|Home||Vasco Nunez De Balboa (1475-1519)
Born in Spain, Balboa lived on a Caribbean plantation for about ten years. Balboa started a colony at Darien, present day Panama. Most of the Spanish explorers killed the natives, but Balboa however made friends with them. Donít picture him as a hero, because he could still be cruel to get what he wanted. The natives spoke to him of a great sea and of a land of riches. As you can guess, he put together a group of 100 Spaniards and 1000 natives and for more than three weeks they worked their way through some of the thickest jungle in the new world. Tired and starving, Balboa made it to a tall hill. The Pacific never looked better. Not knowing the size of the Pacific, Balboa claimed the Southern sea, as he called it, and all of the lands that touch it, in 1513. The long weary walk back was not as great as the walk there but they made it home. Years later, the Spanish governor of Darien, Pedrarias, beheaded him. The Panamanian coin, the Balboa, is named after him today. When the Panama canal was constructed, the city at the entrance was named Balboa. Balboa lived from 1475 to 1519 and was a great European explorer.