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Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history.English is the official language of Belize, while Belizean Creole is an unofficial native language.The Spanish granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area and cut logwood in exchange for helping to suppress piracy.The British first appointed a superintendent over the Belize area in 1786.During this period, a few successful settlers gained control of the local legislature, known as the Public Meeting, as well as of most of the settlement's land and timber. George's Caye was a 1798 military engagement off the coast of Belize between an invading Spanish fleet and a small force of Baymen and their slaves.From 3 to 5 September, the Spaniards tried to force their way through Montego Caye shoal, but were blocked by defenders.Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language.Belize is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the Latin American and Caribbean regions.
A series of institutions were put in place to restrict the ability of individuals to obtain land, in a debt-peonage system to organize the newly freed.
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.
Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state.
A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Maya core culture.
Between about 2500 BC and 250 AD, the basic institutions of Maya civilisation emerged.
Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km (68 mi) wide.