• Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.

    Tumacácori

    National Historical Park Arizona

Pimería Alta

pmeria-alta-map

Padre Kino's chain of missions extended as far north in the Pimería Alta as San Xavier del Bac near Tucson.

When the Spanish first arrived in this area, they called the O'odham Indians Pimas. This area of present-day southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, became known by the Jesuit order of Catholic missionaries as the Pimería Alta, and is still known by the same name today. The Spanish words Pima-ería alta mean "place of the upper Pimas" in English.

Beginning in the 1680's, the lush river valleys of the Pimería Alta attracted Padre Kino and other Jesuit missionaries to the O'odham communities already established along the riverbanks.

Did You Know?

Father Kino

Father Eusebio Franciso Kino established more than twenty missions among the O'odham Indians of the Pimería Alta between 1687 and 1711.