This post is also available in: Spanish
The Spaniard who stormed through the Americas? Or an explorer and honorable, impartial administrator who gave his heart to an indigenous beauty?
Vasco Nuñez de Balboa is the leading man in the tale of Isthmian domination by the Spanish Crown and by the Catholic Church. His legendary love for a beautiful Guna [formerly spelled and still pronounced Kuna] Princess by the name of Anayansi from the San Blas opened the way for him to govern in a newly-settled land.
On September 25, 1513, Balboa became the first Spaniard to see the Southern Sea [Pacific Ocean]. To commemorate the 500th anniversary of his discovery, The Visitor launches the first of a four-part series about the life, the love and the death of this explorer who is significant for modern Panama. He can be seen on Balboa Avenue, sword held high, standing on top of the world and overlooking the Bay of Panama in a nation whose currency is technically the USD, but that decided to use his last name for it instead.
Biographical Short Sheet: BALBOA
NAME: VASCO NÚÑEZ DE BALBOA.
BIRTHPLACE: In Jerez de los Caballeros. Badajoz. Spain.
DIED: In ACLA. Panama.
MUNICIPAL BALBOA: Belonging to the Bierzo comarca. Lion. Spain.
CASTLE: In the Municipality of Balboa there was a castle where his father VASCO had a trade. And his son took the place –
BALBOA – as his second last name in memory and consideration of his father, who himself was born in the area.
CHARGES: Governor of Veraguas. Panama.
Mayor of Santa Maria la Antigua in Darien. Panama.
TITLES: Admiral of the SOUTHERN SEA (1515)
Governor of Panama and Coiba. (1515)
EXPEDITIONIST AND CONQUEROR: Lands in Colombia and Panama. (1500-1519)
ANAYANSI: KUNA INDIAN. Panama. Meaning: “KEY TO HAPPINESS.”
BALBOA’S TRAVEL CHRONICLES
BALBOA participated in the FOUNDING OF SANTA MARIA LA ANTIGUA OF DARIEN
(the Atlantic) on November of 1510.
BALBOA attempts, unsuccessfully to reach the MAR DEL SUR (the Pacific) in SANTA MARIA
on September 1 of 1513.
SIGHTING OF THE MAR DEL SUR (the Pacific) from the cordillera on September 25 of 1513.
BALBOA arrives at the GULF OF SAN MIGUEL (the Pacific) on September 29 of 1513.
BALBOA explores the LAS PERLAS ARCHIPELAGO, in the San Miguel gulf October 1513.
BALBOA explores the SAN BLAS ARCHIPELAGO (The Atlantic), inhabited by the Guna Indians,
in December of 1513.
BALBOA sailed out on his last explorations along the DARIEN coast and the LAS PERLAS
ARCHIPIELAGO in the MAR DEL SUR in 1517 and 1518.
BALBOA IS EXECUTED UNJUSTLY IN A C L A, San Miguel gulf the (Pacific) in January of 1519.
DISTANCE TRAVELLED BY BALBOA FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC: 110 KILOMETERS.