Vasco De Balboa
Born in Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain. He was motivated to explore by the Finding of Christopher Columbus in 1500. In 1501 he crossed the Caribbean to Panama and Cuba. He returned to Spain a wealthy man. He settled on an Island and attempted settle, however he was unsuccessful as a farmer. He then embarked on several more missions. In 1513 he set sail on his own resources to pass all the way through a river in Panama. He came out the other side into the Pacific Ocean.
Although the reasons for his voyages were monetary, the lasting effects were great. His finding lead to the construction of the Panama Canal, which made global trade more effective.