Belize is a democratic sovereign state that is part of the British Commonwealth, and the northernmost Central American nation. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Although Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is bordered by Mexico to its north and northwest, by Guatemala to its south and west, and by the Caribbean Sea to the east.
While Belize was the site of conflict between the Spanish and the English, the Spanish never colonised it. Thus, even after the English were driven out in the 17th century, they returned and gained an adequate hold of the area. It remained a British colony known as British Honduras until it was renamed in 1973. It gained full independence in 1981.