Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

A Great explorer with a great name


Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was born 1490 in Extremdura, Castile, Spain. He died 1557 in Sevilla Spain. Like many famous people Álvar was an explorer of the new world. He became an explorer when he was first taken as a treasurer to an expedition to what is now Tampa Bay. His explorations were sponsored by Spain.


His first expedition (1528) was as a treasurer in the expedition lead by Pánfilo de Narváez. The expedition was formed by 250 to 300 men.This expediton was attacked by a hurricane near cuba, but they survived and reached what is now Tampa Bay and started there to conquer and claim land as theirs. He kept moving on, the majority of the explorers died. This was because of hurricanes and fights with native americans for territory (Pánfilo didn't survived). In an attempt of the survivors to reach spanish territory in Mexico, some ships sank and Álvar landed on Galvestone, Texas with some survivors. There they lived between the native americans for four years! Álvar was a trader and a healer in the native american community during that time. 15 survivors including him decided to go on foot to the spanish settlements in Mexico. By 1533 there were only four survivors, one of them was Álvar. In their way they got enslaved by some indian tribes on the way. Also they´ve got help of other tribes to keep on. Thet were the first non-native to walk on the southwestern part. By 1536 he finally reached spanish settlements in what is now Culiacan. He traveled to Mexico city and became territorial governor for a short time. In 1537 he went back to spain and wrote lots of books.
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Álvar was one of the first Europeans to see and explore many territory in the actual U.S and in the northern part of Mexico. He was also one of he first Europeans to see a Bison. This explorations are significant in History because he explored places any other explorer haved not explored during that time. He also wrote books that inspire other explorers such as Hernando de oto and Francisco Vazquez de Coronado. Even later he became governor of Rio de la Plata in what it's now Paraguay. He also explored the Paraguay river. Today we know all of this information because of all the books he wrote.
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By: Mauricio Martín Peña