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LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – September is National Hispanic Heritage Month and the National Trace Parkway hosted a live encampment representing a spanish conqueror who changed the future for Mississippi Saturday.

Hernando de Soto, was a spanish conqueror who once governed Florida and lead hundreds of men across the south east looking for two things, location and fortune.

“He is looking for gold to finance his expedition and he is looking for good spots to put in colonies,” says Kent Goff.

De Soto came to Mississippi around 1540-1541 to create three colonies under Spanish ruler Charles V. Saturdays exhibits showcased his well documented travel for all to see.

“What we know about Mississippi history and southeast American history really comes from the De Soto expedition as they meet, they describe their customs. The De Soto Chronicles were road maps to the French and English that this is a good land to colonize,” says Goff.

The de Soto expedition is known among some generations of Mississippi residenece, but for some this is all new information.

“All the older people they know about it and we see that and the younger people know about it but a lot of the people sort of middle aged they were in that time period. De Soto we didn’t know we had spaniards around here,” says Goff.

Organizers hope knowing local history will make area residents appreciate their surroundings a little more.

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