National Park Service Press Release

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2015
Jeremy Barnum, 202-208-6843

National Park Service and Spanish Embassy Team Up to Create Travel Itinerary for Colonial Missions in Southwest

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is pleased to announce the Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest Travel Itinerary, the newest of the Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itinerary series. The self-guided tour can be found in both English and Spanish at

Created in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, the Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest Travel Itinerary guides travelers to 36 different destinations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Destinations include national parks and other sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places that preserve stories of American Indian and Spanish heritage in the United States. The online itinerary offers travelers a number of informative essays and other educational resources on the historical significance and preservation of the sites in the itinerary. 

“Visitors using this itinerary can experience many of the places that tell the story of Hispanic history in the Southwestern United States and discover some of the uniquely preserved historical, cultural, and archeological sites across the region’s national parks,” says National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The Spanish Colonial Missions of the Southwest Travel Itinerary gives travelers a new way to discover the role of Hispanics and American Indians in the history and development of our nation.”

"We are very proud of our collaboration with the National Park Service to create this Southwest Travel Itinerary, which promotes a better understanding, preservation, and outreach of our common heritage,” said Ambassador of Spain Ramón Gil-Casares. “From the early settlements to the creation of new cultural practices and distinct architecture, this guide highlights the crucial Hispanic presence in the rich history of this country.”

The National Park Service and the Embassy of Spain produced the itinerary in partnership with the Drachman Institute at the University of Arizona, the Latino Research and Training Center at the University of New Mexico, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.

Since 1995, the National Park Service has developed a series of travel itineraries in collaboration with many public and private partners, including local preservation groups and chambers of commerce. These travel itineraries highlight thousands of sites spotlighting different communities, geographic regions and themes across the country. Most of the highlighted sites are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, offering travelers a fun way to learn more about American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.

Next year, the National Park Service turns 100, and the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation are partnering to celebrate this centennial through a public awareness campaign, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque. The campaign encourages people to think broadly about all that parks can be. Visitors can discover and plan an array of activities at national parks and share their experiences by visiting

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