THE FIRST CONTACT

The Arrival of the Spanish

The first encounter of the Spanish and natives of Mexicans lands happened in what today is known as Yucatan 1511, the Spanish official Valdivia had departed from the port of Darien in the Indies with direction to the colony of Santo Domingo. Like many other shipments that were adventured in Caribbean waters his caravel ran aground in the zone called “ Los Bajos de las Viboras” ( The Low Lands of the Snakes) and some men that were left stranded were able to get to the coast of Yucatan, Mexico in a very small shipment. Only two survived , Jeronimo de Aguilar (who would be rescued by Hernando Cortes later on) and Gonzalo Guerrero, this accidental contact wouldn’t have been so important if Aguilar and Guerrero and would have not lived a process of cultural diffusion very little known, the learning of the indigenous culture by the Spaniards. In effect, Aguilar who learned the Mayan tongue to such level and knew the zone so well that he became the first interpreter from Spanish to Mayan. His role in the Spanish Conquest was eclipsed later on by a woman whose knowledge of the Mayan and Nahuatl tongue was key for the communication of Hernando Cortes, she was know as “ The Malinche” or “Doña Marina”.

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