Vasco Núñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, a governor and a conqueror. It was the first European that crossed Panama from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1513. The term "Espero" in the old Spanish jargon means "hope". Precisely this word was the engine and the real driving force for Vasco Núñez de Balboa. He traveled exploring the New World and arrived in the current Dominican Republic in 1500. He founded the settlement of Santa María la Antigua del Darién in 1510, the first permanent European settlement on the mainland of America.