Belize in the Late 1500s

Late 1500’s – The Spanish, based at Bacalaar north of Belize, established missions throughout the northern half of Belize attempting to subdue Mayan tribes. Mayan resistance and Spanish indifference to the area combined to reduce the Spanish presence in the area of Belize by the early 1600′s. (S)

1560 – 1590 approx. – British buccaneers established bases on the Central American Caribbean coast at Pearl Lagoon and Bluefields, Nicaragua. They were active attacking Spanish settlements and shipping. Francis Drake, an infamous British buccaneer, made numerous raids in the area that is now Panama. It is reported that Drake made contact with runaway slaves that lived with the local Indians in the area of his base. A report from 1575 states that the Spanish had 8,600 African slaves working their Central American mines. The settlement of Trujillo, on the north Caribbean coast of Honduras, was attacked by the Spanish three times between 1560 and 1576. (H:17)