Alex La Pierre, Co-founder of Borderlandia, independent scholar and lecturer

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 2:30-3:30 pm,

ASA Koffler Great Room & Zoom


Even if you aren’t an historian, you’ve probably heard about Magellan at some point in your education.  How many of you have heard about Elcano, though, who played a significant part in the completion of Magellan’s momentous expedition?  Join public historian Alex La Pierre for this talk commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world by the Magellan-Elcano Expedition, 1519-1522.

Commemorative Tile Plaque, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain

The story of this expedition—originally destined for the Spice Islands, but ending up circling the globe–is one of the most incredible in the history of human exploration. Find out who were some of the important personalities of the expedition, how many ships and persons set out from Seville, Spain, in 1519, and how many returned in September of 1522. You’ll learn about the political intrigues of the time between Portugal and Spain, mutinies, the fate of Magellan, and how the expedition was seen to completion by a Basque mariner, Juan Sebastian Elcano, a figure worthy of much more historical attention.

Alex La Pierre is the co-founder of Borderlandia, a bi-national organization committed to building public understanding of the borderlands. With a recent background in the nonprofit field in Ambos Nogales and in citizen diplomacy in the borderlands, Alex originally arrived in southern Arizona working for the National Park Service in the fields of historic preservation and heritage interpretation. A graduate of the University of Arizona, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and a public historian, his studies focus on the Hispanic cultural heritage of the American Southwest and Mexico.  As a volunteer, he serves as a board member of both the Southwestern Mission Research Center and the Anza Trail Foundation. His work along the border has been featured national and international media outlets.

When he’s not working, you will find Alex practicing yoga, hiking, traveling, reading, or practicing his Spanish and Portuguese.

Compiled by Rosemary Brown, Academy Village Volunteer

You can connect to Zoom either by using the following URL: or by opening a browser to and typing in Meeting ID: 954 5651 1620 and Passcode: 85747 


Jan 11: “ A 500-Year Anniversary: The First Circumnavigation of the World”