1519 Temple of the Green Tomb,
Altun Ha Ruins, Belize.
The Aztec Empire existed from AD 1427 to 1571 and extended from Mexico and Guatemala to the territories of Salvador and Honduras. In AD 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa landed in Panama seeking gold. Death and destruction followed Balboa as he decimated the Inca people raided one city after another to obtain his gold. Word traveled north about gold-eaters who consumed gold and murdered women and children. The Spanish explorer, Hernán Cortés had heard stories about gold in Mexico and Central America while in Cuba restocking his ships.
Cortés became entranced with these stories of gold and wealth, left Cuba to find this gold, and arrived in Mexico in AD 1519 with 600 men and a few horses. He soon learned about the Aztec Empire and soon made his way toward their capital city. Two years after his landing, the Aztec Empire crumbled and the invading army burned the capital to the ground in search of gold.
Cortés and his army earned a reputation as goldeaters because they always emptied treasure chambers filled with gold never leaving any gold behind.
However, before the arrival of Cortés to the capital city, news of the approaching army alarmed the Aztec King who immediately issued an order that all gold, emeralds, silver, and other precious gems were in danger from the gold-eaters surging toward their empire. The people removed all of their precious metals and gems and brought their wealth to the capital.
The King chose the Jaguar Warrior clan, all proven in battle to undertake the task of preserving this treasure. The King commissioned the leader of the Jaguar warriors and his 100 warriors to hide the wealth of the Aztec Empire in the land southward occupied by the ancient Mayan people over five hundred years earlier. Their ancient ruins would safeguard the Aztec treasure until the gold-eaters left the land. One hundred warriors gathered and loaded the wealth of the Aztec Empire into baskets. They started their long journey southward deep into the heart of what would become Central America.