Elected and appointed officials and civic and religious leaders gathered together on Saturday at Mission San José to celebrate the official inscription of the UNESCO World Heritage designation of the Spanish colonial Missions and the Alamo, the culmination of an effort that goes back nearly a decade.
Month: October 2015
A packed program of speakers included U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Mayor Ivy Taylor, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Alamo Director Becky Dinnin, U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett, San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, Mexican Consul General José Antonio Larios and Spanish Consul General Enric Panés. The 18th-century Spanish colonial missions and the Rancho de las Cabras in Wilson County were collectively listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in July at its annual convention in Bonn, Germany. About 10 minutes into the program, Jewell unveiled the official plaque, lifting away the colorful zarape draped around it with help from Mardi Arce, superintendent of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Taylor called the designation a “validation of both our deep pride in our heritage here and our most ambitious aspirations for our community.” “Instead, the ongoing recognition, promotion and preservation of these special places will be the true culmination of the years invested in successful collaborations, the decades spent promoting and restoring the missions, their fields, their acequias and their churches,” Taylor said. In addition to the inscription ceremony, Saturday’s activities at the mission included an archaeology festival outside the mission walls with hands-on demonstrations in corn grinding and adobe brick-making.