Bolivia

San Rafael de Velasco mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San Rafael de Velasco mission (1696), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Rafael de Velasco, the second oldest mission settlement in the Chiquitania, was established in 1696 by the Jesuit missionaries Juan Bautista Zea and Francisco Hervás (each of whom later co-founded two other missions). It was settled largely as what was then anticipated as an eventual way stop along the road to other Jesuit ...

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Santa Ana de Velasco mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

Santa Ana de Velasco mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  Santa Ana de Velasco, founded in 1755, holds the distinction of being the only Chiquitos mission founded by one individual, the Jesuit missionary Julián Nogler. It is also is the only settlement that has its original church almost wholly intact (restoration on it is ongoing), which also happens to be the only church built ...

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San José de Chiquitos mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San José de Chiquitos mission (1697), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San José de Chiquitos, the third-oldest Jesuit mission in the Chiquitania and one of the prettiest, was founded in 1697 by Felipe Suárez (who later co-founded San Miguel de Velasco to the north) and Dionisio Avila. Relocated in 1706, it was its new location that made it the most important town in the region ...

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San Ignacio de Velasco mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San Ignacio de Velasco mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Ignacio de Velasco was founded in 1748, primarily for the benefit of the local Ugaraño peoples, by Jesuits Miguel Areijer and Diego Contreras. It was settled in part by the inhabitants of a former reducción, San Ignacio de Zamucos, which was destroyed three years earlier. One of the few missions that was not ...

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Concepción mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

Concepcion mission (1699), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  Concepción was first established as the mission of La Inmaculada Concepción in 1699, although this settlement lasted only until 1704. It was re-established in 1709 (a date that some historians incorrectly claim as its founding), and incorporated the nearby ephemeral mission of San Ignacio de Boococas in 1712. Concepción was established by Jesuit missionaries ...

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San Javier mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Javier (originally San Francisco Xavier de los Piñocas), the earliest permanent Jesuit mission in the Chiquitania, was founded by the missionaries José de Arce and Antonio de Rivas on 31 December 1691. It was rebuilt three times (in 1696, 1698, and 1705-6) before assuming its present form in 1708. Today it is a ...

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The Long Silence: The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos after the Extrañamiento

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Geoffrey A P Groesbeck Introduction There is much still to discover regarding the early history of the Jesuit missions (reducciones1) of Chiquitos2 (1691-1767). By now it has been reasonably well documented3, albeit in greater detail in Spanish and German than in English. Over the last three decades, scholarly research on these missions’ individual and collective artistic, musical, and ...

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A Brief History of the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos

Concepcion mission (1699), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A P Groesbeck Introduction It is a simple fact that no comprehensive history of the Jesuit missions of Chiquitos1 exists in English.2 There are numerous accounts in Spanish, most of which rely primarily upon two secondary sources dating from the nineteenth century: D’Orbigny’s recollections of his travels in the region between 1831 and 18333, and René-Moreno’s numerous ...

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Santa Ana de Velasco Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

Santa Ana de Velasco mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  Santa Ana de Velasco is a small village in the department of Santa Cruz  in the Amazonian plains of Bolivia near the border with Brazil. The village lies at an altitude of 464 metres and at about 40 km south-east of San Ignacio de Velasco. The mission of Santa Ana de Velasco is one of the last ...

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San Xavier Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Javier is a small town in the department of Beni in the Amazonian plains of the State of Bolivia. The city lies at an altitude of 537 metres between the Rio Paquius and the Río San Julián. The town of Concepcion is located 60 km north-east, while the city of Santa ...

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San Rafael de Velasco Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

San Rafael de Velasco mission (1696), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  This mission is located in the town of  San Rafael de Velasco which is located in Eastern Bolivia, about 40 km east of the city of San Miguel de Velasco and approximately 470 km north-east of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The city lies at an altitude of 408 meters in the ...

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San Miguel de Velasco Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

San Miguel de Velasco mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  This mission is located in the town of  San Miguel de Velasco which is located in Eastern Bolivia, about 30 km south of the city of San Ignacio de Velasco. The city lies at an altitude of 485 meters in the region of Chiquitanía, an unspoilt area of Bolivia between the cities of Santa ...

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