Bartolomé Ruíz de Estrada

Bartolome Ruíz was a Spanish pilot and navigator, lived in the early part of the 16th century. He accompanied Francisco Pizarro on the first voyage, ordered by Pedrarias Davila, to explore the land, south of Panama. Leaving from Antigua, they crossed the Isthmus and sailed with 150 men using the ships constructed by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa for this purpose, before he was beheaded by Pedrarias. They explored the Pacific coast of, South America, going as far south as the Peru River. After six months they returned with a large quantity of gold and pearls. He was one of principles that was responsible for Pizarro's interest in going finding the land of the Inca. He was present when Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Luque and Diego de Almagro formed their company of exploration. He was Pizarro's chief pilot on his trips of exploration, discovery and conquest. 

On September 21, 1526, he captures three very large Tumbes rafts, off the Ecuadorian coast. Ruíz describes how each was carrying about 20 men and trade goods that included "tiaras, crowns, bands, tweezers and bells, all of this they brought to exchange for some shells." Ruíz takes one of the natives with him, baptizes him, naming him Felipillo , and sent him to Spain where he learned Spanish, and then sent back to serve as the main interpreter or "lengua" in Cajamarca.


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September 28, 2001
Bruce C. Ruíz