Since the Spanish Conquistadors began exploring the Caribbean in quest of gold ore and other treasures in the 1400s and 1500s, gold prospectors have played a significant role in shaping the history of the island that is now known as Aruba. However, because they didn't think the island held any gold and didn't have a freshwater source, the Spaniards gave it the name "isla inutil," which means useless island.
In 1824, the Dutch, not the Spaniards, made the discovery of gold ore on the northern coast of the island. From 1824 to 1916, Aruba went through a little-known gold rush and gold was crucial to the island's industry. Over 3 million pounds of gold are thought to have been taken from the island. Even the name Aruba, which translates to "there was gold," honors this extensive history.
Spanish Conquistadors were explorers, soldiers and sailors of Spain and also Portugal during what is know as the "Age of Discovery".Conquistador means conquerer in Spanishas they explored and conquered the Caribbean, Central and South America. Conquistadors sailed from Spain (and Portugal)colonizing the Caribbean, the Americas, Africa and also Asia. The Conquistadors’ mission was to conquer these new lands in the name of their home countries "For Gold, For God, For Glory." The reference for gold is probably the most important as the pillaged and stole all the could from Native Empires. They also tried converting indigenous people to Christianity, for God. Glory was for the fame and lasting impact history that these men sought to achieve, and apparently have if I am writing this article about them.
After Christopher Columbus brought news back to Spain of the "new world" a lot of Europeans wanted to search for gold and treasure in this new found land. Spanish Conquistadors, some of the first men to travel to the "new world" were both explorers and conquerers. After first European expedition to the West Indies in 1492, the Spanish began to build an empire in the Caribbean. They used the islands of Hispaniola, Cuba and Puerto Rico for strategic bases and strongholds to defend their newly found territory.
Caribbean Gold Paydirt® is located deep in the Puerto Rican jungle. Hours from the capital city of San Juan, our gold mining operation is not your typical mining operation. Having been prospecting previously in Alaska, Canada and California with no luck, we kept our mining dreams alive by trying something very different. In a last ditch effort, we spent years studying and searching for lost Spanish gold mines. The research alone was very time consuming and labor intensive.
The arrival of Europeans on Cuba proved disastrous just as it did for the other indigenous people of the Caribbean. It is estimated that the island of Hispaniola (modern day Dominica/Haiti) had a population close to 500,000 natives. However in less than 3 decades that dwindled to only 30,00 with the arrival of the Spanish to the "new world" This cycle of slavery and death due to the greed of the Spanish crown was repeated on Cuba.
The Spanish first landed on the island of Hispaniola and later settled it and mined for gold there. They then moved on to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, forcing the Taínos to mine for gold. Cuba is without the dense jungles encountered in the Rest of the Caribbean and Central American countries making gold mining and access to rich gold veins easier. The Taíno population however declined rapidly due to European diseases such as smallpox, mistreatment, flight, slavery and murder. African slaves were imported as early as 1502 to replace the dwindling labor supply during early spanish conquest to keep up gold production.
As gold mining decreased and only limited placer mining was still taking place, the Spanish introduced fruit trees, livestock and other crops. Cattle ranches and sugarcane production became important in Cuba as gold deposits dwindled. Other metal-bearing ores were discovered by the Spanish colonists in Cuba. El Cobre mine was the first copper mine to be opened in the Western Hemisphere in 1544. Although at first the Spanish had believed that they had discovered gold. The Caribbean and Cuba would then go on to prove vital to the Spanish empire. They used it as a defense point and staging ground for further exploration into Central and South America in their quest for gold.
Many years ago I caught gold fever, I needed to cure this horrible affliction. So I began to pursue gold prospecting as a hobby. I bought a metal gold pan, (that's all that was available back then), and hit the road. My gold prospecting journeys took me out west to Arizona, California and even north to Alaska to old mining towns looking for gold deposits. I bought books on how to pan for gold, old gold mining sites and lost gold mines.
The Taíno people were a subgroup of the Arawakan Indians who were native to northern South America, modern day Colombia and Venezuela. When Christopher Columbus arrived in the"new world" in 1492 the Taíno were indigenous people of the Caribbean. Columbus first encountered a branch of the Taíno known as the Lucayan in the Bahamas. The Taíno spoke a dialect of the Arawakan language and inhabited what is today the Lesser Antilles, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.
The history of gold mining in the Dominican Republic, once known as the island of Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic), has a rich history of gold prospecting that started with the Spanish Conquistadors. The island has an abundance of mineral wealth including: gold deposits, nickel, bauxite, silver and copper and marble. Amber is also found on the island, prized for it's colors it is a major export. Another significant gemstone that miners found, and is ONLY found in the Dominican Republic is Larimar. This gemstone has become ver popular with fine jewelry makers.
Puerto Rico is home to more than 3 million Puerto Ricans and possesses an eclectic mix of African, Spanish,Tainoand American influences on it's thriving culture. The island was originally inhabited by indigenous people called the Taíno, andTaíno culture had a large influence on modern day Puerto Ricoas well as the United states and Caribbean.
Puerto Rico was officially given commonwealth status after Spanish colonial rule, which allowed Puerto Rico to become a state territory in 1952 and a largely independent from the early 20th to the late 20th century.
In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but it wasn't until his second voyage to the Indies that Christopher Columbus claimed Puerto Rico for Spain in 1493, when he arrived on the island. The native inhabitants, theTaíno, wore gold trinkets that they found in the island's streams and rivers. In English, Puerto Rico means “rich port,” named for the richness of the gold found in the area, and it’s not an accident that many Puerto Ricans prefer to call the island by itsindigenous Taíno name,Borinquen. In the colonial world, naming a place for its riches marked it for plunder, slavery and for slaughter.