Tlaxcala likes to call itself the Cradle of the Nation (Cuna de la Nacion), because during the conquest , 1519 till 1521, many conquistadors “married” native women and the following year gave birth they claim to the first “Mestiza” children. Half Spanish and half native. The first true Mexicans. BUT… in reality by going back aways in time to 1511 we discover that a Spanish ship with explorers sank uff the coast of Yucatan and only two men survived and made it to shore where they were captured and made slaves by the Mayans. Their names were Geronimo Aguilar, a priest explorer and Gonzalo Guerrero a sailor. They spent seven years amongst the Mayans and became assemilated into the tribe and learned the Mayan language. Geronimo the Priest maintained his vows of celibacy but Gonzalo the sailor after a year or so married a native girl and had two children, Thus becoming the father of the first Mestizo children in Mexico.
A few years later Hernan Cortes stopped in Yucatan and discovered them and Geronimo jumped at the chance to be able to return to Spain. But Gonzalo refused to go with them, not only did he stay with the tribe but when other Spaniard treasure seekers arrived he fought along with the natives against the Spanish and ended up being killed.
While in Cempoala, Veracruz, the Spaniards were given some native girls and amongst them was a girl named “Marina” or so named by Cortes, later she was called malintzi,.. she had lived on the Coast and knew Mayan but as a slave moved to the area where Nahuatl language was spoken. When Cortes found this out he had someone who could speak to everyone under Moctezumas power… she could then intrepret it to Mayan and Geronimo would reintrepret it into Spanish. Later on Malintzi would become Cortes’ lover and bear him a son.
It was said that she learned Spanish within 3 or 4 months time. and she was about 17 years of age. An Amazing feat. Although many consider her a traitor and the Tlaxcalans also for teaming up with the Spanish, you have to consider the circumstances of the time.Tlaxcala was surrounded and embargoed for over 50 years and at constant war with the Aztecs, Malintzi had been sold as a slave and it was her chance to break those chains.
After the fall of the Aztecs, Geronimo was granted land by the Viceroys for his participation in the Conquest and Malintzi and her son was given a house in Tenochitlan, Now Mexico City , it can be seen across from the Archeological Ruins of the Templo Mayor in downtown Mexico City. Her son as a young man was involved in an uprising against the Royalty and beheaded.
Cortes abandoned Malintzi and returned to Spain, He was already married to a wealty woman there. He lost all his fortune and died practically in poverty. Fate has many twists and turns.