Founded in 1965, the Southwestern Mission Research Center (SMRC) is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to the cause of supporting Spanish Borderlands research and education. Our mission tours provide a means of introducing people to the history and culture of the Pimera Alta, in the Sonoran Desert. Proceeds from these tours enable us to sponsor important scholarship on a broader level, assist with publications, and promote education, as well as engage in cooperative restoration projects with the mission communities. They also help to support publication of the SMRC Revista, a quarterly newsletter/magazine offering news, feature articles, and reviews.
Additional revenue supporting SMRC’s work comes from SMRC’s seven categories of membership. Members receive a one-year subscription to the SMRC Revista.
SMRC mission tours feature the mission churches in Sonora, Mexico — Caborca, Pitiquito, Oquitoa, Atil, Tubatama, Magdalena, St. Ignacio, and Cocóspera — travel by bus (smoke-free and restroom-equipped), and typically consist of groups of 32 people, although private tours can be accommodated. Tour prices include transportation, two nights lodging, two margarita parties, all meals and refreshments en route.