El Paso – September 2022 – Historic Missions

The El Paso area is home to 3 historic missions. All of the missions were founded in an effort to convert the native population.

We started with the Presidio Chapel of San Elizaro. The original building was constructed in 1789 as a fort (hence the name Presidio).

The buildings were destroyed in a flood in 1829, and thereafter the use of the fort was rendered unnecessary with Mexico’s independence from Spain. In 1882 the existing chapel was constructed.

In addition to the chapel there are other period buildings in the area.

Socorro Mission is about 5 miles up the road to El Paso. The mission here dates from the late 1600s, which again was destroyed by floods in the 1800s. The current building was completed in 1843, with a major reconstruction occurring in 1995.

During the reconstruction the original ceiling was repurposed and included in the remodel.

The sconces include artistic interpretations of the church itself.

Our final stop is at the oldest of the 3 missions, Yselta. Dating from 1660, this building too is a replacement for one that was destroyed in floods.

Artistic elements in the interior include tributes to the native population that the mission has served.