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Coronado National Memorial
Coronado National Memorial


The arrival of the entrada into “Tierra Nueva” in 1540, led by the commander and captain-general Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, set about a dramatic cultural and biological exchange. The armed expedition consisted of over 300 Europeans, over 1000 Aztec/Mexica allies, a handful of Franciscan priests, and scores of servants and slaves. Their arrival in northwest Mexico and the American Southwest irrevocably changed the lives and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the region, some who had lived here for centuries. This moment marks a period of cultural collapse and sparked an era of cultural fusion, the result of which is still palpable in the region. Coronado National Memorial was established to interpret the Coronado Expedition. While there is no physical evidence of the expedition in the present memorial, the park offers a sweeping view of the San Pedro River which is widely regarded as the corridor that the expedition used on their way north to the mythical Cíbola.