Xelha

Wiki info

The location of Xelha was used as a base by Spanish forces, during the ultimately unsuccessful first expedition (1527–28) led by the conquistador Francisco de Montejo (the Elder). Montejo, who had obtained a charter from the Spanish Crown in 1526 to pacify the Yucatán Peninsula, crossed over from the island of Cozumel to make landfall at Xelha's lagoons, a short distance from a local Maya village. He set about establishing what was intended to be the first Spanish settlement on the peninsula, which he named "Salamanca de Xelha" after his birthplace in western Spain, Salamanca. However, the supplies he had brought soon proved inadequate to the task of sustaining the venture. Despite attempts to commandeer and raid neighboring Maya settlements for food, his fledgling settlement lost some fifty men within the first two months to disease and privation. In an action reminiscent of Hernán Cortés, Montejo ordered the scuttling of his ships in the face of growing discontent, forcing them to remain.

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