Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck
This mission is located in the town of San Ignacio de Velasco which is located in Eastern Bolivia, about 480 kilometers north-east of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra on a hill near the headwaters of the river Paragua. The town is located at a height of 410 meters on the banks of the artificial lake Guapomó.
San Ignacio de Velasco is the gateway to the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, located north of the city on the border with Brazil. This park, in 2000, was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its rich biodiversity.
The mission of San Ignacio de Velasco was founded in 1748 by the Jesuits Fr. Miguel Streicher and Fr. Diego Contreras. The church of San Ignacio de Velasco has been reconstructed from scratch and is not part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.