Vasco Nunez de Balboa

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Vasco Nunez de Balboa Vasco Nunez de Balboa was born in 1475, in Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain. He was a Spanish conquistador, and an explorer. He was also the first European to see the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean. He opened the path for Spanish exploration and settlement of South America's west side. He set sail for the New World in 1500, while he was on an expedition to Colombia. He was going to try and find gold, but someone took the gold before him, so he settled as a farmer in Hispaniola. Balboa soon found himself in debt. To escape, he hid in a large barrel and was carried on board a ship that was sailing to the settlement of San Sebastián, in Colombia. When the ship was safely in the ocean, Balboa came out of hiding. The captain, Martín Fernández de Enciso, wanted him to walk the plank, but Balboa convinced and proved that he could be a good soldier, so he stayed on board. When they got to their destination, it was destroyed! Balboa leaded the survivors to Panama. They started a colony, called Darien. The captain and Balboa, started fighting, because, they both wanted to be in charge. The captain lost, and went back to Spain, and Balboa became governor of Darien. Then, Balboa set out to explore the surrounding country, hoping to find gold. Since he was very nice, he won him the friendship of the Indians. The Indians had little use for gold. But seeing that Balboa prized it so highly, they told him about a marvelous land to the south where people ate on golden plates and drank from golden cups. They also said that just after the mountains is a great sea. Balboa did not know that only a small, narrow piece of land (the Isthmus of Panama) lay between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He thought that this sea might be the route to Cathay (China), which Columbus had sought in vain. Meanwhile, Enciso returned to Spain and
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