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Formerly known as the colony of British Honduras, Belize is a nation on the eastern coast of Central America, bordering Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Conflicting European territorial claims dating back centuries have greatly complicated Belizean history.

The Maya have been present in the region from at least 2500 bce, reaching their cultural zenith in the classical period beginning about 250 ce. The country has many Mayan archaeological sites, the most important of which is Altún Ha. The Maya went into decline after 900 ce for reasons that remain obscure, but some sites show evidence of postclassical occupation until the arrival of the Spanish. Many people of Mayan descent still live in Belize.

Francisco de Montejo explored the region beginning ...

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