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About San Diego: A bit of San Diego history - a Guatemalan conquest to a San Diego Bay

The early 1500's marked the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Guatemala, and relics of this era give us the first mention of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a historic figure that is quite important in the history of San Diego, and perhaps a reason that you're able to be looking into San Diego real estate today.

In the 1530's, Cabrillo had settled in Guatemala with his Spanish wife, and had become an influential figure in the town of Santiago. This town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1540, and if you were to visit Guatemala today, only the ruins remain. When Cabrillo sent word of the earthquake back to Spain, interestingly enough this became the first reporting of the Americas that did not come from the church.

During his stay in Guatemala, Cabrillo began importing and exporting goods from a port on Guatemala's Pacific side; a coast dotted with hot and balmy black sand beaches and much different than the cloudforests of Coban and the Verapaces for example.

As trade - and the opportunity for more trade - grew, there became an increasing desire to expand the growing Spanish empire into North America. In a time of exploration, as you might imagine, an explorer living in Guatemala might have been interested in a bit more than a Guatemala vacation, and there were many myths to confirm or dispel. The wealth of the fabled city of Cibola lay undiscovered and the existence of a connection between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans to the north had not yet been disproven, and indeed back in Guatemala, a governor by the name of Pedro de Alvarado was interested enough to commission an exploratory voyage up the Pacific coast of California.

Cabrillo and his expedition of three ships (the flagship being the San Salvador) began this voyage in 1542, and their plans called for a trip of two years.

Cabrillo left Guatemala and any opportunity for some Alta Verapaz tourism behind and set sail out of a port near what is today Manzanillo. Three months later, they arrived at what was described as a very good enclosed port and named it San Miguel. This port, of course, was what is today known as beautiful San Diego, California.

Although it is not known for sure, many believe that the ships of Cabrillo's expedition were anchored on the east shore of Point Loma. What is known is that their stay in San Diego lasted only six days before they continued northward, exploring the uncharted territories of the California coast.

The expedition not only uncovered San Diego, but also visited the islands of Catalina, Santa Cruz and San Clemente, as well as today's cities of Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, and even further north. The expedition likely visited what is today the Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, and even Ano Nuevo.

So when you explore modern day San Diego in your hunt for the real estate that's right for you, you can keep in mind this story of places as far away as Spain and Guatemala, and as you get excited about living here you can imagine the excitement of Cabrillo and his expedition.

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