The Chiquitania is a plains region that covers a large part of the Eastern Bolivian state of Santa Cruz. It is in this region that Spanish Jesuit missionaries arrived to preach the gospel to the native inhabitants who were known as “chiquitos” or “chiquitanos”. The Jesuits established numerous mission towns
known as reductions between 1691 and 1760, prior to being expelled from South America.
During their time in this area they taught the natives to fashion and play musical instruments in the baroque music style of the time. While the Jesuits also established hundreds of similar towns throughout Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina, the Jesuit missions of Bolivia are the only missions that were not destroyed after they departed. In the 1970’s, Hans Roth, a Jesuit architect from Switzerland dedicated his life to renovating the mission churches in the Chiquitania and in 1990, they were designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Today, the Jesuit Missions
circuit is a tour that consists of seven mission towns; San Javier, Concepción, San Ignacio, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael, and San José, although other towns can be visited, such as San Matías, Santiago de Chiquitos near Robore, Guarayos, and Urubichá.Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
The photographs in the video above were provided by EL CHIQUITANO
, a corporate group that has opened the first Tourist and Comercial Information Center for this región, based out of the town of Concepcion, in an effort to further promote this region’s ecotourism, sociocultural options, and local businesses. Headed by Guery Cuellar, a native of Concepcion, El Chiquitano will publish a quarterly newsletter to inform the public about events and attractions taking place throughout the year in the Chiquitania región, and will promote local hotels, tour operators, restaurant and other commercial ventures. The group will soon launch its new website www.elchiquitano.com. Companies that wish to support this venture are invited to pre-register on the website now, or contact El Chiquitano group at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to become an El Chiquitano corporate partner or sponsor.