In July 2015, UNESCO, part of the United Nations recognized the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park as a World Heritage site. The park and the Alamo are considered one of the significant cultural institutions in the world. As significant as Britain’s Stonehenge or China’s Great Wall.
It’s the first World Heritage site in Texas and one of only 23 in the United States. Today the missions welcome more than 1.3 million visitors each year.
Visitors to these missions discover a story that began 300 years about with a collision between worlds of Native Americans and Spanish Priests. A vast upheaval that launched a new culture that thrives throughout Texas today.
The missions still serve as parish churches nestled into San Antonio neighborhoods for three centuries and inseparable from the city that has grown up around them. Many who live near the mission and attend church there don’t even realize they are visiting a national park.
“I first started off doing a summer youth program with the missions,” said Park Ranger Paloma Ibarra. “We want to get the younger people to bring them here and to discover where they came from.”
That’s a goal throughout the park system.
More about the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.