The Black Niño Brothers
They were a family of sailors of African descent from the town of Moguer, Spain and were very instrumental in Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492. The brothers – Pedro Alonso, Francisco, Juan, and Bartolomé – were already sailors with prestige and experience in Atlantic journeys before joining Columbus’s voyage. Pedro, one of the famous among the crew, was the pilot of the Santa Maria, the largest of the three ships used by Columbus. His brother, Juan was master of La Niña while the other, Francisco is believed to have been a sailor on La Niña. The Niño brothers also took part in Columbus’s second and third voyages. Between 1499 and 1501 they travelled on their own account. They followed the route of Columbus’s third voyage to the Gulf of Paria on the South American mainland in what is now Venezuela.