Today, October 12, we celebrate Columbus Day, a historic date that celebrates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
Christopher Columbus’ odyssey began on August 3, 1492, when he set out to find a new route to the Indies from the Port of Palos de Moguer, in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Three ships sailed with him: two caravels, La Pinta and La Niña, and a ship called the Santa María. Leaving Palos, they headed for the Canary Islands, especially La Gomera, where they arrived on August 9. There they stopped their march to improve La Pinta’s rudder. They stayed on the islands for almost a month, until September 6, 1492, when, with everything prepared for the expedition, they set sail to find a new route that would connect Europe to Asia.
After 36 days of sailing, on October 12, the sailor Rodrigo de Triana, aboard La Pinta, saw the unknown lands. The crew of the three ships landed on the coast of the Caribbean island of Guanahani, which is part of the Bahamas archipelago. This island will be called San Salvador. Since then, Columbus continued to explore other islands in the Bahamas archipelago, before reaching Cuba and finally the current Dominican Republic, where the ship Santa María sank.
Christopher Columbus would make a total of four voyages to America between 1492 and 1504. He would die on May 20, 1506, without knowing the true extent of his discovery. The Florentine-Castilian merchant Amerigo Vespucci was the first to suggest that a new continent had been found, in place of the West Indies, a region originally thought to be part of Asia.