Several gateways provided entrance into the compounds of the walled communities. Bastions, or fortified towers, were located along the walls to provide defense. Living quarters were built inside, against the compound walls, for the Indian neophytes and Spanish soldiers, usually only one or two with their families. The Church was the focal point of the missions; the missionary lived in the convento. Workshops and storerooms dotted the grounds. Outside the walls were the croplands and ranches, and the danger of the Apache and Comanche.
Did You Know?
that the prickly pear cactus was a regular part of the South Texas Indians' diet? The pad, the flower, and the tuna (fruit) are all edible. Even today, "nopales" are found in the produce department of Texas grocery stores.