A Plazuela is a fortified ranch with buildings, barns, and a corral all within a protective wall. The remains of a plazuela can be seen at the Abo unit of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. This structure dates to the reoccupation period from about 1815 to 1830. Following the failure of the Abo Mission, resettlement was a slow process due to continued Apache raiding. By the 1800s, few sheep herders were trying to return to the area due to the reliable spring water. The plazuela contained a number of rooms including a Torreon, or defensive tower, like the similar structure at Quarai. These defenses did little good against increased Apache raiding, and Abo was again abandoned around 1830.
A second reoccupation of Abo was attempted by 1869. This time, Juan Jose Sisneros moved his family to the Abo ruins. The extended Sisneros family began to build additional houses and plazuelas in the area south and west of the Abo Mission ruins. This time, the reoccupation of Abo was able to succeed and the Sisneros family continues to live in the area to this day. Many of these reoccupation structures can be seen along the Abo interpretive trail as it continues south from the mission.
Did You Know?
The Salinas Pueblo Missions were more than just church buildings. The Franciscans also taught the Indians the Spanish language, new agricultural methods, and crafts.