external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ0T3TPzJRlfRSBFP6m7WTXbaSWqyJ3DO6zo_i0qtUjTpAjMihhNQ  1. Who was him?:


abeza de Vaca was a Spanish explorer of the New World and a Conquistador. Cabeza de Vaca explored the Gulf of Mexico.

 2. Cabeza de Vaca's early life:

e don't know exacly when Cabeza de Vaca was born and he died so it is estimated that he was born in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain between 1490/1495 and died in Seville, Spain in 1557/1560. He was born in a noble family. His father was a conquistador of the Canary Islands. His mother was Teresa Cabeza de Vaca and Zurita. Cabeza de Vaca is a spanish word that means "Head of Cow". In the 13th Century, his mother's family received this surname when his ancestor, Martin Alhaja, aided a Christian army attacking Moors by leaving a cow's head pointing out a secret mountain pass for their use.

 3.The Narváez expedition:

3.1 Introduction to the Narváez expedition:

n 1527, Cabeza de Vaca did a journey to North America to occupy some lands. As a treasurer, we has one of the chiefs of the Narváez Expedition. After several moths they landed in Tampa Bay (current Florida)on the 15th of april of 1528, he and other three men were the Tgc_Telescopio[1].giflast survivors of the Narváez Expedition and when the started the Journey, they were 600 men.

3.2 The first weeks:

abeza de Vaca and the other officers knew about an exiting rumor about gold in Florida. This rumor overuled them and they started to explor the peninsula, searching gold.

3.3 After a few months:

fter some months fighting against the natives inhabitants, they finally reached Apalachee Bay with 242 survivors. They believed that they were other spanish explorers in Mexico, but there were 1500 miles of coast between them, so they started to think how to get there, meanwhile they became sick and died. They survived eating their horses, and they melted the horseshoes and other metal items and created estructures to make fire and cook the food, and they also created primitives boats to use in the search of Mexico.

After a huricane, they shipwrecked near Galveston Island. The explorers called the Island Malhado, or Island of Doom. They repared their boats with some clothes and resources from the Island. Only 40 men, including Cabeza de Vaca, survived the huricane.

Ver The Narvaez Expedition (Cabeza de Vaca) en un mapa más grande

Click here to see the map on google maps.

3.4 Few years later:

fter few years later they were enslaved by native americans tribes of the Upper Gulf Coast. Only four men, Cabeza de Vaca, Andres Dorante de Carraza, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, and an enslaved Moroccan Berber named Esteban survived and escaped to reach Mexico City.

Travelling in this small group, he explored what is the current U.S. State of Texas as well as the Northeastern Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, and possibly smaller portions of New Mexico and Arizona. During this time he lived in very bad conditions, and from
Conmemorative Monument of Cabeza de Vaca in Houston, Texas
Conmemorative Monument of Cabeza de Vaca in Houston, Texas

time to time, they were sacrificing their clothes reparing their boats. He also was developing sympathies with the Natives Tribes and later, he became a trader, which allowed him freedom to travel through the Natives Tribes. The Natives called him "Children of teh Sun". Many natives
accompained them across American Southwest and Northern Mexico

Finally, after several years, he reached the colonized lands of Spain, and he finally returned to Spain.

4. Return to Spain:

fter his return to Spain, he wrote about his experience in America in a report for king Carlos I. It was published in 1542 under the name of "La Relacion" (The Report), later called"Naufragios" (Shipwrecks). He wanted to return to Florida so he formed part of an expedition.

5. Return to America:


n 1540, he was appointed Adelantado of the Rio de la Plata in South America. His mission was to re-establish the settlement of Buenos Aires.
He arrived at Santa Catarina Island. His fleet was composed of 250 musketeers and 26 horses. Cabeza de Vaca

was benevolent with the natives but the rest of the fleet didn't so they said it to the governor Domingo Martínez de Irala and they arrested him for poor administration in 1544 and returned to Spain one year later.

6. The last days of Cabeza de Vaca:

abeza de Vaca wrote some reports of the natives and several critics about governor Domingo Martínez de Irala. He published this report under the name of "Comentarios" (Comentaries). He died poor in Seville around the year 1558.

This is a short video about the life of Cabeza de Vaca.


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