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Mission San Antonio Paduano del Oquitoa, historic photo Oquitoa.jpg
Mission San Antonio Paduano del Oquitoa, historic photo

Oquitoa is a small town surrounded by Oquitoa Municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora.

Oquitoa Municipality is a municipality in Sonora in north-western Mexico.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Sonora State of Mexico

Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.



It was founded in 1689 by the Jesuit missionary: Eusebio Kino. One theory is that the name Oquitoa means "white woman" in the Piman language. Another, taken from the 1910 publication "New Trails in Mexico" by Karl Lumholtz is that the name Oquitoa is taken from the O'odham or Piman Phrase, Hukit'o, "next to" or "nearby"(Lumholtz, p. 391, 1990) in reference to the nearby San Ignacio river. Louis Alphonse Pinart's Vocabulario de la Lengua Papaga, 1897, collected in Pitiquito Sonora Mexico from Trinidad Peralta and the Papago governor, Mattias Parra of the Papago community of Pitiquito corroborates Lumholtz's definition of Oquitoa as "hukit'o" Oks Toha, or Oquitoa as defined by the first theory as white woman, literally means 'woman white' that even in the structure of Piman grammar is awkward and is therefore highly unlikely.

Eusebio Kino Italian Jesuit missionary

Eusebio Francisco Kino was a Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer born in the Territory of the Bishopric of Trent, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. For the last 24 years of his life he worked in the region then known as the Pimería Alta, modern-day Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona in the United States. He explored the region and worked with the indigenous Native American population, including primarily the Tohono O'Odham, Sobaipuri and other Upper Piman groups. He proved that the Baja California Peninsula is not an island by leading an overland expedition there. By the time of his death he had established 24 missions and visitas.

Health and education

There were only two primary schools and one doctor in a small health clinic in 2000.

Economic activity

Agriculture covered 901 hectares (2000), most of which were not irrigated. Main crops are alfalfa, beans, corn and the production of fodder for the cattle industry.

Cattle raising was carried out by most of the work force (2000).

Tourist sights

Of touristic importance is the San Antonio Paduano del Oquitoa mission, the only still-used church in the region of Jesuit (pre-1767) construction. Oquitoa is considered by many to be the gem of the Kino missions. Padre Kino first makes mention of San Antonio de Uquetoa on January 19, 1689, when the Father Visitor Manuel Gonzales assigned Father Antonio Arias as its first priest. The church apparently had a facelift by the Franciscans between 1788 and 1797, and was restored in 1920 [1]

Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert

The Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert are a series of Jesuit Catholic religious outposts established by the Spanish Catholic Jesuits and other orders for religious conversions of the Pima and Tohono O'odham indigenous peoples residing in the Sonoran Desert. An added goal was giving Spain a colonial presence in their frontier territory of the Sonora y Sinaloa Province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and relocating by Indian Reductions settlements and encomiendas for agricultural, ranching, and mining labor.

This simple adobe hall church stands atop a small hill in the midst of the village cemetery.

Related Research Articles


  1. Tumacacori NHP: Mission Oquitoa

Coordinates: 30°44′N111°44′W / 30.733°N 111.733°W / 30.733; -111.733