Pedro de Alvarado Biography
Born In: Badajoz, Spain
Pedro de Alvarado was a Spanish conquistador credited with the conquest of much of Central America, including Guatemala and El Salvador. Well known for his skills as a soldier, he also played major roles in the conquest of Cuba and in the conquest of Mexico led by Hernán Cortés. Not much is known about his early life before he earned a name for himself as an adventurous and fearless conquistador, though folk legends give several accounts of his early exploits which however lack credibility. Born in Badajoz, Extremadura, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Santo Domingo, on Hispaniola. There he met another adventurous soul, Hernan Cortes, with whom he participated in the conquest of Cuba under the command of Diego de Velázquez. He then went on to participate in an expedition to Mexico and the siege of Tenochtitlan, commanding one of four forces under Cortes. An experienced and well known military commander by now, he led the conquest of Quiché and Cakchiquel of Guatemala and in 1524 founded Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala and served as its governor. Very famous for his bravery, he was also notorious for the unspeakable cruelties he inflicted upon the natives of the lands he conquered.