The Joy Trip Project
The Unhidden Minute
Juan Garrido
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Juan Garrido

The First Black Conquistador
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Juan Garrido was an African conquistador, born in the Kingdom of Kongo in 1487.  As a young man he went to Portugal  and converted to Catholicism. He chose the Spanish name, Juan Garrido or "Handsome John". Garrido joined a Spanish expedition and arrived in Santo Domingo (Hispaniola) in about 1502. He participated in the invasion of present-day Puerto Rico and Cuba in 1508. In 1513, as part of Juan Ponce de Leon entourage in search of gold, the expedition landed in Florida near what is now Dry Tortugas National Park. Garrido is the first known African to arrive on the North American Continent. By 1519, he had joined Cortes' forces and invaded present-day Mexico, participating in the siege of Tenochtitlan. He married and settled in Mexico City, where he was the first known farmer to have sown wheat in America.

The Unhidden Minute is part of the Unhidden Podcast Project supported through a National Geographic Explorer Grant from the National Geographic Society, with the cooperation of the National Park Service. This series celebrates the untold stories of Black American history.

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The Joy Trip Project
The Unhidden Minute
The Unhidden Minute is part of the Unhidden Podcast Project supported through a National Geographic Explorer Grant from the National Geographic Society. This series celebrates the untold stories of Black American history.
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