Quail Creek Pilgrims explore the borderlands of Sonora, Mexico

La Purisima Concepcion de Nuestra Senora de Caborca Mission Church at Pueblo Viejo in Caborca

La Purisima Concepcion de Nuestra Senora de Caborca Mission Church at Pueblo Viejo in Caborca

Vicki and Ron Sullivan

More than 300 years ago, a tireless Jesuit priest by the name of Eusebio Francisco Kino made countless forays on horseback throughout much of what is now the northern Mexican state of Sonora and Arizona.

The focus of the Kino Missions tour, sponsored by Southwestern Mission Research Center, is a pilgrim rather than tourist view of Father Kino’s imprint on the borderlands of northwestern Sonora. You’ll be guided by scholars and enthusiasts who know and love the region and volunteer their time to share it with others.

The standing missions and some not so standing remain a testimony to Kino’s legacy. Northwestern Sonoran villages like Imuris, Magdelena de Kino, Altar, Oquitoa and Tubutama are some of the mission stops along the tour route. Warm Sonoran hospitality awaits the traveler.

The tour may offer a stop at the archaeological site and village of Trincheras. The town’s name (Trincheras or trenches) comes from a nearby hill that was terraced hundreds of years ago by ancient inhabitants, apparently for agricultural or defensive purposes. Known as the “pyramid of Sonora,” the hill is an interesting archaeological site to explore. The onsite museum holds a ceramic treasure known as the Ramos style of polychrome pottery created in northwestern Chihuahua between 1200 and 1450 A.D. and found as a burial plot along with others at the Trincheras site.

Accommodations in Carbora are all inclusive including breakfasts, dinners and margarita parties. Enjoy a memorable luncheon at San Ignacio in the shade of quince trees watered by the centuries-old acequia. In Tubutama, enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by the ladies of the village nestled under mature willow trees near the Rio Altar.

Guests include historians, naturalists, adventurers and others often willing to share their specialized knowledge.

The next Kino Missions Tour is planned for November 6 through 8, 2015.

For further updates about mission tours call 520-621-6278, email [email protected], or visit online at www.southwestmissions.org.