Bolivia Sun 19-Jan-2020     

(+591-2) 2110940 , 71571495
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C. Sagarnaga Nro. 308, La Paz BO

Aka Pacha Travel Tour Operator, legally established in Bolivia it is a company dedicated to the tourism etno-ecológico and  adventure, directed by a team of professionals in tourism with a wide trajectory in the item. Our vocation is that its trip fills it with strong emotions so that it never forgets the trip that it carried out with our company

BOOKING

 

Jesuits Missions

Module: Cultural

Duration: 2 to 4 days

Period: All year

Service: Private

This trip takes us to the principal missions of the Chiquitania, which were established by the Jesuits at the end of the Seventeenth Century.

The churches from this era have been beautifully preserved. Restored and some even rebuilt, these gems of Baroque architecture have kept the religious and folkloric traditions and customs alive.

As in the region of Moxos (the Bolivian Amazon) and Paraguay, the missionaries here were attempting to create a Utopia: the creation of a "City of God" on earth, and to peacefully convert the indigenous population.

We can see how the missions were able to unify the native people from their different cultures under one religion, one language (the Chiquitano) and a set of common social principles.

When the Missions were established, the nomadic peoples of this area were not only initiated into agriculture, but also in painting, sculpture, music and dance; in all these arts they proved to be most skilful, and demonstrated a spectacular ability in learning.

The success of this ambitious project resided in the adherence of indigenous people to the system established by the Jesuits, which embodied both democratic and humanistic qualities. On the one hand the Jesuits presided over the material and spiritual matters while internal decisions were taken by a municipal council (Cabildo) constituted exclusively of indigenous people.

On the other hand, while the main aim of the Reducciones was to evangelize, another was to offer dignified living conditions to the indigenous people. Most of all we must consider the fact that the Missions offered real protection against slave traders, that education was compulsory for children, and that child labor was prohibited.

Note: An International Festival of Baroque music takes place every other year, (even years only) between March and April (dates may vary). This event, which will see its fifth year in 2004, lasts for a 12 days and gathers more than 30 groups from all over Bolivia and indeed the whole world (among them, the well- known Urubicha school,  near from Santa Cruz).

SAN JAVIER MISSION

The first Mission in the region, it was established in 1691. The church, built between 1749 and 1752 by Rev. Father Martin Schmidt, was restored between 1987 and 1992 under the direction of Rev. Father Hans Roth. Uniquely for the missions, the wooden columns which support the aisle, are painted.

The mortuary chapel is an original construction. The presbytery, the patio, the college, the wooden belfry on top of which a panorama of the village can be enjoyed, all these were equally financed by the Missions.

The first School of Music and a shop where violins, harps and clavichords were produced, were established at San Javier.

CONCEPCION MISSION

Established in 1708 the village, a site of complete quiet, has preserved the simplicity of its streets, protected on both sides by adobe houses (sun-dried bricks) with galleries of arcades. The church is a real jewel. Built between 1753 and 1756 by Martin Schmidt, it was first rebuilt by Hans Roth, starting in 1975. He accentuated the decorative richness of the building, utilizing gold leaf and strong colors.

The tall black belfry, supported by engraved columns, is the only one in the Missions with a clock (which does not presently work).

The two confessional boxes, facing each other on the two sides of the aisle, are witness to the high level of expertise achieved in the art of engraving wood.
The neighboring buildings consist mainly of the episcopate, as well as the Music Archives, where the scores written and played in the Missions are being kept. These archives are unique in South America, not only because of their abundance (5500 folios) and their originality, but also because of the particular history of how they have been transmitted along the years, since this is due in a large part to the indigenous population that has contributed to preserve, after the Jesuits were expelled from the kingdom of Spain in 1767, a large part of the inheritance they had left.

SAN IGNACIO MISSION

With about 20.000 inhabitants, this village is today the most populated and the most economically dynamic of the region. Famous as a pearl of the Missions, because of the importance and the richness of its engravings in wood, the church resisted the damage inflicted by the passing of time until its demolition in 1948. Replaced by a modern building in 1968 only the works that decorated the church inside have preserved its Jesuit past.

Only in 1998 the decision to totally rebuild the church, under the direction of Hans Roth, was made, as per photos dated before 1948.

Terminated in 2001, the new church has taken - although in a simplified form without the embossments, the aspect of the original façade. The belfry, built in concrete, which was part of the modern "rebuilding" of the sixties, provides a contrast with the rest of the building.

SAN MIGUEL MISSION

Established in 1721, it was one of the most prosperous of the missions. The architectural complex is original in that it was built on an embankment, which dominates the main square, detached from the church façade. In one of his chronicles, Martin Schmidt tells that during its construction, two hundred men used to work every day on the structure. The temple was finished in 1754, but without the altars, which lately were taken care of by the Rev. Father Schmidt himself, and considered an architectural jewel.

The architectural complex was integrally restored between 1979 and 1983 under the direction of Hans Roth and of Rev. Father Godofredo Trencker (whose faces are given to representations of Saint Paul and Saint Peter that decorate the façade of the church)..

SAN RAFAEL MISSION

The church, built between 1749 and 1753 (under the direction of the inflexible Martin Schmidt), is abundantly decorated with gold leaf and mica (most common in the region). The use of Mica gives the surface a reflection and a glittering, silver appearance.

The lateral altarpiece on the right side holds the statue of Virgin Mary, the most important one of the Missions.

