|Mission San Juan|
The first mission we visited was that of San Juan. It is a huge compound and housed up to 400 people at a time. Hardship unfortunately was abundant in the early years of San Juan. Epidemics of European disease such as smallpox and measles ravaged the mission and the native population in the surrounding area, as they had never before been exposed to these illnesses. Equally devastating were the hostile Apaches and Comanche tribes who continuously raided and terrorized the San Juan community. Despite the encompassing adversity, however, the mission flourished, and by 1762 it boasted a granary, textile shops, and even houses. The inhabitants of San Juan found their greatest strength in their self-sufficiency.
-- Kristen Hunter