Christopher Columbus made landfall here the 30th of July, 1502 during his last voyage. Subsequent inhabitants, being both English and Spanish settlers were eeking sustenance and solace in the New World (along with some enterprising pirates!) Prior inhabitants for unknown eons were called Payans rather than Mayans, and artifacts are continuously being found on the island.
In 1859, the general area was ceded from what was British Honduras to what is now the Republic of Honduras. The area became a major fishing port and processing center and remains so to this day, this being one of the principal exports.
In addition, tourism and retirement as the various benefits apply (Fishing, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sailing, relatively cheap living, minimal governmental interference in ones life, and nature undisturbed by the teeming hordes) have set in , and as a result this area is becoming of increasing interest to people who seek certain qualities of life not found in many places.