SANTA ANA MISSION

The last Mission built in the Chiquitania, it was established in 1755, that is to say only 12 years before the Jesuits were expelled. When the priests left, the construction of the church had scarcely started; it was finished by the indigenous population. The result is a sober church, of rustic style, and with reduced dimensions when compared to its neighboring churches. It is surrounded by simple houses of a small town where, like in the times of the Jesuits, the responsibility to look after the church was an honor passed from father to son.

Renewed during the nineties, the church maintains its original aspect.

Where the choir stands a pipe organ of the Jesuit epoch has been preserved restored in the year 2000.

REV. FATHER MARTIN SCHMIDT (1694 -1772)

Among the European Missionaries (a large number of them were Spaniards) that arrived to the Chiquitania, the Swiss Rev. Father Martin Schmidt was a dominant personality. Architect of the churches of San Javier, San Rafael and Concepción, he was a creative influence in areas as different as sculpture, editing a Spanish - Chiquitano dictionary, the manufacture of musical instruments or even writing scores (always played), and teaching these skills to the indigenous people.

PROGRAM Nº 1: TOUR OF THE MISSIONS IN 2 DAYS, BY LAND

Day 1 : SANTA CRUZ - SAN JAVIER - CONCEPCION

Depart from the hotel for San Javier in a private transport at 08:30, by the road that goes to the "Oriente" (3 hrs - asphalt).

Visit to the church and to the environing complex.

After lunch, we take once more the road towards the village of Concepción, 70 kms distant eastward.

On the road, visit to the site called "piedras de Paquió", a complex of huge rocks, some of them on balance.

End of the day free.

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel

Day 2 : CONCEPCION - SAN JAVIER - SANTA CRUZ

In the morning, visit to the church and to the museum of the Missions, located at the house of Gral. Hugo Banzer Suarez (dictator, then President of Bolivia during the years 1970 and 1990).

Lunch at Concepción. Then return to San Javier and to Santa Cruz by the end of the afternoon.

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel .

PROGRAM Nº 2: TOUR OF THE MISSIONS IN 4 DAYS, BY LAND

Day 1 : SANTA CRUZ – SAN JAVIER - CONCEPCIÓN

Depart from the hotel for San Javier in a private transport at 08:30, by the road that goes to the "Oriente" (3 hrs - asphalt).

Visit to the church and to the environing complex.

After lunch, we take once more the road towards the village of Concepción, 70 kms distant eastward.

On the road, visit to the site called "piedras de Paquió", a complex of huge rocks, some of them on balance.

End of the day free.

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel.

Day 2 : CONCEPCION - SAN IGNACIO

In the morning, visit to the church and to the museum of the Missions, located at

the house of Gral. Hugo Banzer Suarez (dictator, then President of Bolivia during the years 1970 and 1990).

Lunch at Concepción. At the beginning of the afternoon, depart for San Ignacio (180 kms - 2hrs 30 - road ).

End of the day free.

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel.

Day 3 : SAN IGNACIO - SANTA ANA - SAN RAFAEL - SAN MIGUEL - SAN IGNACIO

We go eastward; we make a circuit like a loop (about 4 hrs transport in total), which leads us successively to discover the Missions of Santa Ana, San Rafael and San Miguel before returning to San Ignacio by the end of the day .

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel.

Day 4 : SAN IGNACIO - SANTA CRUZ

Return to Santa Cruz (10 hrs road), via Concepción and San Javier.

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel.

PROGRAM Nº 3: TOUR OF THE MISSIONS IN 2 DAYS, IN PRIVATE AIRCRAFT

Day 1 : SANTA CRUZ - SAN IGNACIO - SANTA ANA - SAN RAFAEL - SAN MIGUEL - SAN IGNACIO

At 08:00 transfer to El Trompillo airport, where a private light aircraft is waiting for us. One hour flight until San Ignacio, where a private vehicle waits for us.
We make a circuit like a loop (about 4 hours transport in total), which takes us successively to discover the Santa Ana, San Rafael and San Miguel Missions before returning to San Ignacio by the end of the day.

Lunch included. Dinner free.  Hotel.

Day 2 : SAN IGNACIO - CONCEPCION - SAN JAVIER - SANTA CRUZ

In the morning we go to Concepción in the light aircraft (30 min.), where we shall visit the church and the museum of the Missions, located at the house of Gral. Hugo Banzer Suarez (dictator, then President of Bolivia during the years 1970 and 1990).

New flea leap towards San Javier (20 min.). Lunch, then visit to the church and to the complex that surrounds it.

Last flight (40 min.) towards Santa Cruz by the end of the afternoon. Transfer to the hotel.

Lunch included. Dinner free. Hotel .

INCLUDED

- Specialized guide

- Transport

- Hotels

- Entrance to parks and cultural places

- Meals

NOT INCLUDED

- Individual equipment

- Obligatory individual insurance

- Free meals

- Drinks

On request: conditions of sales / equipment list and general information about Bolivia.

Note: Hotels are given as indication under condition of availability when the tour is confirmed.

In case of non-availability, a hotel of the same category will be booked. Warning, the hotels’ ranking category does not correspond to Europe rankings.

Important: As a security measure, please bring photocopies of passport and individual insurance (obligatory, to hand over to us when you arrive).

 

PICS GALLERY DE Jesuits Missions

 

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Licencia Unidad de Turismo Prefectura de La Paz Nº RD 02 VT  0005 

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 C. Sagarnaga Nº 308 La Paz-Bolivia
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