The Abó Unit of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument sits west of the town of Mountainair, New Mexico, and contains approximately 370 acres. The number and size of unexcavated pueblo mounds suggest that when the Spanish arrived in 1581 they would have found a thriving community. In 1622, Fray Francisco Fonte was assigned to the Abó Mission. Working with the Puebloans, Fonte established the use of rooms in one of the pueblos for an early convento. An early smaller Abó Church and Convento were built starting in 1623. Similar to Quarai, the convento for this church curiously contained a Circular Kiva. This Puebloan religious structure probably aided in early conversions. Construction on this earlier church and convento was completed by 1628. In 1629, a second missionary, Fray Francisco Acevedo, was assigned to Abó. In 1640, Acevedo began to renovate the Abó church and convento. This renovation increased the size of the church and included many improvements. This new, larger church was built around the smaller church, allowing services to continue until the smaller church needed to be dismantled and removed. Renovations to the church and convento were complete by 1658. Like Gran Quivira, a combination of disease, drought, famine, and Apache raiding led to the abandonment of Abó in 1673.
Last updated: January 27, 2020