International Explorers , The Spanish Part II

Bernal Diaz del Castillo (or in some circles, Bernal Diaz) is known for chronicling the Spanish conquest of Mexico , an honor that any Spanish historian would have loved to have the chance to do. He was also a solider who traveled to America in 1514. In this article, you will learn more about Castillo, as well as Andres de Urdaneta.

Bernal Diaz del Castillo (1492-1584)

Castillo accompanied Pedrarias Davila, who was the new governor of Darien at the time. When 1517 rolled around, he ventured to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, tagging along an expedition led by Francisco de Cordoba. He would later return to Mexico on various occasion , in 1518 with Grijalva and in 1519 with Hernando Cortes.

During his last adventure, he encountered more than 100 battles and even witnessed the surrender of Mexico City in 1521. For delivering such a great service, he received a reward , the appointment of the position of governor of Santiago de los Caballeros in Guatemala. To share his travels with others, in 1568, he began writing “Verdadera Historia de la Conquista de Nueva España”, (which translates into ‘True History of the Conquest of New Spain’).

3 Facts About Castillo

1) Bernal Diaz del Castillo was born in Medina del Campo in Spain to a family that had very little. Because of this, he did not receive the best education. In 1514, he sailed to Cuba to find his fortune, but had to wait more than two years before any opportunities came his way.

2) Castillo died in 1584 and never laid eyes on his published book.

3) Castillo began writing his book nearly 50 years after the events had taken place. However, the manuscript was not discovered until 1632, where it was finally published. To this day, his book provides an eyewitness account to the events that surrounded the fall of the Aztec Empire and the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

Andres de Urdaneta (1508-1568)

When he was only the tender age of 17, Andres de Urdaneta was the companion of Garcia Jofre de Loaysa, as he undertook his second sailing expedition around the world. The trip began in 1525, where seven ships set sail. Unfortunately, only one would survive. When Urdaneta was older, he was responsible for locating a sailing route from the Philippines that crossed over the Pacific and reached Mexico. It was called ‘Urdaneta’s Route.’ This was greatly helpful for the Manila galleons until about 1821, which marked the end of Spanish rule in Mexico.

3 Facts About de Urdaneta

1) He was an Augustinian Friar

2) Urdaneta was born in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa, Spain.

3) When he embarked on the Loaisa Expedition, which was en-route to the Spice Islands, he was taken as a prisoner of the Portuguese. He was eventually allowed to return to Europe n 1528, but King Charles I of Spain was not too pleased to see him at this time , even though he had achieved the second world circumnavigation in history. His expedition had lasted for nine years to the displeasure of the king. All of his travels and his cold reception had taken a toll on Urdaneta, which is when he decided to enter the Augustinian Order in New Spain.