Recordación Florida

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The Recordación Florida is a historical document written by Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzmán in 1690, based on the author's own research and on Bernal Díaz del Castillo's book True History of the Conquest of New Spain, which focuses on the historical development of Guatemala from the Conquest to the 17th century.

In the work Recordación Florida, Fuentes y Guzmán dedicates part of the first volume to giving a general explanation of the conquest of Guatemala . In addition, it dedicates several chapters of volumes I, II and III to explain the conquest of particular places in the Guatemalan territory. According to the author, after Mexico had been conquered, the Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca , Hernán Cortés , learned of the mines and rich lands that Guatemala possessed , for which he sent Pedro de Alvarado and appointed him Lieutenant General of the expedition . Alvarado left Mexico City for Guatemala on December 6, 1523 with 750 men: 300 infantry soldiers, 135 soldiers on horseback, four artillery shots, more than 200 indigenous Tlaxcalans and Cholulecas to fight with bows and arrows, and 100 indigenous Mexicans to carry supplies, gunpowder and bullets. Some of the individuals who accompanied him were Jorge Alvarado, his brother, with the title of lieutenant; Don Pedro Portocarrero, field teacher; Baltasar de Mendoza, Diego de Rojas, Juan Pérez Dardón, among others.

In this way, the route that was passed to reach Guatemala is described , passing first through the province of Tehuantepec , where the indigenous people they encountered waged war on them until they were subdued by Alvarado. In addition, it narrates the entry of Alvarado to Quetzaltenango and his fights against the indigenous people who were assisted by those from Utatlán who “were subject to King Tecún, who died in battle as an eagle character. Since then the place was called Quetzaltenango, which means "the hill of Quetzal ", saying the advance that it was the quetzallargest I had ever seen. The army stayed there, where they treated Alvarado for a wound that he had received in the thigh from a blow from an arrow and that left him lame for the rest of his life (Fuentes and Guzmán, 1932: I: 26-30).

Fuentes y Guzmán mentions that during this period of time Pedro de Alvarado entered several towns where he took indigenous prisoners, so the chiefs of Utatlán decided to send him a gift of gold and invite him to the city, but with the plan of setting fire to the town once the Spanish were inside. However, some indigenous people from Quetzaltenango told them that those from Utatlán wanted to kill them that night, so the Adelantado went out to some plains outside the city and told the caciques that he had done this because the horses could not spread out because the streets are very narrow. Finally, Alvarado ordered to capture the main lord of Utatlán called Chignahuincelut, which means "ten tigers" and was the son of Tecún Umán. Then he had him burned and managed to break the squads of indigenous people, although in reality, according to the author, he should have given him three days to repent. (Fuentes and Guzmán, 1932: I: 30-33).

The author then describes that the indigenous people of “Goathemala”, or the Cakchiquel capital , were at odds with those of Utatlán, so the Cakchiquel chief Sinacam decided to send Pedro de Alvarado a gift and make him an ambassador. Alvarado asked him for 2,000 armed indigenous people to bring everything they needed and with his help they conquered Utatlán. Then Alvarado decided to go to the Cakchiquel capital and on the way he met many indigenous warriors. However, the CakchiquelsThey explained that it was because of the wars between the different indigenous groups. In this way, the Spaniards remained in Goathemala and it was there that they founded the city of Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala, whose name comes from Coctemalan, which means "milk stick" (Fuentes y Guzmán, 1932: I: 32-45) .

The work also lists the different sites that were conquered by the Spanish after they had already established themselves in the ancient Cakchiquel capital. The conquest of Petapa in 1526 is mentioned, which at first was subordinate to the Cakchiquels, however, because they later revolted, the Spanish conquered them. On the other hand, according to the author, Mixco was in the Jilotepeque area and it was a fortified site, so it was difficult for the Spanish to fight them because the Mixco Indians were being aided by Chinautla soldiers. What helped to end the battle was that three days after it, the chief of Chinautla sent Alvarado a gift of gold, green feathers, and white cotton blankets as a sign of surrender. However, he asked that this be kept secret until the capture of Mixco and indicated that it would be difficult to defeat them because they had a cave through which they made their retreat to the river valley. Finally, the Spanish ambushed them there and burned the city (Fuentes y Guzmán, 1932: I: 295-302). Among other conquests mentioned is that of Guazacapán where the army included indigenous people from four different groups: Cakchiqueles, Tlaxcalans, Mexicans and Cholulecas (Fuentes and Guzmán, 1932: I: 113); that of Taxisco, Esquipulas and the Town of Jumay, which were assisted by the Petapa and Jalpatagua and had a special apparatus made of wood and rope to throw stones at the Spanish (Fuentes and Guzmán, 1932: II: 140-145);Totonicapán, where the K'iche 'helped them against the Spanish (Fuentes and Guzmán, 1932: III: 46); that of Nebaj and Uspantlán; and that of the Mams who were conquered in Zaculeu. (Fuentes and Guzmán, 1932: III: 109-125)

Guzman was the great-great grandson of Bernal del Castillo, one of original soldiers who took part of the original conquest with Cortez.

According to one historian, "Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzmán’s, Recordación Florida, discurso historial, natural, material, militar y político del Reino de Goathemala (1691), one of the most important chronicles written during the colonial period. "[1]

Ivonne N. Recinos Aquino, Assistant Professor, Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Puerto Rico.

Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala: A Historical Geography of the CuchamatanHighliands, 1500-1821

Los Indios, su Historia y su Civilización, by Antonio Batres Jáuregui

Recordación Florida Volume I

Recordación Florida Volume II

Recordación Florida Volume III

Fuentes y Guzmán, Francisco de (2000). Celso A. Lara Figueroa (ed.). Recordación Florida: Primera Parte: Libros Primero y Segundo. Ayer y Hoy (in Spanish) (3rd ed.). Guatemala: Editorial Artemis-Edinter. ISBN 84-89452-66-0.

Lara Figueroa, Celso A. (2000). "Introducción". Recordación Florida: Primera Parte: Libros Primero y Segundo. Ayer y Hoy (in Spanish) (3rd ed.). Guatemala: Editorial Artemis-Edinter. ISBN 84-89452-66-0.

Luján Muñoz, Luis (1990). "Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzmán". La Cultura maya: antología de textos clásicos [Maya Culture: An Anthology of Classic Texts] (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico: Publicaciones Cruz O. pp. 105–106. ISBN 9789682001604. OCLC 28041025.

Warren, J. Benedict (1973). "An Introductory Survey of Secular Writings in the European Tradition on Colonial Middle America, 1503-1818". In Robert Wauchope (ed.). Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources, Part Two. Handbook of Middle American Indians. 13. Austin, Texas, US: University of Texas Press. pp. 42–137. ISBN 9780292701533. OCLC 310563755.


  1. Guatemaltequidad : Indians and Ladinos in the Guatemalan national imaginary

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