Pimería Alta Missions

World Monuments Watch

2004 and 2006 World Monuments Watch

Built by the Jesuits between 1687 and 1692, and occupied by the Franciscans following the expulsion of the Jesuits a century later, the Pimería Missions were established to indoctrinate the indigenous, peoples of the Pimería Alta region, which straddles the Mexican state of Sonora and the American state of Arizona. The eight missions—Dolores, Cucurpe, San Ignacio, Caborca, Oquitos, Pitiquito, Tubutama, and Cocóspera—range from archaeological ruins to churches still in use by their local communities. Cocóspera has retained much of its original architecture despite its abandonment for more than 150 years. The riverside sanctuary of Caborca, which was restored in 1953 and declared a national historic monument in 1987, remained in use until 1997, when it was damaged by floodwaters. While these buildings collectively chronicle a doctrinal and architectural history worthy of preservation, they have been overlooked in statewide conservation efforts.

Since the Watch

The Caborca church (La Purísima Concepción de Nuestra Señora de Caborca) was recently restored by the local group Patronato para la Restauración del Templo Histórico de Caborca. In collaboration with Adopte Una Obra de Arte, the group succeeded in raising substantial funding for the restoration.

Last updated:
December 2010

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