The Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis in Argentina were built in the 17th and 18th centuries to organise the evangelisation of the Indians. They represent one of the most important cultural initiatives in the colonisation of Latin America. The Jesuits created 30 missions in Brazil (north of Paraná), Argentina and Paraguay and converted nearly 150,000 indigenous people.
These villages were places to live, work and worship for the Guarani. The missions represented a privileged place where the wealth was shared fairly and where the spirit, religion, and the arts held a very important place. San Ignacio Miní, Santa María la Mayor, Santa Ana and Our Lady of Loreto are remnants of these missions, the visit of which does not leave one unmoved.
UNESCO declared them a cultural heritage of humanity in 1984 because they "represent an economic and socio-cultural experience without precedent in the history of peoples."
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