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STS067-716A-66
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Image Caption: STS067-716A-066 Reefs, Belize March 1995
Formerly known as British Honduras, the low and marshy coastal plain of the small country of Belize is visible in this low-oblique, southeast-looking photograph. A popular site for skin diving and snorkeling, an almost unbroken chain of coral reefs and shoals stretches in the clear waters of the western Caribbean Sea approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the east coast of Belize. Three large concentrations of reefs and islands farther east are the Turneffe Islands (partially obscured by clouds), Lighthouse Reef (easternmost and fish-shaped), and Glover Reef. The relatively remote location and the pristine environment of Belize provide natural attractions to the area. The entire country of Belize has a population of slightly more than 200 000; population density is very low. The largest city, Belize City (population of approximately 50 000), is barely evident on the small peninsula near the north edge of the photograph. Sugar and citrus fruits are the country's two leading agricultural products; tourism is becoming a viable industry. Ethnically Belize is more closely tied to its Caribbean island neighbors than to the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America.