Spanish Count of Guemes, a descendant of 15th Century Santa Elena founder, to visit Beaufort
The Santa Elena Foundation Board of Directors will welcome board member Álvaro Armada Barcaiztegui on his first visit to Beaufort later this month. Sr. Armada is a direct descendent of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the 16th century Adelantado Mayor of La Florida (governor general) and founder of Santa Elena. Sr. Armada is the Count of Güemes and is to be named the IX Count of Revilla-Gigedo and XX Adelantado Mayor of La Florida by His Majesty Felipe VI, King of Spain.
Álvaro Armada will spend several days in Beaufort County and will meet with members of the news media Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. in the first floor conference room of the Beaufort College Building on the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Historic Beaufort Campus. The Beaufort College Building is located at 801 Carteret St.
Sr. Armada dedicates his time to the promotion of 500 years of distinguished family history and public service. The count is curator of a private archive of original documents, one of the most important private collections in Spain. He shares with the Santa Elena Foundation considerable international leadership experience and a personal connection to the history of Spanish colonization in North America.
Organized by local business leaders, civic leaders and scholars, the Santa Elena Foundation promotes the history of the arrival of Europeans on the North American coast. Spanish settlers established the community of Santa Elena in 1569 as the first colonial capital in America. The story of European rivals struggling for dominance in North America involved French, Spanish and English explorers and their interactions with nations of Native American people. The Santa Elena Foundation is dedicated to sharing the little known history of this “lost century” through archaeological research, a cultural interpretive center and a living history museum.