Belize is a country on the eastern coast of Central America, with Belmopan serving as its capital. The word "Beliz" comes from the Mayan word beliz, meaning "muddy-watered", referring to the Belis River. Spain colonized the region in 1506, but they did not settle the region due to its lack of resources and its hostile native population. In 1638, settlers from England began to settle in Belize, seeking a base from which they could attack Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. The region was settled as "British Honduras", and British settlers arrived in the colony. On 21 September 1981, Belize became an independent country. In 2015, Belize had a population of 468,310 people, with the largest ethnic groups being the mixed-race mestizo people (41.9%), the African creole people (36.9%), the Mayans (11.3%), and the Garifuna (6.1%).