SAN ANTONIO – Once considered the “gateway” to Texas, San Juan Bautista is known as the mother of all Texas missions.
It was founded on Jan. 1, 1700, and was located in present-day Guerrero, Coahuila, Mexico, about 35 miles from Eagle Pass, Texas.
The function of the mission was to serve as a complex for religious clergy, military and to be a stop for all expeditions that were heading into Texas.
The mission was important to San Antonio history as Governor Martin de Alarcón launched his founding expedition of the Alamo City in 1718 from San Juan Bautista and in 1731 soldiers from the mission escorted Canary Islanders to San Antonio.
“It’s the very beginning and that’s why we believe it’s so important that heritage and legacy be communicated to the public and to students,” historian for TexasTejano.com Rudi Rodriguez said.
The mission would serve out its purpose once the Mexican Revolution started and ceased to function around 1810.
Its name is now just a part of Tejano history, but for more than a hundred years it was a gateway to a new land.