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Indigenous peoples of Florida, depicted during the De Soto Expedition.

Explore a National and International Historic and Interpretive Trail

The nearly 500-year-old journey that produced the oldest written description of the people and places in the modern boundaries of the United States is deserving of a National Historic Trail, as well as various academic and interpretive activities to launch a Quincentennial commemoration and develop further interest. The first-hand written journal by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca of the initiation of Spanish conquest in the modern U.S., the failed Narvaez expedition, resulted in one of the world's most astounding and dramatic travel stories, rivaled only by the likes of Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and Ferdinand Magellan.

The accounts of their travels on land and sea from Europe to the Gulf Coast by Cabeza de Vaca and three other survivors of the expedition (of more than 300 who entered the continent in Florida), should be of major interest to the people of the U.S. and Mexico, as well as several other nations that were visited during the real-life saga, prompting opportunities for education, literary interest and international cultural exchange.

While not a particularly flattering account of the Spanish invaders or the indigenous peoples of the interior of the modern U.S., the book is a critical document of the state of human development in its time and provides significant "missing" information about that turbulent time in history.

Mile Zero Trail Association (MZTA) will advocate for a National Historic Trail, utilizing existing and new key sites, and provide educational programming to raise awareness. MZTA Chapters will assist in the establishment of a conservancy to promote and maintain the trail and potential interpretive centers.

Get more information about the National Historic Trail.

Get more information about Chapter Organizations.

Get more information about the journey (to be posted).

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