NPS Photo by Clar Speck
From his arrival in the Pimería Alta in 1687 until his death in 1711, Padre Kino established over twenty missions. Missions were communities established to convert Native Peoples to Christianity and the Spanish way of life.
The Jesuit religious order of Catholic missionaries administered them until the time of their expulsion in 1767. From 1768 until after Mexico earned its independence in 1821 the missions were operated by the Franciscan religious order of Catholic missionaries. Some are still in use today while others have fallen into ruin.
The mission sites of San José de Tumacácori, Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi, and San Cayetano de Calabazas are administered by Tumacácori National Historical Park; the park offers tours of its three mission sites.
Missions of the Pimería Alta include:
San José de Tumacácori
Photo by Mike Hopkins
When Father Kino first came north to the Opatería, his last jumping off point before moving up the valley to establish his home mission of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Cósari, was the already established mission to the Opata Indians called Los Santos Reyes de Cucurpe.
Did You Know?
Construction of the Franciscan church at Tumacácori took place from about 1800 through the early 1820s. Due to lack of funds, the plans for the structure not only had to be modified, the building was never finished.