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The ancient walls of the San Antonio Missions enfold our heritage. The trees, walks, churches hold our roots in their grain. Los Compadres, the official Friends' group supporting the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, encourages you to participate in sustaining this link to our past for future generations.
Over the last twenty years, Los Compadres and the National Park Service have worked with numerous partners to repair and restore the San Juan Acequia (irrigation ditch) which has the oldest water rights in the state of Texas. Water now flows through this acequia which was vital to the irrigation of the fields and sustenance of inhabitants.
The next step is the construction of a Spanish Colonial Demonstration Farm on the same historic labores (farmlands) that were cultivated in the 18th century. The missionaries, in establishing the mission compounds, provided a community that could support the livelihood of those who lived within the compound walls. Farming was an integral part of the mission system and by mid-century, San Juan with its rich farmland and pasture-lands, became a regional supplier of agricultural products to an area stretching from Louisiana to Coahuila, Mexico.
Los Compadres' goal is to restore this farm to its original, and historic, normal daily operations. We are seeking funding to maintain the acequia, provide field maintenance, provide research opportunities for secondary and post-secondary schools, support youth organizations who participate in farm operations, and support educational programs for students in both history and agriculture.
Please join us in supporting our endeavor to endow the operation of the Spanish Colonial Demonstration Farm to ensure that this historically and culturally significant site connects people to the heritage that the missions established in this most important community. This community of missions provides a picture of the frontier spirit that settled the Southwest and built a strong, prosperous and democratic nation.