Makayla Carpinteyro

Reconnecting with history

California has a rich history filled with blood, sweat, and tears. One of the most beautiful but tragic stories behind the golden state involves the creation of El Camino Real. Peppered along the scenic coast highway are old structures that were first established more than 100 years ago. Missionaries traveled along the route and forced Native Americans to construct the Catholic missions. A part of the California public school curriculum for the 4th-grade is to learn about the twenty-one California missions. Fortunately, during the summer of 2017, my family traveled from San Diego to Sonoma, California, on a pilgrimage of the twenty-one California Missions. We experienced firsthand the beauty of each structure and were heartbroken to learn the conditions the Native people endured. As a ten-year-old child, I was mesmerized by the scenery of each mission and drawn in by nature. The mission that captured my eye was Mission la Purisima de ConcepciĆ³n, the 11th mission. The Franciscan order established the structure on December 8, 1787. The original mission complex south of Lompoc was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812, and the buildings were rebuilt at their present site. The mission is now a national park where many animals roam, and a collection of original artifacts are displayed throughout the compound. While touring Mission la Purisima de ConcepciĆ³n, I captured a photo of the beautiful flower. The picture is a keepsake of my family's freedom to learn the history behind these fascinating structures. Photo taken: August 19, 2017
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