Bahía, Islas de la

Bahía, Islas de la ēz´läs ᵺā lä bäē´ə [key], or Bay Islands, archipelago (1996 est. pop. 28,448), 144 sq mi (373 sq km), off the north coast of Honduras, in the Caribbean Sea. The archipelago makes up a department of Honduras. Of the three principal islands (Roatán, Guanaja, and Utila), Roatán is the largest and the port of entry. Guanaja was visited by Columbus in 1502. The climate is sultry. The chief products are fruits and logwood, which English logcutters exploited as early as the 17th cent. British garrisoning of the islands in 1848 led to unrest, which was partially settled by the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850) and relinquishment of British rights (1859) to Honduras. Dissatisfied, the English islanders sided with the American filibuster William Walker.

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