Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (remains), Argentina, are a living example of what the "Compañia de Jesus" (Society of Jesus), under the motto: Ad majorem Dei gloriam - latin for "to the greater glory of God" - achieved in the New World during 17th and 18th centuries.
The order was founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1534, and confirmed by Pope Paul III in 1540.
This fantastic sight, listed by UNESCO in theWorld Heritage Landmark, encompass five missions.
Missions were erected partly to catechize the Guaraní population and also to protect them from Spanish and Portuguese slave traders.
You might remember a film called "The Mission" (1986), a historical dramatization of events that took place in South America at that time, directly related to this matter.
Trough missions, Jesuits introduced to the Indians most of the arts and trades of Europe. They were involved in agriculture, stock rising and cultivation of mate or native tea.
In addition, they had..
They also made arms, powder and musical instruments.
The Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis, a fantastic project that lasted one century and a half, came to an end in 1767, when Jesuits were expelled by a royal edict.
Missions were handed over mainly to Franciscans but soon declined due to different reasons. Indians went back to the forests and only ruins remained of once splendid churches and times of splendor.
Go to Jesuit Block and Estancias de Cordoba for more info about the Jesuit project in South America.
Please visit San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana and Santa Maria de Loreto Missions in the province of Misiones, Argentina.
It's a 296 km. long circuit of incredible scenic beauty and the best example of what Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis were all about...
You could set up your base camp in Puerto Iguazu city, and of course, pay a visit to the magnificent Iguazu falls while in the area, one of the most impressive sights in South America...