A Hero for the Americas: The Legend of Gonzalo Guerrero
We recently finished Rob Calder's book A Hero for the Americas: The Legend of Gonzalo Guerrero. He tells the fascinating story of two Spanish maroons which changed world history with their powerfully divergent choices. You might have even seen a tribute to Guerrero in Akumal or Merida. The titular character and his foil's cultural significance are on an almost mythic scale and--although their story could easily be romanticized as representing the struggle between Conquerors and Indigenous people--the author remains dispassionately objective.
Calder puts a great deal of flesh on these bare bones. Using original Mayan sources...he has put together a convincing and compelling re-examination.
The author does a fine job of familiarizing the reader with basic details and notes their far-reaching impact on world history. Guerrero was a shipwrecked Spanish sailor who became a Mayan warrior and is credited as fathering the first mestizo children. First-hand accounts of his life are sparse, but Calder offers straight facts with only occassional speculation to ensure context.
We enjoyed reading A Hero for the Americas and think it makes a great addition to any Yucatan reader's collection.
Thank for reading!