Educational groups are welcome at Tumacácori National Historical Park.
Please contact the park in advance to discuss your proposed trip. A ranger will be happy to talk with you about how to optimize your field-trip experience, and about educational fee waivers.
Whenever possible, we encourage classes to participate in a pre-scheduled tour or program, but we understand that this might not be possible due to time constraints or lack of ranger availability.
To contact the park about your visit, call (520) 398-2341, extension 72 or e-mail us .
Following are suggestions and guidelines for teacher/adult-guided groups.
For students up to 8th grade:Please start your visit with a short teacher/ranger/docent orientation before dividing into smaller, supervised groups to watch the video and tour the park. We suggest touring the park with our Junior Ranger Seek and Find. Copies are available for loan upon request at the visitor center. Please follow the guidelines outlined below to divide into smaller groups and follow the instructions on the Junior Ranger Seek and Find section, also below.
For high school students: Please start your visit with a short teacher/ranger/docent orientation before dividing into smaller, supervised groups to watch the video, and tour the museum and ruins. We also offer a self-guided booklet for visitors, available for loan upon request or purchase at the visitor center.
Guidelines for Larger Groups: We hope that your field trip experience will be enjoyable and of value to you and your students. To accomplish this with large groups, we find that proper planning and field trip management will provide a more profitable trip for students, parents and teachers, while insuring the park and its resources are preserved and protected.
If you are planning to tour the grounds on your own, please divide your students into smaller, adult-led subgroups before you arrive. This will provide the students with a better experience, and will minimize the chance of damage to park resources or student misconduct. Keep group sizes less than ten, ideally six or less. Be sure to orient adult leaders and clarify their roles.
For all groups: We remind groups to come prepared to be outside. Adults and students should wear a hat and drink water when it is sunny and hot. On the other hand, mornings in winter can be chilly, so coats are usually necessary.
We ask chaperones to be aware of and responsible for their students at all times.
Upon arriving at Tumacácori, please take a few minutes prior to leaving the bus or upon assembling in the garden area to review rules and proper conduct with your students. Essentially, emphasizing general courtesy, safety, respect for other visitors and protection of the park's resources cover most bases.
Please emphasize the following:
- No touching or climbing on the ruins. (Ruins are fragile and are easily damaged.)
- Students must be under adult supervision at all times.
- No running. (This is to prevent injury and resource damage.)
- Use quiet voices, especially inside the church and museum.
- No littering. (Be certain to police areas after having a snack or lunch.)
- Follow the trails. (This is to prevent resource damage.)
- Leave rocks, plants, and artifacts, (such as pottery pieces and stone tools) where you find them so others will be able to enjoy them. (This is a law that preserves and protects park resources.)
- Watch for animals, but do not disturb them.
The Picnic Areais located outside of the back (east) garden gate. Feel free to use the area, but please ensure that you leave the area cleaner than you found it. Trash cans are located nearby. If the cans are full, please remove the bag and replace it with extra bags, located in the bottom of the can.
Restroomsare located in the garden. Please supply adult supervision with groups. It is unfortunately not uncommon for students (usually boys) to play around and make a mess in the facilities.
Group Logistics: Except for tours that accommodate larger groups, we have found that students visiting Tumacácori do much better when divided into small, adult-led groups. Each group can then rotate through different parts of the park or participate in activities. Rotate at random, allowing 10 to 15 minutes per station. Please avoid more than one group congregating at each station.
Exploring this website with your class can make a great pre-visit or post-visit activity. Mission 2000 is a searchable database of Spanish mission records of the Pimería Alta (southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico) containing baptisms, marriages, and burials from the late seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. Students of Hispanic descent may check to see if their family name appears in records from the Tumacácori, Guevavi, Calabazas, Tubac Presidio and other mission and presidio registers in the Pimería Alta. Additional registers are currently being added.
Following is a list of potential on-site activities you may wish to consider while visiting the park. In addition, you are welcome to bring your own activities.
Video – Tumacácori 1822
A viewing room by the garden has a 14-minute long video that tells the story of Tumacácori.
Junior Ranger Seek and Find Photo Hunt
The Junior Ranger Seek and Find photo hunt is available to school groups. Children seek the items depicted in the photographs to learn about the mission from the accompanying text. The Seek and Find starts in the visitor center, continues through the park, and ends in the museum. It gives participants a thematic tour of the park. We recommend that adult leaders show students one picture card at a time. After the image is found by the students, the group reads and discusses the related text before moving to the next card. Two or more groups can also do the hunt simultaneously by starting in different locations. (Please avoid other conducted tour groups while doing these hunts.)
Draw the Church
Many classes enjoy sketching the church. Students normally sit on or near the benches in front of the Church.
The museum was renovated and updated in 2009. Explore the museum using displays as topics to stimulate discussions. Check out the dioramas created by the Berkeley Museum Lab, part of the WPA (Works Project Administration), to talk about the work efforts after the depression.
Tumacácori often has tortilla-making demonstrations for the general public. Anyone, including students, is welcome to talk with and ask questions of the demonstrators, as well as eating a tortilla if available. Large groups can be overwhelming; please limit group size to no more than eight students at one time. In addition, because the program runs exclusively on donations, contributions are encouraged if at all possible. (Students often bring a little extra to contribute). Nobody, however, should be excluded because of money!
If you intend to allow your students to make purchases, please do so only in adult supervised groups of no more than six to seven students at a time. Please ask students to OK their purchases with an adult before buying. We often find children buying expensive items they are unable to read or use when there are a number of inexpensive, age appropriate items for students. Ask at the front desk for assistance or suggestions.