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The peak of this civilization occurred during the classic period, which began about 250 AD.The Maya civilization spread across what is now Belize around 1500 BC, and flourished there until about 900 AD.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.Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language.
Belize has an area of 22,800 square kilometres (8,800 sq mi) and a population of 387,879 (2017).
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.
Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination.
Prior to about 2500 BC, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages; they later domesticated crops such as corn, beans, squash, and chili peppers.