From the early 1600s to the mid 19th Century, the Society of Jesus ran an extraordinary network of missions in the borderlands of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, where native Guarani peoples
lived, in a society which melded elements of European Christanity with the native belief systems. The missions were in the end 'reduced' when the demands of European politics trumped the rights of self-determination by the native peoples. The missions, with their fine civic buildings, centred on elaborately decorated churches, were abandoned to the jungle, their people scattered.
In Argentina, a visit to the largely ruined Santa Ana mission was followed by a day at the more complete San Ignacio Mission