Christopher Columbus was never very successful at finding large amounts of gold in the Americas, but that didn’t stop the Spaniards from continuing their quest. Juan Ponce De Leon was just one of the explorers the Spanish crown sent to look for gold. He had hopes of finding much more, though.
Juan Ponce De Leon was born in 1460 in Spain. His parents were nobles and Ponce De Leon led a privileged life. He became a soldier, fighting against the Moors in Granada, and later sailed to America with Christopher Columbus. He was made governor of Hispaniola, the settlement started by Columbus.
Fun Facts About Juan Ponce De Leon for Kids
- The Spanish king sent Ponce De Leon to Puerto Rico in search of gold. He was very successful there.
- The king ordered Ponce De Leon to explore other islands in search of more gold. Ponce de Leon heard about an island called Bimini, which had a fountain that could make anyone who drank from it young and strong. It was called, “the fountain of youth.”
- Ponce De Leon set out in search of this island. He never found it or the magical fountain, but he did discover Florida.
- Ponce De Leon constantly struggled against Indian uprisings in Puerto Rico. He was killed in 1521 during a war with native tribes.
Juan Ponce De Leon Vocabulary
- Quest: mission, journey
- Nobles: people given special status and privileges by the king
- Privileged: given special treatment and opportunities
- Uprising: revolt, wars
All About Juan Ponce De Leon Video for Kids
Check out this cool video about the expedition of Juan Ponce De Leon for kids:
Juan Ponce De Leon Q&A
Question: What was Juan Ponce de Leon’s biggest achievement?
Answer: He reached the North American mainland. His maps and notes helped later explorers chart this area.
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