Africans were important members of each of the Spanish expeditions that came to the Western Hemisphere following Columbus. In 1513 Balboa brought with him thirty Africans who helped him cut the first path through Panama to the Pacific Ocean. These Africans also built the first ship ever constructed on the Pacific coast by foreigners. In 1519 Hernando Cortés relied on three hundred Africans to help him defeat the Aztecs. Africans also helped Juan Ponce de Léon explore Florida; they also filled the army that enabled Francisco Pizarro to conquer Peru.
Note: All excerpts borrowed from 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History by Jeffrey C. Stewart, solely for the intents and purposes to inform and educate.