Belize - History
The first inhabitants of Belize were the Maya and Caribe Indians.. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, many of the Mayan cities were deserted.
Belize a backwater attracted English and Scottish pirates during the 17th century. In 1862, Great Britain declared Belize to be the colony of British Honduras.
Independence was granted in September 1981, when British Honduras officially became Belize, a member of the British Commonwealth
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Belize is officially English-speaking, but the Creoles (the largest ethnic group) speak their own colorful dialect as well as English. Spanish is the main language in the north and in some towns in the west. You may also hear Mayan, Chinese, Mennonite German, Lebanese, Arabic, Hindi and Garífuna (the language of the Garinagu people of Stann Creek district) being spoken.
The majority of Belize's population is Roman Catholic, but British influence has created a sizable and varied Protestant congregation.