Political map of North America & the Caribbean 15 August 1511 (Spanish expansion in the Caribbean): Following their colonization of Puerto Rico (1508), the Spanish began the settlement of the other two large islands neighboring Hispaniola: Santiago (Jamaica) in 1509 (Colony of Santiago) and Cuba in 1511 (Governorate of Cuba). Meanwhile, in 1510, Spanish attempts on the mainland finally produced two lasting colonies, at Santa María la Antigua del Darién and Nombre de Dios (Nombre de Dios, Colón) (both on the Isthmus of Panama).