide.
Its area is 8,860 square miles of land with a population of 333,200 people, Belize possesses the lowest density of any country in Central America. Belize’s abundant land and sea species, with a diverse ecosystems make it a significant Biological Corridor.
Belize is culturally unique being the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage.
Before A.D. 1000 during the late classic Maya civilization period, 400,000 people may have lived what is now Belize. Some Maya still occupied the area when Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Spanish colonists tried to settle the inlands of Belize, but the Mayans forced them to abandon these efforts.
English and Scottish buccaneers, known as the Baymen, initially settled on the coast of Belize in 1638, seeking a shelter to attack Spanish ships. The Spanish later granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area and cut logwood in exchange for an end to piracy.