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Quarai Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
The people of Quarai took part in the early resistance to Spanish rule. Nevertheless, early in the 1600's, the Spanish Franciscans found the rolling high desert hills in the Salinas Valley in central New Mexico ripe for their Catholic missions. In 1630 they constructed the large convent and church 'Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Quarai mission'.
However, by 1677 the entire Salinas Valley was abandoned by both the Spanish missionaries and Native Americans. They were forced to flee the area due to a combination of sickness, drought, and raids from the neighboring Apaches.
Despite the fact that the area has been abandoned for over three hundred years the ruins for the most part have been left in admirable condition.
April 11th, 2012
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