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Erika Ramirez Ysleta Mission Trail Mission lies on a historic site, it is part of the trails that were the first settlements that build what is, The El Paso we know and live today. Mission Ysleta is one of the two mission churches that still stand today. On a home mile route that runs from San Elizario to Ysleta, through Socorro, in what is known as El Camino Real De la Tierra Adentro (which means Royal Road of the Interior. It once linked missions as far as Mexico City and Santa Fe, Still more settlement along the trail grew crops for food or was military forts and haciendas, making it easier to trade with settlements further way early when it was still cold outside. In 1596, five hundred people; soldiers, their families members of the church, Indians and servants began an expedition to settle the new world. They started from Santa Barbara Chihuahua, with Don Juan De Onate, chosen by the government of the Spanish colonies.

They took thousands of cattle and used wagons and carts that stretched two miles; it took almost five months to reach the Rio Grande they came to what is known as San Elizario. They were not the first ones, people already lived in the El Paso area growing crops, hunting and gathering, these people was known as mansos (which means quiet. ) Inviting his new friends onate called for a celebration. They gave thanks and ate a feast. (Twenty years before the pilgrims gave thanks when they arrived to Plymouth, Massachusetts. They continued the expectation crossing the Rio Grande and not settling permanently until they reached northern New Mexico, more than one thousand five hundred miles away. Known as the largest Indian revolt in all of American history happened, in 1680 in northern New Mexico when the pueblo tribe united to battle the Spanish rulers,(Spanish, spantards and Tigua Indians) they drove two thousand south back into El Paso building refuse camps at the missions.

Others came to bring Christianity and helped build more missions. The missioners survived off the river, it provided food in fishing, and provided water for crops and livestock, it even provided Jaguars. In the spring when the snow would melt from a top of the mountains, the river flooded. The floods destroyed and or damaged some of the missions, including the chapel at San Elizario, when the floods subaved it placed Ysleta on the other side of the river as well as Socorro, and San Elizario.

After the USA-Mexico War the United States claimed the land, in which Socorro, Ysleta, and San Elizario, now became part of the Republic Of Texas. Mission Ysleta has never stopped being an active parish since it was built; it is in the oldest city in Texas, Ysleta is originally named “Corpus Christi De La Ysleta” the mission was built by the Tigua Indians, whom came during the Indian Revolt of 1680. They have stayed and made this their home which we can still experience their culture, they have dances and performances.

The church itself has stood being destroyed by the floods in 1740, and the now church they built was also destroyed by floods in 1844. At that time they built on higher ground in 1851. Natural disaster fires even took its toll; the roof was burned as well as the bell tower. The inhabitants of Ysleta repaired any and all things that tried to take down the mission. The building itself is as strong as the faith tnat tne people nave It .

Is a testament to tnelr communl ty tne DelleTs ana tnelr Taltn that it still stands today. They still struggle to maintain their individual identity, not to be confused with their Spanish colonist. As the settlement grew, The Ysleta mission became more important; to connect trade from the interior of Mexico to the northern part of New Mexico. The hunter gatherers, and farmers that once lived here, were forced to share their land with the Spanish.

The natives were hostile at times, and accommodating at others, always trying to maintain their own cultural identity they were considered to be Christians, by the Spanish who only used El Paso as a place to get supplies Spanish decided to try to convert the natives. This area was perfect, good weather, with oil, buffalo, and water. Being so plentiful over time more and more people settled here, the mansos, piros, Janos, suas, tanos , tiguas, tompiros, apaches, and Jumanos, most decendants oday have forgotten their own history, their culture, even their language.

Only the Tiguas recognized as a Texas Indian Tribe. Barely in 1987, still inhabit the Ysleta area. Ysleta mission holds strong roots in this community. Something that was destroyed several times and rebuilt shows the strength of the people. Mission Ysleta remains today, and initially began over 300 years ago, and continues as El Paso continues to see more and more people settle here. Somewhere around the 1740’s the mission was rebuilt in the name of San Antonio de la Ysleta, in honor of Saint Anthony. Who is the patron of saint of the Tiguas.

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