Alonso Alvrarez de Pineda was a Spanish explorer commissioned by the government to explore the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Nueces County Historical Commission. He was tasked to find a way to travel by water from the Gulf to the Orient.
The governor of Jamaica, Francisco de Garay, provided ships, men and money for the voyage. Pineda's journey took approximately nine months. During that time, he mapped out more than 800 miles of shoreline, including the rivers and bays that emptied into the Gulf. He never officially returned to Jamaica, so it is presumed that he died of wounds received during a possible Indian attack. However, his reports and maps were forwarded to the Jamaican government and the King of Spain, and his expedition encouraged future exploration along the coast.