Goals and Objectives

Missions Initiative Goals

Conceived at the start of the 21st century, the Missions Initiative guides the development of an international, multidisciplinary partnership for cultural resource management. The Missions Initiative involves hundreds of Spanish Colonial Mission sites in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Representatives from the United States National Park Service (NPS) and the Mexico Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) are collaborating to protect cultural resources and promote heritage tourism through the re-establishment of historic links among Spanish Colonial missions. The initiative has already begun to foster cooperation among independent research organizations, academic institutions, non-profit agencies, ecclesiastic authorities, and partners in federal, state, and local governments.

Missions Initiative Objectives include:

  • Supporting economic development of host communities through the promotion of heritage tourism.
  • Developing consistent criteria for preserving, cataloguing, and interpreting cultural resources of Spanish missions in the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Enhancing communication among those involved in the management of Spanish Colonial Mission sites on both sides of the international border.
  • Creating education and preservation programs that accurately portray the mission system as an integrated network.

Missions Initiative Projects include:

  • Sponsoring a bi-national Taller Internacional de Conservación y Restauración de Arquitectura de Tierra (International Workshop on Conservation and Restoration of Earthen Architecture, TICRAT), held consecutively at Tumacacori, AZ and Pitiquito, Sonora in late spring with thirty participants and three master teachers. One product of the workshop will be an educational video to widely disseminate adobe and plaster skills.
  • Developing a metadata base and protocol to provide one comprehensive source for resource location, condition, management, and protection data from NPS, INAH, AZSITE, and DRSW. The goal is to provide retrievable information in a commonly developed database with an inventory of mission sites in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, USA, and Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas, Mexico.
  • Developing a series of case studies of various mission sites to use as prototypes of preservation projects to be disseminated through the Missions Initiative website and other locations.
  • Revising and update the current Memorandum of Understanding between the National Park Service and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.
  • Continuing to identify and pursue supplemental funding for upcoming Missions Initiative projects.