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International Explorers , The Spanish

BalboaIn the name of Spain, the explorers mentioned in this article traveled across oceans and in tightly packed ships to reach their intended destinations. Today, you will learn about Spanish explorers, such as the man who was sent by the King of Spain to start a Spanish settlement in what is now known as one of the sunniest locales in the United States.

Captain Pedro Menendez de Aviles (1519 , 1574)

Captain Pedro Menendez de Aviles was known as a harsh Spanish sailor, soldier, conquistador and explore that lived during the 1500’s. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a conquistador is the title given to the adventure seekers who became a part of the eventual conquest of large portions of the Americas and Pacific Asia. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, they played a role in bringing those involved under Spanish colonial rule.

Aviles was sent by the King of Spain to Florida, which was at the time , part of the New World. It was his mission to establish a Spanish settlement. He was successful and created St. Augustine (located in the northeastern part of Florida). At the same time, he was responsible for destroying a French settlement situated close by , called Fort Caroline.

Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon (1475-1526)

In 1526, this Spanish conquistador and explorer is known for his attempts to establish a colony in North America. While he was unsuccessful in settling in the coast of the Carolinas, he became the first European colonizer of what we know as South Carolina.

Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1519)

Another Spanish conquistador and explorer that lived about the same time as Ayllon was Vasco Nunez de Balboa , the first European to lay eyes on the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean. All of this took place in 1513 after he crossed the Isthmus of Panama, just six years before his death. Before these adventures, Balboa traveled to the New World in 1500 and after completing a bit of exploration, he settled on the island of Hispaniola. In 1510, he became the founder of the settlement known as Santa María la Antigua del Darién , located in what we now call Panama. This achievement marked the first permanent European settlement that took place on the mainland of the America.

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (~1490- ~1557)

Sailing from Spain to North America, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca left his country in 1527 to make history. His travels took him to Florida and Texas , a raft becoming his means of transportation. Abandoning the water, he set out on foot from Texas to reach Mexico City. Addiitoanl explorations linked to de Vaca include the Paraguay River in South America. Overall, he can boast that he (along with his accompanying crew) were the first Europeans to catch sight of the American buffalo (better known as bison).