The Tumacacori National Historical Park, a Crossroads of Cultures

Tumacacori Landmark Nuestro Stories

Image courtesy of Nuestro Stories.

The site now known as the Tumacacori National Historical Park sits at what many consider a cultural crossroads. In this place, Yaqui, Apache, and O’odham, indigenous to the land, were forced to coexist with Jesuits and missionaries sent by European countries to assimilate those still alive on the land. 

Located in what is now known as Arizona, The Tumacacori houses the ruins of three missions built during the Spanish/Jesuit colonization of the Americas; Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi, San Jose de Tumacacori, and San Cayetano de Calabazas. 

Between 1691 and 1848, when the last remaining residents of Tumacacori departed, it is said that the missions baptized thousands upon thousands of Indigenous men, women, and children. 

After gaining National Historic Park status, the Tumacacori site became dedicated to telling the stories of the Indigenous and the Spanish colonizers who settled upon the land. 

Visitors to the park can view a 15-minute video that gives a brief introduction to the history of the land, as well as a museum that houses artifacts, images, and stories of those who lived upon the land hundreds of years ago. 

As a further homage to the varied cultures that once existed on the land, every December, the Tumacacori National Historical Park hosts La Fiesta de Tumacacori, an entire weekend’s worth of traditional food, music, dance, and art. 

Before you go:

The Tumacacori National Historical Park is located off exit 29 on I-19 in Tucson, AZ, and is open 9 am to 5 pm daily except for Christmas and Thanksgiving. 

Location: Arizona, United States.

Address: 1891 I-19 Frontage Rd, Tumacacori, AZ 85640, United States.×300.png

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By Rachel

Olivia Monahan Chicana journalist, editor, educator, and organizer in Sacramento whose sole focus is to shed light on stories on our most impacted and marginalized communities, but even more importantly, for those stories to humanize those normally left out. She is an Ida B Wells Investigative Journalism Fellow 2022 Finalist, a member of the Parenting Journalists Society, and has bylines in The Courier, The Sacramento Bee, The Americano, Submerge Magazine among others.

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