• The churches of San Antonio were the heart of the Spanish colonal mission communities.

    San Antonio Missions

    National Historical Park Texas

The Spaniards - Peninsulares, Criollos, and Mestizos

Like the Indians, Spaniards were also diverse in nature and background. Some were soldiers or missionaries directly from Spain. Others came as long time residents of New Spain (Mexico). Distinctions were made between criollos, those born in the Americas, and peninsulares, those born in Spain. Criollos were considered inferior to those who came from the mother country.

Those persons of mixed race - Indian and Spaniard - known as mestizos, were one of the most rapidly growing groups in frontier society. Bearing Spanish names but a culture that was a mixture of Indian and Spanish, they became the backbone of the Spanish empire in the Americas. Mestizos made up the majority of conscripts in the army; they became artisans, traders, and local officials.
 

back to Mission Community

The Church

The Native People

The Franciscans

The Spaniards - Peninsulares, Criolos, and Mestizos

Farming

Ranching

Caminos Reales

Did You Know?

Cochineal is an insect hidden under what looks like white spit on prickly pear cacti.

that the Spanish cornered the market on cochineal, a bug that produces a vivid red color, early in the Spanish colonial period? British officer coats, with which every American school child is familar, were dyed using cochineal.