In the Footsteps of the Jesuit Missions

Forgotten Mission

November 21

Playa Ligui::Baja California, Mexico::
Playa Ligui
Little Shrine on the Road::Baja California, Mexico::
Little Shrine on the Road
Road to Gonzaga::Baja California, Mexico::
Road to Gonzaga

That night we spent on playa Ligui. Driving south from Loreto took a left turn marked as Parque Marina Nal. After breakfast, we continued south. We left pavement right after Ciudad Constitución. Every day the air temperature was higher and higher. By midday, it reached 95ºF/35ºC. After 2.5 hrs on the dusty road, we saw San Luis Gonzaga from the distance. This was a tiny village in the desert oasis. That settlement traces its roots to the Spanish visita or subordinate mission station founded in 1740. After the crown expelled the Jesuits from Baja California in 1768, this mission was not given to Franciscans as all other in the peninsula. Local judge changed the land rights and the Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui together with the surrounding land was given to local rancher. For many years, this mission was simply a private family church. Thanks to this, it retained its original character. Small temple has simple exterior and the plain interior setting with white walls and stone floor. There is no decorated altar, not to mention other ornaments.

San Luis Gonzaga Oasis::Baja California, Mexico::
San Luis Gonzaga Oasis
The Stone Flooring::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
The Stone Flooring
The Entrance::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
The Entrance
Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui
The Old Mansion in Ruins::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
The Old Mansion in Ruins

In the immediate vicinity of the church, there were the ruins of two old houses in a typical Spanish colonial style. One of them had an abandoned shop with dusty shelves, the counter, and other furniture standing exactly like more than a century ago. San Luis Gonzaga is a very quiet place, though abandoned and even sleepy. We were very happy that we were able to visit it.

The Old Mansion::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
The Old Mansion
Abandoned Store::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
Abandoned Store
The Desert Sunset::San Luis Gonzaga, Baja California, Mexico::
The Desert Sunset

© 2015 Maciej Swulinski