Why Misiones?

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Why should you travel to the North of Argentina? 
Look South Tours is passionate about promoting the North of Argentina and in particular the region of Misiones as the ideal ecotourism destination and perfect place for international tourists to explore.

In the region of Misiones there are many great tourist attractions and to sights to see including the historic Ruinas de San Ignacio, Cruz de Santa Ana and the impressive Iguazu Falls. There is also the chance to explore the traditional culture of drinking Yerba Mate on the Ruta de la Yerba Mate and meet the local wildlife on the UNESCO Esteros de Ibera wetlands.

Location:
Misiones is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina and is located in the northeastern corner of Argentina in the Mesopatamica region. Misiones is surrounded by Paraguay to the northwest, Brazil to the north, east and south, and Corrientes Province of Argentina to the southwest.

Posadas is the capital city of Misiones and is located in the south west of the region, opposite Encarnacion, Paraguay. The city has an interesting history, with the original settlement being founded in 1615, which was then relocated across the river to Paraguay. Today it has strong economic and cultural links to Encarnacion.

History:
The province of Misiones was populated for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of various cultures. At the time of the first European encounter, it was occupied by the Guarani culture.

In the 17th century, members of the Society of Jesus came to the region as missionaries. They began to establish a string of Jesuit Reductions, with the San Ignacio location being the most famous. The missionaries taught the local Guarani people western-style agriculture and crafts, these were sold and traded along the river.

In 1759, the Portuguese government ordered all the Reductions closed in its territory (which included much of today’s Misiones Province). With the missions abandoned, the prosperous trade surrounding these Reductions quickly vanished. Colonists imposed a brutal plantation economy in the region and forced the Guarani people into slave labor.

During the 19th century, Misiones was much fought over by Paraguay and Argentina, before finally being in the possession of Argentina in 1876, after the War of the Triple Alliance. In 1865, Paraguayan forces invaded Misiones and following its defeat and making a peace agreement with Argentina that was eventually signed in 1876, Paraguay gave up its claim to the territory of Misiones.

President Nicolas Avellaneda proclaimed the Immigration and Colinization Law in 1876, which fostered the immigration of European colonists to populate vast unspoiled Argentinian territories. This law had a big impact on Misiones.

Misiones received many immigrants mostly from Europe, coming mainly from Southern Brazil. Some came from Buenos Aires, and from Eastern Europe, with particular large numbers of Polish and Ukranians.

Misiones gained provincial status by law on December 10, 1953.

Climate
The region of Misiones has a subtropical climate and unusually has no dry season, making it one of the most humid provinces of Argentina.

Population
Misiones has a population of approximately 965,522 with the majority of the residents being descendants of mostly European immigrants. The ethnic groups who settled in Misiones are Italians, Germans, Spaniards, Poles, Ukrainians, French, Swiss, Russians, Swedes, Danes, Arabs and Japanese.

Economy
Like most in northern Argentina, Misiones’ economy is relatively underdeveloped yet fairly well diversified. Its 2006 output was estimated at US$4.8 billion or US$4,940 per capita, over 40% below the national average.

Misiones’ chief source of agricultural income has long been the cultivation of Yerba Mate – Misiones is Argentina’s leading producer and yields about half a million tons annually. Tea, citrus fruit, and in smaller amounts, tobacco, sugar cane, rice and coffee are also cultivated in this region.

Tourism is developing in Misiones and contributes to around 13% of the region’s economy.

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